Wondering where you can find great vegetarian and/or vegan restaurants in Peoria? Read on to discover what’s in store for you!

Green New American Vegetarian

Green offers a cuisine that is New American Vegetarian, and they have an excellent menu full of fresh healthy meals made with 100% plant-based ingredients. Their menu items include salads, burritos, po’boys, burgers, and a kids menu.

“Bites” include buffalo wings, which are vegan wings with veggies and a side of homemade ranch, as well as their green hummus with fire-roasted poblano peppers. They also make crab puffs consisting of mock crab meat, cream cheese, and spices, and their eggless rolls are crisp wontons stuffed with cabbage, carrots, and Chinese five-spice. You should also try their samosas, made with curried potatoes, peas, carrots, and fresh garlic wrapped in a thin fried pastry with tamarind dipping sauce.

Their salad mixes contain only organic produce, and they offer gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free options, too. Fun kids menu items include chicken nuggs, which are served over a bed of thyme fries with ranch or barbecue sauce. They also offer a Kidsadilla, made with melted cheese in a flour tortilla. The chefs at Green use the freshest top-shelf ingredients, using organic and non-GMO ingredients wherever they can to ensure that you and your kids are eating the healthiest, heartiest food possible.

Veggie Village

Veggie Village provides an environment in which people can understand vegetarian food and discover the wide range of delicious vegetarian and vegan choices available to them. This restaurant serves appetizers, salads, soups, entrées, burgers, and curries. They also serve soy shrimp and calamari, soy fish, vegetables, tofu, noodles, and fried rice.

Some of the appetizers that you must try are lettuce wraps that contain sautéed soy-protein, shiitake mushroom, jicama, and carrots. Fried enoki mushrooms garnished with lettuce and served with homemade spicy sauce are also a favorite of many diners. You should also try the potstickers, which are pan-fried dumplings stuffed with cabbage, carrots, shiitake mushroom, and soy protein. Then there’s the cream cheese wonton containing imitation soy crab meat, vegan cream cheese, celery, and vegan mayo. Hakka tofu, which is fried tofu with sliced cucumber, jicama, and carrot, and served with special homemade spicy sauce is also delicious.  

Veggie Village cares about those with allergies and food restrictions. So, all dishes can be modified as gluten-free by substituting soy protein with tofu.

Pita Jungle

A close-up of a bowl of freshly made Hummus.

Hummus” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by Basheer Tome

Pita Jungle offers a variety of gluten-free and vegetarian and vegan options to choose from, such as starters, salads, pitas, wraps, and bowls. There are also healthy burgers, wood-fired pizzas, signature entrees, and sides to choose from.

For starters, there are popular Middle-Eastern delicacies such as hummus, taboule, tzatziki, and tahini. There are also a variety of salads such as the Lentil Fetoosh Salad, Falafel Salad, Wood-Fired Vegetable Salad, Greek Salad, and Spinach Pasta Salad, all of which contain a mixture of several fresh vegetables, herbs, and olive oil. Kids menu and seasonal kitchen crafts are also available. Most chicken and fish dishes can easily be replaced with tofu. There are also delicious desserts and refreshing smoothies that you must try.            

India Palace 

This restaurant serves authentic Indian cuisine, including vegetarian-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free options. Menu items at India Palace include beverages, appetizers, soups, vegetables, and rice dishes. Wraps, tandoori bread, desserts, and Chef’s Specialties are also available. Aloo paratha, a tandoori bread stuffed with spiced mashed potato, and paneer naan, which is baked white flour bread stuffed with lightly spiced homemade cottage cheese are local favorites.

Among the beverage choices, you should certainly try the Panjabi lassi, a homemade yogurt shake. Mango lassi, mango juice, mango milkshakes, and Indian tea are also highly recommended. There are a variety of appetizers available. Raita, cool whipped yogurt with bits of cucumbers, tomatoes, and potatoes garnished with a sprinkle of spices is worth trying. Vegetarian soup options include tomato soup and vegetable soup with herbs. 

There are interesting varieties of vegetable dishes such as palak paneer, which is fresh spinach with homemade cheese and cream, cooked in curry style, and seasoned with aromatic herbs. Do not miss the mixed vegetable balls called malai kofta that is cooked in a tomato-based curry sauce along with cashews, almonds, and a touch of cream on the top. All vegetarian dishes are very healthy and contain a mixture of several vegetables, herbs, and spices. 

La Piazza al Forno

This Italian restaurant serves a variety of pizzas, salads, antipasti, panino, and desserts. While pure vegetarian salads contain a mixture of several vegetables and homemade cheese with a dressing of extra-virgin olive oil, vegetarian-friendly and vegan options are available for other dishes too. Fully vegetarian dinner options are also available at La Piazza al Forno.

Café Lalibela

Eager to try Ethiopian food? Look no further, as Café Lalibela offers a wide range of Ethiopian cuisines, including healthy vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options to choose from. The vegetable combination platter consisting of a combination of green beans, collard greens, red lentils, and cabbage, garnished with salad, and served with injera bread, which is a crepe-like sourdough bread made from a mixture of teff and wheat flour, is very popular among vegetarian diners.

You should also try the vegetarian soups and salads such as shorba that is soup made from lentils, carrots, potatoes, onion, and vegetable stock. Pure vegetarian entrees include azifah consisting of brown lentils; fasolia made of lightly spiced green beans that are cooked with tomatoes, carrots, and onion, and gomen, a dish of collard greens cooked with fresh garlic, ginger, and onion. Misir Wat, red split lentils cooked with onion, chili powder sauce, and herbs, and Shiro Wat, spiced chickpeas flour cooked with onion and seasoned with garlic and ginger are some other delicious entrees that are very highly recommended.

So, here you have some interesting plant-based restaurants to try around the Peoria area, courtesy of Crème de la Crème. Did you find our list satisfactory? Did we miss a personal favorite — one that you particularly love? If we did, let us know! We’ll definitely add it to our list.