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vegetarian and vegan information

Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Milwaukee
(Last Updated: November 23, 2018)

All-Veg*n | Nearly-Veg*n | Best Burgers | Asian | Mexican | Small Plates/Upscale | Cafés | Lunch Buffets | [Show only breakfast/brunch places]

All-Veg*n

Beerline 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.

Café Manna

This is an all-vegetarian restaurant out in Brookfield. It's all organic and very creative. They offer cooking classes every couple of months and special multi-course meals for popular holidays.

Celesta [Serves Breakfast]

Located in the former Abu's and Jow Nai on the East Side, Celesta is a globally-minded vegan restaurant that serves otherworldly food, always house-made, soulful, and with bold flavors. Their vegan pop-ups were in such high demand that a restaurant was needed, and thankfully now exists!

On the Bus

On The Bus is located in the Milwaukee Public Market. 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.

Riverwest Co-Op Grocery and Café [Serves Breakfast]

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, located inside a small grocery store.

Strange Town

This all-vegan restaurant on the East Side has a seasonal menu and is quite cozy. It started off leaning towards Sicilian fare but it has expanded far beyond that.

Tricklebee Café

A pay-what-you-can community café that offers healthy meals, food-service training, and spiritual nourishment.

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". For breakfast they have homemade assorted breads and sweet or savory muffins.

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Nearly-Veg*n (these restaurants serve meat but also have a separate veg*n menu)

Beans & Barley [Serves Breakfast]

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.

Comet Café [Serves Breakfast]

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. There's a lot of great "comfort" food here, such as vegan gyros and meatloaf.

County Clare

This downtown bed and breakfast / Irish pub has a special vegetarian menu with many items that can be made vegan. In general, the atmosphere is very nice with a great selection of Irish beer.

Palomino

Similar to former counterpart Comet Café but located in Bayview, they definitely have quite a few vegetarian options, including some fried and other "comfort" foods.

Vanguard

This cozy bar in Bayview has some amazing homemade sausage, vegan fries, a rotating tasty vegetable, a great vegetarian "dirty" burger, fried ginger tofu, and a good selection of beer.

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Best Burgers (Ranked)

  1. AJ Bombers

    Many places have switched to the Impossible Burger, but here you'll find a delicious Beyond Burger that is juicy and comes with a side of tots, fries, or chips. Note that a side of fries is not vegan because it has some parmesan cheese sprinkled into the seasoning. Online ordering is available for pick-up or delivery.
  2. Eagle Park Brewing

    Easily the best of the Impossible Burgers around town, it is served smashburgers style with American cheese, mixed pickles, pickled mustard seeds, lettuce, tomato, onions, and garlic mayo. Plus, this is a great brewery which will supply you with at least a dozen options from their beer list. We recommend the Eagle Park Loop Station.
  3. Company Brewing [Serves Breakfast]

    Located in the Riverwest neighborhood, they offer home-brewed beer on tap and and a few vegetarian entrees. Their Impossible Burger is juicy and tasty and can be prepared to match any of their other burgers.
  4. South Shore Terrace

    Their open-air beer garden serves up views of Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee skyline, and the historic 1930s bathhouse building provides a one-of-a-kind location to share good times with friends and family. Their version of the Impossible Burger is one of the better ones around, and there are a host of beers on tap to go with your burger and great view.
  5. North Star Bistro [Serves Breakfast]

    Located in Shorewood, they serve the Impossible Burger in a largely unremarkable way.
  6. Good City Brewing

    One of the first to serve the Impossible burger, it has more of a flame-broiled taste than the others who are serving it, and they haven't found the secret to making it juicy the way others have.
  7. Café Hollander [Serves Breakfast]

    [Untried] Their homemade veggie burgers have been good, but they seem to have switched to the Impossible Burger which we have not tried. Enjoy a meal on their outdoor patio while also sampling a flight of beers straight from their 24-tap selection. They serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
  8. Stack'd [Serves Breakfast]

    [Untried Impossible Burger] We have not tried their Impossible Burger, but you can also build your own portabello 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. They also have vegan cheese and vegan mayo available.

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Asian

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.

Easy Tyger

Easy Tyger blends Asian and American cuisines in a fun, casual atmosphere, with a focus on seasonal and locally inspired ingredients. The menu offers comforting classics, alongside creative and unique inspirations in the heart of Brady St.

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.

Elephant Café

This is our favorite Thai restaurant as it has 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.

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 an amazing dish. 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.

Screaming Tuna

They strive to source seafood that is abundant, well-managed and fished / farmed in environmentally friendly ways. They have a veg*n section of the menu which includes some incredible maki rolls. The vegan dinner for two is filling and a fantastic variety. Most sushi places have vegetarian alternatives, but this place goes the extra mile with their vegan options.

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Mexican

Bel-Air Cantina [Serves Breakfast]

Bel-Air starts you off with free chips and homemade salsas that are super fresh-tasting, and they have an extensive selection of margaritas and tequilas to choose from. There are always vegetarian appetizers and entrees, including a section of vegetarian tacos and tamales. Sometimes, you can find a good meat-based taco that just needs to be ordered without the meat, such as the fried avocado taco.

Café Corazón [Serves Breakfast]

Located in Riverwest, 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.

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Small Plates/Upscale

Bacchus

Located downtown, this upscale restaurant from the Bartolotta group has multiple tasty vegetarian items and tofu-based dishes. They have a stellar wine collection and spirits collection, too.

Balzac

An avant-garde bar and restaurant off Brady Street that is 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.

Braise

From seasonally-inspired menus and creative cocktails, to their hands-on classes and events, they work to educate the community on food. 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.

Lazy Susan

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.

La Merenda

In Italian, La Merenda means "early snack" and refers to an Italian custom of early evening socializing and gathering to share food and drink amongst friends and family. We haven't been there yet, but it's on our list to try.

Odd Duck

Odd Duck offers hints of Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean in its daily changing menu. Reservations are almost always required if you want to be able to get in anywhere around dinnertime. This is our favorite place in the "small plates" category because their selections, including dessert, are always amazing.

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Cafés

Fuel Café

They offer vegan chili and several vegan sandwiches and burritos. 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 croissant sandiwches.

The National [Serves Breakfast]

They have a menu that specifically designates vegetarian and vegan items, which is nice. They are great for breakfast or lunchtime sandwiches.

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Lunch Buffets

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. The buffet is warm, tasty, and all-you-can-eat.

Bollywood Grill

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.

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 visit this buffet regardless of the lack of meat.

Ethiopian Cottage

It's better than African Hut was and fairly tasty, but the better choice might be to head downtown to Alem Ethiopian. I've listed them as having a lunch buffet, but that is unconfirmed.

Maharaja

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 in West Allis and the Bollywood Grill.

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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!