When Meat Isn’t on the Menu: Top Vegan Spots in Seattle

Seattle can be a bit extra, and the city seems to be embracing the trend of vegan eating. It isn’t hard to jump on the bandwagon thanks to the long-established and recently established vegan restaurants that are present around Seattle.

I have been vegan for about a month; I’m an environmentalist and an animal rights activist, but I’m also a dedicated foodie. I’ve become what my family back in Nebraska would affectionately call a “damn liberal tree-hugging vegan”, but I think they would change their mind if they tried some of Seattle’s vegan eats and realized that vegans eat more than nuts and berries.

Plum Bistro

Plum Bistro was my christening into the world that is vegan cuisine. I first tried it about two years ago when I was still an avid carnivore. One of my good friends was vegan, an idea that shocked and confused me. She took me to Plum Bistro to give me a taste of her world, and I was pleasantly surprised. I knew what tofu was, but beyond that I didn’t know how you could possibly have an animal product free meal that is satisfying and filling. Plum Bistro isn’t my favorite vegan restaurant because their menu is limited and pricey, but it holds a special place in my heart as the first place that showed me that perhaps I would not wither away and die if I chose a vegan diet.

Araya’s Place

SAMIRA SHOBEIRI • THE SPECTATOR
SAMIRA SHOBEIRI • THE SPECTATOR

An assortment of dishes, including Tom Yum soup and crispy kale, from the buffet of Araya’s Place.

Araya’s Place, a vegan Thai restaurant established in 1987, has three locations in Seattle. The location on Madison Street has the feeling of a homey kitchen, and their menu has a wide variety of soups, noodles, curry, dessert, and more. Araya’s place is probably my favorite vegan restaurant. The food is so good that even my meat-eating friends have told me that if they could always eat from Araya’s menu, they wouldn’t mind being vegan.

Chaco Canyon

I didn’t actually go to Chaco Canyon because it is in the University District, but luckily for my lazy self Uber Eats delivers Chaco. I ordered the “famous lentil burger” and a cup of chili. I ordered it at work in the Seattle U fitness center and relished my meal to the guttural sounds of people working out. The lentil veggie burger was delicious and the chili reminded me of home. Chaco Canyon is also an organic café with a vision of sustainability; I appreciate the dedication to the environment that isn’t simply part of the vegan eating fad.

Pizza Pi

Since pizza is a staple of the college student diet, I couldn’t pass up making a visit to America’s first vegan pizzeria, Pizza Pi. It is a bit of a trek to get to the little shop, as it is in the University District. No distance is too far for dank pizza, though, so I made the journey Sunday after work. I ordered the ex-meat lovers pizza and relished in nostalgia as I devoured the imitation meat piled onto the pie. When I was a child, I hated vegetables and stuck to an almost strictly carnivorous diet, the meat lovers pizza was my go-to and vegetables were nonessential and would ruin my perfect pizza. While the ex-meat lovers pizza isn’t quite the same as a normal meat pizza, it definitely was a worthwhile rebound.

Loving Hut

Loving Hut is a chain vegan restaurant, and Seattle’s location in the International District that serves Asian fusion. I went to the hut with my friend who is the main influencer of my foodie ways. I am always a little scared when I take her to new food places because she is essentially a food expert. The interior of Loving Hut boasts photographs and quotes on the wall of vegan or vegetarian celebrities, and the tables are plastered with sustainability and food related topics. I found it a bit ironic that the restaurant served disposable chopsticks and napkins while a sign on the table suggested we all switch to hand washing ourselves after using a toilet instead of using toilet paper. Nonetheless, the food was delicious. My foodie friend even featured her food on her Snapchat story, and that’s when I knew I had made it.

Veganism may be considered a bit extra, but this is sometimes okay, especially if it involves being good to the earth; studies have shown that a pound of beef takes 100 to 200 times more water to produce than a pound of plant based food. If nothing else you can visit the restaurants to make fun of people like me who get way too excited about everything vegan.

Bailee may be reached at
bclark@su-spectator.com

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