The third-largest city in the State of New York, Rochester is highly acclaimed for its thriving music culture, family-friendly attractions and fantastic culinary scene. Although being the city where the “Garbage Plate” was invented, Rochester’s dining scene definitely extends to more than just this American extreme cuisine.
Below we’ve shortlisted six vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Rochester, NY, that highlight that wonderful dining scene well. Not all of those restaurants are exclusively vegetarian – a few serve both meat and vegetarian dishes – but the appealing vegetarian options at those restaurants means we just had to include some of those non-vegetarian restaurants on our list too.
So let’s dive into our six best vegetarian restaurants in Rochester, NY, and find your perfect dining spot!
The Six Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Rochester, NY: Food Worth Waiting For!
1. The Red Fern
Dining out as a vegetarian or vegan should never be hard. We deserve to have a menu full of choices too. And that’s why we love The Red Fern.
This vegan restaurant in Rochester, NY is cozy with wood furnishings and also has a lovely, albeit limited, outdoor seating area. The staff are very polite and friendly and happy to assist you with any dietary requirements.
At The Red Fern you’ll be able to choose among many allergy-friendly options as they’ve got separate gluten-free, soy-free, as well as garlic, onion and oil free menus – you name it, they’ve got it covered. Which makes this place not just one of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Rochester, NY, but also one of the best for allergy suffers and coelics too.
So, what to try? Well one popular dish here is their Buddha Bowl which is prepared with coconut brown rice, organic tofu, carrots, kale, beetroot, cabbage and topped with sesame seeds and a delicious ginger garlic tamari sauce.
Another great pick is The Red Fern’s own take on Rochester’s famed “Garbage Plate”. That’s their cleverly named ‘Compost Plate’ which is prepared with mac salad, sweet potato salad, ‘meat’ sauce, greens, focaccia toast and your choice of protein. So you can choose among spicy buffalo tempeh, lentil burger BBQ tempeh, lemon maple tofu, Italian ‘sausage’ or seitan steak.
The Red Fern is open From Tuesday to Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 9:30pm, but is closed on Mondays and Sundays.
Address: 283 Oxford St, Rochester, NY 14607
2. Voula’s Greek Sweets
Why travel to Greece for traditional Greek cuisine when you can have incredible authentic Greek food right in the heart of Rochester?
Voula’s Greek Sweets started off as a bakery with just three small tables in 2012, but has since expanded its offerings to an entirely vegetarian and vegan menu, all prepared in house from original family recipes!
This place has a very warm, welcoming and cozy feel as soon as you enter thanks to the friendly staff and laid-back feel to the place – just as you’d expect for anything Greece-related!
Voula’s is quite small still, and you might struggle to find parking space due to limited parking, but if that’s a worry you can just drop by when it’s not peak hours and enjoy the array of vegan and vegetarian brunch, lunch, and dessert options they have.
Some of the favorites here include the Dolmades which consists of grape leaves stuffed with seasoned rice in olive oil & lemon, and served with their delicious tzatziki. Or try the Tyropita which is prepared with assorted Greek cheeses, chopped parsley and black pepper.
If you’re after a heartier more filling option, we highly recommend their Papoutsaki which is eggplant stuffed with seasoned ground veggie and topped with skordalia and feta. Delicious!
Whatever you end up choosing for your mains, make sure you save room for dessert because as mentioned in its name, Voula’s Greek Sweets specialises in the indulgent and their sweets won’t disappoint.
The Galaktoboureko in particular is a delightful farina custard wrapped in phyllo dough and drenched in lemon rosewater syrup. Another great sweet treat is the Kataifi prepared with chopped walnuts rolled in shredded phyllo pastry in a lemon rosewater syrup.
Drop by everyday from 9am to 4pm and enjoy Greek food from undoubtedly one of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Rochester, NY.
Address: 439 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY 14607
3. Tapas 177
Who doesn’t love a fun, upbeat and entertaining place to unwind after work? What makes that better – a separate vegan and vegetarian-friendly menu of course!
Tapas 177 is that perfect after-work spot you’ve been waiting to find. And as it’s open till 2am, it’s a great place to catch up with friends around good food, sharing platters, and some salsa dancing lessons! But if you visit and are still dancing, eating and drinking at 2am on a Tuesday, don’t blame us when you’re struggling at the office at 9am on Wednesday!
This restaurant has a classy, yet unpretentious, vibe. That’s partly down to the dim lights and elegant feel of the interior, coupled with the lovely courtyard with fun mural paintings.
If you’re looking to grab some drinks, then the very well stocked bar area to the right has loads of options, and tends to be a great place to have a chat and make a new friend or two. But if you’re here for some intimate and relaxed dining, head down the stairs and grab a seat in their dimly lit dining space that’s perfect for long conversations with someone special.
Although not solely vegetarian, Tapas 177 had to be included on our list of vegetarian restaurants in Rochester, NY for the great selection of vegetarian options on their separate vegan and vegetarian-friendly menu, as well as the whole atmosphere they’ve created.
If you want vegetarian starters perfect for sharing, some of the options include their Portobello Cream Cheese Wontons, Avocado & Vegetable Spring Rolls and the delicious Vegetarian Brussel Sprouts.
One popular main dish here includes their Vegetarian Mushroom Risotto made with arborio, mushrooms, red wine, vegetable broth, truffle oil, butter and parmesan cheese. Another great pick is the Vegetarian Naan Pizza topped with Italian cheese, artichoke, basil, tomato, red pepper, chimichurri, arugula and truffle oil.
And for that dancing? Follow them on their social media to know when you can participate in their super fun Salsa, Bachata or Merengue lessons.
Tapas 177 is open from Monday to Saturday from 4:30pm to 2am.
Address: 177 St Paul St, Rochester, NY 14604
4. Allah’s Kitchen
Looking for some healthy yet filling comfort food that will make you want to return the very next day? Allah’s Kitchen offers you just that and much more!
This vegan restaurant in Rochester, NY offers delicious comfort and alkaline foods, all prepared with some of the finest ingredients, mostly organic. You won’t be limited to just the usual vegan food though, as the cuisine on offer here is a rich fusion of Jamaican, Caribbean and Indian dishes.
As for the vibe, this place has a very homey, minimalist and relaxed feel thanks to the rather small tables, hanging pictures and pops of color on the walls. It’s a lovely laid-back space for a meal.
Some of the favorites dishes here include their spicy Culture Bowl consisting of vegan jerk chicken stir fry, cabbage, macaroni & cheese and plantains cooked in coconut oil. Another great choice is their Beyond Goulash which is prepared with rotini in a tomato sauce & vegan cheese, beyond meat, peppers, onion and served with garlic toast and cucumbers.
As for an Indian-inspired dish, the Aloo Gobi consisting of potatoes and cauliflower cooked in an Indian curry & tomatoes, ginger and cilantro and served with a flavorful coconut brown rice is very appealing and well worth trying.
Allah’s Kitchen is open on Wednesday and Thursday from 12pm to 7pm and on Friday from 2pm to 9pm, but is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and weekends.
Address: 24 Hinchey Rd, Rochester, NY 14624
5. Abyssinia Restaurant
In our opinion, Abyssinia Restaurant is a fantastic representation of Rochester’s diverse culinary experience. Why? Well visit and be treated to tasty, authentic Ethiopian cuisine!
This unassuming restaurant has sleek wooden floors and plenty of seating so it’s a great place to visit as a group. The super friendly staff are always happy to help you with any dietary requirements or food suggestions too, which is always a bonus.
As for the dishes, expect each plate to be seasoned to perfection and complemented well by accompanying bread. Although not solely vegetarian, Abyssinia Restaurant just had to be included on our list of vegetarian restaurants in Rochester, NY for the great vegetarian and vegan options they have available, and the fact it exposes us to a different world cuisine that’s well worth trying out.
Some of the favorite vegetarian options here include their sharp and savory tasting Shiro We’t which is a dish prepared with powdered split peas prepared into a thick sauce with garlic and onion and then simmered with berbere. Another great pick is the spicy Kik We’t consisting of yellow split peas prepared with onions, garlic and a mix of Ethiopia spices and simmered in berbere sauce.
However if you want to taste many different Ethiopian dishes, you can go for the Beyaynetu which is Abyssinia’s vegetable combination, where you can have a choice of five vegetarian dishes.
This place is open from Tuesday to Thursday from 12pm to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 10pm, Sunday from 12pm to 9:30pm, but is closed on Mondays.
Address: 1657 Mt Hope Ave, Rochester, NY 14620
6. Good Luck
Sometimes we all want that special night where the food and surrounding is so picturesque pictures have to be taken all night. That’s why we had to add an upscale dining experience to our list of vegetarian restaurants in Rochester, NY. And we think the best restaurant for vegetarians for such an experience is the picturesque Good Luck.
We think you’ll love the super contemporary look of this place, with its industrial feel, warm lighting and exposed beams. The staff are very polite and happy to help with any food suggestion too.
This restaurant serves meat, but they have tasty, creative, vegetarian dishes that are well worth trying out.
Some great vegetarian options here include their Grilled Artichokes prepared with greens & gigante beans, parmesan broth and aged balsamic. Another awesome dish is the Fried Agedashi Tofu prepared with greens, fermented black beans and a nice peanut chili crunch.
Good Luck is open on Wednesday and Thursday from 4:30pm to 12am, Friday and Saturday from 4:30pm to 2pm, but is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays.
Address: 50 Anderson Ave, Rochester, NY 14607