Meet Me in St. Louis – 6 Vegan Foodie HotSpots
My husband, David, and I recently had the opportunity to visit St. Louis for a few days for my nephew’s wedding. We were super excited to taste the local vegan fare and we hit as many foodie hotspots as possible, in just 72 hours.
Let me start by saying, I am completely impressed with the vegan footprint in St. Louis. Prior to visiting I had learned that one of my nephew’s favorite restaurants in the area is vegan (and he is not), so I knew there would be at least some options. After our experience in northern AZ, I no longer assume I will eat delicious plant-based food, all the time, on every vacation. But man, was I schooled! The Spirit of St. Louis is definitely embraced and on display through the creative dishes brought by the local chefs.
We had the opportunity to eat at 6 different restaurants that were either completely plant-based or had multiple vegan options on their menu. In addition to the vegan hotspots, we were extremely thrilled when we learned the buffet at the wedding reception was completely vegetarian and about 80% vegan!
St. Louis certainly brought the food…and boy did we eat it!
As I do in all my foodie travel blogs, I rated these hotspots between 1 – 5 👍s.
5 thumbs mean it was outstanding. This rating is based on our experiences only. I always take into account, not just food quality and flavor, but also overall selection, how plant-based options are indicated on the menu, value (quantity & quality vs. cost), ambiance and yes, flavor. 😁
So, welcome to St. Louis’ foodie scene, in the order in which we chowed down…
Seedz Cafe – 👍👍👍👍
Fully plant-based vegan cuisine, pricier than similar places, extremely flavorful, counter-service style, good ambiance, lots of options.
With a sizable menu and a wide variety of fresh plant-based delights, Seedz Cafe offered a cool vibe and delicious food. I absolutely loved the kale pizza and I just kept eating and eating.
I would have given this place 5 👍s, but, the prices were just a tad high for, shall I say, my taste. With that said, they do make a lot of their own ingredients such as the homemade pizza dough, zesty cashew cheese, and rawmesan, a yummy, raw “parmesan”.
David ordered the pizza and I devoured 2 – 1/2 slices, even after eating most of my food…it was that good!
We also ordered the soup of the day….so comforting, so delicious, so gone.
Since we always spilt all our food, I ordered one of the local favorites and one of the best sellers, the Malibu Melt.
Seedz was definitely a place we would recommend and we would totally eat there again. And, while we were enjoying our lunch, a local sat next to us and gushed about this being one of his favorite places. I totally recommend stopping here on your way through St. Louis for a tasty meal.
That night we hit another local favorite specializing in brews, burgers and, of all things, shawarma.
4317 Manchester Ave
A bar-type atmosphere, old-school vintage decor, cool vibe, some vegan options, pretty flavorful, reasonable prices.
This place was definitely a good find since it was not on my original researched restaurant list. Looking for a quick, casual bite that night, I googled vegan food and Layla came up in my search listing a few burger options and a falafel shwarma, so off we went.
Layla is not a vegan restaurant but, claim they’re St. Louis’ only restaurant offering gourmet burgers and shawarma…so inquiring minds had to know. They had a sizable and creative menu, with several plant-based options. Sharing everything we order, David and I started with the Krisy Kale, a delicious little teaser that David still talks about.
Man ‘o man that kale was delish! The combination of a flash-fried crispy alongside the generous squeeze of lemon was divine. I tried to recreate it home but, I think the key was the frying (an indulgent treat for sure!).
David ordered the Unicorn Burger and a side of spicy batata potatoes, which were very spicy!
Since they are known for shawarma, I had to order the traditional style, falafel shawarma inside a pita with a side of the quinoa tabbouleh.
I am glad I tried their specialty dish since it was super tasty. The sauce shown is a spicy hummus, roasted red pepper and chili garlic sauce and boy was it HOT! Too hot for me, but, David poured it all over his potatoes and his burger. 🙄
I would go back to Layla again for the cool ambiance, the awesome brews and to gobble up some more of that amazing Krispy Kale, and I would have given 4 👍s if they had more plant-based options, especially something for dessert.
The restaurant that was first on my list during my research, and is one of my nephew’s favorites is called
Lulu’s Local Eatery 👍👍👍
3201 S Grand Blvd
A favorite with locals, hip vibe & ambiance, completely plant-based, reasonable prices, great selection, creative, flavorful & seasonal food.
We met my sister and her husband at Lulu’s after an awesome trip up into the Gateway arch. My sister had been to Lulu’s several times and was really impressed by the food. I was excited to eat here because it was the once place she had mentioned to me when we first planned the trip months ago.
Interestingly enough, my initial experience was a little different than my sister’s. However, the downside to my experience was probably more because of what I ordered and not reflective of the actual food, for the most part.
For instance, they ordered the buffalo cauliflower for us to share and IMO it was “meh’. I thought the sauce and dip was good but it lacked that memorable flavor “punch” and the inside of the cauliflower was quite mushy. I don’t think that was the intent. With that said, my sister mentioned that it was better the last time they had it, which leaves me questioning their consistency.
My sister and brother-in-law ordered the sweet potato and black beans sliders which came with three different sauces and a small fresh salad.
David ordered the big version of the sweet potato and black bean slider, on a pretzel bun and with the chipotle sauce. He liked it but said it wasn’t anything out of this world.
My sister also ordered the carnitas tacos, which looked so good and is probably what I should have ordered, based on how my mouth watered when they came out. Sadly, I did not taste them but I know my sister and brother-in-law really like them!
We ordered two helpings of these delectable little tater tot bites. They were sprinkled with cajun seasoning and served with the spicy chipotle dipping sauce.
Last but not least, my dish, the seasonal winter flatbread. As you can see it is piled high with veggie goodness, but, I would almost argue, too piled! I’m thinking they could have put on 1/2 the roasted winter veggies since after the third or fourth bite it just became super heavy.
I appreciate the amount of food Lulu’s brought with this entree, but with such heavy, rich and savory food, I didn’t want much more after a few bites. All-in-all I would go back to Lulu’s and try something completely different and maybe not so heavy. and I will chow down more of those tots, thank you very much.
The night before the wedding and before the big rehearsal party/family meet and greet, David and I stopped for pizza at
Pizza Head 👍👍👍👍
3196 S Grand Blvd
Very casual, retro ambiance, fairly priced slices, totally tasty, vegetarian & vegan only, all meat offered is vegan, super-quick.
A no-frills, beer and pizza joint, this place is certainly rocking the tasty vegan pies! Only wanting a little to eat that night, we were super thrilled to see Pizza Head offered slices, not just huge pies. We only had our choice of pepperoni or cheese for slices so we opted for the pepperoni. All I can say is…I wish I had ordered a whole pie!
I am not sure how they create that completely addictive cheesy sauce on the top, and I loved the soft, chewy crust. My goodness, I could not get enough. David ordered these two slices and I only had one, but, I wanted so many more. You can order the vegan whole pie, plain at $22 and add toppings, but each topping can run between $2 and $4, which means a “supreme” would cost quite a bit, but judging by the to-go boxes they were big pies.
With that said, in the short time we sat there, we saw them make about a dozen to-go pizzas and the restaurant door never stopped revolving with Pizza Head pizza lovers. A definite must-try the next time you are in St. Louis.
On the day of the wedding, it rained all day long. Since the wedding was supposed to be outside in Forest Park, plans were changed at the last minute and we found ourselves with about 3 hours of free time between the wedding and reception. David and I decided to grab a late lunch at
Frida’s 👍👍 1/2
622 North and South Rd
Up-scale (I.e. a bit bouge), on the pricey side, ok flavors, flat food presentation, good service, vegetarian & vegan, lots of options, complimentary flavored water.
The only thing I knew about this restaurant after a Google search is that it offered all vegetarian and vegan fare. The moment we stepped foot in the door, it felt fancy and expensive. Don’t get me wrong, I can do fancy and expensive if it’s worth it, but for me, Frida’s fell a little short when comparing flavor, presentations, and creativity to the overall costs.
We started with the soup of the day (not shown), which was a vegan tortilla, tomato-based soup. David thought it lacked flavor but I thought it was pretty good (which is usually the other way around!).
Next, we ordered the fresh spring rolls and it took everything I had not to giggle when this came out.
IMO they were not pleasant to look at and because they were raw, they seemed very dry. If raw is your jam, you’d probably like them. We were not lovin’ the texture or flavor tho, since it seemed pretty bland, and I likely would not order it again.
On the upside, I did like the flavors of my red bean and vegetable enchilada with housemade smoked, cashew cheddar enchilada sauce. The tortilla it was wrapped in was cooked a bit unevenly but the overall flavors came together. The portion size was a little too big for me and after the first enchilada, I did not want the second one. I would have loved a side of beans and rice or another innovative side dish, instead of another big enchilada.
Lastly, David had the Frida’s veggie melt that included their signature Frida patty, dairy-free provolone, sautéed mushroom, onion & organic spinach, tomato, pickles, jalapeño, dairy-free roasted garlic dijonnaise on a locally made bun. David thought the flavors were pretty good, but the potatoes were a bit underseasoned in his opinion.
The last foodie spot we stopped at on our way to the airport was for brunch at
MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse 👍👍👍1/2
A hip, busy atmosphere, 3 neat levels of seating, counter service, friendly helpful staff, buffet pricey but regular menu is a good value, some food seems processed or not as fresh. (Note-we only ate from the vegan portion of the buffet.)
Every Sunday MoKaBe’s has a breakfast buffet for $15 per person, that offers several vegetarian and vegan options. They will also whip up a special order of vegan french toast if you ask as part of the cost of the buffet. My sister talks about coming here every time they visit my nephew in St. Louis so I thought we would give it a try.
Great ambiance with an outdoor patio and three levels of seating. We chose a spot that gave us a great view of the outskirts of the botanical gardens across the street.
The food was flavorful, served buffet style, however, some of the items were a little chewy because they sat over the buffet burner too long. I liked the flavors of the Mediterranean tofu scramble and then there was that freshly prepared french toast that hit the mark.
If anything, the meal that I put together from the buffet was comforting. I liked the assortment of food, I just didn’t come close to eating $15 worth of food. I would go back to MoKaBe’s even though the price was a bit high for what we actually ate. There are probably some people who find it’s a great deal.
A final bonus foodie review is that of the catering company that provided some pretty ah-Mazing food at my nephew’s wedding. As I mentioned early on, my nephew is not vegan, but, he and his mindful bride hired Ces & Judy’s Catering, and they offered a variety of vegan and vegetarian entrees for the buffet. I am completely remiss that I did not snap a photo of the actual buffet before we all dove in because it was pretty awesome. I did manage to snap a shot of my plate before I ate every single thing on it!
In the shot below you see Mejadra, (flavorful lentils with rice pilaf), cauliflower shawarma, two kinds of pita, a greens salad, and fresh veg with the baba ganoush dip. They also had a vegetarian chili station. The chili was a spicy veg and bean base and we added scallions and tomatoes. It was all really flavorful and was the best wedding buffet food I have had in a very long time.
We probably would not have gone to St. Louis on our own so I am so grateful that love and marriage brought us here. In addition to all the great food, David and I spent our free time exploring the waterfront, the local museums, the awesome botanical garden, and we even made it to the top of the arch. What a great city with a history so old and deep it’s hard to wrap your head around.
Here are a few pictures capturing the Spirit of St. Louis!
A final note: Thank you to all the St. Louis chefs who are moving the bar on plant-based food, in both flavor and creativity. From one vegan chef to another, your services are greatly appreciated.
Certified Plant-Based Chef and Holistic Nutritionist veganizing the planet one meal at a time. Bringing fans vegan food, brand, travel & lifestyle news while offering clients personalized vegan chef services in the Tampa Bay area. For the health of it! View all posts by Jennifer