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Columbus offers plenty of vegan eats

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The BBQ bowl from The Angry Baker offers vegans a protein-packed meal. Credit: Laurie Hamame | Lantern Reporter

The BBQ bowl from The Angry Baker offers vegans a protein-packed meal. Credit: Laurie Hamame | Lantern Reporter

Vegans might be used to eating salad when out with friends, but in Columbus, there’s a whole world of options for animal-friendly food, and most have something great for omnivores as well.

The Angry Baker

891 Oak St. and 247 King Ave

One could never be angry, or “hangry,” when surrounded by gorgeous baked goods, pumpkin French toast, porridge, or a vegan curry burger stuffed with cilantro pesto, beets, and arugula.

This cozy, urban cafe at the corner of Oak and South 18th streets offers a full menu — including breakfast, lunch and dinner — along with the bakery, and a quaint cafe vibe. Three separate chalkboards communicate vegan, vegetarian and meat-lover offerings, and these erasable menus easily accommodate seasonal changes and ingredient availability.

Everything from their crumbly, flaky scones to their creamy mushroom gravy is made from scratch. Flavor is not sacrificed in my favorite dish, the Tex Mex Scramble, stuffed with tofu “scrambled eggs,” black beans, peppers, red onion and leafy greens. It’s served with a side of homemade salsa verde.

To satisfy a sweet tooth, try the rich and decadent chocolate brownie with a blueberry base (replacing eggs). You’ll never eat a regular brownie again.  

Pattycake Bakery

3009 N. High St.

I once asked Jennie Scheinbach, owner of Pattycake Bakery, if I could pay rent to live inside her pink-and-blue bakery.

After being greeted by a smiling cartoon cupcake, guests enter a treasure trove of pastries, all boasting a delectable secret — they’re all vegan.

Pattycake is one of the most precious gems of the Columbus vegan community. Their sticky buns, available only on Saturdays, are a true addiction, and their wide selection of perfectly presented pastries are so delicious that nonvegans won’t believe they’re free of eggs and milk. In fact, my mom believes that the entire shop is a lie, claiming, “There is no way these are vegan.”

Pattycake Bakery is the perfect place for people with a sweet tooth. The business even delivers if the Clintonville location is too far for most students. My favorites include the Co-Operative Cherry Chocolate Chip Bar and carrot cupcake, generously iced with luscious “cream cheese” icing.

Condado Tacos

1227 N. High St. and 132 S. High St.

Let’s taco ‘bout it. Be prepared for a dizzying array of possible combinations to customize tacos and margaritas to your liking.

The atmosphere has a personality unlike any eatery to appear in Columbus, where church pews are used for seating, sugar skulls are painted on the walls and two dressed skeletons perch atop a bicycle in the corner of the restaurant.

For gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free or carnivore diets, this place has the tools to create the ideal taco and margarita.

The taco ordering process is like a Scantron exam, in that you get a sheet with a pencil and you bubble in your choices. If this is intimidating, there are savory suggested selections.

The three vegan protein options include thick and meaty roasted portobello mushrooms, Thai chili tofu — which is drool-worthy enough to make a carnivore give the vegetarian life a shot — and barbecued jackfruit, which has a fibrous texture that mimics pulled pork.

The tacos are downright criminally good. It took every ounce of self-restraint not to swan-dive into the kitchen and kiss the server square on the mouth with my pineapple salsa breath.

I’ve decided to have my paychecks deposited directly into my Condado Tacos savings account. It’s that good.

Destination Donuts

Inside North Market at 59 Spruce St.

Destination Donuts makes me feel like Plankton trying to steal the secret Krabby Patty recipe. They’re huge, 3 inches tall, fried to golden perfection, with soft, fluffy interiors that make my eyes roll and everything around me disappear.  

It’s difficult to pick just one doughnut, and eating a second or third is worth the sugar coma. They sit behind the glass counter, drenched in sugar and icing, begging for attention. The vegan ones are denoted by a small “v” written on a piece of tape at the front of the pan.

In general, the doughnuts are dense, fluffy and breathtakingly tender, and new flavors emerge each week. Flavors include cookies and cream, a doughnut dipped in ganache and covered in cookie crumbs; or apricot pistachio – dipped in sweet apricot glaze and covered in pulverized pistachios swimming in glaze; Blackberry Sage, Red Raspberry Hibiscus, and so on.

After eating one of these buzz-worthy bites, you’ll be saying, “TGIDD — Thank God it’s Doughnut Day.”

Honorable Mentions:

VEGAN ONLY

  • Portia’s Cafe
  • Whole World
  • The Loving Hut

VEGAN-FRIENDLY

  • Acre
  • Katalina’s
  • Banana leaf
  • Alchemy
  • Brassica
  • Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace
  • Melt Bar & Grilled
  • Carabar
  • Level
  • Lemongrass
  • Nazareth
  • Northstar
  • Strongwater Food & Spirits

2 comments

  1. whole world is certainly not vegan only.

  2. Hello, jennie from pattycake here, and thank you for including us!

    A note – we’re a worker-owned cooperative as of 5/1/13. So while i’m still AN owner, i’m no longer THE owner, as we’re an allstar team of 15 awesome folks, 8 of which are owners with equal rights and responsibilities for the collective. Thank you again!

    jennie scheinbach, pattycake bakery

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