The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Several New Restaurants Have Been Added to The Vegetarian Resource Group’s Online Guide to Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in the USA and Canada

Posted on May 06, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


The Vegetarian Resource Group maintains an online Guide to Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in the USA and Canada. Below are some recent additions. The entire guide can be found here:

To support the updating of this online restaurant guide, please donate at:

4606 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
f you’re looking for a hip and casual Central and East European vegan restaurant with a unique drink menu, look no further than Apteka. Choose from the ‘small plates’, like cykoria i sliwki: Belgian endive or pickled prune with beech and oyster mushrooms. From the ‘big plates’, try their pierogies, and for dessert, try a tarta jablkowa, an apple tart with dried fruit compote. Along with their pierogies, they are also known for their full bar.

Blossom De Jour Express
1000S 8th Ave.
New York, NY 10019
Located in the Columbus Circle Subway Station Turnstyle area (enter at 57th or 58th Streets), this take-out restaurant offers items such as Un-Chicken Avocado Griller, Spicy Green Bowl, Quinoa Burger, Burrito Grande, soup, and desserts.

Brooklyn Whiskers
760 Bushwick Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11221
Brooklyn Whiskers is a vegan retail and wholesale bakery. They offer a variety of pastries, pies, cookies, and cupcakes, as well as breakfast and sandwich options. If you are looking for a nice start to the day, stop in and try one of their rotating pastries, a tofu scramble served on a warm croissant, and coffee. If you are there in the afternoon, you can try their Balsamic Yam sandwich, which is served with cashew spread and arugula, and you can try one of their many desserts. They have a variety of gluten-free options, and even offer delivery service within New York City.

Fruition Vegan Kitchen
472 High St.
Medford, MA 02155
The eclectic menu at Fruition Vegan Kitchen is sure to have a dish to please everyone. Dishes range from classic like the Greek Salad to inspired like the Jerk Seitan Bowl. Be sure to check out the rotating selection of desserts. Closed between lunch and dinner, so call ahead for hours.

Garden Café
14860 Olde Hwy. 80
El Cajon, CA 92021
They are located in the Red Caboose across from Flinn Springs County Park. Enjoy coffee, tea, smoothies, and grab-and-go items such as Spicy Thai Peanut wrap, Mediterranean wrap, raw chocolate pudding, and more. They have outdoor seating.

1888 Eastland Ave.
Nashville, TN 37206
Graze is focused on providing deliciously nutritious plant based foods sourced from local farms and businesses. Whether or not you’re an herbivore or localvore, you’re sure to find something you’ll like among the selection of entrees, small plates, custom freshly pressed juices and smoothies, cocktails, and desserts.

Juice Bar & Healthy Grill
330 Magnolia Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92020
This café uses local and fair trade ingredients whenever possible. Dishes offered include Acai or Pitaya Bowl, Italian Seitan Sandwich, Chickpea Salad Sandwich, BBQ Jackfruit Burger, as well as several raw salads. They have outdoor seating available.

La Botanica
2911 N. St. Mary’s Strip
San Antonio, TX 78212
Offering a variety of alcoholic beverages, La Botanica in the St. Mary’s Strip may be more like a bar with vegan food than a vegan restaurant. The food has Louisianan, New Mexican, Mexican and Texan influences and options include tacos, ceviche, and empanadas. Music plays and there are board games available.

Leaf Teahouse
212 N 9th St.
Boise, ID 83702
Leaf Teahouse is committed to providing high quality, loose-leaf teas from around the world. The daily menu features a selection of fresh salads, healthy small plates, and snacks to complement their wide variety of teas that can also be purchased in bulk. As Leaf Teahouse provides a community space for local musicians, this is a great place to relax with a soothing beverage and meal.

Paisley Vegan Kitchen
630 Brevard Ave, Ste A
Cocoa, FL 32922
Visit Paisley Vegan Kitchen for completely vegan comfort food made from scratch. For patrons with dietary restrictions, the restaurant has dedicated gluten-free work spaces and fryers. Start off your meal with an appetizer, like their Chesapeake Bay Crabless Cakes, and follow with some of their macaroni and cheese or mushroom ravioli. For dessert, try their peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. The menu also includes a selection of salads and sandwiches.

Postmodern Foods
762B Walker Rd.
Great Falls, VA 22066
2920 M St. NW
Washington, DC 20007
Enjoy organic fresh juices, raw dishes including Massaged Kale Salad, Raw Taco Salad, and Pad Thai with Spicy Almond Sauce. For dessert you can order Chia Pudding or Raw Donut Holes.

Start From Scratch Bakery
9543 South Dixie Hwy.
Pinecrest, FL 33156
You can either visit this vegan establishment or order goods online. Baked items include cookies, pie, and cake. For lunch or dinner try soup, salad, sandwiches, and more.

Tamiri Bites
12809 66 St. NW
Edmonton, AB T5C 0A4 Canada
Tamiri Bites is bakery that produces treats that are vegan, raw, gluten-free, and refined-sugar free. Don’t leave without trying one of their fifteen flavors of cashew-based cheesecake, raw cookies, or a savory Pad-Thai bite to-go. For a nut-free dessert, try their coconut bites. Visit their website to find out the several coffee shops, restaurants and supermarkets that carry their products.

The Butcher’s Son
1941 University Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
The Butcher’s Son is a vegan delicatessen offering a wide variety of traditional deli foods with a vegan twist! Try a croissant for breakfast, or a bagel with toppings on the weekends. The lunch menu is complete with sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Some favorites include the Pulled Pork Sandwich and the Fried Mozzarella & Meatball on Garlic Bread.

The Herbivorous Butcher
507 1st Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
The Herbivorous Butcher is a brother and sister owned company that sells everything a butcher sells, but vegan! Stop by to pick up some vegan meat, jerky, cheese, and butter. Try their yucca chicken apple sausage, huli huli ribs, bulgogi, dill havarti, smoked gouda, or a spring chive butter for vegan versions of typical butcher selections. For a meal, The Herbivorous Butcher provides a to-go sandwich selection that changes week by week.

Unity Vegan Kitchen
415 Jessie St.
Vegan Kitchen is a gourmet vegan food trailer located in East Side Food Park. Made entirely from scratch on premises, their menu consists of entrees like their quinoa tofu salad and sun dried tomato pesto and tofu sandwich along with a weekly special served Wednesday through Sunday. Also, don’t leave without a dessert! Try their pineapple cobbler or avocado pecan chocolate chip cookies. Unity Vegan Kitchen is great for anyone looking for a quick, convenient, and hearty dining experience.

2017 House Agricultural Appropriations Bill proposes to exempt industry-funded commodity research and promotion programs such as the American Egg Board from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Posted on May 05, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

2017 House Agricultural Appropriations Bill proposes to exempt industry-funded commodity research and promotion programs such as the American Egg Board from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

A paragraph in the 206-page 2017 House Agricultural Appropriations Bill – spotted by Hampton Creek’s new VP of policy Tiny May – proposes to exempt industry-funded commodity research and promotion programs such as the American Egg Board from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

For more information, see:


Posted on May 05, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Hana Takemoto
The Vegetarian Resource Group Intern

When I began my internship at The Vegetarian Resource Group,
I also began exploring a few topics of research. One of
them that came up in the discussion was vegan options on school
lunch menus. After taking a look at the lunch menu during the
lunch period at my school, Atholton High in Howard County, it
became apparent that few vegan options existed. From that point on,
I began my quest to investigate how to add vegan options to the
lunch menus of high schools in Howard County, Maryland.

My conversation with the Area Field Representative of Food &
Nutrition Services at Howard County Public Schools revealed that
last year, several vegan items were added to Atholton’s salad bars.
These items were hummus, a black bean salsa, and pasta fazool,
none of which, according to the field representative, were a big hit.
The vegan Boca Burger was once on the menu but is no longer served
due to unpopularity and cost. She also told me that if a student were
to have an idea of a food item or recipe that he or she would like
considered, she could be contacted to see if it meets the guidelines.
Along with the field representative, I also spoke with the food service
supervisor at my school, who also offered interesting information:

School meals in Howard County have to meet federal and state requirements.
In order for the meals to be reimbursed, food service workers must
follow the “Offer vs. Serve” policy: high schools are under the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations that state that a
student may choose any three of five options at lunch. One of the
choices must be at least a 1/2 cup serving of fruits or vegetables or a
1/2 cup serving of a combination of fruits and vegetables.

The five options are:
1. Milk
2. Fruit
3. Vegetables
4. Meat/meat alternatives
5. Grains
(“Meal Pattern Requirements” I-1)

Some, but not all of the time, fruit, vegetable, and grain dishes are
vegan. The “meat alternate” previously mentioned can be the following:
● Yogurt
● Peanut butter and other nut or seed butters,
● Cooked dry beans or peas
● Eggs
● Cheese
● Certain enriched macaroni with fortified protein
● Tofu and other soy products (2.2 ounces of commercially
prepared tofu containing at least 5 grams of protein is creditable as a
1.0 ounce equivalent meat alternate) as of January, 2012
● Alternate protein product that meets certain requirements
(“Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast
Programs” 8)

USDA states, “ …the most appropriate way to ensure that the product
meets Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) requirements is to request that
the product be manufactured under the CN Labeling Program following a
Federally approved quality control program,” (“Crediting Tofu and Soy
Yogurt Products” 2). The CN Labeling Program is the Child Nutrition
Labeling Program. This program gives food manufacturers the option to
include a standardized food crediting statement on their product label.
In fact, there is a whole other process of applying for the CN Label,
detailed here:

Currently, if a vegan student wants to buy lunch, he or she can reject
the milk and meat option and opt for the fruit, vegetable, and grain
options. If the student wants a meat alternate, he or she can ask food
service workers at their school if there are any options.

What does this all mean?
If a student wants to eat a vegan lunch at high school in Howard County,
he or she can either bring their own lunch from home or buy a lunch off
of the school menu. A student may also choose to combine those two
options. If there are not enough vegan options so that the student can
eat a sufficient lunch at school, he or she may seek to incorporate more
vegan-friendly options into their lunch by supplementing what is offered
with one or more vegan items from home, like a vegan milk, beans,
imitation meat, or anything else the student would desire. For example,
a student could bring from home a bean salad to supplement a
school-bought lunch that includes a salad from the salad bar, apple
slices, and a bread roll. If the student wants to request a new vegan
food, he or she has the option of contacting the field representative of
their high school. The field representative can assist the student in
finding an option. As important as adding the option is, a priority is
that the student works on promoting the vegan food to others in the
schools, or else this choice won’t stay on the menu.

There should be more transparency and ease with which students and
parents can learn about these guidelines. If I were a student
individually seeking to add different items to my high school lunch menu
to better suit my dietary needs, I probably would have given up by now.

Is it worth it?
What if students still didn’t buy lunch, even if a wide variety of
vegan options were offered? My concern lies in the usefulness of having
more vegan options on the school menu. As a vegan student, I bring my
own lunch because of convenience, not because of the lack of vegan
options on the menu. Therefore, I speculate that having a more
vegan-friendly menu might not be a big enough push for non-vegan
students to try out the vegan options at school. Currently, my
investigation is leaning towards learning what impact bringing new vegan
options would have on the community at Atholton High School. I am in the
process of distributing surveys to Atholton students in the effort to
learn more about how to introduce vegan items in a way that would bring
the most positive change.

Works Cited
United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Crediting Tofu and Soy Yogurt
Products. USDA, Feb. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Meal Pattern Requirements. USDA,
Aug. 2014. Print. 18
Apr. 2016.

United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Nutrition Standards in the
National School Lunch and
School Breakfast Programs. USDA, Jan. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Also see

EARTH – Environmental Animal Rights Team of Hoboken, New Jersey

Posted on May 04, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


Thank you (The Vegetarian Resource Group) so much for your help! I started the group, EARTH – Environmental Animal Rights Team of Hoboken, with a few friends at the end of last year, and we have been holding vegan outreach events where we leaflet and write chalk messages, vegan dinner social events, now the Green Fair, and we will be screening Cowspiracy at the library soon! In the future we plan on visiting an animal sanctuary (and bringing non-vegans!) and doing a range of activist activities. We also attend other events in the community and join other AR groups when we can. We’re just getting started, so any publicity would be wonderful! Here is some of our information:

Twitter: @earthoboken
Instagram: @earthoboken

Please note that VRG provided many Save our Water brochures for EARTH’s table at a Green Fair in New Jersey. We also provided many other groups throughout the USA with this brochure for Earth Day events in April. If you would like to support The Vegetarian Resource Group’s outreach efforts, visit:

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo — Enjoy These Vegan Recipes!

Posted on May 04, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow and we thought you might want to celebrate with some delicious vegan recipes from a previous Vegetarian Journal article written by Nanette Blanchard. The dishes included are Jicama and Orange Salad, Sopa de Pasta (pasta soup), Calabacitas (squash dish) , Green Chillies Stuffed with Frijoles (beans), Red Chili Sauce, and Easy Capirotada (bread pudding).


To subscribe to Vegetarian Journal, visit:



Posted on May 03, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor



Green Festival is committed to supporting inspiring organizations & projects that educate and benefit their local communities with The Green Festival Community Award, a $5,000 grant awarded to a deserving non-profit, chosen by the public!

The Green Festival Community Award is a great way to gain exposure, support and resources for new or ongoing projects. Organizations get up close and personal with the community through extensive online outreach and social media recognition, and in person, as finalists meet and greet with Green Festival attendees to pitch their ideas. Projects must be locally-based, with creative ideas, measurable goals and a direct benefit to the local, sustainable community.


Posted on May 03, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


Are you looking for a restaurant serving special meals on Mother’s Day? Here are some suggestions:

Crossroads, Los Angeles, CA

Ethos Vegan Kitchen, Winterpark, FL

Café Sunflower, Atlanta, GA

Great Sage, Clarksville, MD

Mundo Vegan, Montclair, NJ

Cleveland Vegan, Lakewood, OH

Vegan Commissary, Philadelphia, PA

Greenfare, Herndon, VA

Café Flora, Seattle, WA

Allie’s Vegan Pizzeria & Café, Spokane, WA

For a complete list of veggie restaurants in the USA and Canada visit:


Posted on May 02, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Hana Takemoto

Trifecta Nutrition provides enough variations of their vegan pre-made meals to last an entire work week! The meals come pre-packaged for quick microwave reheating. Out of all of the options, I tried St. Barth’s White Beans & Vegetables. The generous proportion was filled with large carrot pieces, crunchy green beans, artichoke heart pieces, broccoli, spinach, onions, and of course white beans with a creamy texture. Balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast, and rosemary added a savory twist to the mixture of whole foods. I found this meal to be very easy to prepare, and I could see myself bringing it to school or work for a hearty lunch or dinner. I loved the comforting, homemade feel to the dish. These meals are quick, convenient, and flavorful.

For more information on Trifecta meals, see:



Posted on May 02, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


Founded in 2009, YEA Camp is a week-long overnight leadership and activism camp for youth 12-17 who want to make a difference in the world. Campers choose a social justice issue they care about, like animal cruelty, the environment, racism, or feminism, and develop the knowledge, skills, confidence, and community support to make an impact on that cause when they go home. Campers come from all over to attend. The NY camp is especially for animal advocates and is held at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. All food at YEA Camp is vegan and fair-trade, organic, and local where possible. Able to accommodate most allergies.

Sample menu items include:
Breakfast: French toast, pancakes, bagels
Lunch: teriyaki rice bowls, falafel, barbecue tofu
Dinner: veggie curry with coconut rice, stuffed shells, pizza
Desserts: chocolate chip cookies, brownies, ice cream sundaes
Snacks: popcorn, pretzels, fresh fruit

Locations: Charlton, MA; High Falls, NY; Pescadero, CA

Phone: (415) 710-7351



Posted on April 29, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group Asks in a 2016 National Poll Conducted by Harris Poll

More and more restaurants and companies are offering vegetarian and vegan meals. For example, Subway is testing a vegan burger in Florida, and Ben and Jerry’s recently released a vegan ice cream. But how many people are interested in vegetarian and vegan meals?

To help answer this question, VRG commissioned Harris Poll to conduct a nationally representative online poll of 2,015 adults aged 18 and over. We asked:

Which of the following, if any, best describes your eating behavior?

1) I never eat meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, or eggs.
2) I never eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry.
3) I never eat meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, or eggs when eating out or getting takeout, but eat one or more of these foods at home.
4) I never eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry when eating out or getting takeout, but eat one or more of these foods at home.
5) When eating out or getting takeout, I sometimes eat meals without meat, fish, poultry, dairy, or eggs.
6) When eating out or getting takeout, I sometimes eat meals without meat, fish, or poultry.
7) None of these.

We considered those that never eat meat, fish, seafood or poultry; plus those that never eat meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, or eggs, as vegetarian. We classified that second category of vegetarians who don’t eat dairy or eggs also as vegan. Because we use the word “never” and don’t just ask if a person considers him/herself vegetarian, our numbers may be lower than others. Be wary of comparing to polls in other countries that ask if you are vegetarian or vegan, since people may self define differently. We did not ask about honey.

Thirty seven percent of the population always or sometimes eats vegetarian meals when eating out. About three percent of the population is vegetarian (including vegans) all the time, and about five percent always eat vegetarian or vegan meals when eating out.

Since thirty seven percent of the country eats at least some vegetarian meals when eating out, this has strong implications for food companies and restaurants. There is incentive for producing vegetarian dishes as there is demand from over one third of the population. However, based on our other research outside this poll, it’s not enough just to offer meatless items. Businesses also have to cater to various needs, which may include price, health, convenience, source of ingredients, taste, religious requirements, etc. And since there is a large segment which did not say they consume vegetarian meals, marketing is more complex because of such different audiences.

This survey was conducted online within the United States between March 16 and 18, 2016 among 2,015 adults ages 18 and older by Harris Poll on behalf of VRG via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, the words “margin of error” are avoided as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the online panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About The Harris Poll
Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods.

With U.S. adults 18 and over numbering about 245 million, we can estimate the number of vegetarians (including vegans) in the U.S. adult population, based on this poll, to be approximately eight million adults. About half of vegetarians were also vegan. Approximately 3.7 million U.S. adults are vegan; 4.3 million are vegetarian but not vegan.

PEOPLE WHO NEVER EAT MEAT, FISH, SEAFOOD OR POULTRY (Total number of vegetarians, including vegans.)

3.3% Total* (About one half of the vegetarians are also vegan. Vegans also don’t consume dairy and eggs, as well as not eating, meat, fish, seafood, or poultry.)
3.2% of U.S. adult males are vegetarian
3.5% of U.S. adult females are vegetarian
5.4% of adults living in the Northeast are vegetarian**
2.3% of adults living in the South are vegetarian
2.3% of adults living in the Midwest are vegetarian
3.7% of adults living in the West are vegetarian
5.3% of U.S. adults ages 18-34 are vegetarian
3.1% of U.S. adults ages 35-44 are vegetarian
2.2% of U.S. adults ages 45-54 are vegetarian
2.7% of U.S. adults ages 55-64 are vegetarian
1.8% of U.S. adults ages 65 plus are vegetarian
3% of U.S. adults who identify as Black are vegetarian
3% of U.S. adults who identify as Hispanic are vegetarian

* Though you can’t really compare polls year to year because of sampling error, this year we found out 3.3% of respondents were vegetarian (including vegan), while last year we came up with 3.4% in a Harris Poll.

** The Northeast Includes CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, and WV. The Midwest includes IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, and WI. The South includes AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA. The West includes AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WY, and WA.


37% Total ***
15% Sometimes or always eats vegan meals when eating out.
34% Male
39% Female
42% Northeast
34% Southeast
33% Midwest
39% West
43% Ages 18-34
39% Ages 35-44
33% Ages 45-54
33% Ages 55-64
32% Ages 65 plus
32% Black
38% Hispanic

*** Though you can’t really compare polls year to year because of sampling error and the difference in the poll, this year we found out 37% of the population always or sometimes eats vegetarian (including vegan) meals when eating out, while last year
in our Harris Poll we found that 36% of the population (including vegetarians and vegans) ate vegetarian meals (including vegan) one or more times per week.

If we look at what percentage of the survey respondents come from a state and compare that to the percentage of respondents eating vegetarian meals who come from that state, we find the numbers are similar. The one outlier was New York, with 6% of respondents from New York, but 9% of those surveyed sometimes or always eating vegetarian meals when eating out from New York.


NORTHEAST 21% 27% 25%
MIDWEST 22% 19% 19%
SOUTH 34% 33% 31%
WEST 23% 21% 25%

It seems compared to percentage of population, generally each section of the country proportionately contributes to the number of people eating vegan and vegetarian meals out, though the Northeast has a little higher percentage of people sometimes or always eating vegetarian and vegan meals out.

For information on more polls, see

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