Home Featured The Ultimate Vegan Guide to Salt Lake City

The Ultimate Vegan Guide to Salt Lake City

written by Veren Ferrera July 7, 2020
The Ultimate Vegan Guide to Salt Lake City

Pandemic note: keep in mind that hours and dine-in availability are subject to change due to Covid-19.

There are more vegan restaurants in Salt Lake City per capita than New York City.

Take that in for a moment.

With New York’s massive international status, everyone assumes it has the most and best of anything on any scale. Statistics will show you otherwise.

There are at least 10 vegan restaurants in Salt Lake City (SLC) and 200,000 people. New York has about 80 spots (including juice and smoothie bars) and over 8,000,000 people. NYC would need more than 400 vegan restaurants to keep pace with Salt Lake City. In other words, the Big Apple isn’t as vegan-friendly as most people expect, especially if you’ve lived there as a vegan on a budget like we have.

In Salt Lake City, the number grows to over 20 vegan friendly establishments if you included stores, bakeries, and restaurants with dedicated vegan menus. We are here to tell you that vegan Salt Lake City is worth your animal-friendly attention.

There’s been an uptick in plant-based food consumption lately, likely due to the meat shortages across the country. The pandemic has highlighted the meatpacking industry’s horrible practices and working conditions and is thus gaining more coverage, due to their inexcusable treatment of their mostly immigrant and people of color workforce, creating covid hot spots (Utah recently had one of them and their curve is beginning to spike again).

Given the circumstances, people are becoming more open to trying plant-based foods, whether out of practicality (meat shortages) or by putting their dollar where their ethics are, by not supporting the meat industry.

So veganism is trending big time these days. In the internet world of publishing, many are trying to capitalize on it by writing stuff about vegan things they’ve never experienced (nor care to) in order to capture traffic on their otherwise un-vegan friendly websites.

Why do I mention this?

Because we’re vegans writing this for all vegans, vegetarians, and veg-curious. We want this to be your one-stop resource for all your vegan SLC needs.

We lived in Salt Lake City for 4 months via house sitting back in 2016, and then spent another 5 months this past January to May (3-month house sit plus 2-month pandemic shutdown until we could safely fly back to New York State). With nearly a year spent here, we’ve made repeated visits again and again to all our favorite spots, and new ones alike.

Salt Lake City was also the birthplace of this website AND our podcast, so it has a special place in our plant-based hearts. We take our appropriately named “ultimate guides” seriously, which aim to fill the dearth of vegan guidance in surprisingly vegan places. The only other we’ve written is for Madrid, Spain, where we lived for two years.

Read more: Ultimate Vegan Guide to Madrid

How This Ultimate Vegan SLC Guide Works

We have categorized everything by vegan restaurants in SLC first, vegetarian restaurants in Salt Lake City, Vegan options in SLC, vegan bakery in Salt Lake City, vegan shopping options, and more. We even list the TL;DR after every entry for the skimmers. Then we also categorize the 100% vegan spots by theme.

Also, note that we will focus on highlighting the great vegan spots in SLC. Yes, there are lots of vegan-friendly places, but you’ll be missing out on the stars of the show if you don’t plan a visit to them and instead let whatever’s convenient take priority at the moment hunger strikes. We don’t care if a place offers fries and a salad. We want real-deal, intended-to-impress, vegan food, please. And you should be as excited as we are about the vegan SLC scene – not just “the most convenient place to eat whatever vegan food.”

We use the following gluten-free notation for entries when applicable. We’re budget travelers, so the price point is important.

GF = significant gluten-free options

GF+ = a ton of options, celiac friendly will be noted.

Price guide:

$ meal 10 and under.

$$ meal 15 and under.

$$$ meal 15 and up.

Fast/Casual Vegan Restaurants in Salt Lake City:

There are ten 100% vegan restaurants in SLC, meaning that they serve ONLY vegan food. These are the places to prioritize almost without exception. However, one of our top five vegan food experiences was not at an all-vegan place yet a very unique experience especially made for vegans (see the Vegan Options section below for more).

In this section, we’ll share fast/casual vegan restaurants in SLC. These are spots where you order at the counter and grab your food there (or sometimes someone brings it to you, but no sit-down service).

Bud’s $ GF

Bud’s is a vegan SLC institution.

We love Bud’s and have lost count of our visits. Rarely does a vegan establishment hit that sweet spot with quality, portions, and reasonable price. I don’t know how they keep doing it. Maybe it has something to do with lovingly prepared ingredients and a great sense of flavor. Bud’s gets the omnivore stamp of approval: “This is at least a once a week spot,” said our visiting meaty-hooked friend while meatily grasping his sub and sinking in his incisors.

They serve sandwiches with seasonal specials, chips, beverages, and even housemade zucchini cookies along with cold brew coffee and fresh lemonade. Make sure to grab all the aforementioned with a sandwich of your choice.

We were quite pleased with every sandwich we tried, including possibly the best vegan Philly cheesesteak I’ve ever had, which consisted of a housemade cheese sauce, onions and peppers, over “steak” chunk filling that had just the right amount of beefy flavor and chewy texture.

One of my regular menu favs is the buffalo chicken sandwich; soy curls tossed in buffalo sauce, topped with crisp thinly sliced cabbage, and wedged in a toasted sourdough loaf slathered in ranch dressing. All the other sandwiches are solid too, with the chicken pesto being our other pick for those not fans of Buffalo sauce but want to try something “chicken-y.”

But there are a couple of recent new seasonal specials that knocked it out of the park for us. They really should add both to the regular menu (hint, hint, Bud’s). The Meatball Parm hits all the original conception’s marks.

Too often vegan places try to use quinoa or some other light carb. Meatballs should feel dense – something your teeth can sink into, and makes Nonna proud. Bud’s meatballs are chickpea and wheat gluten-based and have a nice meaty, chewy yet soft texture, while the soft style hoagie loaf sandwich is smeared with housemade cashew cheese, topped with plenty of onions tomato sauce that spills out the sides.

Another popular special featured late spring was the tofu Banh Mi. While you may get some naysayers insisting on what’s authentic (and I’ve tried many), this is one of the best ever. What distinguishes the sandwich is well-seasoned protein, fresh crunchy veggies, and mayo. While we really enjoy All Chay, SLC’s premier all-vegan Vietnamese spot, I really wish their banh mi had mayo.

Here at Bud’s they step it up a notch: ginger dressing marinaded baked tofu (baking makes the tofu much more dense and firm), with spicy mayo, freshly sliced jalapeños, chopped cilantro, and sliced cucumber. The combo makes a refreshing and surprisingly filling early summer lunch. You can also get it mild, without jalapeños and spicy mayo, and it’s just as delicious (Sam attests).

Any sandwich can be made a gluten-free salad or wrap but why would you do that unless you had no other choice? And if it wasn’t clear already, order every sandwich with the sourdough bread. So fresh and toasty, you’ll wish your mouth wasn’t lined with easily shredded gums.

TL;DR: They specialize in great house-made sandwiches, cookies and refreshments. Take away only.

Can’t Miss: Most sandwiches are on point, like the cheesesteak, the buffalo, but also specials we mentioned above, meatball parm, bbq chickn, tofu banh mi. Get them all on the featured bread. Don’t miss the melty rich zucchini chocolate chip cookies baked in-house (don’t worry, you don’t even notice the zucchini) along with the better-than-most-coffee-houses cold brew.

Note: Only outdoor seating/no bathrooms, only open until 5 pm.

All Chay $ GF

If “Chay” means great, then it’s “All” they deliver (ok, actually chay means vegan, but you get the gist). This spot is located northwest of downtown Salt Lake City but at the center of our herbivore hearts.

Vietnamese food is all about bold and fresh flavors. Every bowl of pho (Vietnamese soup) comes with bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime wedges, and jalapeño slices. We were especially impressed with how rich and savory the broth was here. It’s no surprise it’s award-winning – check out the commemorating plaque on their wall. They offer various soy meats in their sandwiches and pho as well as less common vegan imitations. Their fried “shrimp” appetizer is great, even if you don’t like shrimp, because it actually tastes better than shrimp (although who eats shrimp for the taste when it’s so popularly always fried?).

Definitely not to miss is the pho. The sandwiches are delicious, but I can’t help but miss the mayo that usually is on these sandwiches (vegan mayo is widely accessible these days, and easy to make from scratch). But for the price point, quality, and quantity, I can’t see why anyone looking for vegan Vietnamese would settle on anything else (like a Vietnamese place with vegan options).

Round it all off which a Thai iced tea made with coconut milk (instead of sweetened condensed milk).

The seemingly random flagship location has an interior that looks like a former American Legion Hall decorated with what surely must be thrift store paintings (not a knock – our current albeit temporary pandemic apartment is all furnished secondhand). Smack in the middle of the front sits a round table that is often filled with local regulars.  Just walk up to the counter, order what you want, pay, take a seat, and they’ll bring it to you when it’s ready. Help yourself to water, silverware, chopsticks, and condiments (which aren’t even needed as everything is amply seasoned).

The food is so damn good you’ll debate ordering more after you’ve devoured it all. It’s a good thing that you order and pay first. The menu specifies which items can be made gluten-free, and the staff is knowledgeable and can make substitutions!

TL;DR:  authentic Vietnamese food made vegan!

Can’t Miss: any banh mi, any pho, vegan shrimp, noodle salads, Thai iced tea, vegan flan. Again, hard to go wrong here, and impressed all the locals we brought who surprisingly hadn’t come before (and they should be ashamed).

Note: There is another location called Vegan Bowl in West Jordan, so if you’re looking for vegan restaurants in Utah outside of Salt Lake, try that one. If you’re staying near downtown, All Chay will be much closer.

Veggie House $

If you’re looking to load up on some soy sauce’d starch buckets, this Veggie is your House. With a Pan Asian range of dishes, with Thai basil to curries, Vietnamese Pho, and your usual Chinese take out staples (like orange chicken) rest assured they’ll have all your favorite dishes in veganized form here. They even serve several deluxe sushi rolls with lots of sauces and panko crumb crunchies on top. The big draw here is a lot of the fried items that aren’t usually vegan, like egg rolls, battered and fried protein chunks, and even deep-fried sushi rolls.

Get ready to loosen your belt because these are gut buster portions. Each entree comes with a generous helping of rice on the side. And if you order fried rice, it will be a veritable heaping mound. We literally saw a woman eating at a table over eat her meal, and then pack away the rest (another full meal’s worth) in a reusable container that she was prepared with. We’re gluttons though and didn’t have a problem eating all our food.

The toppings and fillings were fresh, and the mock raw tuna was surprisingly accurate in texture, albeit not fishy tasting. Sam’s vegetable roll was so pleasantly fresh, wrapped in chewy brown rice kernels that it all came together quite nicely.

My basil beef had a great chewy, sort of shreddy texture, and ticked all the familiar boxes of soy sauce salty and sweet, with the aromatic and distinctly fennel-like Thai basil cutting right through. Sam opted for the orange chicken, which she loved of course, as it was chewy, batter fried, and citrus-y sweet.

That being said, there are some key difference in ingredients that the more scrupulous may notice. The white rice isn’t the usual white rice of Chinese restaurants, nor the Jasmine rice of Thai places. Not necessarily a bad thing, but you’ll notice the difference in texture. They also slightly overcook white rice here, but once you toss your saucy entree on top, you’ll hardly notice. Brown rice is the well-cooked option here.

However, a big disappointment I cannot overlook was the sushi rice. Sure I knew this wasn’t your usual Japanese sushi spot, and even at those I’ve experienced under or overcooked rice. But this was literal mush and definitely not sushi grade rice. I didn’t need to even chew. Just shovel and swallow.

Mostly solid dishes, although maybe we’re spoiled by the best pan Asian food which is in NYC.

Read more: NYC vegan guide

TL;DR: Veggie House will probably be your best bet to the usual dishes you’d expect at Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Japenese spots yet made vegan and under one roof. Just skip the sushi unless you prefer brown rice as the white rice is mush.

Can’t Miss: fried rice, Basil with your mock meat of choice, Orange chicken

Passion Flour Patisserie $ GF

This spot is a bakery and cafe, so they do have a menu for savory entrees. With brunch on weekends, served until 4 pm, you’ll want to get in at least before 3 pm unless you want your dreams dashed by being told what’s sold out. It’s a popular spot.

For more on the baked goods experience (and that’s mostly what we come here for), see the section below on vegan bakery in Salt Lake City. Here we will talk about the savory entree experience.

If you want a more fragrant spin on brunch classics, look no further. They’re not aiming to cover the American breakfast bases that old school spots (like Vertical Diner) already do. Meaning, their home fries are seasoned with cumin, and biscuits that are fluffy and crumbly, yet very herb-y. I particularly liked the tofu with creamy hollandaise sauce: tofu fried to a crispy skin and lightly roasted tomatoes with a slice of ham sitting on a biscuit. Sam had the biscuits and gravy – she loves all things fluffy and soft, so she was quite satisfied.

All in all, these are solid vegan breakfast options. Other than these plates, there are other simpler/lighter cafe offerings, like toasts, savory croissants, crepes, and sandwiches, like the french dip.

Obviously if you’re coming here for brunch, you must also try their incredible baked goods, which we discuss at length in the baked goods section below!

TL;DR: solid breakfast fare with a fragrant French twist.

Can’t Miss: the smoked tofu hollandaise, though we mostly come here for the pastries (see more below)

Mark of the Beastro

These beasts are on the mark. A super divey straight edge punk (meaning abstaining from drugs + alcohol) venue and restaurant serving up delicious anti meat and dairy rebellion with a don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. 

The only naysayers to give a negative review to this place were people who didn’t like the vibe and ambiance. Sorry, punk isn’t about providing overly doting restaurant service in a chic atmosphere. This is an unadulterated devil-may-care attitude dressed in black until someone makes a darker color. I can’t imagine someone not liking the food, but I get it, this vibe isn’t for everyone.

It feels like a dive bar, except it doesn’t serve alcohol, just delicious plates of comfort vegan attitude. In other words, it’s not making any
“Top Most Instagrammable restaurants” lists anytime soon. For more rants on vegan influencers and vegan travel tips, check out our vegan travel 101 podcast episode.

There’s an Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, board games, and a dozen of hot sauces to keep things interesting. On top of all of that, there’s a venue in the back for live music and other events.

But what about the food?

So damn good it puts chic and trendy plant-based restaurants to shame. They don’t care about topping your plates with sprouts here.

Top stars are the breakfast burrito and vegan chicken and waffles. And the plates come heaping. This burrito was possibly over a foot long, and stuffed with hash browns, tofu scramble, cheese, peppers, and onions. In short, a pocket of hot satiation perfectly cooked, wrapped in a chewy warm flour tortilla.

The vegan fried chicken was also a nice pleasant surprise. Not only because it was delicious, as we’ve tried a bunch of great ones in our time, but that it wasn’t seitan based. My guess is textured soy protein, which gave it a stringy chewiness on par with chicken. However, this is meaningless if the protein isn’t coated in a proper batter, fried to perfection. And when I mean perfectly fried, it means not dripping with grease, and very crispy. The end result is exactly the aforementioned, seasoned with just the right amount of salt and pepper.

I can’t stress it enough – this is better than most overpriced whatever restaurants we’ve been to. They’re on to something here.

TL;DR: An straight-edge punk divey sober bar with hardcore anti-Instagrammer vibes, with surprisingly delicious comfort food.

Can’t Miss: Breakfast burrito, Fried chicken and waffles, honestly anything breakfast like.

Lil’ Lotus  $ GF

This little flower of a spot offers fast vegan comfort food in the vegan lacking Sugarhouse neighborhood. Expect an assortment of burgers, fries, nachos, and the like, but with a very vegan attitude (Not-yo-cheese, for example). Clearly they are confident in their cheese sauce, as it’s smothered on everything.

Since we were staying near here before the pandemic, we managed to sample most of the menu on our way to a discount Tuesday movie or several.

Much of the menu offers a protein-esque choice of chickpea chorizo or BBQ jackfruit, unless it’s a burger or hot dog. The hot dogs were quite good, and clearly Field Roast Frankfurters – my favorite store-bought hot dogs. Again, well prepared, and with delicious toppings. However, anything with more homemade ingredients, like the cheese sauce on the nachos, or the fry bread tacos with BBQ jack fruit, are the real stars of the show for us. 

The homemade fry bread of the Navajo Tacos is fluffy and soft, and reminds me of sopapillas, a simple Mexican fried dough (maybe not a coincidence, eh?). We suggest you get it with the sweet and tangy BBQ jackfruit. Top it off with homemade crema and cheese sauce, and you’ll be quite pleased.

The nachos are solid, smothered in the aforementioned sauce, crisscrossed with crema, pickled jalapenos, and a scoop of fresh guac. The only disappointing thing was the chickpea chorizo. It wasn’t bad by any means – names just set up expectations. In our experience, anything chorizo is usually crumbly, kinda greasy, or at least crispy, with a bit of a spicy punch. If it was just called Mexican spiced chopped chickpeas, we would have not been disappointed.

TL;DR: the premier neighborhood vegan joint in Sugarhouse offering solid comfort food at affordable prices.

Can’t Miss: The nachos and Navajo tacos. The more homemade, the better. As long as you try the cheese sauce and/or BBQ jack fruit on something, you’ll taste their best.

Vertical Diner $ GF+

IMPORTANT NOTE: We strongly feel that voting with your dollar is an important way to enact social change. With that in mind, Vertical Diner and particular Ian Brandt’s response to Black Lives Matter was poor at best (saying “all lives matter” on social media and then deleting comments that pointed out why this is problematic to say). We felt that readers should be aware of this when deciding places to patronize. We’ll leave our review here, as we had visited before Brandt’s stance came to light.

Vertical Diner, by chef/owner Ian Brandt, serves breakfast all day, straight down to the slightly divey American diner decor. This is a sit-down place with table service, though we included it in this section because it’s more of a casual place than the restaurants in the following section.

Vertical Diner has a large, deliciously greasy menu that also includes beer, wine, and dessert. In the first couple of weeks that we were in SLC, we went here three different times. That’s how much we love this place. Since we came back for our 2020 jaunt, we’ve lost count. Suffice to say, Vertical Diner is still so comfortably nostalgic.

This is a staple vegan restaurant that’s been around for over 10 years (and longer if you start from the other former restaurants before by the same proprietor). There’s nothing quite like the breakfast here at Vertical Diner. The only other as good experience we’ve had is in Portland.

Read more: Our Epic Vegan Guide to Portland

It’s incredible just how good Vertical Diner still is. Between trying each other’s (and our friends’) dishes, we’ve sampled most things on the menu.  Like many restaurant, there are stellar dishes and ones that miss the mark a bit, but everything was still very good quality. Just don’t opt for “healthy” stuff here – they do diner food best. Besides, why would you come to an American diner and order a salad or rice bowl?

Vertical Diner shines with items that they make in house:  creamy vegan cheese, super savory gravy, and anything breakfasty.

We should say outright: we come here exclusively for its diner-style breakfast foods. Their pancakes are the fluffiest, most buttermilk tasting yet they’re entirely vegan. Their hand-cut fries are perfectly fried and crispy – not oily. I still wonder how they make their breakfast sausage. It has a meaty, packed together texture, with that breakfast sausage seasoning you always remember, like fennel seed and just the right amount of too-much-salt goodness.

And as if they haven’t done enough, many items are gluten-free, and most of the menu can be made gluten-free!

Also they have a few desserts, but the tiramisu stole my heart. It’s got a thick, mascarpone cheese-like cheese layering that has a tangy, cheesy taste, with coffee drenched cake, dusted with cinnamon. It’s really quite perfect, and the closest replica to the vegetarian dessert I loved. But honestly, when it’s this good, I don’t care how close it is to the original.

TL;DR: diner-style food made vegan, with the corresponding diner atmosphere.

Can’t Miss: our pick for the best vegan breakfast in Salt Lake City: tofu scrambles, sausage patties(housemade!), pancakes, french toast – “The Avalanche” and “Dude Cakes” dishes have most of these though you can order and compile them on one table (we definitely have). There are so many choices, and we’ve tried so many with friends, that it’s hard to go wrong here. For an appetizer get the tender tigers. For dessert, get their housemade tiramisu.

Fine(r) Dining Vegan Restaurants in Salt Lake City

These vegan restaurants in SLC are nicer spots that would be perfect for a date night or special occasion. Of course, you can go here whenever (and we have), but just to give an idea of what the vibe is like, it’s a step above the restaurants we talked about in the previous section.

Boltcutter $$ GF

Hot damn Boltcutter cuts to the point. Mexican inspired fare, with a flair for chic decor. They want you to feel that being vegan is cool AND classy. Run by the same folks behind Bud’s, they’ve got the same sense of layering fantastic flavors with lots of homemade ingredients. Boltcutter also offers a dizzying array of cocktails and other handcrafted beverages.

It’s a small menu and we’re super glad for it. Too often places have artificially inflated menus. Let’s face it, there are only so many ingredients a restaurant can have on hand. Here they keep it simple, with about a dozen items between the appetizers and entrees.

Not to miss are the nachos and burrito (make sure to get it with the sin carne asada – housemade marinated seitan), along with anything that they pickle in-house. Flavors explode while textures abound. I was particularly impressed with their cashew and brown rice-based cheese sauce for the nachos. Cashews give it the dairy richness, while rice adds a more milky flavor yet thicker, gooier texture, which is what we all want in nacho cheese. You want that sauce to stick to your chips, not slide over and puddle under.

The nachos have plenty of cheese – the most important point! I wouldn’t want it the other way around. This is also on top of their house-fried tortilla chips, which are just so damn corny and crispy. You just can’t get tortilla chips like this in stores.

The burrito tortilla was softly steamed, and well wrapped, as well as well stuffed. Usually, I don’t care about potatoes in my burrito unless it’s a breakfast burrito. But damn, I could’ve just eaten a plate of these potatoes solo. However, the real star of the burrito show was the sin carne asada.

They clearly go to great lengths to get the flavor and texture just right here. It’s chewy, smokey, and meaty. There’s a layering of flavor here I haven’t quite deciphered, but it’s definitely one of the best Mexican inspired mock meats I’ve had in a long while, other than the “chofu”: a chorizo inspired tofu crumble at a “Taco Joint” kinda place in Greensboro.

Read more: Greensboro Vegan Guide

Not to be outdone is the tempeh tacos. Anytime I see something advertising that it’s made in house, and is something that you rarely find, I got to have it. It’s the corn tortillas here, and whens the last time you had fresh made corn tortillas?

The battered tempeh was perfectly fried and crispy, a tangy creamy sauce on top, with crunchy cabbage. It honestly reminded me of the fish tacos I used to love (though do note they aren’t going for fishy here). Tempeh truly has a unique texture, that’s sort of dense when cold, but lighter when cooked, and crumbles and cleaves in chunks unlike tofu. Choosing to use tempeh here over tofu was a great choice.

Regarding portions, they know exactly what they’re doing here, as somehow we still had just enough room for dessert. Conveniently that’s where Monkeywrench (next door) comes in. See their dessert coffee bar and ice cream parlor next door in the bakery section below.

And how often do you a see a vegan restaurant with such a great list of cocktails? On another visit, we tried the seasonal special which was a blackberry margarita; still a sour beverage but with sweet/tart blackberry bursts. Their standard margarita is sure to please, which I also tried, fresh and limey. We also tried the fried Brussel sprouts – an excellent drink accompaniment. We’ve had the pickle platter before but just be ready for an onslaught of sour. Also note that in SLC, you can’t just drink at a restaurant – you must order some food. We learned this when we strolled in for a couple of drinks.

TL;DR: in their words “gourmet street tacos and central American classics.” In my words “Mexican inspired fare with a ton of cocktails in a chic date ambiance.”

Note: Has gluten-free options, just ask your server.

Seasons Plant Based Bistro  $$$ GF

Seasons is all about indulgent yet gourmet comfort food that we all miss as vegans. We had quite the tour de force at this upscale plant-based restaurant, where everything is extra homemade. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience you couldn’t find elsewhere, you’re done looking.

And by the way, we’ve tried other vegan restaurants in this gourmet tier like Plant in Asheville. We’re also talking about fancy places in NYC, where we are from. Honestly, Seasons beats them all. Are we saying these other places aren’t good? Not at all (except for a highly overrated Candle 79 in NYC that closed in 2019), as Plant had some of the best gourmet vegan comfort food we’ve ever had. Until we tried Seasons Bistro!

Places like Seasons give us all the more reason for us to repeat just how underrated the SLC vegan scene is. While of course we have our favorites in NYC and across the country, to find so many gems all in one place and in such a smaller city comparatively, is truly impressive. It’s also indicative of how hardcore the vegan scene here.

Seasons’ big claims to fame are their fresh house made pasta and cheese.

As an appetizer, the fondue is easily shared by two or three persons, with a simple and fresh assortment of veggies, fruit, and bread for dipping. The chardonnay reduction shines through the initial tart cheesiness bringing it to gourmet levels.

And how often have you seen fresh pasta that’s vegan? This is a can’t miss – no matter the dish. Whether it’s parpadelle or ravioli, make sure you try some fresh pasta. It has a super chewy center and a soft tender outside that perfectly adheres to any sauce they toss on, whether brothy or creamy. The stroganoff cream sauce is as rich and smooth as it sounds, strogan-me-off into plant-based orgasm.

Even the pasta alone would please, but they go even further by topping it with breaded mushrooms that were so crispy on the outside and tenderly cooked on the inside. Then they layered in other flavors, like a garnish of smoked paprika oil, considerately streaked on the side, so you can dip in at your leisure with a forkful of noodles. Then just to add another layer of flavor pop, they topped it off with lightly roasted grape tomatoes that burst with every bite.

One of my personal favorite foods of all time is fresh ravioli. I thought I knew ravioli until someone brought home fresh ravioli. It’s even harder to find vegan, as I had yet to try a memorable one at a restaurant until now.

Somehow at Seasons, they managed to stuff these ravs with a filling that looks and feels like squash, but tastes just like butter. After every bite I gazed at the inside, trying to see if their secrets would unfold in front of me, but then I was suddenly interrupted by the ravioli leaping into my mouth and down my gullet like a flying fish into a pelican’s gaping beak.

Seasons more than satisfied my nostalgia for the very typical New York Italian dish of sausage and peppers that I grew up eating. Seasons’ sausage was crumbly but juicy, and crispy on the outside like pan-fried sausage. The seasoning was on point with a strong fennel taste, just like sweet Italian sausage should have. The sausage could be its own solo dish served with veggies, and even the same could be said about the ravioli.

Not to be outdone, the desserts are entirely seasonal. We shared a tiramisu which was well executed but I wish the cake wasn’t so dry. Tiramisu consists of cake drenched in espresso, topped with mascarpone aka Italian cream cheese. So it should be a creamy wet experience, but luckily Season’s already got that base covered with the stroganoff.

Their vegan cheese game is also top-notch. After experiencing so many artisan gourmet vegan cheese across the US and Europe, I can confidently say that at a minimum you must buy the 5 buck wheel of Boursin style cheese (tangy, salty, creamy, and cultured), even if you can’t manage to catch a table here. You can also pick up their cheese at HelloBulk! (see below).

TL;DR: Upscale gourmet comfort food that’s completely handcrafted and made from scratch, with a price point to match. Food is very seasonal.

Can’t Miss: Our personal favorite dishes here? Everything we tried. Literally. But any pasta dish. Try at least a pasta dish, and work your way around that.

Note: Not entirely gluten-free like Zest, but offers a few dishes that are already so, and can do gluten-free by request. They don’t want any modifications unless due to an allergy and I don’t blame them.

Zest Kitchen $$$ GF+

Zest recently became all vegan and it totally makes sense – they already have a great sense of serving fresh and delicious plant-based food so why would they continue to bother with any dairy?

Everything is gluten-free and organic, which makes it even more impressive. They’re also a lounge and they have a huge drinks selection. This is one of the most upscale vegan restaurants in Salt Lake City. Add on the all-organic tag, and it won’t come cheap – add tip and tax and you’ll be over $20 a person.  Though it’s worth it as the visiting this place is an experience unto itself.

We first came here with Sam’s visiting aunt and were able to share many dishes. We gave it another try come our second visit, and they are still slinging solid food here.

For appetizers, we had deviled avocados and lightly sautéed Brussel sprouts.

Avocado appetizer at Zest, one of the best vegan restaurants in Salt Lake City

My taco salad with walnut stuffing was especially bright in flavor. Sam’s zucchini noodles were lightly cooked enough to soften but retain structural integrity. Her aunt’s mushroom stew was super rich tasting. It’s truly vegan cuisine designed by a chef. If you’re a whole-foods plant-based vegan, then you’ll love this spot.

That being said, we hadn’t been in a hurry to try this place, and afterward, didn’t plan on coming back. Even after our second visit. Was it bad? Not at all – please see all the aforementioned. While everything was good, the price is a big point for us, and we can’t afford to make this place a regular stop (especially considering the 7 buck subs at Bud’s). Plus, there were certain things that just bugged us on our recent visit, like that Zest’s nachos were made with the same whatever tortilla chips from the grocery store (a far cry from Boltcutter’s high quality chips).

Though lot of the items definitely take a lot of work and craft with quality ingredients – we don’t deny that.

TL;DR: Exactly as advertised – fresh, organic, carefully crafted upscale vegan food & drinks with the corresponding markup, a boon for whole foods oriented vegans.

Can’t Miss: the fresher, healthier fare, as any comfort food imitations, like nachos, miss the mark. Meaning, well, dare I say it? Just grab a bowl, fresh juice, or cocktail.

oyster mushroom stew at Zest - vegan restaurants in Salt Lake City, Utah

Vegan Bakery in Salt Lake City

There is such a great selection of vegan bakeries in SLC that we have to give them their own section. A few of them serve lunch and dinner, so for info on that see our restaurant section. For baked goods – keep reading! Bakeries offering vegan options will be in the vegetarian restaurants in SLC section.

Passion Flour Patisserie $ GF

Passion flour is one of the best vegan patisseries we know, with only comparable options in Miami (L’Artisane), and recently New York at Terms of Endearment.

Read more: Vegan Guide to Brooklyn

That Passion Flour has been open since 2015 is even more commendable, taking such a big risk in unchartered vegan territory. It’s bold entrepreneurs and innovators like this that need to pave the way to delicious pastried vegan glory.

Sam and I, like many vegans, never thought we’d have bagels with cream cheese, pizza, glasses of milk, and most pastries, including my beloved croissants, ever again, when we converted to plant-based paganism. Places like Passion Flour change all that.

Fortunately, veganism has come a long way, and it’s never been easier nor more enjoyable to be vegan. Passion Flour is part of this new vegan generation. They offer plain croissants, chocolate croissants, “ham” and “cheese” croissants, sticky buns, quiche, and more. This is not your usual corner store bakery – Passion Flour calls itself a patisserie for a good reason: the proprietor is a trained French pastry chef, and the proof is in the pastry.

So just how legit are their croissants?

First one must ask: what makes a good croissant? I can answer that thanks to my French grandmother. A croissant should be many-layered, flaky and crisp on the outside, and buttery soft in the middle. Half of the experience is texture, with the layers flaking off while the soft middle stretching as you tear it apart. The flavor should border on the fine line between savory and sweet, but with a strong buttery finish. And that’s exactly what you’ll experience here.

We first experienced this place when it opened years ago, and it was officially the best vegan croissant we had ever tried then. Years and many vegan croissants later, it still contends with the best. Passionflour’s croissants feel uniquely textured – you can tell someone made it by hand. It’s flaky, but with less total layers than one might be used to in a croissant. Now a good vegan croissant is already rarity, but add a croissant aux amande aka an almond vegan croissant? This means it’s dusted with ground almond, topped with baked almonds, and filled with marzipan (sweetened almond paste).

There are just too many things here to try, and not enough calories in a day to try them all. Madeleines, fruit tarts, macarons (4 kinds!), croissants (savory and sweet), cookies, cupcakes, cheesecake, and more. What’s particularly impressive is how well French pastry staples are reproduced in vegan form here.

When’s the last time you’ve seen vegan macarons?

A macaron is all about texture, as the cookie is quite literally eggs and sugar, while the cream filling is butter and sugar. The cookie part is airy and gently collapses as you bite down, with a sweet, nutty finish (in this case the pistachio) that sticks to your teeth, and it just feels oh-so-decadent.

It’s really about subtlety in flavor, predominated by the texture of the cookie, and the creamy soft little layer of buttercream in the middle. Even Sam who’s never had a macaron before was blown away by the texture and flavor.

However, if more heaping amounts of butter are your jam, then go for the oatmeal cookie sandwich; chewy, sweet, and cinnamony with an I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter level of filling. No, I don’t mean it tastes like the “buttery” spread product peddled by Fabio. It’s just that it tastes so damn buttery, you’ll wonder if she maybe, just maybe, put butter in it.

Make sure to plan ample time for your visit. The interior has this cozy, minimalist decor, accented with some ivy plants, wooden tables and chairs, along with a couch towards the back that beckon you to sit down awhile. The counter help is especially patient, allowing us to wax nostalgia over the options, as they’re probably used to this reaction from customers. We love a chill cafe, so this was a big bonus.

Oh and they have some of the best espresso drinks with plant milk in town.

TL;DR: Real deal French pastry chef level pastries that won’t have you missing the dairy, served in a chic laid-back atmosphere

Can’t Miss: amazing pastries like the croissant, macaron, virtually anything here you don’t try, you’re missing out, so plan to come back.

The Big O Doughnuts 

These Doughnuts gave me a big O alright. I’d been pleased with just donuts, but apparently they weren’t. They also offer an assortment of iced flavors, a maple bar, and even some gluten-free donuts, along with rice crispy treats (very rare to begin with, since the recipe calls for butter and marshmallows, which usually have gelatin)!

But this is a doughnut place first and foremost. Come here for the donuts. I’m always looking for simplicity in my doughnuts, and they delivered with a plain glazed with a hint of vanilla. It was super soft, fluffy, and not oily at all – pro fryers here.

You can opt for big or small donuts. I felt the bigger ones were fluffier and moister, but not enough of a difference that you’d notice if only having one size. But if you’re all about max moisture and super pull-apart softness, the iced maple bar is hard to beat.

Honestly –  why aren’t donuts all vegan yet when they can taste this good?

On occasion, they feature uncommon combos, like a fried chicken and waffle donut. We tried it and while it was fun, with just a bite-sized piece of waffle and fried chicken, it left me wishing it came entree-sized. But some people really love this sort of novelty and I especially support vegan donuts trying to match the ridiculousness of most meat-on-meat plus more meat products.

They offer drinks like tea and coffee to go with your goodies! Get a cafe au lait, which at Big O is half drip and half milk, (go for oat milk), and you’ll have the perfect dipping coffee. Grab a seat on one of the couches and enjoy the great vibe of the spot.

TL;DR: excellent donut shop plus other treats in light-filled, artsy atmosphere

Can’t Miss: Their donuts of course. All varieties we’ve tried are delicious but I prefer simpler the better and while they have other treats, the donuts are the stars.

Note: Get a card, and after purchasing ten items you get something free!

City Cakes Bakery GF+

City Cakes is a classic American style bakery offering cookies, brownies, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, and more. They have tons of gluten-free options. You can also buy their cookie dough, sauces, and other pre-made yumminess there. Sam’s not ashamed to admit that she ate almost a whole tub of their cookie dough in a couple of days.

When it comes to traditional old fashioned sweets, they’re hard to beat. The butter cream tastes exactly what I remember it to be, salty, sweet, and a slight tang. What’s especially impressive are the gluten-free goodies. I’m a big fan of the brownie which is especially fudgy, dense, thick, and has a bonus pat of buttercream frosting. You’ll need a fork to eat this. And unless you’re eating solo, get it to share with a friend.

You can easily find many of their products in stores too (Whole Foods, Harmons, and Natural Grocers).

TL; DR:  Your usual American baked goodies in vegan form, plus many gluten free as well.

Can’t Miss: the cookies, the cakes, but hot damn that gluten-free brownie! Oh and a tub of the cookie dough to-go.

Note: has locations in both Salt Lake City and Draper City.

Monkey Wrench $ GF 

Also from the folks behind Buds and Boltcutter, this is an all vegan ice cream and coffee shop! It’s pure ice cream parlor nostalgia. As soon as you enter, you’ll see the display case of a dozen ice creams, all made in house.

Beyond chocolate, strawberry (with actual chunks of the berry in it), and vanilla, they have rocky road, mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, and rotating special flavors. Then there are some more recent trends, like Earl Grey Tea and Funfetti. All the flavors are deliciously on point, and all of the ice cream is creamy and smooth. On top of all this, they have tons of fresh baked goods, including their own waffle cones.

And a special mention: their amazing fudge brownies. Most often, vegan brownies are like a dense cake, but are too dry and crumbly. Not here – these brownies put the fudge in fudge brownies. These brownies have that crispy thin, hardtop shell, and thick, inner density that you could ball into fudge if you wanted, but instead you’ll settle for sinking your teeth slowly into. I’ve lost count of how many times I ate this brownie.

We’ve made so many return visits and this place instantly became a favorite. Try some of their excellent coffee. Affogato (espresso with ice cream), anyone? Affo-what? Ah fuhgeddaboudit.

TL;DR: entirely vegan ice cream parlor and coffee shop with lots of baked goodies – all made in-house. Need we say more?

Can’t Miss: ice cream, duh. Our fav flavors were funfetti and mint, but cookie dough and cookies and cream are popular as well. But that baked in-house fudge brownie is possibly my favorite ever.

Vegetarian Restaurants in Salt Lake City

Surprisingly, there are no places that advertise as vegetarian restaurants in Salt Lake City that are not already entirely vegan.

Chocolate Conspiracy $GF+

We kept meaning to try this raw chocolate place, but the prices just pushed it off our budget traveler radar.

They call themselves a “bean to bar” chocolate establishment and source their organic, fairtrade, kosher cacao from a cooperative involving indigenous peoples in Peru. Their whole setup is impressive. They never use soy, gluten, dairy, or egg, but their primary sweetener is honey.

But! We still champion their right to make fancy raw artisanal chocolates, and understand that they don’t come cheap! $9 for a peanut butter cup! If it weighed a pound, then maybe we’d consider. Do know that many people rave about them.

The staff is familiar with which chocolates do not have honey – just ask.

TL;DR: Expensive gourmet raw artisan chocolate

Note: Although their home base is SLC, they have dozens, if not almost a hundred locations that carry their chocolates, even across the continent in NYC!

Omni Restaurants with Notable Vegan Food in Salt Lake City

Here we will focus on the most vegan-friendly restaurants in SLC, not places that just offer the usual tired vegan options (like salad, fries, and tasteless veggie burgers) and avoid listing chains like Chipotle, PF Changs, and other boring interstate crapperies.

Note that there is also a restaurant group consisting of Piper Down Pub, the Ice Haus, and Handle Bar, with separate vegan menus. We tried Handle Bar and it was incredibly mediocre, so we didn’t get around to trying the others. But a lot of people rave about the other two places.

Our attitude is this: with so many 100% vegan places, give us a damn good reason to try your vegan options. These ones below make the cut.

Mi Ranchito $$ GF

If you told us that there was a vegan buffet that served maybe half a dozen dishes, we’d be ecstatic. Now if that buffet turned out to be authentic homemade Mexican cuisine veganized by PETA’s famous Sexiest Vegan of 2015, Victor Ivan Barragan Razo aka The Solar Fire Ninja, with a selection of over two dozen dishes, we would need a word that means beyond ecstatic. And that’s what we found in SLC.

vegan Mexican buffet in SLC
Three aisles of buffet!

Mi Ranchito has been around since the eighties, with frequent regulars forming the backbone of the clientele. The place is huge, with 3 dining areas: two on either side of the entrance, and an even larger room in the back. They offer traditional Mexican food, with buffets on weekends. The vegan buffet was born when Victor came through in autumn 2015. Under his guidance and direction, a new vegan menu was born, along with the Friday all-vegan buffet.

From the beginning, the turnout had exceeded expectations and to this day still does. The owner has been very pleased too, as the vegan buffet is cheaper to produce than the regular version. Many Mexican meat dishes require hours of labor to prepare, and many animal products don’t come cheap. With the money earned, they’ve been able to commission an artist to create murals and handcrafted chairs and tables.

We cannot rave enough about the food here. If you think that buffet food can’t be high quality, you clearly haven’t tried this place. This is not Golden Corral or Chuck-o-Rama (seriously, who thought up that name?).

If this wasn’t beyond enough, all this can be yours for only $15 and it comes with horchata (sweetened rice beverage made here with soy milk). If it’s Friday night from 5 – 10 pm, the buffet is all vegan. Presumably, you can still order the regular menu, if your non-vegan friends are so inclined. But we’ve heard from Victor himself that many have been converted to the veggie club by the sheer deliciousness of the food.

The choices feel endless. There are three kinds of stir fry for fajitas (see the homemade tortillas), two kinds of enchiladas, burritos, tamales, two types of rice, black beans, chips, salsa, GUACAMOLE, corn on the cob, fruit and a salad bar, all of which is so damn fresh. They even have not-typical items like maduros (fried sweet plantains), roasted potatoes, candied yams, and soups. There’s even nopales (cactus), a typical Mexican food that’s often overshadowed by dairy slathered abominations.

While I don’t remember these aforementioned dishes as Mexican traditions, food culture is always in flux and changes. While many Americans think that cow’s milk cheese is inseparable from Mexican food (usually smothered all over its bastard brethren Tex Mex), all that dairy is actually a product of colonialism.

It’s great to be back, and I just absolutely love this place. There’s just something so comforting about this food, and it’s really nostalgic for me, as I spent my childhood in a very Mexican small town in California.

Personal favorite dishes are the chicken mole, the enchilada verde, the bean and cheese red sauced burrito, the tamale, guacamole, and even though they don’t make it, the awesome vegan sour cream.

While there is a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies, these are things I can find and eat anywhere. So for me, it’s all about loading up on the authentic Mexican style guacamole on top of enchiladas, and the stuffed poblano pepper (has a bit of heat). But you definitely can’t miss the freshly made flour tortillas – once you try these you’ll never be able to go back to store-bought (willingly). Oh and freshly fried tortilla chips. And fried crispy dough that Sam loved.

And if you’re not into faux meats, there’s always plenty of vegetable options for each category, whether its spinach and portobello for the fajitas, pinto bean stuffed enchiladas. People also go crazy for taquitos and papusas, but honestly, fried stuff will always taste extra good cus of the extra fat and I’ve been there done that. I want the less common things that are harder to do well, and that they do in spades here.

TL;DR: All-you-can-eat Authentic Mexican food made vegan

Can’t Miss: the vegan buffet only on Fridays. Vegan menu available all other times, but the buffet is an experience we haven’t seen elsewhere and just way more fun.

Enchiladas at the vegan buffet at Mi Ranchito, a vegan-friendly restaurant in SLC

Este Pizzeria $ GF

This place has some of best NY style pizza outside of New York. It’s so good they have lines at lunch in the downtown location (make sure to go to the downtown location as they have far more vegan options). Furthermore, it’s a Utahn establishment, so definitely give it a try.

Unfortunately the last few times we tried Este they were very skimpy on the vegan toppings. We think this is due to the pandemic, and maybe shortages, but even then, stores were full of the same vegan cheeses they use. The last time was so bad, I ran out to the store to get more cheese. We know this wasn’t always the case as we had tried the Sugarhouse location pre-pandemic, along with our original review below:

Fortunately, we tried Este when visiting Park City and had a much more low-key experience than the crazily packed downtown location. There are no vegan restaurants in Park City, but Este has a separate all vegan menu. We ordered the lasagna pizza and were in vegan pizza heaven. Unless you’re using homemade cheese, the trick to doing vegan pizza right is lots of toppings, and not overcooking as plant-based substitutions rarely require actual cooking.

Order yourself a pie or two, right next to your lactivore friends – you won’t feel left out. They also serve vegan chicken wings with homemade vegan ranch as well as delicious garlic knots.

TL;DR: The best vegan pizza in Salt Lake City, in our opinions! Unfortunately though, since the pandemic, they’ve been super skimpy with the vegan toppings the last two times we went (and equally skimpy between two locations, so it’s no accident).

Can’t Miss: Any of their vegan pie specials from the downtown location, as Sugarhouse offered nothing more than vegan cheese. Go for stuff with homemade toppings, like the meatballs on the lasagna pizza. Plan to split a pizza with a friend, as vegan slices are limited if at all offered.

Note: Has three locations – two in Salt Lake City, and one in Park City, and a deli location that just serves sandwiches. They serve Daiya cheese, which is hit or miss for many vegans. They also serve a gluten-free crust upon request.

garlic knots

The Kathmandu $$ GF

If you’re into the more common subcontinental food of India, Nepali cuisine will feel familiar: lots of curries, fried things, and rice.

We went to Kathmandu for the lunch buffet. It was delicious, with ingredients listed on every item, and virtually 80% of it was vegan and gluten-free. There were at least 4 vegan entrees, like coconut curried chickpeas, something with spinach, yellow lentils, a couple of salads,  fried potato and veggie chunks. There were two meat items at the end, and there were a few items made with cow’s milk. So we had plenty to choose from, and ate several plates between us, with Veren doing most of the damage.

The restaurant had a very relaxing ambiance. The staff was very friendly and genuinely interested in our enjoyment of the food. All the windows were covered with tapestries, and statues and ornaments adorned the walls. They even had a couple of HDTVs playing photo slideshows of presumably Nepal, with a variety of contributors (guessing on the varying styles of composition).

The lunch buffet is a fair price, and the food is fresh and well made. This isn’t food we care to eat regularly, as with the fried-ness, the oiliness, and spice, it can be heavy duty for your gut. So the arrangement isn’t quite a steal, and if you can’t eat several people’s worth of food like Veren, you’d probably be satisfied going in for an à la carte lunch or dinner.

TL;DR:  authentic Nepali food with solid vegan options

Can’t Miss: the lunch buffet is most cost-effective, and you get a good variety.

Note: lots of a fried and very spicy food – bring your tums.

Eating In: Grocery Stores with Plentiful Vegan Goodies

You can’t eat out all the time – we certainly can’t, nor would we want to. The key to sustainable travel for peons like us is affordability. So that means you’re preparing at least eighty to ninety percent of your meals at home.

Read on for our review of SLC’s impressive array of grocery stores, all with tons of vegan options.

Hello!Bulk

Fellow sustainable travelers and aspiring zero-wasters rejoice! Salt Lake City now has its very own bulk store!

Read more: 20 Sustainable Travel Tips for the Conscious Traveler

Hello!Bulk is an awesome new store in the up-and-coming Granary District, northwest of downtown SLC. Opened in early 2019, founder and owner Jamaica Trinnaman had worked in grocery stores for years and was continuously frustrated with the lack of bulk options and unnecessary excess packaging. So she opened Hello!Bulk!

We first found out about Hello!Bulk thanks to a cheese-tasting event that Seasons (see above) was holding there. Little did we know that we’d discover such a cool shop and make friends with one of Seasons’ cheese-makers (a fellow vegan Sam – check out her amazing jewelry made from reclaimed materials).

Side notes about cheese and new friends aside, Hello!Bulk is definitely worth your visit, especially if you’ve never been to a bulk store. They’ve got over 300 bulk products, with all the normal bulk goodies but also a sizable liquid bulk section that includes tamari, agave, cleaning products, and more. They’ve also got tons of spices, teas, pasta, various powders, and more. Bring your own container and fill up, or you can use provided paper bag for dry goods. Glass containers are on sale for any liquids as well.

For some takeaway vegan treats, check out the fridge filled with locally made prepared foods!

Anamalia

Anamalia is another woman-owned (yaass) bulk store in SLC!

Anamalia focuses on home, personal wellness, and cleaning products, such as deodorant, soap, cleaners, shampoos, lotions, toothpaste tablets, etc. All refill products are cruelty free and use only plant-based ingredients.

They do also have locally made kombucha on tap, and its delicious!

Anamalia only sources from brands that are ethical and sustainable in all aspects, with natural ingredients and fair trade practices. In addition to the bulk items, you can pick up other zero waste products such reusable coffee cups, bulk bags, locally made jewelry, menstrual cups, reusable straws, and more.

Sprouts

This is what Whole Foods wishes it was. It’s like Trader Joes and Whole Foods had a baby but bred out the Wholly terrible customers. It’s as cheap and sometimes even cheaper than Trader Joe’s, but with better produce. They even have their own line of products AND 72-hour sales where their prices just get insane, like ten plus pound watermelons for two bucks!

The defining characteristic of this place is that produce is smack center, with bulk items in front, and groceries off to the sides. They have tons of vegan products everywhere you look. The usual supermarket staples plus many more. They also carry a great New York based vegan ice cream, Van Leeuwen’s.

TL;DR:  Possibly the best place for produce, sales, and selection of products, reusable bag discount.

Natural Grocers

If Sprouts isn’t enough, two Salt Lake City sized (read: massive) blocks away is this large yet modestly presented natural health food store. They also have another in Sugar House very near to where we were house sitting. Their produce is exclusively organic, and the rest of the grocery is reasonably priced. The big clincher is the discount and clearance items. Stuff nearing their expiration date gets the price chopped up to half.

Even non-sale items are competitively priced and they’ll sometimes carry different vegan products than Sprout’s. Basically check between these two stores and you’ll find all your specialty vegan needs.

The staff are genuinely friendly, and never in a hurry. Bring bags as they don’t have any. If you forget, you can use one of the cardboard boxes they keep for that purpose. They also host community events, like food tastings and workshops.

TL;DR:  Great selection of organic and local products, especially for specialty items, discount, clearance, and organic produce.

Note: Bring your own bag cus they won’t have any!

Trader Joe’s

If you don’t know Joe, we don’t know you. They’re reliably cheap, even for specialty vegan products (like organic tempeh and super firm tofu), and the stores are run like well-oiled machines. Staff are always willing to help. For us, TJ’s is about key items: frozen fruit, organic frozen spinach, coconut oil, nuts, tofu, tempeh, and the like are the cheapest here. But when it comes to fresh produce, Sprouts undersells them.

TL;DR: Free food samples (read: coffee), competitive prices for their line of products.

Chinatown Supermarket

You’ll know you’ve arrived when you go through the giant Chinese arch gateway to the parking lot. If you’re looking for East and/or Southeast Asian food, it’s here. If anyone else has the same product, it will still be significantly cheaper here. We like to stock up on rice vinegar, nori, jasmine rice, sushi rice, sweet rice, frozen no msg dumplings, veggie buns, ginger, and Chinese eggplant here.

Come for:  Lots of yummy, cheap Asian grocery and specialty items.

Note:  Far from downtown.

More Resources for Vegan Salt Lake City

There’s a ton of places to get your vegan SLC on.

SLCvegan: This Facebook group is huge and very active. They’ve been helpful in sharing this article when we originally posted it, along with helpful critiques. If you’ve got a vegan question, they’ve got a vegan answer.

Friendly Food Truck Family: Food event that does a round up of vegan food trucks.

HappyCow: Of course, no visit to any city should be without a look into happycow. It’s what we do every time we go somewhere, new and old.

Velo City Bags: Handmade vegan bags literally handmade by this couple. Designed for the rugged urban Utahn on the go. Products are made locally but sold online as there’s no storefront.

Further Utah Reading:

Live in or visiting Salt Lake City? Check out our other Utah posts:

Three Hot Springs Near Salt Lake City

Arches vs Canyonlands? Which Utah National Park to Visit

6 Types of People Who Will Love Salt Lake City

Have you been to Salt Lake City or would like to go? Which are your favorite vegan restaurants in SLC? Please comment with your recommendations for any new vegan spots or places with vegan options that we have missed – that way next time we’ll know where to go! 

*Editor’s note: This post was originally posted in July 2016 and has since been updated tremendously. Latest update: July 2020.

Traveling vegan and looking for vegan restaurants in Salt Lake City? Maybe you're just trying to find some different places to eat in Salt Lake City? SLC is a very vegan friendly city in the U.S. with fabulous vegan restaurants, including a vegan French Patisserie, a vegan Mexican buffet, a vegan donut shop, and more! Click the link to read our Ultimate Vegan Guide to SLC - the only resource you need for all your plant based Salt Lake City needs. #VeganTravel #Vegan #SLC #SaltLakeCity #PlantBased
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