The 7 Best Plant-Based Places for Fast-Casual Dining in Connecticut
Sometimes the hardest part about being plant-based or vegan is finding an accommodating place to dine out. Finding a quick, easy, vegan meal on-the-go may seem like a daunting task when you’re surrounded by the classic east coast deli, diner or convenient drive-thru eatery while in a rush. “Fast food” doesn’t need to mean processed and high caloric indulgence. It can mean enriching, healthy and energy-boosting.
Luckily, Connecticut is packed with fast-casual restaurants that are plant-based or plant-forward. These 7 spots are perfect for when you need a quick bite that's delicious, hearty and packed with nutrients.
1. EMBODY Fitness Gourmet
Location(s): Westport, Darien and New Canaan, Connecticut
EMBODY is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a quick pre or post-workout snack. EMBODY serves a plant-guided menu that aims to elevate health and performance. The menu takes functional ingredients with fair sourcing practices and turns them into meals that taste great. Whether it be a plant-forward smoothie or indulgent acai bowl, EMBODY proves that healthy options can be great for you AND taste amazing.
Another thing to love about EMBODY is that they will completely cater to your dietary needs and preferences. The Deep Green Juice, for example, comes with a base of organic kale, spinach, celery and cucumber. You then can choose up to three “accents”: green apple, lemon, orange, grapefruit, ginger, mint, parsley, cilantro. No matter your preference, starting your day off with these powerful plant ingredients is bound to keep you on track and fueled.
Location(s): Darien and Stamford, Connecticut
Roost certainly has a solid selection of items for vegan/plant-based customers to enjoy. A few vegan options include their Roasted Carrot Hummus Salad, which is kale based with white beans, shredded carrots, sweet potatoes, avocado, quinoa and a homemade carrot hummus. Roost also has a Fall Harvest Salad, which traditionally is served with a crumbled goat cheese, but can easily be removed upon request. The Harvest Salad is made of a mixed green base, red beets, shaved almonds, red quinoa and apples.
My personal fave is their Grilled Portobello Sandwich which has house-roasted red peppers, olive tapenade, homemade salsa verde and watercress (um…YUM!)
3. The Granola Bar
Location(s): Stamford, Greenwich and Westport, Connecticut
Possibly one of the best breakfast spots in Connecticut, whether you’re plant-based, vegan, or anything in-between, is The Granola Bar. With so many fun, intriguing menu items, I suggest you visit with an empty stomach. To support the name of the establishment, I recommend going for one of their many granola options:
‘When Chia Met Chai’ – a chai chia pudding, coconut yogurt, raspberry preserves, toasted coconut granola
‘Froyo Bowl’ your choice of plain tart froyo or avocado lemon froyo with two toppings
‘Cashew Yogurt Bowl’ cashew yogurt, Meyer lemon curd, honey brown butter granola, and fresh blueberries
4. Organika Kitchen
Location(s): New Canaan, Ridgefield and Southport, Connecticut
“Let Food Be Thy Medicine,” is Organika Kitchen’s main motto. With three convenient locations, this is the place where you can refuel and re-energize with plant-based foods that nourish and sustain you for the entire day. Organika Kitchen aims to offer meals/snacks that work to create a more vital body and mind. The menu is simple, brilliant and delicious!
Start your day off with a tofu scramble on a whole wheat wrap, sautéed peppers, onions, spinach and avocado (a gluten-free rice wrap is also an available option). Not much of a breakfast person? No problem! The Kalifornia Burger is made with quinoa, sweet potato and black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, chipotle sauce, guacamole all on a multigrain bun. Need a little bit of a health kick? Try their Green Guru Smoothie with spinach, banana, pineapple and spirulina.
Location(s): Canton, Fairfield, Glastonbury and Greenwich, Connecticut
No matter your diet preferences, something we all can appreciate is companies that strive to make a positive impact on the planet. B.GOOD, is proud to play an active role in driving constructive change in the planet’s food system. They believe transparent, resilient, and fair food systems lead to the highest quality ingredients. Whether it be kale & grain bowls, salads or smoothie – B. Good is committed to using nutrient-rich, plant-forward ingredients.
Probably their most popular menu items come from the Kale & Grain Bowl section. Take their Spicy Avocado & Lime bowl for example, black bean & corn salsa, sautéed veggies, kale, quinoa, tomato, cilantro, chipotle puree, drizzled with a chipotle vinaigrette. In the mood for something a little more comforting? Try their “Spaghetti & Meatballs” with zucchini noodles, eggplant meatballs, kale, parmesan (opt for no cheese), tomato and marinara.
6. Aux Delices
Location(s): Darien, Greenwich, Riverside, Downtown Westport and Post Road Westport, Connecticut
With locations spread throughout Connecticut, Aux Delices is the perfect spot to sit down for a quick bite or grab something to-go. While the menu is not completely plant-friendly, it definitely has options for all types of diet preferences. The Baby Arugula Salad is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up with dried cranberries, honey almonds, manchego cheese (opt-out of the cheese) and red wine vinaigrette. A fairly simple gathering of ingredients, but delicious year-round.
For something a little more filling, I recommend the Orzo Salad with dried apricots, pistachios, scallions and ginger oil.
Location(s): Greenwich, Connecticut
While salad bar-style establishments are nothing new, Chopt certainly knows how to do it right. Located in Greenwich, CT, Chopt offers a large array of vegan, plant-based salads that are both satisfying and delicious. Not only does Chopt aim to offer healthy salad options, but it also strives to form long-term partnerships with local food artisans, farmers, small businesses, and producers with better food and better practices.
Did we miss a spot? Let us know in the comments down below.