Milwaukee Vegetarian/Vegan Guide: 15 Plant-Based Restaurants That Vegans & Vegetarians Will Love

Get your plants on with these vegetarian, vegan and plant-forward Milwaukee restaurants.

Map of Milwaukee Vegetarian/Vegan Dining

1) Beans & Barley

Beans and Barley; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Windows frame two sides of this utilitarian dining room, allowing light to spill onto the red patterned booths. A solid choice for breakfast, the cafe is especially friendly to the veg-loving crowd.
1901 E. North Ave.

2) Beerline Cafe

Beerline Cafe; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

The eco-friendly dining room is often filled with city folk working on their laptops. The main food focus here: crepes, cromelettes (crepe-omelets) and panini. Great mushroom-barley burger.
2076 N. Commerce St.

3) Bombay Sweets

At Bombay Sweets, you can build a very respectable meatless meal from the vegetarian platters, curries and rice specialties served at this simple showroom of sit-down-and-carryout foods. It’s also a hub for Indian snacks – salty and sweet, nutty and gooey, gelatinous and creamy and every mouth sensation in between.
3401 S. 13th St.

4) Bowls

Sunny dining room/open kitchen where the bill of fare comes in a bowl. The menu features grain-, vegetable- and smoothie-based bowls. Highlights: chocolate peanut-butter smoothie and Green Goddess barley bowl.
207 W. Freshwater Way

5) Cafe Manna

Serves a completely plant-based menu in eco-friendly surroundings. Wines come from organic, sustainable vineyards. Vegan, raw and gluten-free options available.
3815 N. Brookfield Rd., Brookfield

6) Casablanca

Casablanca photo by Adam Ryan Morris

Two levels of pulsating Middle Eastern music, and the perfumed fragrance of hookahs. Hookahs everywhere. If you’re here to eat (not inhale), order the appetizer combo or stuffed falafel.
728 E. Brady St.

7) Celesta

Co-owner/chef Melanie Manuel follows through on her goal of making plant-based food accessible to every palate. The staple menu includes standouts such as lima fries, arancini (rice balls), roasted za’atar cauliflower, a buffalo tofu sandwich, “balance” grain bowl and kale Caesar. Look for specials on the chalkboard menu.
1978 N. Farwell Ave.

8) Cloud Red

Photo by Adam Ryan Morris

A modern, plant-based take on bar food at Shorewood’s former Village Pub. The seasonal menu is printed on the chalkboard and includes a Vietnamese po’ boy, Thai grilled steak salad and grass-fed burger. Great taco Tuesday.
4488 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood

9) Comet Cafe

Comet Cafe’s Wicked Garden; photo by Moriah Bame

Whether you’re a vegetarian or omnivore, you can eat well here. Oldie hits include the meatloaf with beer gravy and AJ’s compact turkey dinner. Some new items deserve attentions, including the pulled pork sammie and Comet pro browl of grilled tofu, veggies and brown rice with ginger-peanut dressing.
 1947 N. Farwell Ave.

10) On the Bus

The setting for this counter-service joint (an old 1971 VW bus) draws extra attention to the plant-based activity going on here. Besides making their own seitan for sandwiches, they craft vegan ice creams. Sandwiches range from Jamaican jerk seitan on ciabatta to grilled sun-dried tomato pesto. Try a date shake like the mango zinger or an almond cocoa bowl.
Milwaukee Public Market, 400 N. Water St.

11) Riverwest Co-op Cafe

Some great, simple earth-friendly food comes out of this tiny kitchen connected to a grocery store. That includes the banh mi sandwich, Sloppy Jones and Korean-inspired bi bim bop of brown rice and steamed veggies topped with BBQ tofu. Don’t miss the vegan pancakes on their breakfast menu.
733 E. Clarke St.

12) Strange Town

Strange Town

European-vibed spot for genuinely inspiring plant-based food and wines from naturally operated vineyards. Frequent menu changes. Highlights: Sicilian pizza and any salad.
2101 N. Prospect Ave.

13) The Cheel

Several options at this warm, welcoming restaurant are either vegan (eggplant bharta, Burmese chickpea gyaw) or can be prepared vegan, such as the traditional Nepalese thali and Burmese shan noodles.
105 S. Main St., Thiensville

14) The Next Level Vegans

This business – which also has a food truck/catering arm in Chicago – takes a home cooking approach to meatless cooking. BBQ, mac and cheese, greens and pizza are among the options.
Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave.

15) Urban Beets

The bar/dining room at Urban Beets Cafe & Juicery

Lots of options for plant-based diners. Try the raw taco salad, creamy peanut stew and the UB poke bowl.
1401 N. Doctor M.L.K. Jr. Dr.; 3077 N. Mayfair Rd., Wauwatosa



Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.