Update 2018: We traveled to Vegas again, and I also have a Vegan in Vegas guide up now so check that out too!
This past October my partner and I went on our first long distance road trip together–we drove to Las Vegas (from Austin, TX)! Other than booking our hotel room in Vegas and deciding to stop in White Sands on the way and the Grand Canyon on the way back, we didn’t do much planning. I did however of course pin some restaurants we wanted to eat at on Pinterest!
If you’re planning on visiting Vegas, keep reading! If not, you may want to skip this post as it’s solely a vegan food in Vegas post. If you’re interested in what we did during the road trip besides eat/want to see more photos, let me know, and maybe I’ll do a separate post.
Also pardon the rushed phone photos–I was always too hungry to bother with my nice camera, but at least I remembered to take a few.
On the Way to Vegas
To start, the smartest thing we did on this trip was bring mini soy milks ((the ones with screw top openings so you can close them)). We stopped for coffee numerous times throughout the trip, and since there aren’t vegan creamers at gas stations, mini soy milks saved us. We also brought snacks–banana oatmeal cookies, fruit, coconut date rolls, and salt & vinegar kettle chips.
Santorini (Las Cruces)
Before finding a hotel in Alamogordo near White Sands, we stopped to eat at Santorini in Las Cruces, a Mediterranean restaurant with vegan options labeled on the menu–yay!
We both got falafel and split fries ((The server told us they are vegan even though not labeled.)) and dolmades ((I wouldn’t order them again though because they brought it out with tzaziki sauce which wasn’t vegan.)). Since we were famished it was amazing to finally have some hot, fresh food, and we even had leftovers (which we ate for dinner since there weren’t really any vegan options in Alamogordo). ((There was a Taco Bell and Walmart, but that was about it.))
Green New American Vegetarian (Phoenix)
Since we had another 11+ hour drive to Vegas from White Sands, we stopped in Phoenix to eat at Green New American Vegetarian (100% vegan), and I was pleasantly surprised that their menu had gf options labeled (and plenty of them) even though their online menu didn’t.
We got Buffalo Wings, Animal Fries, & a Sesame Dragon rice bowl with house (fried) tofu (all gluten free!) Our faves were the wings & fries–yay vegan comfort food! The food was also affordable and came out super quick–we wish there was one of these in Austin!
The first place we ate in Vegas ended up being our favorite/go-to spot during the trip: Vegenation!
Since we were staying at El Cortez on Fremont Street, it was a five minute walk and we started off with breakfast and finally got some quality coffee. They even bring it to you in a french press (which is what we use at home too). I got the tofu scramble (gf), and Lucas got the waffle–it was all delicious but mine was much more filling with tofu, corn tortillas, and potatoes than his single waffle.
We ended up eating at Vegenation 5 more times! We each tried the vegenation burger, which featured a hearty black bean patty, and the gluten free buns that are made locally by Great Grubbing bakery are soft, flaky, and amazing. ((Apparently Great Grubbing is a cafe as well with gf/vegan pizza, sandwiches, and more–I definitely want to try it next time!))
I also got the Russian Standard, a filling gf pasta dish twice, and the East West Taco, which is actually 3 jackfruit tacos on corn tortillas. Lucas tried the Daniel Negreanu (a vegan meatball grinder), a chick’n and waffles special they had one day, and tiramisu another time when he wasn’t super hungry.
We also split the Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (gf/yum!), and one day I got a gf Mushroom Madness pizza and a blueberry cheesecake to go so I’d have some food to munch on in the hotel.
Oh, and I got a couple of bloody marys which I was super excited about because as far as I know the casinos in Vegas make them with Clamato, which isn’t vegan.
Everything we ordered at Vegenation was delicious (and nothing tasted greasy or too heavy), the staff was awesome, and it had a great atmosphere–definitely check it out if you’re going to Vegas!
The first time I got a sampler plate (all gf) with nachos, a taco, kale chips, and a spring roll, and Lucas got the grilled tlt (tempeh, lettuce, tomato) panini with chips. My favorite part of my plate was definitely the nachos–they were so cheesy and flavorful, and I bet even non-vegans would devour them no questions asked.
Our second time there I ordered a full order of nachos and Lucas got the lasagna, which he loved as well and would highly recommend trying. One day I also got a cheesecake to go, and I’m pretty sure it was the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted.
One thing about Simply Pure is that there’s not much seating, which wasn’t a problem when we were there, but something to consider if you’re going with a big party or during a busy time. Another thing to watch out for is that they carry some teas that contain honey. ((I accidentally bought one assuming everything was vegan/didn’t drink it.))
Go Vegan Cafe
We only ventured out past the Fremont area for food once during our stay, to try breakfast at Go Vegan Cafe, a sizable vegan restaurant with lots of gluten free options. I got a Mexicali breakfast burrito with tofu scramble, rice, beans, potatoes, cheese, in a gf tortilla wrap with guac and pico on the side. It was so filling and tasty and such a treat for me because usually I can’t order burritos because they’re made in flour tortillas. Lucas got the Mexi Burger which he also really liked, the only complaint he had was that they only gave him literally four fries. Overall though it was awesome and worth driving to.
Pro-tip: Nacho Daddy on 4th St. right off of Freemont is open late (2-3am) and has a vegan section on their menu! We split a loaded vegan nachos with their house-made vegan queso. The restaurant can get pretty crowded, and the nachos were a little pricey, but it’s a great option if you want to go somewhere downtown with non-vegans or if you want late night vegan eats.
Another pro-tip: if you’re not gluten free you definitely need to try the pizza from Pop-Up Pizza at the Plaza Hotel, which is open until 1am every night. They’re a New York style pizza place (with 20″ pizzas sold by the pie or slice) with a vegan option–the Soho, with vegan mozzarella, spinach, mushrooms, artichoke, and roasted bell peppers. Lucas is from New York and is picky about his pizza and said it was legit. And I have to admit that I cheated and ate some too (and then had a stomachache), but it was so good it was almost worth it.
Summary: Must Try Vegan Eats on Fremont Street in Las Vegas
Literally everything we ate on Fremont Street was delicious but here are some that really stood out:
My Top 3
- Vegenation Burger with a gf bun
- Nachos Grande with cashew cheese from Simply Pure
- Cheesecake from Simply Pure
Lucas’s Top 3
- The Soho from Pop-Up Pizza
- Mama Mia Lasagna from Simply Pure
- Tiramisu from Vegenation
Have you tried vegan food in Las Vegas? Which were your fave places? Have any vegan road trip tips or stories? Let me know in the comments below!