Providence, Rhode Island, is earning its place on the map of vegan-friendly cities in the US. The historic American town has an abundance of eateries that serve up plant-based dishes, from healthy raw meals to vegan renditions of fast food classics. Indulge in traditional brunch foods gone vegan such as tofu eggs Benedict or garden-fresh international specialties like vegan cacio y pepe. Hungry to find out more? Here are the seven best vegan restaurants in the city.
The most iconic vegan-friendly establishment in Providence is the quirky, kosher-certified Garden Grille, which opened in 1996 and was the first vegetarian restaurant in Rhode Island. The menu is made up of creative dishes and cocktails using local, organic, farm-fresh ingredients and vegan cheese and sauces. Dishes include fully-loaded nachos, decadent vegan mac and cheese and cauliflower tacos. After your meal, head next door to their sister shop, fully-vegan bakery Wildflour, to indulge in a vegan chocolate-chip cookie, brownie or cheesecake.
The mindful restaurant is dedicated to giving back to the community through fundraisers and food donations for Rhode Island nonprofits such as the SouthSide Community Land Trust, RI Food Bank and the Providence & East Greenwich Animal Rescue Leagues.
One of the premier places for veg-forward food in the city is Garden Grille’s sister restaurant, The Grange. Everything on the menu at this homey eatery can be served vegan but they do have some items with egg and cheese so be sure to specify your dietary preferences. The Grange is one of the most popular brunch spots in Providence – even meat-eaters love it.
Seasonal, organic, and locally sourced ingredients are used to prepare mouth-watering vegan versions of classics such as po’boy sandwiches made with oyster mushrooms, pastrami Reuben made with carrots, tofu biscuits and gravy, and seitan fried ‘chicken’ and waffles. Don’t skip on the cauliflower side dish – it’s sweet, savory, crunchy, and sour. Top it off with an oven-fresh glazed vegan donut. Get a 10% discount on your bill on Monday when you leave your phone with the host.
Like No Udder
Karen Krinsky was the first vegan entrepreneur in Providence when she opened The Screaming Vegan in the early 2000s, serving plant-based baked goods. In 2010 she launched Like No Udder, the world’s first all-vegan soft serve ice cream truck. The truck, named Betsy Loo, pops up all over the city at events such as the Providence Flea. Like No Udder even has vegan cones and vegan jerky, if that’s your thing. If you can’t find the truck, don’t worry – you can get your vegan ice cream fix at their Eastside shop, which offers 12 hard ice cream flavors. The fat-free creamy soft serve is made with a soy base, coconut milk and cashews.
Chef Matthew Kenney brought his meat-free flair to Providence at the Plant City food hall which opened in 2019. Bar Verde is the plant-based Mexican restaurant on the second floor of the vegan hotspot. The Latin-American–inspired menu features cult classics in 100% vegan renditions such as spicy elote corn, savory jackfruit tacos and creamy quesadillas. The plates are meant to be shared so bring along some friends and order a Mexican feast. There are plenty of gluten-free options too.
If you’re skeptical about plant-based eating; give the Italian cuisine at Double Zero a taste: it's one of the best vegan restaurants in Providence. It’s always packed, which says something huge in a city with such a strong Italian heritage. The majority of patrons aren’t vegan, simply curious eaters, and they've kept Double Zero at the Plant City food hall at capacity since opening in mid-June.
With over 70 vegan sauces and cheese made daily – macadamia nut ricotta for the lasagna, for example, and cashew alfredo sauce – you won’t even miss animal products. A gigantic serving of cacio e pepe will hit the spot if you’re craving something cheesy. Luxurious truffles more your thing? Order the kale wood-fired pizza with truffle. Save room for dessert, though: you won’t be able to resist the spongy olive oil cake.
If you’re on the go and looking to pick up a quick plant-based meal, head to the counter service on the ground level of Plant City. Make Out is an extension of Kenney’s LA-based cafe which serves all-day options for build-it-yourself bowl-style foods. For breakfast, load up with an acai bowl with dairy-free yogurt and fruits and, at lunch, mix and match your favorite roasted veggies for a hearty meal. The counter service is eco-friendly too, offering biodegradable containers made from plants. Make Out has the best vegan donuts in Providence with special flavors available each day.