If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, dining out gets stressful when you travel. Will you face down a menu with absolutely zilch you can eat? Or maybe you fear that cute Bend restaurant you picked will have just one plant-based dish on offer.
Fret not, veggie friends! Plenty of Bend dining spots have menus brimming with tasty, meat-free meals. To make it easy, let’s round up some of the best places in Bend to find vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Sen Thai Noodles and Hot Pot
From small plates to stir fry dishes to noodles and curries, Sen has a huge range of meals that can be customized with any type of protein that tickles your fancy. Hot pots are the big draw, with your choice of stock base paired with veggies and sauces for you to cook yourself. Pick from build-it-yourself hot pots that feed four, or individual hot pots meant to minimize decision-making and maximize flavor. Vegetarian options are clearly marked on the menu, and helpful waitstaff can point you to dishes they’ll modify as meatless. My favorite dish here is Tuah Gratiem or wok fried green beans with fresh garlic. If it sounds underwhelming, wait ‘til you try it. The amount of flavor packed in a simple dish will blow your mind. Bonus: a great selection of mocktails for teetotalers in the group, including Elephant Pants (passionfruit, mint, lime, soda) and the Happy Baby (carrot syrup, coconut milk, orange, lemon).
This popular eastside locale offers all the usual stuff you’d expect from a taco joint, but with ample vegetarian options to appease those in your party who avoid meat. Chips and guac make a great starter at Hablo Tacos, paired with their tasty hibiscus margarita. Their chili and cheese taco is my personal fave, fried crispy on the outside with gobs of gooey goodness on the inside, plus plenty of cabbage and cilantro. The smoked mushroom taco comes with vegan cheese and a mouthwatering bounty of smoky mushrooms and green chilis. Yum!
Salud Live Kitchen
Want to take your vegan diet to the next level and go raw? That’s the specialty at Salud Live Kitchen, which offers organic, gluten-free vegan fare that’s not cooked or baked or subjected to any sorta nutrient-killing heat. Despite those strict parameters, they’ve got a whopping-good menu packed with juices and smoothies, tacos, bowls, and some of the best desserts I’ve had anywhere, ever. Yes, I’m serious. Even if you turn up your nose at the idea of raw eating, treat your tummy to a slice of cheesecake or caramel apple cake. If you’re not swooning, check your pulse. If smoothie bowls are your jam, you’ll love the option to pick a specific smoothie from the menu and turn it into a bowl topped with house-made granola and fruit. I’m a fan of the flavor-packed Rawkin’ Tacos, featuring two romaine shells filled with five-spice walnut-based filling, shredded carrots, purple cabbage, red bell pepper, orange, mint, and cilantro with a peanut ginger dipping sauce. Tasty + filling = win!
If you want a massive menu packed with healthy, nutritious vegan and vegetarian fare, feast your eyes on the menu at Laughing Planet. From salads and soups to tacos and burritos to smoothies and bowls, you’ll find a little of everything. Bonus: They break down the nutritional info for folks counting such things. I’m nuts for their Thai Bowl (570 calories, if you’re wondering) which includes baked organic tofu, garlic green beans, and steamed broccoli over brown or jasmine rice. It comes topped with cilantro lime slaw and their tasty Thai Lemongrass Peanut Sauce. An excellent pick on the salad front is their Highway To Kale Salad made with lacinato kale tossed with carrots and lemon-parsley vinaigrette and topped with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and queso fresco. Grab a kombucha or craft cocktail to wash it down.
Fix & Repeat
This quaint little spot in the Box Factory offers fresh-pressed juices in yummy combinations like Paradise Glow (carrot, orange, pineapple, lemon, turmeric, and ginger) or True Blue (lemon, apple, ginger, coconut water, and blue spirulina). For breakfast at Fix & Repeat, I love pairing fresh juice with The Millenial, a mouthwatering avocado toast made with fresh miche bread from Sparrow Bakery topped with avocado, garlic, olive oil, chili flake, and bits of flaky sea salt that pull the whole thing together. At lunchtime, try one of their macro bowls like the Banh Mi Bowl made with brown rice, roasted cauliflower, spicy sesame sauce, spinach, sriracha cashew mayo, pickled vegetables, daikon radish, cucumber, cilantro, purple kohlrabi, and avocado.
My family adores Active Culture, even before one kiddo became vegetarian. Much of their fare is vegan or vegetarian, including the housemade lentil burger patties and raw, organic almond milk made fresh daily. But let’s talk about bowls, since that’s my obsession. Few things make my tummy happier than the Quinoa Lentil Bowl made with organic quinoa, organic lentils, organic garbanzo beans, kale, carrot, cucumber, red onion, tomato, sunflower seeds, lemon vinaigrette, and Slammin’ sauce. It’s big enough to make two lunches or one lunch and a tasty mid-day snack. Their acai bowls are epic as well, with the Protein Bowl topping the spousal unit’s list (organic Sambazon Açaí and peanut butter, topped with organic granola, banana, almond slices, cashew pieces, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, and honey). You’ll also find smoothies, shakes, sandwiches, breakfast tacos, and some of the tastiest huevos rancheros around. Be sure to scan their beverage cooler packed with local beers, wines, and kombucha.
One of Bend’s most popular breakfast spots, The Vic goes the extra mile to ensure vegetarian guests have more than one or two things to pick from. I’m particularly smitten with the Green Hornet omelet, made with spinach, asparagus, jalapenos, scallions, and Gruyere cheese in a three-egg omelet topped with avocado. For a buck more, substitute egg whites to make it leaner, then totally counter that by eating your body weight in house potatoes. With nearly any egg dish on their menu, you can substitute quinoa for eggs, and most dishes can be tailored to meet various veggie needs.
Broken Top Bottle Shop
Know what pairs great with yummy vegan and vegetarian fare? A craft beer lineup that convinces you whoever picks the tap list has a taste for the good stuff. That’s at the core of Broken Top Bottle Shop just off Newport and College Way. Set yourself up with a taster tray of craft beer faves, then feast on cuisine like the Tempeh Reuben (house-smoked tempeh on Big Ed’s marbled rye with sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and an unbelievably scrumptious housemade 1000 island) or a gluten-free spaghetti squash lasagna layered cheese and spinach and a basil cream sauce so divine, you’ll lick the plate when no one’s looking. No judgment here. The food is simply that tasty, and with tons to pick from (BBQ Tempeh Sandwich? Mushroom Philly Dip? Hoisin Tofu Banh Mi?), you’ll have a tough time choosing what to order. Guess you’d better come back again…
Life & Time
Touted as “free range fast food,” Life and Time boasts a bounty of options for any dietary need. From veggie burgers to bowls and wraps to burritos to scrumptious salads, they offer chow that tastes amazing. My personal pick is the Crispy Thai bowl made with quinoa, mint, candied peanuts, cabbage & veggie slaw, cilantro, honey lime tamari sauce, and broccoli. Add tofu or Beyond Burger for extra protein, or if you’re not actually vegetarian, they’ve also got chicken, rockfish, steak, and line-caught ahi poke. Burgers are another great draw here, with Beyond meatless patties, plus organic lettuce, tomato, and onion on an organic whole wheat bun with Super Sauce. They also have gluten-free and cabbage-wrap options if that’s your preference. Don’t miss the fries, which are hand-punched and made with organic, Kennebec potatoes.
Dear Mom Cafe
A relative newcomer to Bend’s dining scene, Dear Mom Cafe offers modern Thai cuisine in a cute, trendy spot on Bend’s westside. Full disclosure: I ate here a few weeks after returning from Thailand and felt delightfully impressed by the authenticity of the cuisine. Everything’s fresh and tasty, with most dishes customizable to be gluten-free or vegetarian. The green mango salad is flavorful and spicy with tons of fresh herbs and veggies. Skip the fish sauce and tiny shrimp to make it veggie, or order one of their tasty curries or noodle dishes like the Spicy Crispy Holy Basil made with crispy holy basil,bird’s red eye chili, mixed roasted veggies, broccolini, and bell pepper sauteed in spicy umami sauce, served with fried egg over rice. Add tofu for protein, or skip the egg to make it vegan. Don’t miss the luscious lavender lemonade!
I didn’t set out to play favorites with this blog post, but if you twisted my arm and forced me to pick one, this food truck featuring 100% plant-based magic gets my vote. Located in the Podski food truck lot, Toasty does a darn fine job replicating common comfort foods using plant-based meats, cheeses, and sauces you’ll swear taste just like their animal-based counterparts. I’m enamored with the Buffalo Chik’n Crunchwrap, which includes plant-based “chick’n,” beans, vegan cheese, buffalo hot sauce, vegan ranch, avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeno, lettuce, and tostada. It’s scrumptious and so filling and I could only eat half, which worked out great for lunch the next day. An extra side of their veganaise-based lime crema gave me lots of chip-dipping joy and made a secondary sauce for the Zach Snack (loaded quesadilla made with Beyond beef, onion, lime crema, hot sauce, and habanero cashew queso for dipping). They’ve got tons more Crunchwrap flavors on the menu, plus salads, burritos, bowls, and more.
Offering mouthwatering Israeli street food, Shim Shon has a food cart at MidTown Yacht Club and a brick-and-mortar spot at The Grove in Northwest Crossing. They definitely don’t specialize in vegetarian chow, so folks turned off by seeing lamb, chicken, beef, and shrimp on the menu should skip this one. But Shim Shon is worth mentioning because they bring a different sorta flavor profile than you’ll find at most Bend restaurants. The Mezze Sampler lets you sample lots of variety, including hummus, fried cauliflower with tahina, olives & almonds with orange, muhamarra with feta and pistachios, and shawarma roasted eggplant with feta. Choose falafel as your protein and a side of Za’atar fries for a treat. If you spot roasted beets or carrots with mint on the menu, add those sides to your order. Your tastebuds will thank me.
This all-vegan food cart features flavorful, New American plant-based fare. Instead of using any sort of mock meat, Broken Angel goes all-in on grains, tubers, tofu, and lots of fresh, organic produce. The Big Country Combo lives up to its name with a generous portion of biscuits and wild mushroom gravy served with their house scramble (organic tofu, cremini mushrooms, roasted chilis, squash, and braised greens). For more traditional breakfast fare, try the griddle cake stack topped with peanut butter, grilled bananas, and blueberry syrup. Lunches include an awesome array of tacos, salads, soups, and sandwiches like the yummylicious Eggplant Po’Boy made with crispy grilled eggplant, housemade BBQ sauce, smoked remoulade, and jicama slaw on a focaccia hoagie. All their packaging materials are compostable and eco-friendly, which is awesome, but watch your fork when stabbing through layers of juicy food. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with a mouthful of compostable paper product.
I know, I know…a hot dog food cart seems like the last place you’d find tasty vegetarian chow, but hear me out: The vegan bratwurst at Alley Dogz is epic. It comes with spicy brown mustard and sauerkraut, plus I like to add ketchup. The flavor is next-level yummy, and while it’s not quite as juicy/greasy as a regular bratt, isn’t that kind of a plus? The fries here are some of the best you’ll find, crispy and tasty and absolutely scrumptious.
Lively Up Yourself
This is one of several food carts I’m recommending at Mid-Town Yacht Club, but the only one devoted solely to vegan fare. Lively Up Yourself is best known for creative twists on vegan mac and “cheeze,” including a BBQ Mac served with seitan rib bites coated in sweet and tangy sauce, ranch, and green onion, or my personal pick, the Jackfruit Mac made with slow-cooked jackfruit, the standard mac’n cheeze, ranch, and green onion, plus your choice of buffalo or BBQ sauce (mix both!) I’m over-the-top in love with their vegan vanilla milkshake, which is so creamy and flavorful that my milkshake connoisseur spouse swears he’d never know it’s vegan. Reward your health-conscious choices by grabbing a tasty local craft beer from the tap station!
With locations on Bend’s east and west sides, you can fill your belly with sumptuous smoothies, sandwiches, and salads no matter which Mother’s Cafe you visit. Start your morning with a Baden Baden breakfast sandwich made with avocado, egg, spinach, swiss, and chimichurri served on the most mouthwatering multi-grain bread you can imagine. Wash it down with one of their tasty fresh-pressed juices or classic smoothies, then order lunch to go for your afternoon Bend adventure. The Buddha Bowl boasts wok-seared veggies, crispy tofu, and peanut sauce over rice with local microgreens. Mother’s also has one of my favorite salads in town with their Avocado Kale Caesar. There’s a lot going on between a blend of romaine and kale, tossed with creamy vegan avocado dressing, avocado, capers, crunchy seed blend, and a seeded parmesan crisp you can skip if you’re vegan.
There’s a reason Wild Rose ranks as one of Bend’s most popular restaurants, and veggie-loving diners will find plenty to please their palates. Start with a cocktail like the Golden Triangle made with cointreau, passionfruit, lemon, lime, coconut, and a salty-sugary rim. Then, prepare to feast. One of the most underrated dishes (in my humble opinion) is the Thangwa made with sliced cucumbers stir fried with garlic, scrambled egg, and aromatic white pepper. How they pack so much flavor into such a simple side dish is beyond me, but I’m here for it. The Pad Woon Sen (both gluten-free and vegetarian) sounds similarly simple, with glass noodles stir fried with egg and mixed veggies. But there’s a charred quality to the veggies that turns the whole dish on its head and leaves you eagerly scraping the bowl for every last scrap. Don’t miss the green curry or the Tom Kha or…you know what? Just order everything. You won’t regret it.
With two locations in Bend and dozens more across Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, Cafe Yumm has their system dialed in for tasty, nourishing food to fit nearly any dietary need, including vegan, gluten-free, and keto. I’m especially fond of the nutrition info that lets me make smart choices about what I’m ordering. Which—I’ll be honest—is almost always the Edamame Bowl made with organic brown rice, organic edamame, Original Yumm! Sauce, shredded cheddar, diced tomatoes, fresh avocado, sour cream, black olives, and cilantro. You can get it in three different sizes, and customize with substitutions and add-ons. Their BBQ Tofu Skewer is another must-try, and a variety of salads, soups, and cookies round out their hefty menu.
Ohhh, Spork. Shall we count the reasons so many Bend diners love you? Is it the tasty beverage menu boasting cocktails, mocktails, craft beer, kombucha, and a tasty array of drinking vinegars? Is it the simple but divine Elote made with an ear of roasted corn smothered in tasty toppings? The I’ve-died-and-gone-to-heaven Fried Tofu Tacos served with sweet onion, cilantro, salsa verde, chili mayo, radish, lime, and jalapeno pickles? Pretty sure it’s all of those things, plus a cool vibe and plenty of non-veggie fare for your carnivorous friends. The only downside to Spork is that it’s uber-popular (go figure) so leave lots of extra time in your schedule. Then prepare for your tastebuds to thank you.
Why would a burger joint make a list of best vegan and vegetarian meals? Take a glimpse at their menu and you’ll quickly see this is no ordinary burger restaurant. Folks with a meatless appetite can pick from crunchy cauliflower burgers, a vegan sweet potato burger, or a patty made with walnuts, oats, and sage. They’ve also got regular ol’ Impossible Burgers and a salmon/shrimp patty for pescatarians. The cauliflower burger is my personal fave, made with breaded cauliflower steak topped with feta, arugula, caramelized onion jam, and pesto aioli. The fries here are are epic, both the regular and sweet potato waffle fries (pro tip: get a side of sage mayo for dipping with the latter!) I’m also nuts about their Red Chair Quinoa Kale Salad with a lemon dill dressing that leaves me swoony. Perhaps my favorite thing about Mountain Burger is their climate action plan, which has them striving to reach net-zero emissions by 2025. How’s that for a burger with a conscience?