Five restaurants from New York to San Francisco where the vegan cuisine is in demand
Pure Food and Wine
(New York) - "It actually tastes like lasagna!" is a refrain at this raw vegan haunt, where none of the food, including the lasagna, is cooked above 118 degrees. The kitchen doesn't even have ovens or gas. Yet what really sets this candle-lit restaurant apart is its ever-changing list of more than 100 wines, most of which are biodynamic or organic.
(Philadelphia) - Don't worry about incense-burning, burlap-wearing hippies: No one is more mindful of creating a nonvegan ambiance than Horizons owner Rich Landau, a self-professed meat lover ("I just can't eat it with a good conscience"). The menu offers traditional American dishes with a twist—like portobello and porcini shepherd's pie.
(Washington) - This power lunch spot, located a block from the White House, serves meat and dairy, but the kitchen can whip up six-course vegan meals on the fly. Servers are versed in a meat-and dairy-free lexicon so diners "don't have to spend five minutes creating their own dish at the table," says owner Ellen Kassoff Gray.
(Akron) - Located 30 minutes from Cleveland, VegiTerranean is a top U.S. vegan eatery, according to Freston. This Mediterranean-inspired spot, owned by Pretenders front-woman Chrissie Hynde, has a corporate following. "I converted an entire law firm," Chef Scot Jones says. "They really wrapped their heads around it."
(San Francisco) - For all its granola-loving hype, the West Coast lacks high-end vegan spots. However, this Bay Area institution makes up for it by being the granddaddy of them all. Executive Chef Eric Tucker, who has been there since opening day in 1994, serves lunch to suits who flock to the restaurant for its organic vegetables.