Plant-based diets are rising in popularity, with a record number of people choosing to eat vegan in 2020. In response, many restaurants have created menus that include delicious vegetable-forward dishes filled with various flavors and textures. Albuquerque, in particular, has a rapidly growing vegan scene and several Instagram accounts dedicated to finding the goods. We’ve rounded up a list of establishments that serve highly rated plant-based dishes, so whether you’re a vegan or vegetarian, or just want to include a few more veggies in your diet, you’ll discover many local options from which to choose. This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you have the lowdown on the best vegan eats in your city or county, drop us a line, and we will be sure to check them out.
Mata G Vegetarian Kitchen
What we are eating: Moroccan bowl with eggplant garbanzo stew, saffron couscous, and garlic-tofu-and-vegetable kabob; matcha cookie; and black bean brownie.
Worth noting: Mata G is a vegetarian restaurant with many vegan options. They specialize in grab-and-go and you can find many of their items at various markets and institutions around the state. Mata G also offers a daily special of hot entrées served at the counter, each inspired by international cuisine—Asian, Italian, Lebanese, Indian, Moroccan, and Mexican.
Find: 116 Amherst SE, Albuquerque, 505-266-6374, mata-g.com
What we are eating: Hand-rolled sweet potato flautas with green cabbage, avocado, and serrano slaw.
Worth noting: The deli and grab-and-go case complement FARMesilla’s core: utilizing many of the hundreds of local items, including produce, meat, eggs (chicken and quail), cheese, raw milk, salsas, spices, jellies, and more. The menu is simple and changes daily depending on the ingredients available and in season. There are always vegan options on the menu, and it is easy to adjust most dishes to vegan only. They carry several local beers and wines on tap, and you can enjoy your meal on their beautiful patio.
Find: 1840 Avenida de Mesilla, Las Cruces, farmesilla.com
Vegos / Nobody Calls Me Chicken
What we are eating: Crispy, spicy Nobody Calls Me Chicken sandwich with golden goddess sauce.
Worth noting: It is the passion of Vegos to show our community that the dishes we grew up eating can still be enjoyed on a fully plant-based diet. We can attest that the Nobody Calls Me Chicken (NCMC) sandwich is a testament to this—if you hadn’t told us it was tofu, we would have never known. Vegos operates two food trucks, one specializing in New Mexican fare (VEGOS) and one they operate on Saturdays at the La Luz Coffee Hub (Nobody Calls Me Chicken) offering only the NCMC sandwich and tenders, with or without fries.
Find: Check out their food truck schedule in Albuquerque at vegosabq.com.
Plantita Vegan Bakery
What we are eating: Tempeh and mushroom empanadas and biscuits with cashew pepper gravy.
Worth noting: Plantita offers sweet and savory baked goods from scratch, all plant based, all the time. They have an extensive menu offering bagels, quick breads, cinnamon rolls, many cookie varieties, empanadas, galettes, and even parbaked pizza crusts and pizza dough. All orders require seventy-two-hour notice.
Find: Order online in advance for pickup in Santa Fe. plantitaveganbakery.com.
La Finca Bowls
What we are eating: Build-a-bowl with edamame falafel, wild rice and lentils, coconut rice, roasted red peppers, arugula, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted pepper and cilantro aioli, papaya slaw, and crispy onions.
Worth noting: La Finca Bowls is a fast, fresh, and healthy build-to-order concept, focused on sourcing local and organic ingredients. With their build-a-bowl, the options really are endless. Plant-based protein options include edamame falafel or bean protein with more than twenty veggie options, plus grains and vegan sauces.
Find: 300 Broadway NE, Albuquerque,
The Wake & Take
What we are eating: Gaucho Burrito filled with brown rice, Anasazi beans, tempeh bacon, sweet corn, scallion, green chile, spicy teriyaki vinaigrette, avocado, and cilantro; and Odin Bowl with açaí, peanut butter, banana, blueberry, and house mylk base.
Worth noting: The Wake & Take is a plant-based café and juice bar that offers smoothies, artisan coffee, superfood bowls, wraps, and burritos for breakfast and lunch. Although they only have vegan offerings, their menu is very approachable and there is something for everyone.
Find: 480 State Rd 150 (at Arroyo Seco Plaza),
Arroyo Seco, shrublifefoods.com
What we are eating: Planty Sweet bundt cakes—baker’s choice assortment.
Worth noting: Planty Sweet is a 100 percent gluten-free and vegan bakery. They currently only offer pickup with orders made a week in advance. However, for those who can’t wait, they wholesale to a few coffee shops in town. Their menu includes gorgeous custom cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, and glazed bundt cakes. Aside from being gluten free and plant based, they do not use refined sugars or hydrogenated oils, and try to use organic and local ingredients whenever possible.
Find: Order online for pickup in Albuquerque. plantysweet.weebly.com.
What we are eating: Build-your-own dosa kit with fresh house-made dosa batter, sambar, tomato curry, and tomato chutney.
Worth noting: Although Paper Dosa is a fabulous place to dine for lunch and dinner, we enjoyed designing a signature kit with dosa batter and curries to enjoy our feast at home. They offer a video tutorial on their website that made our first attempt at dosa making a success and can be an entertaining activity for kids and adults alike. A variety of items on their menu are vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Find: 551 W Cordova, Santa Fe, paper-dosa.com