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Vegan Options in 5 Popular Downtown Syracuse Restaurants

Vegan Options in 5 Popular Downtown Syracuse Restaurants

It’s another Saturday night in Syracuse, and you and your friends are getting ready to head downtown for dinner and drinks. If you’ve had your fill of steaks and chops you might want to try out a vegan meal while you hang with your friends. We racked up a list of the surprising options at all the hot spots, whether you’re vegan, have a lot of allergies, or are just looking for healthier options.

Dinosaur BBQ

This Syracuse-based barbecue joint has a surprising amount of vegan options. The chopped salad is a bowlful of greens, veggies, and spiced walnuts. For a more filling option, go for the Black and White Bowl topped with seasoned and grilled tofu, smoked portobello mushrooms and a red wine vinaigrette. Make sure to tell them to leave out the deviled egg! These options are both gluten free, too. Feeling carby? Go for the Vegetarian Smoked Portobello sandwich. Swap the BBQ mayo for their Bar-B-Blues House, and get it without the roll to make it gluten free.


Empire Brewing Company

The popular downtown brewery has a surprisingly diverse menu with a range of vegan options. Topped with guacamole, corn, and red bell peppers, the veggie burger will have your carnivorous friends asking for a bite. In the mood for something spicy? The fajitas come with either tofu or vegetables and are seasoned with mocha heat. Ask for tortilla chips instead of the flour tortillas if you’re gluten-free.

Entrance to Empire Brewery restaurant

The Empire Brewery restaurant in Syracuse’s Armory Square is an awesome spot for vegan eating. Photo by Sarah Glass.

Funk ‘n Waffles

A Syracuse Saturday night favorite, Funk ‘n Waffles is a vegan’s dream. Open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights and located centrally near several downtown bars, it’s a haven for meat-eaters and veggie-eaters alike. The Aunt Miriam waffle topped with strawberries and maple syrup is a fan-favorite, but if you’re feeling savory, go for the Falafel waffle. As a bonus, the falafel waffle is gluten free. Feeling creative? Swap out any of the waffles on the menu for a vegan waffle, or start from scratch and build your own creation.

Here's how we do a vegan waffle

A post shared by Funk 'n Waffles (@funknwaffles) on


The classic date night restaurant in Syracuse makes it easy to order vegan without having to ask for a long list of substitutions. The house antipasto salad without cheese and anchovies is filled with cauliflower, artichokes, red onions, and more. Of course, the Famous Spicy Hot Tomato Oil pasta without cheese is the more popular option to accompany your wine. Make it gluten-free with the penne that they offer.



The Mission Restaurant

Mexican food is notorious for hiding lard and animal-based oils in their cooking, but The Mission provides several options that won’t have you missing out. The chips and salsa servers bring to the table are both vegan and gluten-free. Try the tacos without pork for an appetizer, and finish off with the tofu kabobs. Grilled with a chipotle bbq sauce, the tofu is dripping with flavor. Both options are gluten-free, as well. Order the vegan burrito and tell your waiter to “cover and smother” it with mole sauce for an extra kick of spice. They’ll know what you mean. The vegan tacos are also gluten-free.


Next time you make plans, whether you are vegan or just trying to eat a little bit healthier, don’t miss out on the hottest spots downtown.


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This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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