While we are down to taste any plant-based culinary concoction placed in front of us, in our heart of hearts, we know that nothing can ever really compare to a comforting, warm bowl of vegan mac and cheese.
For those of us who avoid dairy, mac and cheese that suits our dietary needs or preferences used to be pretty hard to come by. However, these days plenty of different eateries serve plant-based versions — you just have to know where to look! Below, we rounded up six different places that serve up the good stuff that might have flown under your radar — but make sure to show these gems some love!
1. Grandpa Mac
Sari Marissa G./Yelp
Grandpa Mac is a pasta-style restaurant serving up all kinds of delicious pastas in homemade, gluten-free sauces — including a vegan cheese sauce! Whether you like the classic small elbow or switch up your mac by using pasta shells, Grandpa Mac’s vegan mac and cheese can come with pieces of vegan chicken, vegan sausage, extra vegan mozzarella, and more, as it’s super customizable.
Visit Grandpa Mac at 33 Baltimore Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971.
2. The Loaded Bowl
Formed in Oklahoma in 2013, The Loaded Bowl was Oklahoma’s very first vegan food truck and has had a brick-and-mortar location since December 2016. It was their vegan Cashew Mac and Cheese that started it all, but they have plenty of plant-based cheesy goodness, such as their Spaghetti Okie, which features grilled spaghetti squash covered in seven-veggie marinara, broccoli, spinach, and peas, and is topped with cashew parmesan, and their Down Home Bowl, which is a variation on their Cashew Mac, only with chopped vegan BBQ and grilled veggies.
Visit The Loaded Bowl at 1211 SW 2nd St., Oklahoma City, OK 73108.
3. Donna Jean
Donna Jean is a homey plant-based restaurant in San Diego, California, that strives to inspire its patrons to engage in conversation about what plant-based eating could look like. It doesn’t bill itself as a health food restaurant; rather, it wants to set the wheels in motion to prove to even the most staunch of omnivores that plant-based food is the sustainable fuel of the future. Customers can order their Cast Iron Mac and Cheese, which features smoked vegan cheddar, tomatoes, and chives. Just don’t touch the skillet — it’ll be hot!
Visit Donna Jean at 2949 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
4. Detroit Vegan Soul
Detroit Vegan Soul offers classic soul food dishes, only it’s all 100 percent vegan. “The Soul Platter,” for example, is a dish consisting of vegan mac-n-cheese, tenderly smoked collards, maple glazed yams, black-eyed peas and a cornbread muffin. Although the cuisine sounds super indulgent (as is traditional in soul food cookery), executive chef Erika Boyd developed a menu that is 100 percent plant-based, organic, and free from trans fat, hydrogenated oils, and cholesterol. Their website proudly states that they create “soul food made from whole food.”
Visit them at 8029 Agnes St, Detroit, MI 48214.
5. Lamb’s Bread Vegan Cafe
Lamb’s Bread Vegan Cafe/Facebook
If you’re in South Carolina and are looking for good ol’ plant-based soul food, look no further than Lamb’s Bread Vegan Cafe. Their menu changes daily (you can visit their Facebook page to check out what’s on offer each day) but you can pretty much always count on vegan soul food staples, like fried chicken, cornbread, mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, mashed potatoes, barbecue ribs, and more.
Visit them at 2338 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201.
6. Seasoned Vegan
Seasoned Vegan is a restaurant in Harlem that strives to be a place where people of all ages and dietary restrictions can come and enjoy a plate infused with all the plant-based motherly love you would expect from a home-cooked meal. While the food there is comforting and classic, the ingredients are clean and nutritious. “One of our goals, quite simply, is to increase longevity and improve the health of the neighborhood we love,” said chef, founder, and co-owner Brenda Beener. Don’t miss their side of vegan baked mac and “cheese”!
Visit them at 55 St Nicholas Ave, New York, NY 10026.
We would be remiss if we didn’t also give a special shout-out to both Modern Love Brooklyn, a cozy spot in Williamsburg run by chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz that serves up mouthwatering “Mac & Shews“, a gluten-free dish featuring creamy red pepper cashew cheese, pecan-cornmeal crusted tofu, blackened cauliflower, sautéed kale, tomato vinaigrette, and spiced pecans, as well as Lagusta Luscious Commissary‘s baked vegan mac and cheese, which people on Yelp claim is some of the best they’ve ever had.
You can visit Modern Love Brooklyn at 317 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, and you can visit Lagusta Luscious Commissary at 11 Church St., New Paltz, NY 12561.
This Very Cheesy Mac n Cheeze, pictured above, is a slightly spicy, flavorful, much healthier vegan recreation of your old favorite, while this Easy Mac and Not-Cheese has an absolutely fantastic flavor, it’s nice and creamy, and oh so satisfying. This Healthy Mac n Cheese recipe delivers comfort food goodness without all the heaviness, while these vegan Mac and Cheese Pies are a twist on a macaroni pie, which is a Scottish delicacy that consists of a crisp, crumbly pastry crust that’s filled with macaroni and cheese.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Also make sure to check out some of our other American city guides, listed below:
- Here Are the 10 Best Cities to Get Vegan Doughnuts in the U.S.!
- Your Guide to Vegan Delis and Sandwiches Across the United States
- Vegan Cheese is Taking Over! Artisan Vegan Cheese Shops That are Popping Up by You!
- Awesome Vegan Food Trucks Worth Traveling For!
- These 8 Companies Will Help You Cater the Vegan Wedding of Your Dreams
- Here’s Where You Can Eat Vegan Chicken and Waffles in America
Lead image source: Very Cheesy Mac n Cheeze