Who says a hearty meal has to include meat? These Twin Cities venues dish up satisfying entrées far more creative than your standard grilled cheese sandwich. With vegetarian grub this good, you may even convince your friends to convert!
• Birchwood Café: A South Minneapolis favorite focusing on sustainable and fair trade food, this down-home venue offers adventurous vegetarian options that even carnivores rave about.
• French Meadow: This organic eatery is where vegetarians can satisfy both their tempeh sandwich cravings and treat themselves to spectacular pastries (many of them gluten-free) at the in-house bakery.
• The Good Earth: A Minnesotan staple for hearty meat-free eating, The Good Earth has an extensive menu featuring healthy food from the farm and the garden.
• Hard Times Café: Those seeking an authentic West Bank experience should stop into this gritty institution whose greasy spoon menu items are great for days when you want to go off your diet.
• Seward Café: Items that impress at this inner city staple include the Wizard Burger, Tempeh Gyro, and Radical Roots Stir-Fry.
• Spoonriver Restaurant: This restaurant with a locally sourced menu adjacent to the Guthrie Theater will wow your eyes as much as your taste buds with their savory and creative plates.
Erica Rivera is the author of the memoir "Insatiable" and the e-cookbook "Man Eater." She is the co-owner of the Twin Cities mobile bakery MILF and Cookies and blogs at crazysexydelicious.com.