If you are in the mood for something different and a little bit fancier – Amadeus in downtown Salem has several vegan entrees all of which are very tasty. They even have the word “vegan” on the menu, which is always a plus. The staff is knowledgeable about what is/isn’t vegan and can make suggestions/modifications to other items. It’s a bit pricey, but worth checking out if you want something nicer for a special occasion.
A new all-vegan and gluten-free donut business in Salem. They don’t have their own shop yet, but do a “pop up” style donut shop at Archive Coffee and Bar most Fridays from 9am to 1pm. We can’t currently recommend Archive for anything (other than coffee) as they have no vegan items on their menu (boo!) They don’t even appear to have anything vegetarian (it is 2015, right?) but hopefully that will change. But Friday mornings, if you want to get a coffee and donut fix, that’s where to go!
This local chain is located at 2755 Commercial Street SE, Suite 100 in Salem and is one of the newest veg-friendly restaurants in town. Their menu features veg bowls as well as a very tasty tempeh reuben (have to order with no cheese to make it vegan), BBQ tofu, and more. They’re very accommodating of vegan requests and know to leave off the sour cream and cheese from the deluxe toppings…even asking if you want extra avocado or cabbage and ginger instead. Top it off with a ginger cookie for dessert and it’s a tasty place to fill-up. Definitely worth checking out!
It may come as a surprise to some that Costco is an amazing resource for vegans (who don’t live alone, or if they do, have an intense love for large quantities of Field Roast and Vegenaise). They carry so many products vegans needs and love: organic veggies, prepared foods, soymilk, tofu, fair trade chocolate bark, almond milk, and often vegan products like Daiya cheese. Sometimes their stock changes and you won’t find your favorite product there for a month, only to have it appear again the following month. Their prices are much more reasonable than other grocery stores, mainly because you are buying “in bulk.” An annual membership is $100 but if you shop there as much as we do, you earn that back as a cash rebate at the end of the year.
Donatello’s Pizza, located next to Northern Lights Theater & Pub is big — it can accommodate about 200 patrons or so. Really friendly/helpful staff and management. They have a decent selection of local beers on tap, live organ music, and serve Daiya cheese as the vegan option. They have thick or thin crust choice (both tasty). There is a jukebox, pinball machines, some video games, and a bunch of tvs with sports on. Kind of what you’d expect from a pizza place (except they serve vegan food!). We were told the gluten-free crust is not vegan. We don’t know why their online menu says nothing about Daiya being available, but one of our members confirmed that they do have it.
The Laughing Lunchbox is a food truck and they have a vegan sandwich every day! They love their vegan customers and their ideas/suggestions (as seen in the photo)! They have made extraordinary efforts to have legit vegan options and are open to feedback. This is so unique among Salem businesses and we appreciate it! They are a mobile food business, but can often be found at the f/Stop Fitzgerald’s Public House. Check their Facebook page for days where they may be at other locations.
[The Laughing Lunchbox website (Facebook) || menu & directions change daily]
These are the two McMenamin’s pubs in Salem and they’re listed together because they both offer the same vegan options on their regular menus. Boon’s is in North Salem at 888 Liberty St. NE (where Liberty, Broadway & High St. all converge) and Thompson’s is out South at 3575 Liberty Rd. S. On the plus side, McMenamin’s has taken to noting which of their items are vegan on their menus. On the down side, they’ve segregated them (at least online) on a dietary restrictions menu with the gluten free stuff and then annotated them with an X (like “beware!”). Huh? We vegans hate to be thought of as “restricted” as we know this way of eating is about abundance not doing without. I’m sure it’s just about efficiency for them, but words and perceptions matter, in our humble opinion.
Regardless, the vegan items you’ll find are the usual pub grub like fries, tots, sweet potato fries (w/o chipotle mayo). They used to have a vegan burger but not only seem to have a veggie burger (not vegan). Recently we were told the hemp burger is back and is vegan–you may want to confirm this with your server. There’s also now a sandwich called The Bean & Seed which is a couple of vegan slider patties on a hoagie type bun with the usual fixin’s. They also have many items labeled as vegetarian that can easily be made vegan by leaving out or subbing the cheese or dairy sauce/dressing (e.g. – greek salad, hummus & pita, veggie sandwich, etc.).
Boon’s also has live music many nights and both locations have nice outdoor seating at picnic tables which is a fun option in the warmer months. Dogs are even allowed at Boon’s on the front porch (only).
They also have a lot of beer.
We hope to see more veg-friendly options here in the future!
Rafns’ specializes in local and seasonal goods (it’s a mini grocery store and a restaurant) and also has several vegan menu items on their dinner menu in addition to their store carrying vegan items you can’t find anywhere else like Willametta’s vegan donuts, etc. Their menu changes with the seasons but you can expect to find a couple of things labeled vegan.
Taproot offers a bright and hopeful spot for Salemites who eat vegetarian/vegan or who just like healthy food. An extremely hip and attractive cafe setting that offers a variety of vegan bowls – not so much in the way of vegan sandwiches. There are a few vegan (or veganizable) tapas, too. They have a lot of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options (house-made, fruit-infused drinking vinegar- yum!!) We hope they add more vegan options in the future, but for now we are just happy that they have vegan items on the menu and a staff that can speak to what is/isn’t vegan on the menu.
Even though it’s called the Saturday Market, this outdoor market actually runs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays (although in 3 different locations) from April through October. Several unique vendors here offer vegan goodies, most notably Two Sisters which is an all vegan bakery offering cinnamon rolls, jam rolls, and more, that are all-vegan. Oregon Crepe also has a booth here with vegan crepes and vegan sausage. Of course there’s plenty of local, organic produce as well as other vendors each week. Definitely worth checking out!
While there are not a huge number of options for vegan dessert in Salem, there are a few worth noting…
- Willametta’s — Vegan baked goods (donuts, candies, and more!) can now be purchased at Rafns’ Local Grocery & Deli in downtown Salem on Court Street and Market Barrel in Newberg. They are also frequently found at the Independence Riverview Market (indoor during winter, outdoor farmers market in warmer months) on Saturdays.
- Pure Decadence — Located in South Salem on Liberty St. in the Mail Depot building, they offer vegan baked goods in the case every day and can bake vegan cakes and cupcakes to order!
- Frozation Nation — A frozen yogurt place downtown that always has at least one dairy-free option on tap (usually a fruit or sorbet) and vegan toppings.
- Sweet Papaya Frozen Yogurt on NE Lancaster generally has 2 vegan (usually fruit sorbet) options for when you’re craving a ‘soft serve’ type dessert. They are attached to a Starbucks where you can now get coconut milk in addition to soy milk in your drink.
- Ike Box — Many coffee shops in Salem offer soy/hemp/almond milk alternatives, but this downtown cafe takes it a step further. If you have a sweet tooth, they also carry vegan and gluten free cookies. The house made scones are all-vegan all the time! Currently, other snack options include vegan and gluten free oatmeal, veggies with hummus, or chips and salsa. They can also make your smoothie vegan with any non-dairy milk you’d like.
- LifeSource Natural Foods — Located in South Salem on Commercial St., it often has vegan cookies, brownies, and other fresh baked goods in addition to the usual vegan ice cream, chocolates, and other things you would expect to find at an alternative grocery/health food store.
- Ricky’s Bubbles and Sweets — Downtown Salem there is a cute little candy shop that has vegan items you can’t get anywhere else in Salem including Goldberg’s Peanut Chews and Missionary Chocolate Vegan Truffles. They also have other vegan stuff you can find most places (Swedish Fish, licorice, hard candies, etc.) and a huge selection of craft sodas.
- Salem Wednesday and Saturday Markets — Unfortunately seasonal only (April – October), these local open air farmer’s markets have vendors like Two Sisters and others that make vegan food. Two Sisters, in particular, has vegan jelly and cinnamon rolls!
Ok, if you’re vegan and live near any kind of major city, you know that Trader Joe’s has everything you need to keep you alive. Thankfully we also now have one here in Salem out on South Commercial St.
Recommended items include prepared chicken-less salad (soo yummy!!), vegan soy and coconut coffee creamer, vegan soy and coconut ice creams, the best/cheapest tofu and tempeh, soyrizo, and much, much more. If you’re vegan and you just shop at one store for the rest of your life, make it Trader Joe’s and you’ll do alright.
Located downtown (325 Court St NE, Salem – cafe & basement bar) and in South Salem (2840 Commercial St SE, Salem — cafe & taphouse), Venti’s is probably in the top 3 places for vegans to eat in Salem. They have vegan pizza, nachos, falafel, Asian noodle bowls, tofu dishes and more. They are kind of an Asian-international-American fusion kind of thing with a lot of beer. The downtown location is a bit less formal, and also has a basement bar, while the larger taphouse is more of a traditional sit-down restaurant with a bigger menu and more vegan options. The taphouse has over 100 beers and ciders on tap. We could see some improvements like offering Daiya cheese on the pizza instead of just roasted veggies, but otherwise this place is pretty solid.