As a lifelong East Coast girl who recently visited Seattle for the first time, I was especially excited for the bountiful vegan options the area has to offer. Though I was there for less than a week, I tried to pack in as many food experiences as possible—I wanted to try it all! Seattle is known for being extremely vegan-friendly, and it did not disappoint. The city is also full of fun activities and beautiful scenery to explore.
If you are planning a trip to Seattle and are wondering what to eat while you’re there, you can’t go wrong with any of the choices on this list.
El Borracho (Pike Place Market)
Whether this is your first or fiftieth time in Seattle, Pike Place Market is a must-visit, and it even has a fully plant-based Mexican restaurant and bar. El Borracho has the most drool-worthy menu, with listings such as Ancho Chile Adobo Seitan Steak, the Tajin Shrymp Burrito, and Kool Ranch Norito Tostadas. Be sure to save room for dessert: you won’t want to miss out on the Horchata Icebox Pie.
As you explore the rest of the nine-acre Pike Place Market, you’ll encounter plenty of other vegan-friendly eateries. Honest Biscuits has a vegan biscuit sandwich, Pike Place Chowder offers up a vegan lime and coconut chowder, and Cinnamon Works carries assorted decadent vegan pastries. You’ll also find art galleries, flower shops, collectibles and antiques, bookstores, breweries, and so much more. You will definitely want to spend the day here, enjoy the water and mountain views, and maybe make a stop to ride on the famous Seattle Great Wheel or check out the Seattle Art Museum.
This cute vegetarian restaurant is the perfect vegan-friendly weekend brunch spot. Options for vegans on Café Flora’s current menu include biscuits and gravy, a cherry apricot waffle, cinnamon rolls, yam fries, and avocado toast. Café Flora also makes the hands-down best vegan-friendly Bloody Mary, prepared with cucumber jalapeño infused vodka, a housemade tomato juice blend, and pickled veggies. If a boozy brunch is on your agenda, this is the place for you, with so many creative cocktails to try! If coffee is more your speed, go with the cardamom rose oat milk latte. So rich and soothing.
While in the area, be sure to check out the Washington Park Arboretum. It is a lovely place to walk around, relax, and enjoy nature. There is a Japanese Garden on-site (tickets required), offering a little bit of tranquility outside of the more bustling areas of the city.
Arguably one of the best restaurants in Seattle, this trendy spot is a must-try. Plum Bistro is the flagship restaurant of vegan chef Makini Howell, whose many accolades and accomplishments come as no surprise after trying her food. Though Plum Bistro is upscale in atmosphere and presentation, the menu offerings are reminiscent of home-cooked comforts. Think: rosemary garlic fries, loaded nachos, mac and cheese, chili, burgers, meatballs, and fried chicken. Plum Bistro is where homey meets elevated.
Many Seattle tourist attractions are a quick drive away from Plum Bistro. The Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, and Chihuly Garden and Glass are all within the same vicinity and are some of the most unique experiences in the city, so be sure to check out at least one (if not all!) of them.
For a more casual yet equally delicious dining experience, try Life on Mars. This is a great late-night spot, open until midnight on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday, and until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. In addition to their fun drink menu, their food menu features all of the casual eats you would expect to find at your favorite bar, and then some. From Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes to the BBQ Jackmac Wrap to the Spiced Chick’n Tacos on their late-night menu, your taste buds are sure to be satisfied here.
Down the street you will find another all-vegan spot, Cinnaholic, which produces indulgent, made-to-order cinnamon bun creations. If you’re a Starbucks fan, you’ll want to check out the Starbucks Reserve Roastery a few minutes down the same street (Pike Street). It houses an impressive collection of rare Starbucks coffees only available at their Reserve locations. The building is thoughtfully designed and unlike any Starbucks you’ve ever been to before.
Araya’s is a cute and cozy spot where you can enjoy some authentic, fully plant-based Thai food. The menu is extensive—it’s a challenge not to go overboard and order a little of everything! You will have your pick of appetizers, salads, soups, curries, stir-fries, and noodle and rice dishes. Portions are generous, so while you may be tempted to order the whole menu, I recommend picking a handful of dishes and sharing them with the table.
Araya’s Place is within walking distance of Madison Park Beach—take a little detour to lounge in the sun or check out the nearby shopping area.
Seattle is a beer lover’s dream, with more than 60 breweries in the city itself and many more not too far outside of it. If you are looking for one with great vegan options, look no further than Ghostfish Brewing Company. All of the vegan options on their menu are clearly labeled, and everything, including the beer, is gluten-free. The Sweet Potato and Kale Tacos are a mouthwatering way to pack in some superfoods while you enjoy one of Ghostfish’s many delicious IPAs.
Sage and Cinder (Mukilteo, WA)
If you’re up for venturing outside of the city while on your vacation, this restaurant gem in Mukilteo is well worth the trip. It’s about 20 miles north of Seattle, but you’ll find yourself in a quaint town with pretty water views and amazing vegan food. Sage and Cinder has an adorable outdoor seating area that feels posh yet cozy at the same time, and the menu is to die for. Do not pass up on the amazing charcuterie board, which includes a spread of Renegade vegan salami, Vtopian cheeses, olives, dolmas, tzatziki and hummus dips, and pita. For dessert, get the cinnamon and coconut panna cotta with rhubarb citrus compote. Your taste buds will thank you.
Floret (Sea-Tac Airport)
If you have time to kill before your flight home, you’ll be pleased to learn that there is a vegetarian restaurant inside of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Floret is part of the Café Flora family, so many of the same options are available if you dine in at this location. Floret also has vegan bites at their grab-and-go counter if you are in a hurry. You can take one of their offerings, like a delicious hummus wrap, with you for your trip home—much tastier than plane food!
Is Seattle on your bucket list yet? Whether you come for the food, the views, the museums, or the many other unique experiences only found in this city, you are bound to fall in love and wish you could stay awhile longer. I’m already dreaming of my next visit!
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Photo: Courtney Renee