It’s easy being vegan in Buffalo, NY! Buffalo, New York is a very vegan-friendly city. While there aren’t too many entirely plant-based establishments, there’s no shortage of vegetarian and vegan meals at local restaurants.
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This is a Buffalo vegan restaurant guide so the herbivores in the crowd won’t go hungry when you travel to Buffalo. I’ll show you the best 100% plant-based restaurants, as well as the vegan-friendly ones that have fantastic veggie offerings. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, or veg-curious, definitely use this guide to help you eat your way around the city!
Vegan Buffalo NY: Big Mood
Please note that our below review is from Root & Bloom. They’ve since rebranded to become “Big Mood” and changed their menu a bit. We can’t wait to check out Big Mood!
After spending a year traveling across the country, sampling delicious plant-based eats as they went, the owners of Root & Bloom returned to their home in Buffalo to open this vegan restaurant. Right now, it’s currently in a stunning and spacious gazebo behind the future home of their restaurant. Their aim is to create delicious, hearty, and healthy vegan food that goes beyond the preconceived notion that vegans only eat salads and greens.
Justin and I visited Root & Bloom for the first time on a Sunday afternoon, which meant that we got to sample their brunch menu. Justin ordered the “Shirley” – snickerdoodle pancakes dusted in cinnamon coconut sugar and topped with a scoop of cultured-cashew cinnamon coconut sugar butter and maple syrup; I ordered the “Herbert” – cultured cashew cream cheese rolled with fresh berries, stuffed inside sourdough bread and served with maple syrup. To drink, we got the chia seed water with orange and lemon slices. Everything was so yummy and so filling! We left feeling happy and full.
Buffalo Vegan Restaurants: Grindhaus Cafe
Grindhaus Cafe has a 100% vegan menu with the option of adding dairy cheese to some dishes. It’s a vegetarian restaurant in historic Allentown. Grindhaus primarily sells sandwiches, salads, and sides. They have an extensive tea list, prepared hot or iced. For coffee lovers, sip a cup of pour-over coffee. If you can’t decide, try the “Buffalo Tea Party” – pour-over coffee infused with your favourite flavour of tea.
I ate the “Creature from the Beige Legume” – a mock tuna salad made out of chickpeas, carrots, relish, parsley, handmade vegan mayo, lettuce, and tomato in a wrap. For a side, I tried the “Mujadara” – chilled Lebanese-style lentils and brown rice topped with a zesty cucumber salad. I thoroughly enjoyed both, especially the wrap.
I’ve never eaten a tuna salad before, so I’m not sure if it was supposed to taste like one. However, I really loved the flavour and texture of this one, and I’d order it again. Also pictured is “The Wrapple” – a wrap with bacon tempeh, apples, and balsamic dressing. You’ll also see another side dish, the smoked tofu pasta salad.
Buffalo Veg-Friendly Restaurants: Merge
I’m in love with Merge’s philosophy. They’re a friend to local food and the arts. Plus, they’re super vegan-friendly. Merge aims to unite the food scene with music and the arts. It’s a way of nourishing our bodies and our souls through nutrition and overall wellness. Support local musicians and artists as well as local food producers. Merge partners with nearby farmers, and they’re all listed on their website. Many ingredients come directly from Buffalo or the surrounding areas.
The menu changes frequently with the seasons. When we were there, Justin and I split a plate of seitan wings. After all, Buffalo is known for its wings, and we indulged in the non-meat version. Merge is a great addition to this vegan Buffalo NY restaurant guide for the wings alone. For my main, I ordered the pesto gnocchi with tofu and vegetables, which was also delicious.
We ended this savoury meal with something sweet – slices of chocolate cake and peanut butter cheesecake. When I browsed the drink menu, I had to order the vegan “butterbeer” of Harry Potter fame. Not surprisingly, it’s their most popular drink!
Marble + Rye
While their Facebook page states that they’re a restaurant specializing in meat, don’t let that scare you away. The chef thoughtfully and willingly prepares vegan dishes, while adhering to his primary goal of using fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients. It’s a worthy addition to this vegan Buffalo NY guide.
On the regular menu, there are several sharing plates that are vegan (or can be made vegan): really spicy cucumbers, crispy chickpeas, pickles, pickled onion rings, and the farm salad.
As for mains, I wanted to try their falafel dish (ask for the butter to be removed from the hummus). However, the chef informed me that they could also make a vegan pasta dish with fresh vegetables. I asked for a small portion of each, and ended up receiving two quite large portions! I was happy I got to try both of them as they were both tasty in their own ways.
Vegan Mexican in Buffalo: Casa Azul
Casa Azul is a Mexican restaurant in downtown Buffalo, featuring tasty and affordable dishes that will keep people coming back and wanting more. I can say with certainty that I am dying to try their tacos again. Two tacos can be made vegan, but I was interested primarily in the potato and poblano taco (I ordered two of them). We also split an order of tortilla chips and salsa.
Breadhive Bakery & Cafe
Breadhive is a “worker cooperative bakery”, meaning that the workers own the bakery. Five employees are responsible for running the bakery, and 65 community members own shares of it. All bread, bagels, and pretzels are made from sourdough, with two kinds of flour (one is local and the other is also a cooperative business).
Breadhive has several vegan options that are clearly marked on the menu with a little ‘V’. I ordered the Dolly – seitan, onions, BBQ sauce, pickles, and coleslaw. They also have kombucha on tap, and there are vegan cookies. With all of these options, definitely aim to check this place out on your vegan tour of Buffalo NY.
Vegan-Friendly Brewery: Thin Man Brewery
Thin Man Brewery has a wide selection of their own refreshing craft brews, which I recommend that you pair with their pub eats. Many vegetarian items on the menu can be prepared vegan, and there are also vegan options, too. The kitchen staff is very knowledgeable about vegan food, so it’s not a problem to request it.
Justin ordered the Impossible Banh Mi, which is the “Impossible” vegan burger in a bun with pickled cucumber slaw, fresh cilantro and mint, lettuce, sriracha, and vegan mayo. To start, I got the Veggie Summer Roll, a rice paper wrap filled with fresh veggies and a soy chili sauce. For my meal, I ordered the Mediterranean Plate, a dish with falafel, tabbouleh, hummus, pita bread, cucumber, and olives (ask for no tzatziki to make it vegan).
Ashker’s Juice Bar
Ashker’s aims to serve healthy food and drink all over Buffalo, and they have four locations around the city. We went to the one in the Elmwood neighbourhood. While Ashker’s has many vegetarian choices (that can be made vegan) for lunch, there weren’t too many options for breakfast. I happily drank a pina colada smoothie and enjoyed a toasted bagel with peanut butter. Nothing too fancy, but it definitely hit the spot.
Fry Baby Donuts
Let’s talk dessert. While there are several vegan desserts and baked goods at restaurants around the city, Fry Baby Donuts is a dedicated donut bakery. And everything is vegan. There were eight different varieties of donuts when we visited, and we tried three of them.
We had the chocolate sprinkle, the fudge sundae, and the apple fritter. Each donut was better than the last…and I don’t recall what order I ate them in! They’re all so good and I can’t wait to return to try even more flavours. Treat yo’ self! Tip: Get there early as they tend to sell out later in the day.
As I was thinking about putting together this “Vegan Restaurants Buffalo NY” guide, I was hoping I’d be able to include some chocolates in the mix. Thankfully, Parkside Candy has chocolates without any animal products in them. Choose from dark chocolate varieties like their dark chocolate peanut butter cups, the dark chocolate peanut clusters, and the dark chocolate nonpariels.
You don’t have to worry about missing out on these treats just because you follow a plant-based diet. Parkside Candy is a super cute, retro candy shop. The vintage sign outside matches the throwback interior, with classic booths channeling the 1920s. Step back in time as you savour some melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
Veg Coffee Shops: Public Espresso and Coffee
I thought this coffee shop was worth mentioning because I adore coffee and they have vegan options. Of course, coffee is vegan without any dairy added to it. However, they also have vegan biscotti to order along with your coffee. There’s plant-based milk for your cappuccinos and lattes.
And if you’re looking for breakfast, you can order a bagel with peanut butter like I did (can you see that this is often my go-to breakfast when I’m traveling?). Public Espresso and Coffee is located inside the historic Lafayette Hotel. Their coffee is rich and full of flavour. You can’t go wrong!
I know there are likely way more vegan options around the city – I just haven’t tried them yet. I hope to travel back to Buffalo soon to try more cool activities and visit more interesting attractions.
Looking for More Vegan Guides in the USA?
I try to write vegan guides to every city that I visit around the world. As I’ve traveled to many cities in the US, I’ve compiled several vegan guides so far. Here’s a list of our vegan restaurant and city guides:
- Vegan Guide to Billings, Montana
- The Best Vegan Restaurants in Key West, Florida
- Vegan in Dutchess County, New York (Hudson Valley)
- Vegan Restaurants in San Diego, California
- The Best Vegan Restaurants in Portland, Maine
- Taking a Self-Guided Vegan Food Tour in Miami
- Tempe Arizona Vegan Restaurants
- Vegan Guide to Sedona, Arizona
- Nashville Vegan Guide
- Milwaukee Vegan Guide