Indiana is commonly known as the crossroads of America, so it’s no surprise that this is where you’ll find some of the best vegan restaurants. Indianapolis hosts a very diverse vegan cuisine with influences from all over the world.
The city has vegan, vegetarian, region-specific, and fusion restaurants as well, which means that it will take you a long time to sample everything. To make things easier, check out the following top picks for the best vegan restaurants Indianapolis has to offer and visit a few of them before heading to the big race.
1. The Sinking Ship
The Sinking Ship has established itself as one of the best vegan restaurants Indianapolis has to offer. Even though it has a bar-like setting rather than a traditional restaurant design, it is the best place in the city if you’re looking for bar food with a vegan twist. Thanks to its varied menu, it is also a place where you can bring your meat-eating friends.
The seitan wings are among the most popular dishes on the menu any day of the week. You can also try the chili dogs, taquitos dorados with buff jackfruit, the burgers, and the house salads. The Buffalo Cobb salad also comes with a choice of buffalo chicken or jackfruit, but it’s hard to tell between the two, so make sure to get your order right.
2. Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe
You can visit Ezra’s on 6516 Ferguson Street if you’re in the mood for sampling a true international vegan menu. The restaurant calls its food "enlightened." Whether that's true is up for debate, but one thing is certain: their vegan selection makes Ezra’s one of the best vegan restaurants Indianapolis has to offer.
You can start off with a fresh smoothie while waiting for your soup of the day, or you can choose from their salad and wraps menu. The sweet potato quinoa burger wrap is a crowd favorite. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can also try the pizza of the moment, which is generally made with fresh ingredients from local suppliers.
Last but not least, be sure to order some kale chips or curried sunflower seeds if you want something to snack on while engaging in ‘enlightened’ conversation over the Fall Detox or the Bloody Beet juice.
3. Greenleaf Juicing Company
Just because your menu includes more juices than salads and sides, doesn’t mean that you can’t be among the best vegan restaurants. Indianapolis is a diverse city and, as previously stated, the menus are quite varied from one vegan eatery to another.
GLC may focus a lot more on fresh juices and smoothies, but they also have a good selection of hearty bowls you can dig into. You can order acai bowls, quinoa bowls, quinoa salads, as well as chia bowls if you’re aching for something sweet.
Keep in mind that each of these dishes comes in at least three variants, so the menu is a lot more diverse than it originally appears. There are plenty of things to try, which is also one of the reasons why you can eat here quite often if you’re staying in Indianapolis for longer.
4. Public Greens
The Public Greens urban kitchen has two locations in Indianapolis. You can go to Broad Ripple on 902 E 64th Street or the Fashion Mall on 8702 Keystone Crossing. Both locations feature the same menu and are open seven days a week.
One of the most interesting things about this place is that it has its own micro farm which supplies the kitchen. Is that enough to make it one of the best vegan restaurants Indianapolis has ever seen? Not on its own, but then there’s also the menu.
The menu includes full plates, salads, snacks, as well as a decent assortment of proteins for your meat-eating travel partners. There’s a bit of everything on the Public Greens menu, but there’s still a heavy emphasis on vegan dishes and fresh ingredients. Public Green also donates part of its proceeds to the Patachou Foundation which fights childhood hunger in Indianapolis.
5. Garden Table
Garden Table is not your traditional restaurant either. However, its fixer-upper interior design and fresh menu crown it one of the best vegan restaurants. Indianapolis residents have been impressed for quite some time by the quality of the food as well as the mission of using freshly harvested ingredients on a daily basis.
If you’re looking for a vegan eatery/juicery that lets you pick your dish from inventive seasonal menus, this is the place to visit when you’re in the mood for sweet, savory, and a bit spicy.
The jalapeno cornbread with warm tempeh and sage chimichurri is a crowd favorite. If you’re looking for something lighter, you may try one of the many sweet and minty acai bowl variations. Whichever way you go, Garden Table takes care of you whether you’re hungry, thirsty, or both.
6. Burger Fuel
Burger Fuel is one of those places that you either hate or love, but most Indianapolis residents seem to be drawn to this New Zealand fast food chain. Although it serves plenty of meat-based burgers, the vegan menu is also plentiful, so this is a non-meat eater’s hotspot in Indy.
The kitchen setup is pretty smart as they use separate workstations and equipment to handle vegan and animal products-based food. The setting is also quite interesting as it doesn’t give out the traditional busy fast-food joint vibe. Instead, Burger Fuel has a classy design that manages to incorporate a punk rock theme pretty well too.
If you’re craving a veggie burger, try the crumbled pumpkin, chickpea, and ginger patty. You can top it off with vegan aioli or provolone. The mushroom basil and truffle mascarpone patty is also a favorite and a great choice if you want to eat something a bit fancy.
Whether you’re visiting Indy for the race or just passing by, spend some extra time in America’s crossroad and enjoy eating at some of the best vegan restaurants. Indianapolis offers rich menus with dishes from around the world. It also has plenty of vegan eateries that work closely with local farmers and suppliers so that the customers always get fresh ingredients.