The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Vegan Restaurants
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt Build-your-own pizza at ZPizza with artichokes, eggplant and capers.
One of the few pizza places in town to offer both vegan and gluten-free options -- it's a California-based chain, after all -- ZPizza always manages to impress with its regular, run-of-the-mill pizzas, too. The Bissonnet location is more geared toward delivery and takeout, but has a cheerful if basic dining room. You can order its most popular options by the slice or build your own with a huge selection of sauces, cheeses and toppings, including the surprisingly creamy vegan cheese, Daiya, which is so good you won't miss the dairy-based stuff. You can also BYOB here -- and there's even a Spec's right across the street.
6. Roots Bistro
Photo by Troy Fields
Vegan but still like an upscale dining experience or a thoughtful wine list? Roots Bistro in Montrose was almost custom-built for you. Although vegan chef German Mosquera recently left, new exec Chandler Rothbard is set to keep the menu interesting and modern -- while very vegetable-friendly at the same time. Try the charred okra with maple syrup to start or the "squashta" made with seasonal squash, topped with squash blossoms and vegetables in a tangy tahini dressing. For dessert, there's a wickedly good raw chocolate chai ganache with persimmon puree.
5. Pepper Tree
Photo by Mandy Oaklander Vegan General Tso's chicken at Pepper Tree.
Pepper Tree is best known for its $9.99 buffet, which features vegetarian Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine as well as a few Western dishes. Anything normally made with meat is reimagined here with textured vegetable protein and more: Tofu versions of Peking duck, General Tso's chicken and kung pao chicken all come out tasting delicious. The modern, calming decor, the spotless interior and the friendly, knowledgeable staff make this the place for the novice or the experienced vegan. The wonderful owners, Happy and Mike Tsai, even serve de-chlorinated, triple-distilled alkaline clustered water in an ultimate health-conscious display.
4. Loving Hut
Photo by Troy Fields Vegan sushi at Loving Hut.
Yes, Loving Hut is run by a cult. But that cult makes damn good vegan food, so I'm willing to overlook it. (Anyway, it's not like these are Scientologists we're talking about.) The menu at this far-flung West Houston restaurant is primarily Asian-focused, with Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese-influenced dishes, but there are also more Americanized dishes like the Loving Hut Burger (with a soy patty and Vegenaise) and the Savory Spaghetti made with tofu. Half restaurant, half cafe serving fresh-squeezed juices, Loving Hut offers something for everyone --
as long as they don't eat meat. You can even grab some its more popular items, pre-packed, from the freezer to take home.