How to Find Vegan Restaurants Near You

Eating a vegan diet has its challenges, and knowing where you can eat is one of them. Now that plant-based eating is becoming more mainstream, vegan restaurants are starting to pop up all over the United States. But if you’re new to eating a vegan diet, locating those vegan hotspots can be difficult or overwhelming, especially when you’re traveling in a city that’s not familiar to you. From apps to social media, here’s how to find vegan restaurants near you.

Willow Vegan Bistro serves delicious vegan dishes with innovative preparations. Visit us today for dine-in, delivery, or takeout!

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HappyCow is by far the most popular and comprehensive vegan restaurant locator. What started out as a resource for travelers has turned into a must-have mobile app for every vegan and vegetarian.

The HappyCow app, which costs $4, makes it easy to find vegan restaurants near you thanks to an interactive map based on your location. You can also filter results based on the type of restaurant (vegan or vegetarian friendly) as well as a variety of other categories to find just what you’re looking for.

Similar to Yelp, users can leave reviews and post photos of their meals. Plus, HappyCow isn’t just for US restaurants, either—you can also use it in over 180 countries. If you don’t want to pay for the app, you can also access the same features on the website, which is free and offers a variety of other vegan resources as well.

VegOut Magazine

VegOut is a premier vegan food and lifestyle magazine. The publication is very dialed in to the local vegan dining scene in the following locations:

  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Detroit
  • Los Angeles
  • Portland
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle

Each city has its own Instagram account where they promote local vegan eateries by sharing drool-worthy photos of must-order dishes. Even if you don’t live in one of the main cities they cover, VegOut constantly publishes vegan restaurant news and dining tips for other U.S. cities, such as Baltimore, Boston, Washington DC, and more. They also like to share nationwide vegan dining news and tips, such as how to order a vegan-friendly Beyond Meat burger at Burger King or how Fatburger is adding vegan milkshakes to their menu.


Instagram is more than just a social media network that allows you to share photos and stories with your friends and followers. It’s also a way to discover other people and brands—and that includes restaurants. There’s a very large vegan community on Instagram, and they love to share photos of their meat-free meals to exemplify how delicious plant-based food can be.

If you’ve ever posted a photo on Instagram, it gives you an option to add a location, which is usually populated with places that are nearby. These locations are also searchable! If you want to find a vegan restaurant near you on Instagram, use the search feature and go to “Places.” Once there, type in the word “vegan” and it will show you results of vegan restaurants that are close by in your city. You can also click on the results to check out the photos diners have posted of their delicious vegan eats.

Another way to use Instagram to find vegan restaurants near you is by searching hashtags. Many cities have hashtags like #veganlosangeles or #vegannyc that will pull up posts from users.


When in doubt, just Google it! A simple search of “Vegan restaurants near me” or “vegan restaurants in [city name]” on your phone or computer should pull up results of vegan-friendly restaurants nearby.

What About Fast-Food & Restaurant Chains?

Depending on where you live or where you’re visiting, it may not be possible to dine at an all-vegan restaurant. Here’s the good news: non-vegan restaurants, including many popular fast-food restaurants and large restaurant chains, are starting to offer more options for their herbivore customers. While you may need to ask a few questions about how the food is prepared or make small modifications, this is especially helpful in cities where the vegan population hasn’t taken root—yet.

So how do you order a vegan meal at one of these non-vegan fast-food restaurants or restaurant chains? Most of the larger companies will have allergen information posted on their websites, but that can also get exhausting and overwhelming. Luckily, PETA has put together a comprehensive guide on how to order vegan meals at fast-food restaurants and chain restaurants, such as Del Taco, Denny’s, Cheesecake Factory, and more.

Visit Willow in NYC!

We hope you now know how to find vegan restaurants near you. If you’d like to try some delicious vegan cuisine in NYC, stop by Willow today! Our restaurant at 199 8th Avenue serves vegan comfort food with innovative preparations. You can also place pickup or delivery orders online. We look forward to serving you an outstanding meal!

Order Online

What Happens to Your Body When You Go Vegan?

There are plenty of reasons why someone may want to transition to a vegan diet. But have you ever wondered what exactly happens to your body when you go vegan? From weight loss to glowing skin, explore some of the benefits you can expect when you stop eating animal products and bulk up on plants.

Willow serves delicious vegan dishes with innovative preparations. Visit us today for dine-in, delivery, or takeout!

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More Energy

One of the more noticeable and immediate changes people experience when they start eating a vegan diet is how much more energy they have. Animal products can be extremely taxing on the digestive system and take longer to make their way through the gastrointestinal tract, which causes sluggishness and constipation. Plant-based foods, on the other hand, are high in fiber and require less energy to pass through the digestive system. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are also loaded with nutrients and have energizing properties.

Better Digestion and Gut Health

Going vegan is like an extreme makeover for your gut, and it doesn’t take long for this change to happen. The fiber in plant-based foods feeds good bacteria, which is essential for a healthy gut and better overall health. Fiber will also improve your bowel movements, keeping you regular and preventing constipation. While it’s true that a lot of new vegans may experience an increase in gas and bloating, this is usually only temporary since the body is not used to a high intake of fiber. You can reduce this unwanted side effect easily by chewing your food more, drinking extra water, and cooking your vegetables.

Weight Loss

More and more people are drawn to a vegan diet because it easily allows you to lose weight. Compared to animal protein and dairy products, plant-based foods are lower in calories, especially when in their natural, unprocessed state. Fruits and vegetables also have higher water and fiber content, which leaves you feeling full without consuming a lot of calories. Of course, there are other benefits to losing weight as well. When you lower your body mass index (BMI), you also reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Blood Sugar Control

Some people may be surprised to hear that even though a vegan diet contains a lot of starchy vegetables, it can actually benefit those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Not only can it help manage and reverse symptoms, but it can also prevent the development of type 2 diabetes altogether. Since a vegan diet is high in fiber, it can help regulate blood sugar levels. Many plant-based foods are also low on the glycemic index, so they won’t spike your blood sugar.

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Switching to a vegan diet can dramatically reduce your cholesterol levels, especially the bad cholesterol that can lead to heart disease. While meat and dairy products all contain dietary cholesterol and are high in saturated fat, fruits and vegetables contain zero cholesterol and are low in saturated fat. The high fiber content in plant-based foods can help lower your cholesterol levels as well. In fact, many people who switch to a vegan diet are able to reduce the amount of cholesterol-lowering drugs they take or come off of them completely.

Less Inflammation

Short-term inflammation is normal and necessary to heal and prevent illness. However, too much inflammation or chronic inflammation can lead to many chronic diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more.

It turns out that your diet can play a major role in the amount of inflammation in the body. Meat, cheese, and other animal products are all highly inflammatory foods. A vegan diet, on the other hand, is naturally anti-inflammatory because plant-based foods are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

Better Mood

From less stress and anxiety to a happier disposition, vegan food is the definition of “good mood food.” Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are rich in nutrients that can support your mental well-being.

Healthier Skin

Want to know the secret to healthier-looking skin? A vegan diet! One of the beautiful side effects of eating plants is glowing skin. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, and E and contain powerful antioxidants that can help you glow from the inside out—literally.

By eliminating dairy from your diet, you’re more likely to notice clearer skin. That’s because dairy contains hormones that trigger breakouts. When dairy is combined with other highly processed foods and refined sugars that are common in the standard American diet, you create a recipe for acne to form.

Visit Willow in NYC!

As you can see, a lot of positive changes happen to your body when you go vegan! If you’d like to try some delicious vegan cuisine in NYC, stop by Willow today. Our restaurant at 199 8th Avenue serves vegan comfort food with upscale plating. You can also place pickup or delivery orders online. We look forward to serving you an outstanding meal!

Order Online

How to Start a Plant-Based Diet

Are you ready to transition to a plant-based diet but have no idea where to start? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to start a plant-based diet.

Willow serves delicious vegan dishes with innovative preparations. Visit us today for dine-in, delivery, or takeout!

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What is a Plant-Based Diet?

There’s a lot of confusion regarding the difference between a vegan and plant-based diet. The official definition of a plant-based diet is a diet that consists of whole, unrefined, and/or minimally processed plant foods. These include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts. 

Those who eat a plant-based diet usually avoid highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oils. When it comes to eating meat, it all depends on your interpretation. Many of those who follow a plant-based diet don’t eat meat, but others may eat it in small amounts. For vegans, it’s important to be aware of this and check labels and ingredients.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Plant-Based Diet

Now that you know what you’ll be eating, here’s how to start a plant-based diet and ensure you stick with it:

Find Your “Why”

Before you begin a plant-based diet, take a minute and remind yourself why you want to start eating this way in the first place. Did you read about the benefits of eliminating animal products from your diet and hope to improve your health? Perhaps you want to lose weight, reduce your environmental footprint, or prevent the suffering of animals. Whatever your motivation may be, write it down and put it on your fridge or bathroom mirror as a daily reminder. This will help you stay committed on those days when you want to go back to your old way of eating.

Prepare Your Kitchen

Out of sight, out of mind! If you’re serious about your new plant-based diet, the best way to show your commitment is to get rid of any foods that aren’t plant-based. That doesn’t mean you have to throw them away! If the food is still good, consider donating it to your local food bank, ask a neighbor if they’d like it, or take it to work and offer it to your co-workers.

If you’re the only one in your house that’s eating a plant-based diet, create dedicated space for your plant-based items in your pantry and fridge, whether it’s a designated drawer or shelf.

Stock Up on Plant-Based Foods

Now that you’ve made room in your pantry and refrigerator, it’s time to go grocery shopping! The easiest way to support your new, plant-powered lifestyle is to make sure your kitchen is always stocked with healthy, whole plant foods. 

Fill your cart with fruits and vegetables to snack on, as well as hummus, canned beans, and whole grains like oats, quinoa, and rice. Don’t forget to stock your freezer with frozen fruits and vegetables as well. They’ll come in handy on those days when you need to throw a meal together fast!

Want more vegan grocery tips? Check out our vegan grocery list for beginners!

Get Enough Calories

One of the biggest adjustments for anyone transitioning to a plant-based diet is eating enough calories. Compared to the Standard American Diet, which is loaded with processed foods that are high in fat, a plant-based diet is made up of foods that have a lower caloric density. They’re also high in fiber and water, which means they’ll make you feel full without eating a lot of calories. While your body is getting used to your new way of eating, don’t worry about portion sizes—even if you’re trying to lose weight. If you’re hungry, eat! Also, don’t forget to eat the rainbow so your body gets the proper nutrients.

Take it One Day at a Time

Starting any new diet can be hard. But beginning a plant-based diet, which is probably the complete opposite of the way you’ve been eating your entire life, comes with its own set of challenges. Rather than worrying about what you’re going to eat at Thanksgiving or how you’ll have to turn down your grandma’s cake when you visit her, take it one meal at a time. If you accidentally eat something that isn’t plant-based, that’s ok! Be kind to yourself and simply try to do the best you can.

Keep Educating Yourself

If you find yourself having trouble sticking to your new plant-based diet, come back to your “why” from step one and educate yourself more. Here are some resources you can utilize based on your “why”:

  • If you’re eating a plant-based diet for health reasons, watch a documentary like “What the Health” or “Forks Over Knives.” 
  • If you’re trying to lose weight, find some success stories online or join an online community to help you stay motivated and accountable. 
  • If you’re an eco-warrior, track how much your plant-based diet is reducing your environmental footprint. 
  • If you’re protecting animals, visit a local animal sanctuary or watch a documentary like “Earthlings” or “Cowspiracy.” 

Visit Willow in NYC!

If you’d like to try some delicious vegan cuisine in NYC, stop by Willow today! Our restaurant at 199 8th Avenue serves vegan comfort food with upscale plating. You can also place pickup or delivery orders online. We look forward to serving you an outstanding meal!

Order Online