Veg curious? 9 places to sample plant-based food

Pam GeorgeCulture, Headlines


Yes, those are empanadas and, yes, they’re vegan. Find them at Rooted AF in The Chancery Market Food Hall & Bar

Curiosity killed the cat—or so they say. But when it comes to today’s most popular diet trend, curiosity is a good thing.

Integrating plant-based foods into your life can help reduce the risk of illnesses related to diets high in fat and red meat.

Since spring produce will likely hit the shelves early, it’s an ideal time to turn over a new leaf.

Here are 10 ways to explore plant-based eating without a trip to the grocery store.

After all, curiosity may have killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.


Delectablez in the DE.CO food hall offers a menu that mines the familiar but also includes owner Tamara Earl’s version of a hot pocket.

Veg out in downtown Wilm

Wilmington has several vegan restaurants, two of which are in the business district’s food halls.

For instance, Nikita Thomas’s Rooted AF  is in The Chancery Market Food Hall & Bar at 1313 N. Market St. The Facebook photos and menu descriptions might lead you to believe you’ll find beef, chicken and shrimp, but the restaurant maintains that it’s all vegan.

 The restaurant’s star attraction—vegan empanadas—is also sold in Janssen’s Market‘s and in ShopRite freezer cases.

Delectablez is in DE.CO, the food hall at 111 W. 10th St.

The menu mines the familiar. For instance, there are burgers with cheddar “cheeze,” a special sauce, tomato and onion, as well as owner Tamara Earl’s version of a hot pocket.

Earl also makes pizzas, which are available at local ShopRite stores in the freezer cases.

A short stroll from DE.CO is Green Box Kitchen, a plant-based Market Street restaurant mostly devoted to fruit bowls, smoothies and cold-pressed juices. However, there is also a menu section for munchies, including a vegan “tuna” sandwich.

Vegging in the ‘Burbs

The city isn’t the only place where you will find vegan restaurants.

Daily Veg is a Pike Creek eatery with a 100% vegan menu, including acai bowls, Beyond Burger, Chick’n sandwiches and gluten- and dairy-free milkshakes.

The bowls and smoothies are a carryover from owner Dan Mckelvey’s first business, Pure Raw Juice, in Baltimore.

Philadelphia-based Honeygrow has locations in Brandywine Hundred, Christiana and Newark.

The health-oriented fast-casual restaurant specializes in customizable stir-fries and salads.

Choose from composed dishes, such as the red coconut curry with rice noodles, pineapples and roasted tofu, or create your own. Start with a rice or noodle base and add vegetables.


Seedbol Kitchen’s mission to cater to various dietary means its kitchen is gluten-, sugar-, egg- and dairy-free with vegan and vegetarian options.


In the Rehoboth area, Seed Eatery recently rebranded as Seedbol Kitchen. Fortunately, the mission to cater to various dietary needs remains the same.

The kitchen is gluten-, sugar-, egg- and dairy-free. There are vegan and vegetarian options.

A bit farther down Route 1, Grandpa Mac worships noodles in all shapes and sizes. However, owners Orion and Hari Cameron also feature a vegan Caesar salad that tastes like the real deal and gluten-free pasta. Topping options include tofu and vegan mozzarella.

Veggies sections on menus

The restaurants above fall into the fast- or quick-casual sector, meaning many people order to go. Several will deliver.

While it’s hard to find a strictly vegetarian or vegan upscale restaurant, Home Grown Café in Newark has a reputation for accommodating special diets.

There are menu icons that indicate vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free selections. (The Harvest Buddha Bowl boasts all three.)

RELATED STORY: Restaurants focus on protecting the dining experience and their brand as costs rise

Across the state line in Glen Mills, Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar has a section for plant-based bowls. It also offers tofu pad Thai and a sesame “chicken” made with seitan.

Want to just open fridge?

 Don’t feel like going out? Thistle, a plant-based meal service founded in 2013, began East Coast delivery service late last year.

Unlike Hello Fresh or Green Chef, you don’t need to dice, slice or cook; the meals are already prepared. (Some benefit from a reheat.)

The ingredients are gluten- and dairy-free, and recipes include superfoods, such as chia seeds and turmeric.

The bulk of the offerings sport a global flavor. Consider a banh mi salad bowl, harissa cauliflower bowl and miso squash bowl.

Thistle provides a fresh product, so plan your meals accordingly. You don’t want them to wilt because you travel or have dinner meetings.

The price depends on what kind and how many meals you order. For instance, seven breakfasts are $9.50 each, but if you order only three, they are $10 each. Buy six lunches and it’s $12.50 each, but one alone is $13. Dinners are $14.50 for one; $13.75 each for three to five; and $13 each for six.

Share this Post