Madison has always boasted one of the most exciting and interesting dining scenes in the Midwest, and it’s always featured some strong vegetarian offerings. Today, it’s become a top vegan destination in the Midwest. Here are ten places you and your crew can dig into tasty vegan fare.
If you’re looking for a globally-inspired fine dining experience with a completely vegan menu, great bar and a gorgeous patio, Jardin is a must-visit. Menu options often rotate to compliment what’s in season, but in the past have included chanterelle risotto, chickpea paneer and cocoa nib brownies.
If you’re a cocktail aficionado, you'll love Jardin’s bar menu as well as the specialty drinks also made to match the seasons. Try the Seaside Penicillin, made with two 10-year-old scotches, pineapple juice and an agave ginger syrup or the X Marks, a passionfruit riff on a daiquiri with rosemary and lemon. Do make reservations, as it’s a popular spot.
The Green Owl Café
As Madison’s longest running completely vegan spot, Green Owl dishes up memorable comfort food everyone in your group will love. Enjoy everything from macro bowls to mac’ n cheese, nachos to veggie wings, and poutine fries to burgers. These tasty dishes as well as desserts, cocktails and beer are served up in a casual environment with counter service. Share a meal with friends and family on the patio during summer to soak up the hip Atwood neighborhood vibes.
Sookie’s Veggie Burgers
Whether you want to sip a pour-over coffee with a breakfast sandwich served on a rosemary ciabatta roll or you’re in the mood for some tater tots and a vegan chicken sandwich, Sookie's on State Street is the right place to nosh with your favorite people.
Also on State Street in downtown Madison is Himal Chuli, an authentic Nepalese restaurant prides itself on its vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options; its vegan momocha dumplings are to-die-for delicious. Also worth trying are the vegan samosas and jackfruit kebabs. Enjoy a cup of golden tea with almond or soy milk with the vegan peda, a delicious soy and rice sweet made with cardamom and orange juice.
Monty’s Blue Plate Diner
The vibes at Monty’s conjure feelings of a modern-day 50's diner in a retrofitted gas station, and their food includes many diner classics with a modern twist. This funky restaurant features an entire vegan menu, including breakfast all day, delicious sandwiches and ice cream desserts. Try the Heathen Vegan Shoplifter’s Delight which, besides having the best sandwich name ever, features portobellos, fried tempeh, red onions, and avocado dressed in a tahini sauce on a baguette.
This fast and casual eatery boasts four Madison locations giving you and your crew plenty of options around town. Several of its salads and bowls are naturally vegan like the cashew bowl and vegan chili, but just about everything on the menu can be easily made vegan, like the club med bowl - just leave off the cheese. You can even build your own bowl from scratch, and they offer three vegan proteins. Besides using as many local ingredients as possible, the folks at Forage ferment and can their own tasty kombucha, too.
If you’re craving a classic slice, then head to Ian’s, which has three locations in Madison. And it’s not just veggies and vegan cheese - they have a cheesy potato ranch, a smokey and the bandit barbecue pizza and several other vegan delights. Grab a slice (or three!) with your group downtown or visit the Garver Feed Mill location in a redesigned warehouse that also serves up vegan ice cream.
Bloom Bake Shop
This Madison bakery with two locations features an ever-changing menu, but visitors can rely on always finding tasty vegan and gluten-free options. Try vegan donuts, scones, cupcakes, cookies, coffee cakes or a seasonal tart, along with coffee or tea to sip and savor with family or friends. You can even grab some homemade dog treats here to spoil your pup!
This authentic Indonesian restaurant serves up flavorful curries, tasty stir fries, a variety of noodle dishes and more vegan options like Satay Tempeh, a grilled vegan kabob. Stop in this casual spot in Madison’s hip Willy Street neighborhood to enjoy delicious food outside or in with loved ones.
If you’re craving crispy fried falafel or flavorful hummus, then Banzo’s the place for you and your crew. Order a mouthwatering pita sandwich stuffed with these tasty ingredients as well as potato chips, pickles and chopped salad or try the seared eggplant or sweet potato falafel versions. With tons of vegan sides like hand cut fries, couscous tabouli, roasted beet salad and Moroccan carrots, you and your group will have to come back again and again to try all the tasty Mediterranean-inspired options here.
Searching for something to do after fueling up on delicious fare? Explore these fun outdoor activities to enjoy with friends and family in Madison.