Vegan dining is hard if you don’t know where to look. Whether you’re new to the area or new to vegan food, this list is a great place to start if you’re looking for somewhere to eat in the Lehigh Valley. It comprises a variety of eateries throughout the valley. Each one has at least 2-3 solid vegan options that go above and beyond the normal fare of “hummus and veggie burger.”
As the Bethlehem VegFest demonstrates, the Lehigh Valley is becoming increasingly veg-friendly. For more options, check out this list or try Happy Cow. Or, if you’re visiting Kutztown, head over to KU VEG’s list of veg-friendly restaurants in Kutztown.
- Sotto Santi (Bethlehem) / Joe’s Pizza (Trexlertown & Fogelsville)
These two share a number because they offer the same thing: Daiya shreds to top your pizza. I prefer the pizza at Sotto Santi, but be prepared for a college pub atmosphere. If you’re under 21, you might have an issue getting in—even if you’re just picking up a pizza for takeout. As for Joe’s, please note that the Emmaus location isn’t on this list, because it has a different owner: According to the restaurant’s website, “as of 2010, Joe is no longer affiliated with Joe’s in Emmaus.”
- Mariam’s Restaurant (Allentown)
Choose from two pre-selected veggie combos at the Lehigh Valley’s only Ethiopian eatery. Each has a sampler of authentic dishes, so you can try a little bit of everything. The veggie sambusas are great, too—they’re similar to Indian samosas. Not familiar with Ethiopian food? The friendly staff will help you out.
- Griddle 145 (Whitehall)
My favorite dish here is the no huevos rancheros, but if you prefer something sweet, try the coconut banana french toast. Griddle always has three vegan brunch options, and occasionally has a vegan special as well.
- White Orchids Thai Cuisine (Center Valley)
The most vegan-friendly Thai restaurant in the Lehigh Valley is also probably the priciest (and fanciest). However, White Orchids makes everything to order, and clearly labels which items on the menu can be made vegan (and gluten free). Your money will be well spent here, especially if you’re looking for a special outing (like a birthday or anniversary).
- Hummus House (Allentown)
It may sound like just another Mediterranean restaurant (seriously, they’re popping up all over the place around here), but Hummus House goes above and beyond—both with options and service. There are a plethora of clearly labeled vegan dishes on its menu, including spinach pie and grape leaves. My favorite is the vegan pita pizza, which is loaded with veggies, falafal, and—of course—hummus. Hummus House also always has vegan specials and a very accommodating staff.
- The Green Pepper (Center Valley & Allentown)
Tired of boring nachos? At The Green Pepper, you can get vegan nachos with all the fixings. Its menu offers vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, vegan ground beef, and tofu. You can also get the above (and more) in burrito, burrito bowl, quesadilla, or taco form. The result is very junk food-y, which can be hard to find as a vegan in the valley. It’s also why you need to balance it out with…
- Cafe Santosha (Trexlertown)
This veg-friendly cafe is located inside Healthy Alternatives, the best health food store in the area (trust me, I’m biased). Most of Santosha’s dishes are vegan or can be made vegan, and there is almost always at least one vegan daily special. My favorite is the Indian breakfast bowl with tofu, but the new sauerkraut grilled cheese is a close second.
- Cali Burrito (Allentown)
The wait is over. Cali B is back in business after its kitchen fire! Its super veg-friendly menu hasn’t changed; you can still choose from burritos with seitan, falafel, veggies, and scrambled OR smoked tofu. Keep an eye on its website for updated hours, since it just reopened a few weeks ago.
- Shankara (Bethlehem)
Balasia’s newest incarnation may have finally found a permanent home in Bethlehem’s south side. Shankara is 100% vegan, and proprietor Wendy Landiak strives to use as many local, organic, unprocessed ingredients as possible. The prices are steep (it’s usually a fixed price menu), but the food is worth it. Please note: Shankara is currently closed, but expects to reopen for Valentine’s day.
- Vegan Treats (Bethlehem)
This bakery has been the Lehigh Valley’s vegan claim to fame for the past fifteen years. Restaurants from DC to NYC serve its delectable desserts. You have to go to the bakery itself to try its soft serve, though, which changes flavor every few days. Don’t go looking for health food here: Danielle Konya’s purpose is to satisfy your sweet tooth using cruelty-free ingredients.
Honorable Mention: 3 Measures Vegetarian Cafe (Bangor) isn’t strictly in the Lehigh Valley, but this all-veg cafe is worth a visit—especially for its mac ‘n cheese.