A Vegetarian's Guide to Oklahoma Cuisine

While known as prime cattle country, Oklahoma may surprise you when it comes to meat-free fare. The state's growing repertoire of plant-based eateries offers a kaleidoscopic array of flavors and cuisines.

The Red Cup offers creative vegan meals with new specials daily.
Photo Credit: The Red Cup

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Whether you’re following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, participating in meatless Mondays or simply looking to switch things up, Oklahoma’s meat-free dining scene has something to satiate herbivores and carnivores alike. 

Oklahoma City

The Loaded Bowl

Vegans and meat-eaters alike flock to The Loaded Bowl for Southern-inspired flavors that pack a punch in the restaurant’s biodegradable bowls and plates. Making waves in 2013 as the state’s first vegan food truck, the brick-and-mortar eatery in Oklahoma City’s Farmers Market District serves rich comfort foods that you won’t soon forget.

Menu mainstays include the “Garfield Lasagna” with tofu ricotta and creamy cashew cheese or the “Down Home Bowl” with an addictive barbecue-topped cashew mac and cheese. Stop by for a satisfying lunch or dinner, or for The Loaded Bowl’s brunch menu featuring dishes like cheesy vegan chorizo grits and tofu scrambles. Whatever you choose, this purveyor of “conscious comfort food” is unlikely to disappoint. 

 The Red Cup

Found near OKC’s Asian District, The Red Cup is a long-time haven and hub for vegans and vegetarians in Oklahoma City. Founded in 1995, this eclectic, down-to-earth café has earned a reputation as a destination for robust, plant-based breakfasts, brunches and lunches.

Complete with a coffee and tea bar, the Red Cup offers hearty meals without the post-dining sluggishness you might get with large portions of meat. Start your morning with gluten-free biscuits and gravy, or grab a breakfast burrito filled with savory tofu scramble. You won’t miss any meat in The Red Cup’s famous chili pie, with your choice of chips or pasta loaded with house-made chili. Vegan eating stays interesting at this artsy joint with new daily specials on the regular.

Picasso Café

A Paseo Arts District favorite since 2009, Picasso Café and Chef Ryan Parrott take great care to ensure the menu’s dedicated vegan and vegetarian section is plentiful in vibrant, creative entrees.

Mushrooms take on a meaty role with the “chicken fried” portobello mushroom, an ode to down-home Oklahoma cuisine doused in creamy vegan gravy. The hearty theme continues with vegan mac and cheese, topped with jackfruit and cashew cheese sauce. Simple but flavorful roasted artichoke ravioli boasts zesty flavors in a lemon cream sauce, while vegan quinoa tacos provide a lighter but flavorful option.

Picasso Café’s affection for plant-eating customers spreads beyond the regular menu. Once a month, the restaurant serves a dinner with five courses of vegan and vegetarian entrees, along with wine pairings.

Stone Sisters Pizza Bar

Despite its cheesy, carb-filled reputation, pizza can be healthy; and a trio of sisters opened Oklahoma City’s Stone Sisters Pizza Bar to accomplish just this task. Revising pizza for hungry vegans, vegetarians and those seeking healthier pies, Stone Sisters serves up classic flavors and combinations like cheese and pepperoni, offered with a lighter touch.

This unassuming eatery off US-77 house-makes nutritious crusts, including a gluten-free sprouted spelt crust or vegan cauliflower crust. Three specialty pies comprise the vegan menu, like the hamburger-esque #3 with vegan meat crumbles, vegan cheese blend, crushed tomatoes, fresh garlic, veggie toppings and an herb oil drizzle. The #1 resembles a Greek salad on vegan crust with white bean and roasted garlic hummus, smoked black salt charred eggplant, arugula-walnut pesto and fresh, locally-sourced veggies. There’s also a create-your-own option for vegans and vegetarians with distinctive preferences.

Vast

Fine dining in Oklahoma is much more than a slab of premium steak. Travel to the top of Devon Tower in the heart of downtown OKC to experience elevated vegan eating at Vast. This premier restaurant regularly accommodates vegans with excellent brunch, lunch and dinner options, and on the last week of every month, Vast’s vegan tasting menu is a sight to behold for meat-free crowds.

Every dish on this special menu is made with painstaking detail and imagination. When making a reservation, inform Vast you’re coming for the vegan menu, and the chefs will bring your plant-based dreams to life. Past vegan tasting menus have included tomato carpaccio with smoked onion jam, beet risotto with chive oil and rigatoni pasta with morel mushrooms and English peas. Dessert always rounds off the meal nicely, with luxurious treats like pistachio baklava with orange blackberry.

Green Goodies

If you’ve got a hankering for vegan sweets, head to Classen Curve in Nichols Hills for delectable vegan cupcakes, cookies and more at Green Goodies. Since 2009, this vegan, gluten free-friendly bakery has customized desserts for those with food allergies and dietary restrictions. Cupcakes, cookies and pastries are made from scratch daily, and modified to meet most customer’s needs.

Bite into the bakery’s signature Hostess-style chocolate cupcake with vegan cream inside, or grab any number of Green Goodies’ seasonal cupcake flavors. For breakfast, try a vegan cinnamon roll with a fresh local coffee. Know a vegan in need of a sweet treat? Make their day with a dozen assorted cupcakes or cookie sandwiches. Vegan eating doesn’t always have to be healthy, but it sure can be delicious at Green Goodies.

Holey Rollers

Some customers may be unaware they’re eating vegan when they bite into the delectable donuts and pastries at Holey Rollers. This Paseo Arts District stop makes vegan and gluten-free pastries with a more health-conscious yet indulgent edge. Choose from a large assortment of donuts with natural flavors like Mexican hot chocolate, spiced chai or salted caramel. While you’re at it, try pastries like the large fritter topped with vegan icing and pecans or scrumptious cinnamon rolls. Holey Rollers also offers savory vegan items like breakfast tacos and English muffins, along with a full coffee bar. 

Nourished Food Bar

Eating clean requires a certain amount of preparation and time, but if you’re in a pinch, Nourished Food Bar in downtown Oklahoma City’s Business District simplifies vegan eating. Open for lunch throughout the business week, this grab-and-go eatery is entirely vegan and gluten free. Nourished serves house-made sandwiches, soups, salads and smoothies with unique flavors. The chickpea smash sandwich is a scrumptious mixture of chickpeas, cashew mayo, turmeric, mixed greens, tomato and avocado on gluten-free bread. Pair it with a colorful beet salad or the hearty lentil soup for an energizing meal. If you’re just looking for a snack, try Nourished Food Bar’s snacks like kale chips or vegan muffins to-go.

Elemental Coffee

All kinds of coffee lovers are welcome at Elemental Coffee, including the vegan variety. This downtown OKC shop serves homemade vegan breakfast, brunch and lunch items alongside their locally-sourced coffee.

Elemental’s grab-and-go breakfasts are perfect for busy weekday mornings, with transportable vegan burritos filled with seasoned tofu and veggies, avocado toast, sweet and savory pastries, and more. For lunch, Elemental offers multiple sandwiches, tacos and other quick provisions. Try the “Hudson” street taco filled with sesame ginger garlic tofu, or the “Costanza,” a vegan take on a pastrami sandwich with stone ground mustard on rye. If you have more time on the weekend, stop by Elemental for vegan brunch dishes like biscuits and mushroom gravy, French toast or hearty breakfast sandwiches.

Wheeze the Juice

Dedicated health nuts and omnivores alike can appreciate the convenience of a nutrient-packed drink or snack in the middle of the day. Enter Wheeze the Juice – a plant-based eatery in the Deep Deuce District specializing in fresh-pressed juices, refreshing smoothies and smoothie bowls.

Sharing space among the area’s unique shipping container restaurants and stores, Wheeze offers vegan goodness alongside a healthy dose of 1990s nostalgia. Sip on a “Be Kind Rewind” smoothie (blueberry, banana, spinach, orange juice, algae and spirulina), dig into a “Harriet the Acai” smoothie bowl (strawberry, blueberry, banana, acai and almond milk topped with fruit and granola) or try one of Wheeze’s vegan treats. Grab your juice to-go or sit at the bar to watch ‘90s VHS movies at this fun-loving spot.

Edmond

The Real Café

Enjoy a quality plant-based meal at The Real Café in Edmond. Located inside Energetic Wellness Center, this café works with Oklahoma farmers to provide organic dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Choose from substantial vegan and vegetarian dishes like the sweet potato quesadilla, the sprouted black bean burger made with quinoa or the veggie stir-fry made with fresh produce from local farms. These good-for-you entrees are full of flavor and made from scratch in a relaxed, farmhouse-inspired interior.

Hidalgo’s Cocina & Cantina

It’s sometimes hard to find a traditional Mexican food restaurant with bountiful vegan options, but Hidalgo’s Concina & Cantina offers just that with an entire menu section dedicated to meat-free eats. This colorful, friendly Edmond spot takes familiar Mexican flavors and turns them into fresh, plant-based meals.

Order the Burrito Verde, a flour tortilla filled with steamed corn, beans and spinach and topped with a tasty tomatillo sauce, or try the Aldo’s Special with rice, steamed veggies, grilled onion, steamed beans and pico de gallo. Enjoy the satisfying sizzle of Hidalgo’s fajitas, a mix of vibrant veggies served with diced avocados and corn or flour tortillas. With these great vegan options and more, it’s easy to enjoy classic Mexican flavors while staying healthy.

Tulsa

Chimera

Sustainability and green eating go hand-in-hand at Tulsa’s Chimera Café. Along with locally-sourced coffee, this Tulsa Arts District café serves vegan options for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a warm, industrial atmosphere.

Start your morning with a breakfast taco like the Tokyo Eye with adzuki strips, tofu scramble, poblano and avocado crema, or order the Twinster’s Vegan Plate with a savory mixture of tofu, black beans, potatoes and adzuki strips served over arugula and topped with avocado. Lunch includes satisfying vegan items like the Super Veggie Wrap with Portobello mushrooms, the curry chickpea sandwich or several hearty salads. For dinner, try the battered cauliflower wings with a spicy wing sauce for an update on traditional chicken wings.

Laffa Medi-Eastern Restaurant & Bar

Veggies steal the show in many dishes at Laffa Medi-Eastern Restaurant & Bar. Bring all your vegan and vegetarian friends to this restaurant named after Israeli flat bread, as family-style dishes are the menu’s backbone. Share the addictive za’atar hydari, a creamy olive and feta dip with a za’atar spice blend, or enjoy the Armenian roasted mushrooms with matbucha and hot garlic.

Vegans will be delighted to see a friendly “V” next to plenty Laffa dishes, from flavorful salads to generous main courses. Enjoy great conversation and intricate flavors with the “Mujadarra & Friends,” featuring cinnamon and lentil rice under spicy farro, red lentil and spinach sauce. Most dishes can be made vegan, so go ahead and order a second (or third) dish to share at this stylish Middle Eastern restaurant.

Ediblend Superfood Café

For some of the freshest, fastest food in Tulsa’s Utica Square, Ediblend Superfood Café is a great option.  Try this shop’s daily selection of nourishing juices, smoothies, salads and more to stay energized throughout the day.

In the morning, grab a “Pre-Workout” smoothie with kale, orange, blueberries, banana, dates and coconut water or have a breakfast cup with organic oats, chia seeds, pure maple syrup or fresh fruit. Try a taco salad for lunch with walnut taco “meat” on arugula, cashew sour cream, corn, avocado, tomatoes and peppers. This upscale drink café also offers a coffee bar to fuel your day in Tulsa.

Elote Café

Hit up Tulsa’s Deco District for a modern take on Mexican food at Elote Café. Vegan and vegetarian-friendly, this restaurant prioritizes fresh ingredients from local farms. Plant-based eaters will appreciate the veggie broth-based tortilla soup that can be made vegan, or the quinoa taco salad on a crunchy shell. Tacos come in customizable vegan options and the healthy veggie burrito comes stuffed with black beans, sweet potatoes, spinach and caramelized onions. With a commitment to sustainable food and practices, you can feel good about choosing Elote next time you crave Mexican flavors.

Antoinette Baking Company

Antoinette Baking Company in Tulsa Arts District creates traditional and vegan goods fit for royalty. The storefront, decorated with various pastries and baked goods, is enough to draw in anyone with a sweet tooth. Gander at vegan brownies, chocolate cakes, specialty pies and more in this French-styled restaurant-bakery. Perfect for special occasions or surprises, Antoinette lets you design your own vegan cake with flavors like lavender, chocolate and vanilla bean. A box of vegan and gluten-free chocolate chip sea salt cookies will brighten any day of the week, or linger longer in the shop for Antoinette’s tasty breakfast and brunch options, like mushroom toast on sourdough or veggie hash. This picture-worthy bakery also includes daily vegan and vegetarian specials that will keep you coming back for more.

The Tropical Restaurant & Bar

Food tastes better when it’s fresh from a garden, especially from The Tropical Restaurant & Bar’s garden in Tulsa. Somewhat of a hidden gem off I-44, this modern Thai spot offers an impressive list of vegan and vegetarian cuisine with bold herbs grown in their own backyard.

Choose from vegan starters like garlic edamame, crispy corn cakes or fried Thai tofu topped with sour herb salad. Savor a hot bowl of three-kind mushroom soup, or have a refreshing Thai salad made with mixed greens and produce from the garden. Further down Tropical’s menu, you’ll find vegan specials like stir-fried vegetables with jasmine rice and pad see yu with tofu, rice noodles, veggies and sweet soy sauce. Try The Tropical for plenty more delicious dinner options, as most dishes can be modified to be vegan or vegetarian.

The Vault

Vegan dishes have a mid-century modern twist at The Vault in Tulsa. Once the First National Auto Bank in the 1950s, this restaurant offers a separate, unique vegan menu in addition to their retro-style entrees. Start with cauliflower “wings” with hot sauce, celery and vegan Green Goddess dressing, or the fresh spinach and apple salad with candied pecans and vegan cheese. The Vault’s main plates are vegan takes on old classics, like the “BLT” made with smoky eggplant, apple aioli, heirloom tomatoes and lettuce on Farrell Family sourdough, or the Vault pasta with rotini pasta, garbanzo beans, veggies, vegan cheese and pecans in a lemon-garlic white wine reduction. These vintage-inspired dishes might remind you of your grandma’s cooking – minus the meat.

Norman

The Earth Café & Deli

The Earth Café & Deli is considered a Norman institution for vegetarians and those with plant-based diets. Opened in the mid-1970s, The Earth is a small organic grocery store, café and coffee shop owned by couple Kate and Richard Haas. Stop by any time of the day and you’re sure to meet some friendly Norman locals and long-time patrons. The primarily vegan and vegetarian café housed in a quaint brick building offers health-focused breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed, approachable setting.

Customers flock to The Earth for its affordable approach to quality, healthy eating, as most items on the menu are $10 or under. Start the day with tofu breakfast tacos, potato quiche, or granola with yogurt and fruit. The Earth’s down-home flavors are equal parts comforting and nourishing. Grab a cup of veggie soup and a salad for lunch, or dig into some organic blue corn nachos. If you’re on the go, pick up an organic smoothie or juice made on the spot, and fill up on caffeine with the café’s locally-sourced coffees and teas.

Misal Bistro

Another Norman pillar for vegetarian folks, Misal Bistro has been serving colorful Indian cuisine since 1979. With a long history of serving multiple generations, Misal is known for its regionally-diverse vegetarian foods from across India. In 2009 and 2014, Norman Transcript readers voted Misal “Best Healthy and Vegetarian Restaurant,” solidifying its place as a major hub for plant-based crowds.

Browse through the menu’s vegan and vegetarian section for an abundance of fresh, flavorful specialties. The vegetarian platter is a shareable combination of basmati rice, lentils, spinach, potato bhaji (a blend of spices and warm potatoes), hachumber salad and bread. Try the classic Indian dish saag, spinach sautéed with tomatoes and cumin, or order the aromatic mushroom curry with a blend of spices and fresh cilantro. If the large amount of vegetarian options causes indecisiveness, come in for the lunch buffet to sample Misal’s many plant-based dishes and find your next go-to favorite.

Ardmore

Veggies Health Food Store & Vegetarian Restaurant

A vegetarian oasis in Ardmore’s dining scene since 1997, Veggies Health Food Store & Vegetarian Restaurant is a one-stop shop for plant-based education, groceries, meals and more. For exclusively vegan and vegetarian dishes with exciting flavors, stop by the restaurant for the organic salad bar, daily meal specials, soups, smoothies, juices and tasty baked goods.

Owners Tom and Mary Bernt treat every customer like family, evident through their thoughtful, home-cooked meals. Rotating menu items like “Tantalizing Tamales,” “Practically Perfect Pizza” or “Kinda like a Krab Kake” make vegetarian eating delightful. Don’t forget to try one of Mary’s scrumptious desserts, like blueberry lemon bars or vegan snicker doodle bars. Next time you’re driving down I-35, be sure to stop by Veggies for a filling meal.

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