When I came to scope out Minneapolis and search for a place to live with the help of my kind and generous mother, the first vegan restaurant I tried was Vegan East. I later learned Vegan East began as a bakery, and I’d eaten at their second location.
The Vegan East Uptown location is at 2409 Lyndale Avenue South. Their phone number is (612) 213-3020.
Upon first glance, seeing Vegan East made me feel excited about moving to Minneapolis. The old brick building, the Pride flag, the potted plants, the cool typeface. I got an “I’m in the right place” vibe immediately.
Vegan East’s menu felt a little sparse, which makes more sense now that I read on their website that they’re primarily a bakery. A bakery that serves some soup and sandwiches for lunch is pretty different from an establishment that conceptualizes themselves as a full restaurant. We ate there for dinner, and many of their sandwiches were no longer available.
The inside of Vegan East Uptown is cool. It’s an old house with wood floors that’s been converted into a restaurant, essentially. I felt like they aren’t fully taking advantage of their setup interior design-wise, but that’s fine. Not every place needs to be Instagrammable, right? Maybe they like to keep it simple and focus on the food.
My mom and I both ordered the sloppy Joe and broccoli cheddar soup. I felt a little worried about the sloppy Joe because my digestive system sometimes reacts negatively to fake meats, especially those with soy protein isolate, but I did okay! I didn’t ask what the fake meat was made of.
The broccoli cheddar soup tasted like “real” broccoli cheddar soup, so I’m pretty curious about what gives it its cheesy flavor. The food tasted good, like classic American comfort food. Classic American comfort food isn’t the type of food I normally eat, so I probably won’t go back very often on my own. I’ll definitely go to Vegan East again when I have friends or family visiting and want to take omnivores to a vegan place that I know they won’t think is weird.
The cupcakes we ordered were the best part of both our meals. Actually, looking at the photo of them now is making my mouth water. Vegan East cupcakes are amazingly good. I’m thinking I’ll have to go back to Vegan East for dessert only to review more baked goods.
Have you been to Vegan East? If so, tell me about it! Also, I’m curious to hear from people who’ve been to the other location. Is there much of a difference?