Kansas City is known for its BBQ and steak, but thanks to the growing desire for plant-based food, it is being put on the map as a vegan-friendly destination. With three (as of this posting) 100% vegan establishments and a variety of vegan-friendly bars, restaurants and stores, Kansas City is embracing its compassionate side.
Following is a list of vegan-friendly establishments located in one of the Show Me State’s most popular cities.
Café Gratitude is a 100% organic and plant-based restaurant chain primarily located in California, with a single location outside of the west coast. Needless to say, this location is in Kansas City! I was shocked when I first heard that Café Gratitude was opening a location here, and by the looks of it, this bold move was a smart one. Café Gratitude is almost always busy, which is a sign that the times are changing and people are moving towards healthy eating. This uplifting restaurant has creatively given their dishes positive and inspiring names.
My family and I began with an order of Present (“Bruschetta — toasted ciabatta with cashew mozzarella topped with tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette & fresh basil”). For our main dishes we enjoyed Grateful (“Shredded kale, brown rice, black beans & garlic tahini sauce”), Sensational (“Spaghetti squash noodles, spinach & portabella mushrooms tossed in our alfredo sauce. Topped with Brazil nut parmesan, basil & crushed red pepper. Served with our house side salad”), Transformed (“Two organic corn tacos with brown rice, black beans, guacamole, salsa fresca & cashew nacho cheese. Served with a side salad”), and Warm-Hearted (“Grilled pesto polenta over sautéed spaghetti squash, spinach & puttanesca sauce topped with Brazil nut parmesan, ricotta & basil”). We washed it all down with Incredible (“Banana, raw cacao, maca, almond butter, dates, coconut milk, & vanilla bean smoothie”).
Eden Alley Café
A 100% vegetarian restaurant, Eden Alley Café is located in the basement of the Unity Temple on The Plaza. Most of their dishes can be made vegan and many are gluten and soy-free. With an emphasis on local organic ingredients, Eden Alley Café does what they can to be kind to the environment including conservation, waste reduction, and recycling. Serving lunch and dinner Wednesday through Friday and brunch on Saturday, their large open space provides seating for more than 100 people and even includes a little shop with cookbooks, t-shirts and more.
Kansas City’s newest 100% vegan restaurant, FooDoo is a small establishment that prepares delectable dishes using fresh local produce, focusing on what is currently in season. Perhaps my new favorite plant-based restaurant in Kansas City, FooDoo definitely delivers in the flavor department.
My family and I enjoyed the Broadway Burrito (“Roasted Peppers – Caramelized Onions – Pepper-Jack – Hey Joe Chorizo – Jerked Potatoes – Jalapeno Jam” served with “Quinoa Black-eyed Pea Succotash & Organic Greens”), Taco Trio (“Cheddar – Shredded Lettuce – Tomato – Cilantro – Cactus Relish with Vietnamese Ham Gluten”), and The Bella (“Portabella Steak – Roasted Peppers – Pickled Onions – Italian Hot Peppers – Garlic Spinach – Mozzarella” on a Pretzel Bun and served with “Quinoa Black-eyed Pea Succotash & Organic Greens & Spicy Pickle”). I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious all of our meals were and will gladly return the next time I am in town!
The Foundry is a beer garden and bar + grill serving a handful of plant-based options. Such options include their Cheat Lover’s vegan pizza, guacamole, nachos (with “cheat meat” and vegan cheese, sans sour cream), Zucchini Fries (without honey or sauce), Sunflower Salad (with oil and vinegar dressing), and their Mean Joe Green salad (sans cheese). Thanks to a variety of options the plant-based crowd is sure to leave with full, happy bellies.
One of Kansas City’s first all vegan restaurants and a favorite among the plant-based crowd, FüD is a cash-only establishment specializing in both raw and hot dishes, and strives to serve organic meals. FüD’s sustainable practices include using “fluoride-free filtered water, composting, recycling, biocompostable to-go packaging and cutlery, buying local organic produce and providing the lowest impact food on the environment.” Now that is impressive! One such local item served here is Central Soyfoods tofu made in Lawrence, Kansas.
The dishes enjoyed at my table were the Smoked Tofu Nuggets (“A Basket of Fried Local Tofu Nuggets with side of Sweet Pickle Thrillanaise & spicy Chilinaise”), the Tune-Rahh Melt (“Tune-Rahh sandwich Panini Grilled with Garlic Sweed Cheese on Rye”), Phishwich (“Tune Rahh infused with cinnamon curry spice deep-fried and topped with Thrillanaise, Dillanaise, El Cream, Lettuce, Tomato & Purple Onion on Rye”) and the Olivewich (a mixture of olive tapenade, cashew cheese, lettuce and tomatoes), a brand new sandwich which is the cook’s favorite.
GreenAcres Market is a natural foods store with seven locations (as of this posting), one of which is in Kansas City. With an emphasis on organic foods, nutritional supplements and body care items, this health foods store provides prepared foods in addition to pantry essentials and other grocery items. GreenAcres Market also takes it a step further by providing regular in-store classes and seminars to further educate the public on healthy lifestyles.
Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Coffee
Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Coffee is Kansas City’s first and only (as of this posting) 100% vegan bakery and coffeehouse. The super friendly folks here at Mud Pie make some delectable desserts and are happy to provide for various events including birthdays and weddings. One such event I used them for was my mother’s 60th birthday! In addition to desserts, Mud Pie also offers savory treats including house made scones and burritos from FüD.
The items I enjoyed from Mud Pie were their Lemon Kiss cupcake (filled with a delicious lemon curd), Coconutz bar, Mostess cupcake (fashioned after the popular commercially sold cupcake), Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treat, and their Apple Crumb Cake. Every single item I have had here has been delicious — highly recommended!
Located in nearby Independence, MO, Natural Grocers (formerly Nature’s Pantry) is an excellent natural foods store providing a plethora of goodies including those which are difficult to find. Having opened its doors in 1995, Natural Grocers has since expanded and opened a Deli Café, providing paninis, pizzas and salads. In addition to groceries, Natural Grocers has a bulk and vitamin section, and sells various household and personal items as well. Some of the local items they sell are Central Soyfoods tofu (in Garlic Herb, Hickory Smoked, Hot Fiesta and Plain flavors) and Manifest Chocolates, which provides caramels and chocolates that are vegan, gluten, soy, dairy and nut free.
While here, I picked up a bunch of treasures including some Gardein Fishless Filets, a container of Garlic Just Mayo (Natural Grocers currently carries all four flavors), a package of Rising Moon Organics Artichoke and Olive Ravioli, and a container of non-dairy Scotch Chocolate ice cream from Steve’s Ice Cream — perhaps the best ice cream I have ever had! Definitely check this place out.
One More Cup
One More Cup is a coffee shop serving assorted smoothies (most, if not all can be made vegan with soy milk), and items from various local businesses including sandwiches from FüD, Tamales from Mean Vegan, and desserts from Kneaded Specialties and Be Free Bakers. The owners seem very passionate about their business so this is one worth supporting.
Seasons 52 Fresh Grill
A more upscale restaurant with separate vegan menu, Seasons 52 Fresh Grill is a chain located throughout the United States with dishes that are 475 calories or less. Their plant-based menu currently (as of this posting) features various appetizers, sides, entrees, a couple salads, and blueberries for dessert.
Spin! Neapolitan Pizza
A pizza chain with locations in California, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri, Spin! Neapolitan Pizza has a Kansas City location that offers Daiya cheese, which can be used on any of their pizzas (minus the meat). While their soups are not vegan, Spin! does offer a few salads that can be ordered without meat and cheese, and topped with vinaigrette dressing. Their croutons are cooked in olive oil.
Succotash is primarily a brunch and lunch restaurant with a few plant-based items and a variety of juices and smoothies. Soy milk is available. The folks at this establishment pride themselves in using locally grown/made ingredients whenever possible. As of this posting, available lunch items include pancakes, scramble and a wrap; the latter two featuring Succotash’s signature lima bean hummus and succotash.
With two locations in the metropolitan area, Waldo Pizza gives Kansas Citians their choice between their Waldo and Lee’s Summit locations. This pizza chain goes above and beyond for their plant-based crowd, offering a variety of pizzas, starters, sandwiches, desserts, and beverages. For the gluten free vegan crowd, Waldo Pizza even offers an egg & gluten-free pizza crust (ask to make sure). Pizza offerings include both Daiya and Follow Your Heart cheeses, a large variety of veggies, various meat alternatives including chicken, hamburger, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and taco meat, and a variety of exciting sauces including, but not limited to, barbeque, buffalo, taco sauce and vegan garlic butter. After you’ve gorged yourself on delicious food, Waldo will send you on your merry way with a vegan after dinner mint.
I have been to Waldo Pizza multiple times and their pizza (and offerings) just seem to get better and better. My choice this time was a hand-tossed crust with artichokes, capers and “chicken” topped with Daiya Mozzarella. The capers added a really nice flavor to the pizza, which was delicious, but my only complaint this time around is that there was hardly any “chicken” on the pizza…I wanted much more! Definitely support these guys and gals.
Yogurtini is a self-serve frozen yogurt shop that offers 1-2 vegan flavors of sorbet with various toppings including fruit, nuts, Oreos, Nutter Butter cookies and a handful of sauces. When I stopped by, Yogurtini had just one vegan flavor, their Strawberry Lemonade Sorbet, which was very good. Previously they had a pomegranate flavor.
Have you been to Kansas City before, or do you currently live there? What are your favorite vegan-friendly places to frequent?