7 Delicious Louisville Vegan Restaurants (& 23 Vegan-Friendly Places!)

When you think of the food scene in Louisville, KY, you’d probably first think of things like fried chicken and the classic Hot Brown, rather than meatless meals. But there are plenty of Louisville vegan restaurants that are pretty dang delicious, too! 

For the uninitiated, the official Vegan Society defines veganism as: “a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” 

So basically, when it comes to food, we don’t eat anything that is made from or comes from an animal (i.e., meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs).

But there’s still a whole heck of a lot of things that we do eat, from spicy vegan sushi, to creamy Ice cream, to juicy burgers, and more! Who said veganism has to be boring? Thankfully the Louisville food scene is here to provide! 

So here are the best Louisville vegan restaurants, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, vegan-curious, have vegan friends, or just want a dang good meal that happens to be meatless.

Check out a few of these other posts:

See also
The 45 Best Places to Eat in Louisville, Kentucky

 
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vegan chili cheese fries from v-grits in lousiville kentucky
If you need a carb fix, dive into V-Grit’s loaded fries and have a field day. It’s one of the best Louisville vegan restaurants and truly what dreams are made of. (Photo Credit: @louisvilleveganfoodie)

Louisville Vegan Restaurants

With veganism on the rise, for health or environmental reasons (or both), it’s no surprise that passionate vegan chefs are opening up vegan restaurants right here in Louisville. Though vegan spots come and go (RIP Morels Cafe), we still have plenty of amazing Louisville vegan restaurants!

Below are the best Louisville vegan restaurants (or vegetarian, with plenty of vegan offerings) right here in town.

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The 11 Best Places to Get Pizza in Louisville, Kentucky

The vegan chopped chicken cheesesteak from V-Grits in Louisville KY
The chopped chicken cheesesteak from V-Grits will definitely get you a little messy! (Photo Credit: @louisvilleveganfoodie)

V-Grits

You can’t think of Louisville vegan restaurants without thinking of V-Grits, as it’s basically the official unofficial flagship vegan restaurant in town. Think southern-style comfort food crossed with pub food, and then crossed with a little bit of international influence. Do I have your mouth watering yet?!

And owner Kristina Addington started the business with prize winnings from being the first vegan chef to appear on and win Food Network’s culinary competition Cutthroat Kitchen – now that’s what we call a bad*ss.

Their house-made vegan taco meat is the perfect filling for their classic crunchwrap and the vegan chicken makes the chopped chicken cheesesteak absolutely delectable. They change up their menu seasonally, with some mainstays, so there’s always something amazing for whatever you’re craving.

And don’t sleep on the loaded fries or mac ‘n cheese options, because what says comfort food more like delicious carbs with all the toppings?? Plus, if you want a place for vegan Sunday brunch (chicken and waffles anyone?), this is a great spot!

Also, if you’re looking for some bomb vegan beer and cocktails (i.e. made without honey), you can hit up the sister brewery to V-Grits, Chimera Brewing, located in the same building. A portion of every pour of Chimera beer will benefit a local non-profit supporting racial equality, food justice, animal rights, foster care, and more. Now that’s putting money where your mouth is!

Visit V-Gits over off of Barret Avenue, and check out the amazing vintage stores across the street like the Nitty Gritty and the Fat Rabbit.

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vegan Korean cellophane noodles from heart & soy louisville ky
The Korean cellphone noodles are my go-to – they’re chewy, crunchy, and super savory. Mmmm. (Photo Credit: @louisvilleveganfoodie)

Heart & Soy / Roots

This local vegetarian staple on Bardstown Road is a two-for-one deal of two adjoining vegetarian restaurants – Roots provides small plate types of dishes for a more upscale dining vibe, and Heart & Soy provides a more casual environment with meals inspired by Asian street food. And if you order take-out, you can pick and choose items from each menu all in one go!

I am a serious sucker for all things rice, noodles, and tofu, and this place is a gold mine for all of that. I just can’t quit the umami goodness that’s a given in all of their dishes – the Korean cellophane noodles is my favorite – the chewy noodles with the crunchy vegetables and soft tofu all provide the best textural experience and some serious salty savory goodness. 

You should also try the barbecue tofu, curry fried rice, banh mi, green beans with tofu, and… okay, someone stop me before I recite the entire menu by heart… The barbecue tofu is one of my other go-to items – it’s nicely spicy while still capturing the Asian-inspired barbecue flavor, and the rice and fresh veggies are the perfect complements.

While some dishes do include egg, they make it incredibly easy to order vegan. They also have Kentucky’s only tofu manufacturing machine, which is pretty darn cool, and you know their tofu is fresh. None of the other Louisville vegan restaurants can tout that!

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vegan spinach artichoke pizza from half peach bakery in louisville ky
I present to you one of the best things I’ve ever eaten – the spinach artichoke pizza! (Photo Credit: Half Peach Bakery)

Half-Peach Bakery

Half-Peach Bakerymore like whole yum, if you ask me!

Seriously, nothing about the food here is half-*ssed. Walk in the doors of this Asian American Pacific Islander-owned business and you’ll be greeted with delicious smells of warm pizza crust and other scents to tantalize your senses. 

I swear that the spinach artichoke pizza at Half-Peach is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I love a white pie, and this one delivers on creamy, garlicky, cheesy perfection, with a perfectly chewy-but-crunchy crust. You can order them fully cooked or take-and-bake, whatever suits your needs. 

The drumsticks are also totally mouth-watering, made with a soy-based meat, the crispiest breading, and a sugarcane ‘bone’ that gives these vegan dupes the same form factor as a traditional poultry chicken wing.

They also have a whole bunch of ready-made items in their deli case, like veggie noodles, mac ‘n cheese, spring rolls, and more, so definitely pop by their St. Matthews location.

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vegan double cheese burgers from shahar cafe in louisville ky
The vegan double cheese burgers from Shahar Cafe are seriously a handful – you won’t leave hungry! (Photo Credit: Shahar Cafe)

Shahar Cafe

Shahar Cafe touts itself as bringing the ‘plant-based heat,’ and they’re not wrong because their vegan food is FIRE. 

Their burgers, chicken wings/sandwiches, and fries and tots are enjoyed by folks of all dietary persuasions and preferences. They use Impossible meat and house-made vegan chicken (made from seitan), so they have all the ingredients to fulfill your meaty desires.

Do you want a double cheeseburger with all the fixings, or maybe a Philly cheesesteak? They’ve got that, and so much more. I almost always order the cheesesteak – you can’t beat the soft, squishy bread with the perfectly seasoned vegan meat and that ooey gooey cheese. Yum!!

This is definitely one of those Louisville vegan restaurants where you can bring your omnivore friends and they will feel satisfied. Shahar Cafe fills you up!

Check out Shahar Cafe on Bardstown Road near Eastern Parkway.

See also
The 45 Best Places to Eat in Louisville, Kentucky
The vegan OG Crispy Chicken Sandwich from cosmic bird louisville ky
The Cosmic Bird makes vegan chicken an art. I mean, look at this! (Photo Credit: @louisvilleveganfoodie)

Cosmic Bird

This fully-vegan fried chicken concept is a newcomer to our fair city of Louisville as of January 2021. And let me tell you, they came in with a big bang (hehe).

The main attraction at Cosmic Bird is their ‘fauxltry,’ which is featured in different creative dishes, with menus changing from week to week. My favorite so far has been the classic chick’n tenders with their vegan ranch because that salty, creamy, herby ranch sauce is the perfect dip for the crispy tenders made with their signature seitan recipe.

I bet this vegan fried chicken would be satisfying even for a die-hard chicken fan, it’s that good – the crispy chicken hits the nail on the head for ‘real’ chicken texture and juiciness, and the seasoning rivals some of the classic fried chicken joints that you might already be familiar with.

Cosmic Bird doesn’t have its own brick-and-mortar place, but is operating as a pop-up out of The Merryweather on Saturday nights, but be sure to follow them on Instagram for the most up-to-date info for dates and locations.

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vegan baby corn manchurian from sonal's kitchen louisville ky
The baby corn Manchurian is a sweet and spicy Indo-Chinese fashion dish I can’t resist! (Photo Credit: @louisvilleveganfoodie)

Sonal’s Kitchen

Sonal’s Kitchen is an Asian American Pacific Islander-owned, fully vegetarian Indian restaurant in Springhurst that is top-notch and super vegan-friendly – just tell the lovely folks there that you’re vegan, and they’ll set you up with what’s good. 

The thalis (platters) at Sonal’s come with four different curries, lemon rice, bonus snacks, bread, pickles, and even dessert. What more could you need in a meal??

My absolute favorite dish at Sonal’s is the baby corn Manchurian – this is an Indo-Chinese dish, which is a delicious fusion of cuisines – and any time I can satisfy cravings for both Chinese food and Indian food simultaneously, I’m there. And you should be, too!

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masala dosa and spicy hakka noodles from Shreeji Indian Vegetarian Street Food louisville ky
Hungry? How about getting a dosa as big as your head? (Photo Credit: @louisvilleveganfoodie)

Shreeji Indian Vegetarian Street Food

Shreeji Indian Vegetarian Street Food on Hurstbourne Lane offers authentic Indian street food that is as flavorful as it is colorful. There’s an endless number of Indian chaats (savory snacks) out there, and Shreeji offers probably pretty darn close to all of them. 

In general, the chaat specialties are great combinations of so many flavors and textures – crunchy fried dough, tangy-salty spices, soft potatoes, savory chickpeas, sweet sauces, and so much more.

Shreeji also offers other meals like South Indian dishes (since there’s a lot of regional variation in Indian food) and Indo-Chinese dishes. You can’t go without getting a dosa, which is essentially a large, crispy crepe made from lentil and rice flours, served either on its own or with various fillings such as masala potatoes. It’s comfort food wrapped in more comfort food!

If you’re not familiar with these dishes, let this be your introduction. While it’d be a long flight to India, checking out Shreeji’s menu is probably your fastest way to get to experience the delights of Indian street food, and it’s all truly a fun dining experience!

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The VK8 Veggie Sate Noodles from Vietnam Kitchen Louisville
The Veggie Sate Noodle Soup (AKA the VK8) from Vietnam Kitchen will soothe your soul, and open your sinuses!

Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Louisville

In addition to the fully vegan or vegetarian restaurants, there are also plenty of spots around town that offer vegan options among their non-vegan menu items. This is not an exhaustive list of absolutely everywhere in Louisville with vegan options, but we’ve covered at least a good number of stand-outs!

Vegan African Food

Obviously African food is just as diverse as the huge continent itself! Luckily, we can get a vegan taste of those African flavors right here in Louisville.

  • Funmi’s Cafe – West African food is a unique dining experience, and Funmi’s has SO MANY vegan options to introduce you to this cuisine. The peanut mushroom stew with yam fufu is my absolute favorite, and is near and dear to my heart since it was my favorite dish when I studied abroad in Ghana years ago. (I highly recommend following @thecanadianafrican on Instagram to learn more about West African food).
  • Queen of Sheba – Ethiopian food to soothe your soul. Get the vegetarian platter, grab your injera, and have a ball. All of their vegetarian food is also vegan, and the vegetarian platter comes with misir wot (lentil stew), atakilt (sliced cabbage, onions, and carrots cooked in a mild tomato sauce), and gomen wot (collard greens, onions, and potatoes cooked in a garlicky sauce). And all of it comes with injera, the traditional sour and tangy Ethiopian flatbread made from teff flour.
  • Ramsi’s Cafe on the World – An eclectic menu with a huge variety of vegan options (not just African, but worldly offerings) and hugely generous portions. Ask any vegan around town about Ramsi’s, and it’s highly likely that they’d tell you to get the Egyptian Kitchen – it’s basically all of your favorite carbs (pasta, rice, lentils) in one big bowl.
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Coco Caliente roll , green acres roll, and avacado tempura roll from from dragon king's daughter in louisville ky
Dragon King’s Daughter hooks you up with some of the best vegan sushi rolls you can find in Louisville! (Photo Credit: @louisvilleveganfoodie)

Vegan Asian Food

There is something about the sweet and umami flavors of Asian food that make me hungry just at the thought of it. Luckily, there are a ton of good options to get your favorite dishes vegan in Louisville!

  • Vietnam Kitchen – *insert me yelling passionately* GO TO VIETNAM KITCHEN AND ORDER THE STIR-FRIED MOCK DUCK WITH GREEN BEANS (VM5)!! Truly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life. I crave it regularly. (P.S. Mock duck = seitan). Also, I could yell equally as loud for the Veggie Sate Noodle Soup (VK8) with its spicy and lemongrass-y broth which soothes my sinuses!
  • Time 4 Thai – Call me biased because Time 4 Thai is almost my neighbor, but I just couldn’t write this list without giving a shout-out to their pad see ew with tofu, the most delicious rice noodles cooked with veggies in a sweet and savory soy-based sauce. They’re super vegan-friendly and will modify pretty much any dish for you to make it vegan if you ask!
  • Dragon King’s Daughter – While I personally love a basic veggie roll when it comes to sushi, I love when a place offers more unique and creative vegan sushi options. Dragon King’s Daughter does the trick with several vegan sushi options, such as the Coco Caliente roll with spicy tofu and roasted garlic topped with roasted red pepper, lime, and fiery sauce; Green Acres roll with cucumber, avocado, cilantro, and red onion inside, plus basil and lime on top; and Avocado Tempura roll with crushed walnuts on top and sweet chili sauce. They also have other fun fusion offerings, too, like veggie gyoza and chips with ginger salsa.
  • Renshoku Ramen – Yes, vegan ramen does exist in Louisville! Renshoku Ramen operates as a pop-up around town with different menus every time. They put a ton of effort and flavor into their vegan options (both ramen and otherwise) – their coconut curry ramen was one of the most flavorful things I’ve ever eaten.
  • Naive – A ‘veggie-centric’ concept with plenty of fully vegan options. While they change up their menu seasonally and not all their offerings are Asian-inspired, their crispy General Tso’s cauliflower is a mainstay for a reason. They offer vegan brunch options on the weekends, too!

Vegan Mexican Food

You can get all the spicy wonderfulness of Mexican food and it be vegan, it’s true!

  • El Mundo – You don’t have to live without Mexican food here because El Mundo has you covered with vegan queso and vegan chorizo, which you can order in any of their entrees, like the grande burrito, which truly is muy grande (just make sure to ask to omit any dairy, like sour cream).
  • Mayan Cafe – Upscale Mayan fine dining, with specifically noted vegan options. Don’t skip the sikil pak (a dip made out of pumpkin seeds, served with tortilla chips) as an appetizer, and make sure you get some fried plantains in addition to your vegan entree!
  • El Torazo Mexican Restaurant – While they only have one real vegan item, the vegan flautus is so damn good. Onions, tomatoes, and beans are rolled in three flour tortillas which are deep-fried with a red sauce on top. Crispy and savory perfection.
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build-your-own calzone from pizza donisi louisville ky
You can build your own calzone at Pizza Donisi with vegan cheese and even vegan sausage! (Photo Credit: @louisvilleveganfoodie)

Vegan Comfort Food

Sometimes you just want a sloppy burger or a calzone – but make it vegan, please!

  • Molly Malone’s (Highlands location) – While you may not typically expect an Irish pub to be super vegan-friendly, Molly Malone’s defies expectations! Chef Karla is killin’ it by offering numerous vegan options, including vegan shepherd’s pie. They recently started doing happy hour deals with *even more* vegan options, such as vegan potato skins. The happy hour menu rotates weekly, so follow them on Instagram for details.
  • Toasty’s TavernClassic vegan smashburger and fries, coming right up! Make sure you get extra fries at Toasty’s because they season theirs with a mix of sorcery and something extremely addicting, in the best possible way.
  • Pizza Donisi – Vegan options galore for your pizza and calzone needs! They have vegan cheese and vegan sausage, plus plenty of veggie toppings to suit your heart’s desires. No reason you can’t get all those amazing Italian carbs vegan!
  • Full Stop – Their veggie bagel with black-eyed pea hummus is super satisfying. Grab a vegan breakfast burrito while you’re at it, too! They also regularly have vegan baked goods and carry lots of different local vegan products, such as Elixir Kombucha, Whelpdale Chocolates, and Louisville Vegan Jerky.
  • Eat a Pita – Mediterranean food is often pretty vegan-friendly anyway, but Eat a Pita takes it a step further by having a whole vegan section of their menu! The vegan gyro with their vegan tzatziki is truly *chef’s kiss* with the savory, meaty filling complemented by the cool, creamy tzatziki.
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vegan pop tarts from sugar high in louisville ky
The vegan pop tarts from Sugar High will get you, well, sugar high! (Photo Credit: Sugar High)

Louisville Vegan Restaurants: Desserts

I have a major sweet tooth, and fully believe that dessert is a crucial part of life. Here’s where you can find the sweet sweet vegan goods in Louisville.

  • Sugar High – An amazing vegan baker making pop tarts and cookies and cakes, oh my! I die for the Sugar High cookie sandos – the salted chocolate chip cookie sandwich is my personal favorite, but you wouldn’t have to twist my arm for me to accept any and all of the varieties! Find all that Sugar High deliciousness (and more) around town at Shahar Cafe, Boba Fête, Safai Coffee Shop, Rainbow Blossom, regular pop-ups out of the private bakery space at 619 Baxter Ave, other special events, and by special order. Follow on Instagram for the most current info.
  • Julian’s Kitchen – This is the go-to for vegan donuts! These are probably the best donuts I’ve ever had, vegan or otherwise. And if they happen to have any filled donuts on the day you’re getting them, you better get some before I order them all for myself!! Find them at V-Grits regularly, or through their virtual storefront on Sundays.
  • Half-Peach Bakery – So nice, we have to mention them twice. Half-Peach makes a ton of desserts, like their sea salt chocolate chip cookies (like grandma’s cookies, but better), french toast bread pudding, banana pudding poke cake, and more.
  • Rawnaissance – 100% vegan, 100% organic, 100% raw, 100% delicious. Rawnaissance has cakes, pies, gelato, house-made chocolate bars, and more! You haven’t lived until you’ve had one of their mylshakes – the chocolate peanut butter mylshake and the cookies ‘n cream mylkshake are my faves.
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Woman holding purple Ice cream Cone from Rawnaissance in Louisville KY
Rawnaissance is 100% vegan, 100% organic, 100% raw, 100% delicious, and 100% the place you should get an amazing vegan dessert! (Photo Credit: Rawnaissance)
  • Indignant Platypus – Creative and nostalgic treats galore! The Indignant Platypus ze-bruh cakes are what my personal nostalgic dreams are made of. Find these goods by special order (you can even do a custom ‘pimp my pie’). [Note: Indignant Platypus is on a temporary hiatus at the time of writing this article. Stay tuned on their Instagram for updates!]
  • Sweet Surrender Dessert Cafe – How sweet it is for Sweet Surrender to offer vegan cakes! If you need an ‘emergency’ slice of vegan cake, this is the place to go. Their signature vegan option is cookies ‘n cream cake (it’s amazing), and they offer other fun flavors daily, like the lavender chocolate cake. Their peanut butter cookies are also vegan as-is!
  • The Grainwright – While their ‘bread and butter’ is their bread (literally), The Grainwright also makes amazing French-style pastries like galettes, croissants, and turnovers – and this is the only place in town to get vegan pastries like this! Catch them at their booth at Logan Street Market, but make sure to go early, because those vegan pastries are very popular and sell out quickly!
  • Annie May’s Sweet Cafe – This fully allergen-free bakery (that means vegan and gluten-free and nut-free, too!) may skip all the allergens, but they don’t skip the flavor and deliciousness. I love their oatmeal cream pies. Or buy a tub of their chocolate chip cookie dough to bake at home, or, ya know, eat with a spoon… In addition to their storefront, you can find Annie May’s items at Rainbow Blossom.

About the Author: Melissa is a semi-new transplant to Louisville, by way of Maryland and North Carolina. She has been vegan for nearly 10 years, and dove deep into the vegan food scene in Louisville immediately upon her first visit in 2019, then continued once she moved here in 2020 and started the @louisvilleveganfoodie Instagram. When she’s not busy eating vegan food, she’s probably snuggling with her rescue dog, Romeo. (Actually, let’s be real, she’s probably eating vegan food while snuggling with Romeo.)


What did you think of our favorite Louisville vegan restaurants? What questions can we answer? Drop us a comment below!

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When you think of the food scene in Louisville, KY, you’d probably first think of things like fried chicken and the classic Hot Brown, rather than meatless meals. But the Louisville vegan restaurant scene is pretty dang strong, too! So here are the best Louisville vegan restaurants with sushi, to Ice cream, to burgers, and more!
 
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