3 Vegan Restaurants in Columbus

by on October 14th, 2010
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Columbus, Ohio is a city full of a diverse cuisine selection. It is often referred to as a test market for restaurants. No matter the style, ethnicity, or price range that you are in the mood for, Columbus has multiple options in every category. A popular healthy option is a vegan menu. For those of you who are not familiar with vegan food, it is food that is not made with, or from any animal or their by-products. Wait! Don’t stop reading now! The term vegan, or the idea of food without animals is frequently a turn off for many people who have come to believe that their carnivorous lifestyle is the only acceptable manor. I am by no means trying to convert anybody. I am a meat eater myself. This is why I took on the chance to write this article. To answer the most commonly asked question directed towards vegetarians and vegans, alike. “So, what DO you eat?”

As stated before, Columbus has a wide variety of possibilities. You may choose from purely vegan, vegetarian and vegan, and vegan-friendly. By vegan-friendly, I don’t mean a place where a vegan can find something to eat; I mean a place where one could find a full and balanced meal. There are probably many more options out there than you may realize. Often Asian and Indian cuisines offer an array of vegan options. There are 3 options that I enjoy and they do not fall into either of those two categories. The reason I picked these 3 are because of their uniqueness.

The first restaurant is Whole World. Located at 3269 North High Street, south of North Broadway, this place is small, and probably often overlooked. Using fresh and organic ingredients, Whole World is relaxing and casual. Their pizzas are fresh and handmade. I recommend a whole wheat crust with your favorite vegetables on top. For the vegetarians, you can still get real cheese on top. A long-time favorite meal of mine is the Avocado Sandwich with sprouts and the Black Bean Nachos as an appetizer. Don’t forget to check out the hand-written special board hanging on the wall by the counter. Daily and weekly specials make it a surprise every time I go in. Don’t forget, they are closed on Mondays, and open Tuesday to Saturday 11 AM – 9 PM, Sunday Brunch 10 AM – 2 PM, Lunch & Dinner 2 PM – 9 PM. Visit Whole World’s website or call 614-268-5751 for more information.

The second restaurant is a little farther south on High Street called Aladdin’s Eatery. I consider this place semi-formal to formal, but you can get away with casual. This restaurant has expanded with several other locations around Columbus. It is no surprise, really, with a menu to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Aladdin’s is a Lebanese-based cuisine. Along with a nice entrée selection, they also have a pristine wine and dessert selection. It is hard to pinpoint the best selection here. I will say that I normally find Falafel to be too dry for my liking; however, I have never had a complaint at Aladdin’s. It is always moist and fresh. Their vegetarian chili and lentil soup is delicious, and without the cheese makes for a tasty vegan treat. Try a salad with the Aladdin’s house dressing, you won’t regret it. I also enjoy the “rolled” pitas. There are many selections that can be made vegan-friendly. Check out Aladdin’s website and find a location nearest you.

Taking it up a notch, the third vegan restaurant is the classy Dragonfly. Located at 247 King Ave, this Short North restaurant is elegant and prestige. They do advertise a less formal carry-out option on their website. If you plan to dine in, make reservations at 614-298-9986, seating is minimal. The menu is not big. Like many formal restaurants, the chefs design a special menu. This makes it harder to suggest an entrée to try, because I am not sure how often it is changed. My experience there has been with a party of about four, each ordering something different and tasting each plate. I can tell you, that everything has been amazing. You can always call ahead, or look online for an updated menu. Don’t be afraid to try something new, because the chefs know what they are doing.

Remember Columbus is not limited to these 3 vegan restaurants. These are just 3 unique places that are among my favorite. I highly recommend anyone try them. Whether you are a die-hard vegan, or just someone looking to diversify your palette, these restaurants will satisfy your hunger. They are both healthy and fulfilling. There is something to say about the feeling you get when you eat a well-balanced meal without all the grease and trans-fats to hold you down. Eating this way regularly is not top priority for everybody, but it doesn’t hurt to see what all the hype is about.

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