Meet Me in St. Louis – 6 Vegan Foodie HotSpots

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 πŸ‘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 – πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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 πŸ‘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”.

Kale Pizza at Seedz Cafe

Kale and mushroom pizza! Homemade dough with a yummy cashew white sauce, kale, mushrooms, black olives, fresh garlic, raw white onions, and rawmesan.

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.

Soup of the day at Seedz Cafe in St. Louis

The soup of the day was a hearty, tomato-based lentil soup. Packed with fresh organic veg!

Since we always spilt all our food, I ordered one of the local favorites and one of the best sellers, the Malibu Melt.

The Malibu Melt @ Seedz Cafe in St. Louis

A local favorite! Homemade zesty cashew sauce, roasted mushrooms with caramelized onions and a special Seedz kitchen sauce on local sourdough bread with a small greens salad.

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.

Layla πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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 in St. Louis

Offering gourmet burgers and shawarma. The outdoor patio was closed since it was a cold and rainy night in October.

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.

Krispy Kale @ Layla in St. Louis

This flash-fried kale was no match for me and David…we devoured this plate of crunchy greens in under 5 minutes.

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!

Unicorn Burger @ Layla in St. Louis

Made with our favorite, the Beyond Meat patty, this burger didn’t last long. The burger toppings included cashew nacho cheese, pickled jalapenos, a homemade Mediterranean pico between a pretzel bun.

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.

Falafel Shawarma @ Layla in St. Louis

This was the plant-based shawarma option on the menu and the portion size was huge! I could only eat 1/2 of this!

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. πŸ™„

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 πŸ‘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 πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites @ Lulu's Local Eatery in St. Louis

I liked the spicy sauce on this buffalo cauliflower and the vegan ranch dipping sauce was tasty.

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.

Sweet potato and black bean sliders @ Lulu's Local Eatery in St. Louis

It’s hard to see the actual patty on these sliders but, if you look at the next picture it is virtually the same thing. These sliders came with the option of three different sauces, buffalo, spicy chipotle, ranch or butternut squash cheese sauce.

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.

The sweet potato and black bean burger @ Lulu's Local Eatery, St. Louis

Good portion and certainly filling. This is the big brother to the sliders!

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!

Carnitas Tacos @ Lulu's Local Eatery in St. Louis

These delightful street tacos are made with marinated and grilled jackfruit and topped with all the favorite taco accouterments including a house-made butternut squash cheese sauce.

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.

Tater tots @ Lulu's Local Eatery, St. Louis

Now, these little bad boys were TASTY! We had two servings for the table and not a single tot remained!

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.

Winter Flatbread @ Lulu's in St. Louis

This flatbread was topped with a ton of fresh winter veg including butternut squash, Brussel sprouts, and onions. The kale and pumpkin seed pesto created the base for the veg. The sprinkle seen here is a house-made walnut parmesan, which is always creative in my chef book!

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 πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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!

Pizza Head in St. Louis

This picture totally does not do this flavor-packed pie justice and for the record, the slice does not come with all that crushed red pepper…that’s David’s doing!

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 πŸ‘πŸ‘ 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.

Fresh Spring Rolls @ Frida's in St. Louis

Meh. Not only would I have cut them in half for presentation purposes, but I also would have added some of that sauce to the inside…

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.

Red Bean and Vegetable Enchilada @ Frida's in St. Louis

The perfect amount of spicy, cheesy cashew sauce with red beans, zucchini, avocado, red pepper, tomato, onion, crimini mushrooms and organic spinach on the inside.

Lastly, David had the Frida’s veggie melt that included their signature Frida patty, dairy-free provolone, sautΓ©ed mushroom, onion & organic spinach, tomato, pickles, jalapeΓ±o, 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.

Frida's Veggie Melt in St. Louis

Their signature veg patty with all the tasty accouterments. David also got the buffalo potatoes, an upgraded side for $3 but they were a bit underseasoned.

The last foodie spot we stopped at on our way to the airport was for brunch at

MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘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.

Outside MoKaBe's Coffeehouse, St. Louis

A great patio but a little too cold for us Floridians.

Window view at MoKaBe's Coffeehouse in St. Louis

Our third level, two-person tabletop overlooking the botanical gardens. A great view of the autumn leaves.

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.

Vegan options at MoKabe's Sunday Buffet

I tried all the vegan options on the buffet…from top to bottom: Mediterranean tofu scramble, a mango chutney for the vegan sausage and vegan crab cakes (I’m pretty sure these were processed), and roasted potatoes.

Vegan French toast at MoKaBe's in St. Louis.

As part of the cost of the Sunday breakfast buffet, they will make fresh vegan french toast upon request, in place of the one offered on the buffet. If this vegan version was actually on the buffet, I probably would have grabbed 3 or 4 pieces.

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.Β  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.

Buffet plates are not always pretty to look at, but this food was so flavorful and downright delicious.

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!

St.Louis from the top of the Gateway Arch

The top of the Gateway Arch. The people mover up 630 feet was a tiny capsule-like vehicle that barely fit 5 adults. But, with a view like this, who’s complaining?

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis on a cloudy, cold morning in October.

Autumn in St. Louis

We don’t get colors even close to this where I live in Florida. The change in scenery and weather (47Β°) was so refreshing!

 Vegan It Real's Jennifer and Husband David at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens

Our last stop before hitting the airport was the Botanical Gardens. I am so happy we made time to do this, especially on a day that the sun came out and temperatures were mild.

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.

🍎πŸ₯¦πŸ₯•

If you enjoyed this foodie adventure, be sure to check out some of my other vegan travel adventures in Portland and up and down the Grand Canyon state, Arizona.


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WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

22 Comments

  1. Ramae Hamrin on at

    I love vegan restaurants! I eat a gluten-free, plant-based diet, not entirely vegan, but very close. It’s so hard to go out to eat at a standard restaurant. I usually just sit there with my salad and baked potato — and glass of wine. 😊I would love to try Seedz if I am ever in the St. Louis area. I depend on posts like these when I travel to find places like these. Thank you!

  2. Charlene on at

    It is always scary to go out to eat when you have special dietary needs! This is a great guide for vegans everywhere.

  3. Candy K on at

    I’m not vegan but these all look delicious!

  4. Holly Bird on at

    I love St Louis!! This is a great reference for some amazing hot spots for those vegans out there!! Thank you!

  5. Jen on at

    Wow – this all looks and sounds delish!

  6. Brianna on at

    All of it looks so delicious! Especially the pizza!

  7. jody on at

    This food looks amazing my oldest sister went vegan a few years ago she swears by it now. Awesome pictures thanks for sharing.

  8. Michelle on at

    The food looks fantastic. It is so hard to find places to eat, this is a great resource for anybody who is heading to St. Louis.

  9. That Malibu Melt looks amazing! Seriously, I want it now!

  10. Jill DeMasi on at

    Food looks yummy! I love trying different types of food. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Heather on at

    Wow, there are lots of good eats in this post. Your pictures have me drooling.

  12. KENDRA on at

    I’m not vegan, but these pictures and descriptions could certainly convince me to convert! I really want to try cashew cheese soon! Those Krispy Kale chips look amazing!

  13. The pictures are beautiful and are a good reminder that vegan food can be incredibly delicious.

  14. Lisa Manderino on at

    Wow you really got to try so many delicious meals! They all look amazing!

  15. Great list! I have some friends who are vegan and go to St Louis for work! I’ll send this to them!

  16. The food looks great, especially the pizza. Great tips for Vegans who are traveling through St. Louis.

  17. Tracy on at

    That food all looks delicious! I’ll have to check these places out next time we are in St. Louis. Thanks!

  18. Haley Kelley on at

    I’m not vegan but these places look amazing!

  19. Tricia Snow on at

    I am not Vegan but the food always looks amazing! I am glad to see more spots serving Vegan dishes!

  20. Cindy on at

    Thanks for the reviews! I’ve been vegan and gluten free for 3 1/2 years and it can be challenging to find good places to eat while on the road. I’m glad to see more and more options available!

  21. T.M. on at

    I didn’t realize going into this post how many of these offerings would sound so appetizing!!! We used to live in St. Louis, but we’re not vegan by any means. Of course, there were quite a few plates there you mentioned that have me curious! Sweet potato and black bean burger? The unicorn burger? Buffalo cauliflower – Hmmm…..may have to give these a try somewhere.

  22. Robin on at

    The pizza and the sliders look so yummy!

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Meet Jennifer

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I'm Chef Jennifer! A trained and certified personal vegan chef, offering delicious and nutritious animal-free food through personalized, weekly meal-prep services. I also love advocating for the plant-based lifestyle. Changing lives, saving animals and veganizing the planet with REAL food, one plate at a time.🍎πŸ₯¦πŸ₯•

Learn about me, why I started VIR and why I believe food is medicine...for real!


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