608today City Guide Live

The best restaurants in Madison for vegan and vegetarian eats

Dig into delicious and nutritious vegan and vegetarian fare in every corner of Madison.

608 Sookie

Nothing beats a (vegan) burger by the lake.

Photo by 608today

Table of Contents

Eating meat-free hasn’t always been easy, but in Madison, it’s a piece of (vegan) cake.

Our local food scene is as vibrant as ever, so it’s no surprise there are a slew of local chefs serving up fresh, vegetarian bites across town. From vegetarian barbecue to scrumptious vegan tacos, here are 15 restaurants serving up meat-free fare in the 608.

🍊 The brunch bunch

Willalby’s Cafe, 1351 Williamson St., Madison
The menu includes multiple options specifically for vegetarians and vegans. Try this: Vegan biscuits and gravy.

Monty’s Blue Plate Diner, 2089 Atwood Ave., Madison
This spot offers a full vegan menu and is retro-fitted into an old gas station, for a 50s-diner-meets-hipster atmosphere.

Short Stack Eatery, 301 W. Johnson St.
This popular breakfast spot is now open six days a week featuring a menu sprinkled with vegan and vegetarian plates. Try this: Check out the Vegan Hacks menu.

☕ Coffee shops

Indie Coffee, 1225 Regent St., Madison
One of City Editor Ally’s favorite spots — the food menu includes plenty of vegetarian options and you can choose from soy, almond, or oat milk for your latte. Try this: The grasshopper waffles have walnuts cooked in, but you can tell your kids they’re bugs.

Black Locust, 829 E. Washington
This menu is equal parts vegan, vegetarian, and omnivore-friendly. Try this: The avocado toast is Instagram-worthy.

608 Black Locust

Black Locust’s avocado toast is almost too pretty to eat, almost. | Photo by 608today

Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery, 2827 Atwood Ave.
All food items are made from scratch, including the separate vegan menu. Try this: Don’t forget to save room for a cupcake.

🧁 Delicious desserts

Level 5 Donuts, 3241 Garver Green Ste. 140 (Pick-up only, Ledger Coffee)
These donuts are a crowd-pleaser for vegans and omnivores alike. Try this: Cherry almond donut.

Fifth Scoop, (Order online or find at participating restaurants)
Vegans won’t be sequestered to a limited menu, all of the ice cream flavors are 100% plant-based. Try this: Tropical Birthday Cake.

Paleo Mama, 409 S. Few St.
This bakery has 40 different products, which are all dedicated to being gluten-free and grain-free. Check out their dedicated vegan menu to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try this: Vegan Twix bars.

🌱 100% vegetarian/vegan eats

The Green Owl, 1970 Atwood Ave.
Everything on this menu is vegetarian but can be made vegan upon request. Try this: Cajun tofu avocado melt.

608 Green Owl

The Green Owl is a SASY Neighborhood favorite. | Photo by 608today

Sookie’s, 502 State St.
Curb your burger craving at his spot that’s self-proclaimed as"100% plant-based, and tasty as hell.”

The Vibrant Veg, (Order online)
Chef Lauren specializes in innovative, nutrient-rich, plant-based dishes that you can get delivered right to your doorstep on a weekly basis.

🍸 Date night

Jardin, 829 E. Washington Ave.
This is the perfect spot for a more upscale plant-based dining experience. Try This: The quesabirria is made with braised lion’s mane + wood ear mushrooms.

Himal Chuli, 318 State St.
Vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters can all enjoy this Nepalese spot before grabbing drinks on State. Try this: Don’t skip dessert, order the vegan peda.

Everly, 2701 Monroe St.
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner — the modern ambiance and Californian-style dishes (vegan and vegetarian included) make for a great summer spot.

🍽️ Chef it up at home

Check out our favorite tips and tricks for serving veggie-focused fare from your own kitchen:

  • To make zucchini, carrot, or beet noodles, try a veggie spiralizer that magically turns vegetables into noodles.
  • Tired of wasting money on spices you use once? Broth Bomb combines all the spices you need for a flavorful meal.
  • Harness the power of fresh and high-quality spices from James Beard Award-winning chef Meherwan Irani.
  • A tofu press draws out water and can help tofu firm and crisp up once you cook it — the one linked here is dishwasher safe + works in twenty minutes.
  • If your least favorite part about veggie prep is chopping, this all-in-one vegetable chopper can minimize prep time.
  • Use a sprouting jar kit to grow microgreens and sprouted beans at home.
  • If you’re making fresh bread, this Sourhouse starter jar was designed to be the easiest-to-clean sourdough starter jar in the world.
  • For the ultimate veggie food prep, this glass storage container set keeps lunches and leftovers organized.

Need some good recipes? Browse cookbooks “Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals” for veggie spiral recipes, “The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100” for plant-based ideas, or “The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook” from America’s Test Kitchen

What did we miss? If you know a restaurant that’s not on the list, guide us in the right direction using this survey.

Check out our other Guides
From brands to bands, Madison’s business scene is truly inspired.
Tell us you’re from Madison without telling us you’re from Madison.
We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Madison, WI has to offer — complete with art classes, public beaches, and outdoor fun.
Every neighborhood, district, and town center in Madison has a personality all its own. Does your favorite neighborhood line up with your zodiac sign? We’ve got a horoscope for every part of our city. Find your next favorite hangout written in the stars.
Prepare for spring weather in Madison with these seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.
Explore the 608 through its history, food, drink, art, and more on these tours.
As Madison continues to grow, we’re keeping an eye on upcoming developments and some recently-opened restaurants.
Consider these our Hollywood signs.
To help make your entire process at the Dane County Regional Airport as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to details on the airport’s 17 nonstop flights.
The economic landscape of Madison, who’s hiring, and who’s most likely to expand investments into our community.
608today phone preview
Good news for Madison.
Get the best local news and events sent to your inbox each morning, for free.