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vegetarian and vegan information

Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants and Dining in Milwaukee
(Last Updated: November 5, 2017)

The Good | The Buffets | The Fast | The Ugly | The Potlucks | The Untried | [Show only breakfast/brunch places]

The Good

AJ Bombers [Recommended]

Three different tasty vegetarian burger selections! The black bean burger is one of the better ones around and can be made vegan by leaving the bomber sauce off (since it contains ranch dressing). It's not too spicy and comes as a square pressed patty rather than some of the super-thick varieties out there that fall apart more easily. There is also a housemade veggie burger made from quinoa and a stuffed mushroom that comes fried or baked. Note that a side of fries is not vegan because it has some parmesan cheese sprinkled into the seasoning. And if you are heading the non-vegan route, they have some excellent custard. 1247 N Water St., Milwaukee, (414) 221-9999. Online ordering is available for pick-up or delivery.

Balzac

An avant-garde bar and restaurant serving Milwaukee as a unique destination for beer, wine, cocktails, and food. They aim to embody the spirit of Europe with a dedication to local ingredients, music, and art. They offer small plates with multiple vegetarian options or the ability to make other plates vegetarian. The food is good, although our top choice for small plates would be Odd Duck in Bayview. 1716 North Arlington Place, Milwaukee, (414) 755-0099.

Beans & Barley [Serves Breakfast] [Recommended]

There's a good selection of breakfasts and dinners, as well as a deli and store. The menu is pretty steady except for the daily selection of three soups and many pies (although those are not vegan). 1901 E. North Avenue, (414) 278-7878.

Beer Line Café [Serves Breakfast]

This is an inexpensive- to moderately-priced low-environmental-impact vegetarian "fast-casual" café specializing in unique, sweet and savory crepe creations, panini-style sandwiches, soups, salads, healthy smoothies, fresh juices, local bakery products, Milwaukee’s own Stone Creek Coffee and espresso drinks, and a selection of bottled and tap wines and locally brewed beers. It feels a bit like a breakfast-for-dinner type of place so if you go for dinner, you might want to steer towards the savory selections in case sweet flavors throw off your palette at dinnertime. They have earned a three-star Green Restaurant Association rating, the first in the city of Milwaukee and only the second in the greater Milwaukee metro area. 2076 N. Commerce St., (414) 265-5644.

Bel Air Cantina [Serves Breakfast] [Recommended]

They start you off with chips and 3 homemade salsas that are super fresh-tasting, and there is usually a margarita special of the day, too. Otherwise, you have an extensive selection of flavored margaritas and tequilas to choose from. There are always vegetarian appetizers (the roasted Mexican corn is excellent) and entrees, including a section of vegetarian tacos and tamales. The taco choices rotate every few months and have included Baja tofu tacos, stir-fried tofu tacos, cactus tacos, black bean and corn tacos, and so forth. Sometimes, you can find a good meat-based taco that just needs to be ordered without the meat, such as the fried avocado taco. They have outdoor patios open in the summer as well. 1935 N Water Street, (414) 226-2245; 2625 N Downer Ave, (414) 964-1190; and 6817 North Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 988-8533.

Blue's Egg [Serves Breakfast]

The owner's of Maxie's have opened Blue's Egg, a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. They're very receptive to substitutions to help out customers. Veggie breakfast items that they pointed out to me are the steel-cut oatmeal, house granola, creamy polenta, breakfast salad, and curried tofu. The creamy polenta is pretty good. The curried tofu roti "Benedict" had grilled bananas that could have used more grilling, and the roti was mostly just dry pita bread. The atmosphere is nice, and they give you your own bottle of water and a free appetizer of fresh grapes. It is also worth noting that the Blue's browns section was created with vegetarians in mind. These are very large, sharable portions of hash browns that can come in a variety of forms and easily made vegetarian. They also have 6 more vegetarian sides to chose from. They told me that they are addressing veganism and also searching for egg-free bread and the best gluten-free options available. 317 N 76th Street, (414) 299-3180.

Braise

Braise embraces a return to slow-grown, natural food. From seasonally-inspired menus and creative cocktails, to their hands-on classes and events, they work to educate the community on food. Supporting Wisconsin's farmers and artisan producers, they are dedicated to the local economy. The menu is subject to change daily based on seasonality of available ingredients. Most items can be made gluten-free or vegetarian, but there are a wonderful selection of choices that are already vegetarian with a mix of small plates, large plates, and brick oven dishes. Reservations are recommended. 1101 S 2nd Street, Milwaukee, (414) 212-8843.

Café 1505 [Serves Breakfast]

They have excellent breakfast options with a frequently-changing special along with a solid veggie burger. 505 W. Mequon Road, Mequon, (414) 241-7074.

Café Corazón [Serves Breakfast] [Recommended]

They offer non-meat protein options (such as soy chorizo or herb tofu) in some pretty good configurations including a menu section dedicated just to vegan options. Their chips and salsa and guacamole are top-notch and the Corazon margarita is outstanding. They have outdoor seating in the summer on their patio which allows for some people-watching of passersby. 3129 N. Bremen St., (414) 810-3941

Café Hollander [Serves Breakfast]

Enjoy their good veggie burger on their outdoor patio while also sampling a flight of beers straight from their 24-tap selection. There are a few other vegetarian options including appetizers, heavy-duty salads, and a grilled portobello sandwich. They serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. 2608 N Downer Avenue, (414) 963-6366 or 7677 W State Street, (414) 475-6771.

Café Manna

This is an all-vegetarian restaurant out in Brookfield. It's all organic and very creative. The lentil soup was cooked to perfection with lentils that were neither too firm nor too rubbery and it had a swirl of sour cream on top. They offer cooking classes every couple of months and special multi-course meals for popular holidays. They are not open on Sunday nights. 3815 N. Brookfield Road, Brookfield, (262) 790-2340.

California Pizza Kitchen

This is not a vegetarian-specific restaurant, but they can do a tasty pizza sans cheese (when they don't look at you like you're crazy) and they have some great vegetarian pasta dishes such as asparagus and spinach spaghettini, kung pao spaghetti, and Thai linguini. Bayshore Town Center, Glendale, (414) 967-8088.

Centro Café [Serves Breakfast] [Recommended]

They specialize in Italian fare as well as a selection of wine and beer, with competitive prices within the neighborhood. The vegan options are numerous and are clearly labeled on the menu, which includes house-made vegan "neatballs" and a gluten free pasta substitute. Sandwiches and entrees are in the $7 — $12 range. They only have 11 tables inside with seating for around 26 people and they don't take reservations, so get there before 6 p.m. to ensure a seat for Saturday night dinner. We found their service to be great, and the food good as well. They offer vegan bread with each meal, and there are actually more vegan options than we anticipated. The food is cooked fresh, with the vegetables crisp and the homemade sauce is delicious. It has a cozy atmosphere and can be found right next to the Fuel Cafe. 808 East Center Street, Milwaukee, (414) 455-3751.

The Cheel

They bill themselves as serving up fresh flavor altitude and farm-to-fork attitude in every scratch-crafted morsel from the Himalayas to the Rockies. They have quite a few vegetarian/vegan small plates that are all bursting with fresh flavor and are a take on tofu that you don't find elsewhere. The fing (yes, fing) salad is a tasty cold noodle salad that's also quite good. And, don't forget to have a wonderful homemade dessert, too. 105 S Main Street, Theinsville, (262) 236-9463.

Cheeze Factory Restaurant [Serves Breakfast]

Okay, this place is not in Milwaukee, it's at the Wisconsin Dells. However, we take a couple of vacations to the Dells each year and this recent discovery has an amazingly extensive menu of vegetarian and vegan items. The Thai bananas are a killer appetizer and their dinner menu is loaded with so many good options it is hard to choose a favorite. They're located right across from our favorite overnight waterpark, The Wilderness. 521 Wisconsin Dells Parkway S, (608) 253-6065.

Classic Slice

Not only does this place serve pizza that tastes as close to East coast pizza as we've ever had in the Midwest, but they use organic ingredients and have vegan pies. We give them a hearty thumbs-up. This place also serves monster slices, and that's no joke. While you're waiting for your pizza, enjoying watching the pizza maker toss the largest pizza pie in the air. 2797 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue, Bayview, (414) 238-2406.

Cloud Red [Recommended]

Replacing the long-standing Village Pub, this bar and restaurant offers super-tasty homemade vegetarian dishes. The tofu po boy is big and tasty and comes with a large pickle. Consider splitting it if you're not at full hunger. The spring rolls are outstanding and have sublime sauces, especially the peanut sauce. Rotating appetizers include amaizeballs, wonderful cheese curds, falafel, amazing brussels sprouts, and smashed fingerling potatoes. It's a casual setting where you order your drink and food at the bar and then find your seat within the restaurant or on the sidewalk out front. 4488 N Oakland Ave., Shorewood, (414) 231-9660.

City Market [Serves Breakfast]

We haven't tried them for breakfast yet. They have vegetarian chili as well as a build-your-own-sandwich option with some vegetarian options. 2205 E. Capitol Drive, Shorewood, (414) 962-0100.

Colectivo (formerly Alterra) [Serves Breakfast] [Recommended]

This popular multi-location cafe serves breakfast, including breakfast burritos all day that often includes some type of vegetarian option (or one with local/happy eggs). They usually have a vegetarian soup of the day and they're pretty darn tasty. Oh, and their coffee is the best around, and there is often a fair-trade organic option on the menu.

Comet Café [Serves Breakfast] [Recommended]

This diner has a great selection of items that can be made for carnivores, vegetarians, or vegans. They have good coffee, a great selection of beers, and it is also a really excellent spot for a vegetarian breakfast as well. Some of the foods are fried, which is good for satisfying a certain craving but can also detract from the attempted healthful benefits of going meatless. 1947 N. Farwell Avenue, (414) 273-7677.

Company Brewing [Serves Breakfast]

Located in the Riverwest neighborhood, they offer great home-brewed beer on tap and several vegetarian entrees as well as multiple vegetable-based sides. Vegetarian and vegan items are marked on the menu. They also serve Sunday brunch. 2643 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 489-7437. 735 E Center Street, (414) 930-0909.

County Clare

This downtown bed and breakfast / Irish pub now has a special vegetarian menu. Their specific vegetarian menu has items that can be made vegan. In general, the atmosphere is very nice with a great selection of Irish beer, of course. In our one visit, we found that the home-made items were the best (such as the sauces or faux meats) yet the side vegetables were essentially cooked the traditional Irish way -- boiled, sans seasoning. We recommend the "chips" with curry sauce. The thick-cut fries were served steaming hot and the curry sauce was outstanding, although not vegan. That alone would be a great accompaniment to those just stopping in for a Guiness or Harp. 1234 N Astor St., (414) 272-5273.

Dan Dan

Dandan is described as "a noodle dish with origins in Chinese Sichuan cuisine" but then also as "two guys named Dan who grew up eating Chinese food and love cooking it". We love eating it, as they have plates meant to be shared and all of the vegetarian options are a delicious take on Chinese food. Located right near MIAD, they are closed on Sundays. 360 East Erie Street, (414) 488-8036.

EE-Sane

Everything on the menu of this Thai-Laotian restaurant can be made vegetarian. They have many excellent and tasty curries and sauces. The have you specify on a scale from 1 to 10 how hot you'd like your dish. Watch out because different chefs interpret the numbers differently so it is best to aim low on your first visit there. The curry squash is knee-buckling good, and this is our favorite Thai restaurant in the area. 1806 North Farwell Avenue, (414) 224-8284.

Elephant Café [Recommended]

The family behind EE-Sane Thai-Lao Cuisine on Farwell has opened a second restaurant and it's got all the best dishes from EE-Sane and then some, along with a better decor. Elephant Cafe is a Thai and Laotian restaurant that uses fresh ingredients to create savory dishes. There are a lot of tofu-based items including some great tofu-based appetizers. The spring rolls are especially good and the volcano tofu is stellar. 1505 North Farwell Avenue, (414) 220-9322.

Ethiopian Cottage

It's better than African Hut was and fairly tasty, but the better choice might be to head downtown to Alem Ethiopian. They don't include utensils with their meals as the meals consist of some type of stew or vegetables placed on injura, a bread made from a grain called teff. You have a basket of extra injura, and you break off pieces and scoop up the Wat (stew) with it. It looks like they are now advertising a vegetarian and vegan lunch buffet. 1824 N. Farwell Ave., 414-224-5226.

Fuel Café

They offer vegan chili and several vegan sandwiches and burritos and they serve Alterra coffee. The vegan "VLT" is a good sandwich and they have refried bean-based burritos that are good along with some uncommon brands of soda. Their breakfasts are not really vegan and they're limited mostly to a few croissants. Located in Riverwest, it attracts an always-colorful crowd. 818 E. Center St., (414) 374-FUEL and 630 S 5th St, (414) 847-9580.

Honeypie Café [Serves Breakfast]

There's usually a vegetarian pasty, such as ones with roasted root vegetables and a nice, smoky-flavored field roast. The risotto with winter squash and charred brussel sprouts leaves is outstanding. Aside from the pasty and entree, the other vegetarian/vegan items are sandwiches, but it's worth eating here for the huge drink menu, excellent desserts, and the fact that the few vegetarian/vegan dishes are excellent. 2643 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 489-7437.

Hue Vietnamese Cuisine

This Bayview restaurant highlights specifically what on their menu is vegetarian. They have a veggie meat option that they marinate, grill, and put on skewers and it is pretty delish. They're pretty difficult to get into without a reservation but if you show up before 5:30 p.m. you can usually get in. They also have tofu-based Vietnamese/Laotian dishes that are tasty, too. 2691 South Kinnickinnic, (414) 294-0483.

Izumi's

An enjoyable time can be had at the sushi bar when tables are occupied. There are several vegetarian appetizers, and their grilled asparagus may be the best asparagus ever. There are only so many ways to make a vegetarian sushi, especially when it is an AAC roll but theirs had a bit of a twist on it that's worth investigating. Lastly, the teriyaki tofu was served on a sizzling plate with crisp carrots and green beans which was a refreshing alternative to the hibachi tofu we often get at Samurai. 2150 N. Prospect Ave, (414) 271-5278.

Jing's

Some people say that their prices are slightly higher than other Chinese food restaurants; probably because of their Third Ward location. Their menu can be a bit confusing. The food was not bad, but not worth going out of one's way for, either. 207 E. Buffalo St #101, (414) 271-7788.

Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan is a casual fine dining establishment located on the corners of Smith street and Howell avenue in Milwaukee’s hip neighborhood of Bay View. Lazy Susan serves a rotating eclectic mix of shareable plates. They have at least a couple of significant vegetarian plates always on the menu. The service is nice, the food is quick and tasty. If you were going to one place for small plates; however, then Odd Duck offers more adventurous and flavorful food. Lazy Susan is closed on Mondays. 2378 S Howell Ave., (414) 988-7086.

Maxie's Southern Comfort

Okay, Southern food is not known for being vegetarian but a quick scan to the bottom of their dinner menu shows several interesting-sounding vegetarian options. You could order a nice vegetarian meal just out of their tasty-sounding side orders (sweet potato fries, grits, maple-braised collard greens, etc.). The vegetarian jambalaya and the BBQ organic tofu plate are a great break from the typical Japanese/Thai/Italian vegetarian fare we usually encounter. On top of it, the atmosphere was very nice, the service was good, and it was family-friendly. 6732 W. Fairview, (414) 292-3969.

NaNa Asian Fusion

They opened in December 2011 in Shorewood and offer noodle dishes that all can come with a tofu option. Their sushi and maki selections are unique. For example, I've never seen an avocado-and-peanut roll but it actually works because the avocado is a bit creamy in texture and the peanuts make it seem like you're eating peanut butter. They also have a maki roll consisting of sweet potato tempura that's very tasty. Their drink specials are a bit sickly-sweet; and, while this restaurant is super-convenient for us, there's not enough of a smashing flavor to anything to draw us regularly. 4511 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 967-8888.

The National [Serves Breakfast]

They have a menu that specifically designates vegetarian and vegan items, which is nice. The food is good, but we don't get to this part of town often. 839 W. National Ave., Milwaukee 53204 (414) 431-6551.

Odd Duck [Recommended]

Odd Duck offers hints of Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean in its daily changing menu. They offer small plates with a few larger ones for dinner, although the small plates are often the ones that feature vegetarian items. There's typically a good selection of items, and the flavors are outstanding. Reservations are almost always required if you want to be able to get in anywhere around dinnertime. 2352 S Kinnickinnic Ave, (414) 763-5881.

On the Bus

On The Bus is here to show Milwaukee that plant-based foods can be prepared in such a way that you'd never think for a second that anything is missing. It's their belief vegan food can be just as delicious, if not better, than their non-plant based counterparts. On the Bus features vegan sandwiches, smoothies, acai bowls, ice cream, confections, and more! On the Bus is open during regular market business hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 400 N. Water St (in the Milwaukee Public Market), (414) 204-8585.

PF Chang's

Sure, it's a chain restaurant but it sure is tasty. They've got some vegetable dumplings as a good appetizer and a host of flavorful vegetarian plates. The Milwaukee location is at Mayfair Mall.

Peking Chef

Serving Indonesian dishes and other Southeast Asian fare from the original owners of Peking Palace. Veggie dumpings and egg rolls are excellent starters, and their sesame tofu has a kick to it if you want it for a nice combination of spicy and sweet and is crispy on the outside rather than the gelatinous mess that William Ho's serves. They are above-average Chinese food. 8673 N Port Washington Rd, (414) 228-8222.

Pizza Man [Serves Breakfast]

Pizza Man is back and better than before. Their thin crust pizza is crispy and not too greasy. The kale pesto pizza is a great blend of flavors. They don't have vegan cheese, however. Their homemade tiramisu is notable and their daily gelato or sorbet flavor is often more than the usual common flavors one finds elsewhere. I had a green apple sorbet that was very tasty. 2597 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee, (414) 272-1745.

Riverwest Co-Op Grocery and Café [Serves Breakfast] [Recommended]

Most of the menu can be made vegan and everything is at least vegetarian. The prices are a real bargain given the homemade nature of the food and the decent portion sizes. This is a serve-yourself kind of place with only about five tables but they offer up a fantastic breakfast burrito but everything is fantastic. They have daily and nightly specials, all of which are ridiculous bargains but creatively tasty. 733 E. Clarke Street, (414) 264-7933.

Riverwest Filling Station

They have several vegetarian options, a menu highlighting vegan options, and 30 beers on tap. The frylock (fries with curry sauce) were a nice appetizer although one that's also well done at Three Lions Pub in Shorewood and County Claire downtown. They were out of their vegetarian sloppy joe because of a rush the night before which could be a good indication that those seeking vegetarian-friendly fare is on the up-tick. The dish with tempeh and tahini sauce over vegetables and quinoa was a protein-packed meal at a good price. 701 E. Keefe Ave., Milwaukee, (414) 906-9000.

Riverwest Pizza

Head on over to the Riverwest neighborhood for some tasty pizza. Unfortunately, I don't think that they have any vegan cheese but they do have some vegetarian pizza options. Additionally, they have some vegetarian appetizers such as roasted brussel sprouts. Hopefully they will put a menu online soon! 932 E Wright St., Milwaukee, (414) 269-9703.

Riviera Maya

The vegetarian choices at most Mexican restaurants tend to be cheese, cheese, and (for variety) cheese and you take your chances with the potentially lard-riddled frijoles. This place is different. Most of the entrees are various moles over your choice of meat but there are also two vegetarian choices: Papitas (potatoes, corn, poblano pepper) or Calabazitas (zucchini, corn, carrots, and red pepper). All entrees come with vegetarian tortilla soup. They also have three specifically vegetarian entrees, only one of which appears to have cheese in it. Be sure to double-check on specific moles, however, since some use animal-based stock. The fried plantain patties do have cheese in them but we've tried them several times anyway because they're really tasty. One appetizer of chips came with a really fresh-tasting guacamole salsa. 2258 S Kinnickinnic Ave, (414) 294-4848.

Samurai

Even if you can't get a seat at the entertaining cook-the-food-in-your-face hibachi tables, it's still worth a trip to this restaurant. The hibachi tofu and vegetables is a fantastic dinner, and they have good appetizers such as vegetable dumplings and edamame. You can top things off with a dish of (non-vegan) green tea ice cream. 6969 N. Port Washington Road, Glendale, (414) 228-8818.

Shahrazad [Serves Breakfast]

Their dine-in and take-out menus have a special section just for vegetarian items, and they have an extensive wine list. We haven't tried their Sunday brunch but if their weekday buffet lunch is any indication, it's a small selection for the price ($8.95 for the lunch buffet). That may be worthwhile if the selections are guaranteed to be vegetarian but it didn't seem that way when we walked in once. The dinner, however, is decent. Kathy enjoyed a falafel sandwich and Scott tried the rushta, lentils cooked with spices and fettuccini and topped with walnuts and caramelized onions, which really gives it a nice sweetness. This is a bit of a variation on mojadra, which substitutes rice instead of fettuccini. It also came with a tasty red cabbage side. The lentil soup was a pureed version which made it more like split pea. It has a bit of a kick to it and it was served piping hot. The service can be a bit relaxed and the menu a bit basic, but it's a good spot if you're craving some Middle Eastern food on the East side.

Seoul

They have a couple of vegetarian appetizers, such as very yummy potstickers and some nice glazed tofu. The vegetarian dinner options are limited mostly to a couple of dishes that they substitute meat with tofu, but what we had was good. Supposedly, they have a bigger crowd at lunch but who knows if they have vegetarian options on their buffet. 2178 N. Prospect Ave, (414) 289-8208.

Stack'd [Serves Breakfast]

Serving Sunday brunch, lunch, and dinner. We had a great time building our portobello burger and black bean burgers. They come with fried pickles and topping a burger with an onion ring is a tasty addition. The atmosphere is fun, and there's a decent beer selection. The waffles with bourbon syrup are fantastic. They offer a non-tofu vegan scrambler with turnips, potatoes, summer squash, vegan chorizo, and vegan cheddar. It was an awesome hot mess! It's so nice to have a non-tofu breakfast option!
Their website says: Just because we specialize in gourmet burgers, that doesn't mean that we forgot about our friends that opt for vegetarian and vegan fare. From our portabella and hummus stacks and hand-made black bean veggie burger to our bountiful salads, we're proud to offer menu items befitting of every lifestyle. Many items on our menu can be made vegan or vegetarian, so just ask your server. They're always happy to make a substitution where possible. They also have vegan cheese and vegan mayo available. I think that Cafe Hollander has the best homemade black bean burger along with a wicked beer selection. 170 S. First St., (414) 273-7800.

Stone Bowl Grill

Billed as a Korean-style hot stone bibimbop restaurant, they are serving lots of vegetarian options. They don't allow you to adjust the spice level but it doesn't matter since the spicy sauce is on the side. They offer bento-style boxes and stone bowls that come with 6 or more different foods. The boxes seem to come with kimchi where the bowls might have some type of leafy green vegetable. The bowls are awesome with their variety of foods in them (mushrooms, rice, fried egg, tofu, carrots, corn). 1958 N Farwell Ave., (414) 220-9112.

Swig [Serves Breakfast]

They don't appear to have much more than soup and salads for lunch, but dinnertime fare includes entrees such as rustic pasta and wild mushroom gnocchi along with "sides for sharing" that included various sautéed vegetables. They also have a small plates menu that features rustic flatbread, tempura snap peas, hummus with pita, and black bean cakes. We tried the butternut squash cappelletti and found it to be supremely delicious. The menu also features 20 martinis, an eclectic array of wines and champagnes as well as award-winning desserts. Swig's earthy tones offer a warm and cozy environment that makes for perfect place to spend your evening and experience a classy, big-city atmosphere in Milwaukee's Third Ward. 217 North Broadway, (414) 431-7944.

Thai-namite

Just about everything can have tofu in it (except for the chef's special Thai-namite curry). The curry is flavorful and has a slight kick to it, and the tofu is cooked nicely. They have a good carry-out business and are a good option for quick, casual Thai dining. They also offer sushi and vegetarian sushi. 932 E. Brady St, (414) 837-6280.

Transfer Pizza

Their pizza is good, and they offer vegan cheese. You also have to feel good about the following statement from their website: Transfer makes every effort to use local, organic produce when in season, as a member of Braise RSA (Restaurant Supported Agriculture). Transfer is also a member of the Milwaukee Community Compost Network, a project of the Victory Garden Initiative. We are proud to contribute our vegetable and fruit scraps, as well as coffee grounds and spent tea leaves, helping to create soil for Milwaukee's urban farming community. 101 W Mitchell St, (414) 763-0438.

Triskele's

They have a separate vegetarian section on their menu that consists of appetizers and entrees, and they apparently change things up every couple of months. We had a wonderful cauliflower-based dish which you don't see too often, and their Egyptian rice and lentil burger was really tasty. 1801 South 3rd Street, (414) 837-5950.

Vanguard

Homemade sausage including a vegan chorizo and vegan Italian. They also have a tofu dish that's very well done. 2659 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue, (414) 539-3593.

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The Buffet

Alem Ethiopian

African food is great because they separate the vegetarian and non-vegetarian, but what's even better is that the lunch buffet is all vegetarian. There were tasty yet healthy options centered around peas, lentils, collard greens, and potatoes. It was warm, tasty, and all-you-can-eat. Optionally, you can order your own dish and share plates with people and try different things. The plate sharing isn't as strange as it seems because the food is in separate little piles. This ended up being a "Foodie Pick" in the December 2009 issue of M Magazine. 307 East Wisconsin Avenue, (414) 224-5324.

Bollywood Grill (formerly Mayura)

This is very similar to Maharaja on Farwell, and they were just up the street from them until they moved to a new location with a new name in the fall of 2013. I'd say that their buffet is nearly comparable to Maharaja but with a smaller salad bar but a few different dishes than we had seen at Maharaja. 1038 N Jackson St, (414) 271-8200.

Casablanca

An all-you-can-eat Middle Eastern vegetarian lunch buffet that's both tasty and a bargain. Their falafel is second only to Aladdin's in the Milwaukee Public Market, and many non-vegetarians hit up this buffet regardless of the lack of meat. 728 E. Brady Street, (414) 271-6000.

Maharaja

This is a favorite of ours for lunch. They serve a large variety of Indian dishes on their buffet along with two soups and multiple desserts. An equivalent alternative also in the Milwaukee area is Tandoor (1117 S. 108th St., West Allis, WI). 1550 N. Farwell Avenue, (414) 276-2250

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The Fast

Blaze Pizza and Mod Pizza

Blaze is located at Bayshore Mall and Mod is in Shorewood on Oakland Ave and both offer vegan cheese, most likely Daiya. You can choose the toppings you want and in about 3 minutes your pizza is flash-fired and delivered hot and crisp. There are no veggie meat options but there are many veggies to choose from.

Chipotle

Vegetarian tacos and burritos are a great deal and fill you up easily. This is a family favorite, and what's an added bonus is that at least they are making an effort at serving humanely-raised meat. You can sign up for their mailing list at their web site. An equivalent alternative also in the area is Qdoba but Chipotle is a better option because their message seems to be more in tune with the environment.

Dr. Dawg

They offer two different veggie sausages: tasty applewood sage or spicy Mexican chipotle, which are vegan sausage grilled and served on a steamed poppy seed bun topped with caramelized onions. They're pretty tasty, and they have a Field Roast burger now, too. We frequent the one in Glendale at 6969 N. Port Washington Road, (414) 540-0400.

Noodles & Company

The noodle dishes can be made with tofu, and the Indonesian peanut saute is a favorite although it can get hot. They recently added a touchscreen soda dispenser that allows you to mix different flavors together. Ever had a cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper?

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The Ugly

bd's Mongolian Barbecue

The concept looks great: you pick the ingredients and sauces for your own custom stir fry. However, at $11.50 for a bowl, we can go over to the Samurai restaurant in Glendale and for $10.50 get a delicious hibachi tofu and vegetable meal that is cooked right in front of us. The Flat Top Grill is a nicer option, although it's farther away from us. The food is not dazzling enough to warrant the long wait nor the fact that the customer is doing half the work since you have to put together the bowl and then stand in line while it gets cooked. When we inquired about their advertised vegetarian option, they sent us to the "allergy-free" cooking station and "grilled" us as to whether we really were strict vegetarians. I'm assuming that they have to clean that grill after each bowl is cooked and were feeling a little lazy about doing so.

No. 1 Chinese Restaurant

This place is right around the corner from us and we finally tried it on Christmas Eve, 2007. Instead of "No. 1", they should call this place "No one" because we think no one would really want to eat there. Maybe we just hit them on a bad night but the food was about as dull as possible. The veggie egg rolls were a complete joke as typical veggie egg rolls have a minimum of 3 vegetables (carrots, cabbage, maybe bean sprouts) and theirs basically were just cabbage. The rest of the food continued down the flavorless path, unfortunately.

Palomino

They definitely have quite a few vegetarian options. However, this is not healthy eating as all of their dishes are fried. To top it off, it's actually a bar so you're battling a potentially-smoky atmosphere as well. Sure, Comet offers similar fare but you'll get a nice side of beer-sautéed green beans with your meal and no smoke. 2491 S. Superior Street, Bayview, (414) 747-1007.

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The Potlucks

Milwaukee Area Resources for Vegetarians

Typically held exactly at 5:30 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month at the Friends' Meeting House, 3224 N. Gordon Place in Riverwest. This is very kid-friendly and the turn-out is usually around two dozen people.

Urban Ecology Center

We love the Urban Ecology Center and now one more reason for us to keep showing up there is the vegan potlucks that are from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Bring a plate and fork along with your meatless dish to share at their picnic-style meal. It's also kid-friendly, and typically between a 12 and 18 people attend.

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The Untried

Bangkok House

A work colleague recommended them. He went so far as to say that they are better than our favorite Thai place, Elephant Cafe. 4698 S. Whitnall Ave. (Whitnall Square Shopping Center); St. Francis, (414) 482-9838.

Bombay Sweets

The Indian people at work always bring in samosas, kachori, and pakoras from this place and they're good. This is supposedly a small place but they have great vegetarian options. They were a "Foodie Pick" in the December, 2009 issue of M Magazine so I've finally added them to this list. 3401 S 13th Street, (414) 383-3553 and 19555 W Bluemound Road, (262) 780-2998.

Kiku

Their menu has a special set of vegetarian maki options as well as tofu or veggie teriyaki and veggie tempura along with the usual noodle and rice dishes. 200 W. Wisconsin Avenue, (414) 270-1988.

La Merenda

La Merenda features over 25 tapas and their menu highlights which are or can be made vegetarian. A few are Spanish but more are Asian, South American, and Mediterranean. The beer list is good and the wines are moderate in price with several choices under $20 per bottle. Portions might be small — order at least two per person — but the quality is excellent and nothing is priced over $10. 125 E National Ave, (414) 389-0125.

Onesto

Both the lunch and dinner menus feature Onesto's homemade pasta — it's just in a smaller portion at lunch. Vegetarian items are marked on the menu, including the wild mushroom ragu ($11/$16), served on a bed of pillow-soft potato gnocchi. The popular sweet corn ravioli ($10/$14), is served in a luscious brown butter sauce. 221 N. Broadway, (414) 308-1600.

Soup House

Their menu shows 6 soups a day, with at least one always being a vegan and/or gluten-free soup. There's free soup on your birthday as well! 324 E. Michigan Street, (414) 277-7687.

Strange Town

This all-vegan restaurant on the East Side promises Sicilian dishes like a daily sfincione, Sicilian pizza with its distinctly thick crust, topped with bread crumbs and a variety of rotating toppings. Seasonal arancini – also likely to be offered as a gluten-free option – will be served on a Sicilian salsa verde made with parsley and capers. There will also be grain-based salads, including insalata di riso featuring ingredients like farro, white basmati rice, marinated vegetables, almond ricotta, toasted pecans, lemon basil dressing and herbs. 2101 N Prospect Ave, (414) 885-0404.

Tricklebee Cafe

A pay-what-you-can community café centered on joy, sustainable/healthy eating, and spiritual renewal. 4424 W. North Ave, Wednesday-Saturday 11am-2pm.

Verduras Tea House and Café [Serves Breakfast]

They're located in the Third Ward and claim to have "healthy food without the health food taste". Their menu looks to be all vegetarian and consists of soup, salads, and sandwiches. For breakfast they have homemade assorted breads and sweet or savory muffins. They are closed on Mondays and only stay open until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 181 N. Broadway, (414) 224-6144.

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Another good list of vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Milwaukee can be found at the Vegan Milwaukee web site.

Heading to the ballpark or other sporting event? Check out the Venue Vegetarian Guide!