Searching for plant-based options in or around Baltimore is easy with its plethora of vegan restaurants and businesses. Its tight-knit community puts it at the forefront of veganism, with many annual festivals and events. Even if it is not Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week or you are not at Vegan SoulFest, you can still try these local restaurants for plant-based options, catering to every palate.
For subs: The Greener Kitchen
Located in the southwest Baltimore neighborhood of Pigtown, The Greener Kitchen is the city’s only all-vegan deli. You may have seen its cheeses, meats and condiments, made in house, on other vegan dishes throughout the city since The Greener Kitchen is also a wholesale distributor.
The Greener Kitchen serves cold cuts, pizza and wings but are best known for its Philly cheesesteaks. Also sold individually are its mayonnaise, cheesesteak and pork mixes, pepper jack cheese and more. The Greener Kitchen stays true to its mission of providing high-quality, fresh vegan food to the city of Baltimore with affordable prices and weekly specials. On Fridays, cheesesteaks cost $5 from 3 to 8 p.m.
For pupusas: Franchesca’s Empanadas Cafe
In an interview with The News-Letter, Baltimore resident Katharine Doggett explained that for most of her time as a vegan, she longed to eat pupusas once again.
“I grew up eating pupusas with my family, and when I had to stop, it left a void in me,” she said. “I filled it at Franchesca's Empanadas Cafe.”
The Highlandtown restaurant opened during the pandemic in fall 2020, and immediately, Franchesca Nuñez received requests for vegan options on the menu. Currently, the menu features vegan pupusas, vegan empanadas and even a vegan Korean barbecue bowl.
The vegan pupusas start at $4.50 and consist of beans, cheese and beef inside of a thick corn cake. Fillings for vegan empanadas include eggplant, vegetables and pineapple coconut and start at $3.35.
For comfort food: My Mama’s Vegan
What began inside of a home kitchen quickly became a Baltimore favorite. If you are looking for variety, make a trip to My Mama’s Vegan, a five-minute drive from Hopkins.
At this vegan hotspot, expect to find cauliflower bites, tacos, burgers, breakfast and more. Weekly specials have included Po Boys, Chickn’ Baskets, and Katfish sandwiches. Join them for Taco Tuesday, where you can try jerk chickn’, fish and Doritos taco varieties.
Though carryout only, My Mamas’s Vegan has multiple outdoor seating tables. For late-night cravings, they are open until 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
For pizza: Char’d City
One step into Char’d City and the smell from its wood fired oven is undeniable. Though its vegan menu is extensive, this sit-down restaurant is best known for its inventive artisanal pizzas. Here, try the Beyond Vegan pizza, topped with mozzarella, cheddar and Beyond Sausage or the V Mac pizza, made with mac and cheese ditalini.
Other vegan offerings include chicken strips, pizza pitas and Caesar salads. Do not forget dessert, either: On the menu is a vegan pudding topped with cookies. Omnivores can enjoy dinner here, too, as meat and dairy options are present across the board.
Currently, Char’d City is open Wednesday through Sunday.
For healthy options: With Love Co.: A Plant-Based Sip & Eat Joint (With Love Co.)
Vegan junk food may be hard to avoid in Baltimore, but not at With Love Co., located just outside the city in Parkville. Their entire menu is vegan, gluten-free and mostly raw. With Love Co. combines great, fresh taste with healthy options without compromising on taste.
Lentil burgers, avocado toast and tuna lettuce wraps are all sold at this carryout joint, where each item is made, as their title states, with love. As for comfort food, soups such as African Peanut and Broccoli & Cheeze are menu staples. For sides, try their deviled avocado and sweet potato salads.
For brunch: Friends and Family
Formerly known as Sticky Rice, Friends and Family in Fells Point rebranded itself as an all-day breakfast and lunch restaurant last year. It boasts a creative menu with biscuits, scrambles, burritos and more. Some age-old favorites from Sticky Rice remain on the menu, such as the Bucket of Tots, vegan potstickers and Mock Chicken Nuggets.
Swap out Kentucky Fried Chicken for Friends and Family’s Hail to the Colonel dish, filled with mashed potatoes, corn, mock chicken, gravy and cheese. Or, if breakfast is what you are craving, order the Sticky Mess scramble, made vegan with bacon, sausage, peppers, hash, cheese and a tofu scramble option.
For dessert: Cloudy Donut Co.
With locations in Hamilton and Federal Hill, this all-vegan donut shop caters to everyone’s sweet tooth. Living up to their name, Cloudy Donut Co. donuts are as fluffy as clouds. All donuts are handmade with flavors rotating weekly.
The menu has included imaginative flavors such as Salted Caramel Whiskey and Cherry Pie and classic ones, such as Powdered and Cinnamon Sugar. Make sure to get there early, as flavors often sell out.
For Indian food: Pavan Foods
Harford Road’s Pavan Foods is an all-vegetarian carryout restaurant located in Parkville. There is no shortage of vegan options on the menu, all of which are clearly labeled. A friendly staff combined with affordable prices makes Pavan Foods one of the best Indian restaurants in town.
Try their curries, such as chana masala and aloo gobi. If snacks are more your thing, pick up a few samosas for only $4. Pavan Foods appeals to every price point, with curries sold in three sizes ranging from $5 to $17.