Family meals out provide a great opportunity for quality time together. Still, if you’re looking to stick to a plant-based diet, finding the right restaurants to visit can feel like a challenge.

Fortunately, the area in and around Westerville offers plenty of options for vegan and vegetarian meals. Crème de la Crème of Westerville compiled this list of some of the best local restaurants with great plant-based options to get you started.

The Northstar Cafe

Chopped at vegetables on a cutting board at a plant-based restaurant in Westerville, OH

slice of vegetables on brown chopping board” used with permission via Unsplash by suresh_designer

The Northstar Cafe, a small Ohio chain, has a location right here in Westerville. That’s great news for hungry vegans and vegetarians in town. You’ll find a wide range of options on the menu they can make without meat or dairy, so you can easily customize your favorite meals to meet your family’s dietary needs, no matter the time of day.

The Northstar Cafe features breakfast, brunch, and lunch and dinner menus. In other words, you’ll have plenty of excuses to visit this popular local spot. The smoothie bowl, complete with blueberries, cashews, housemade granola, and toasted organic coconut, is a surefire favorite. If you’re in the mood for a burger, you can’t go wrong with the Northstar Burger made from black beans, brown rice, and beets. Craving a burrito, but with a twist? Go for the Thai Burrito with seared organic tofu.

The Northstar Cafe also offers a kids menu to take the guesswork out of planning outings with the whole family. Options like the Buddha Bowl and Thai Burrito, perfect for kids who want to eat like the adults in the group, can be made without meat or dairy, and tasty drinks like smoothies take the experience to the next level.

Find this restaurant at 109 S. State St., Westerville, 43081. You can visit between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. each day.

Sun Tong Luck

Sun Tong Luck is the place to go when you’re craving Chinese cuisine. The restaurant delivers quality food with the convenience of getting a quick meal, making it easier than ever to treat your family to a healthy and enjoyable meal out.

The whole menu features delicious treats, but you just need to check out the “vegan specialties” section to discover your new favorite meal. You’ll find a variety of classic dishes (think: Sweet and Sour, General Tso’s, Kung Pao, and more) made with tofu instead of chicken or beef. You can go for spicy or milder dishes depending on your taste, complementing your choice with either steamed or fried rice. You can also order half- or full-sized meals.

Vegan- and vegetarian-friendly dishes abound throughout the rest of the menu, too. Start with an appetizer like vegan spring rolls or sesame noodles, or get a soup like vegan hot and sour soup. You can get vegan or vegetable fried rice, vegan lo main or pad Thai, and more. With so many possibilities for plant-based goodness, this restaurant should sit near the top of your list of places to check out.

Visit Song Tong Luck at 2500 Bethel Road, Columbus, 43220. It’s open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Mr. Hummus Grill

You don’t have to travel further than Columbus to indulge in authentic Lebanese cuisine. That’s where you’ll find Mr. Hummus Grill, a popular restaurant boasting plenty of plant-based menu options. In fact, there’s a whole section of the menu dedicated to a “vegetarian paradise,” so you know you’ll find some amazing meals to enjoy when you visit this eatery.

So, what can you find in this paradise? There’s really something for everyone. Order the Mujaddara Hamra if you want to taste a vegan specialty from south Lebanon. This dish boasts red lentils and bulgur wheat pilaf, all cooked with special spices, then served with cucumber yogurt. If you’re in the mood for a burger, go for the falafel burger. If you want pizza, there’s a falafel pizza, and if you’re craving tacos, there’s (you guessed it!) modern falafel tacos as well. That’s just the start, so you’ll want to check out this menu for yourself.

Mr. Hummus Grill is located at 1450 Bethel Road, Columbus, 43220. On Mondays and Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sunday, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. They’re closed on Wednesdays.

Ye’s Asian Vegan

You’ll need to travel just a bit further to Hilliard for this next recommendation, but you’ll be so glad you did. Ye’s Asian Vegan, as the name suggests, is an amazing place to head out for a family meal when you want a plant-based meal.

You’ll find an assortment of authentic Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes, all created with vegan ingredients. From Szechuan Peppercorn Tofu to Thai Basil Sauce Tofu and everything in between, there’s so much vegan goodness to enjoy on this menu. You’ll find soups and salads, rice and noodle dishes, entrees, and more, all made with tasty ingredients like broccoli, mango, black beans, and mushrooms, to name only a few treats on this menu.

You’ll find Ye’s Asian Vegan at 2469 Hilliard Rome Road, Hilliard, 43026. Whether you come in for the all-day menu or take advantage of the lunch specials, you won’t leave disappointed.

Taj Palace

Taj Palace, another gem located in Hilliard, treats you to amazing Indian cuisine close to home. Discover dishes prepared in various traditional culinary styles, particularly the tandoori style, here.

From Vegetable Pakora, a fried mixed vegetable ball appetizer to Madras soup, a tomato soup with grated coconut, and beyond, there’s a tasty way to start off any meal. Then, choose a favorite from the extensive list of vegetarian selections. Better yet, pick a few dishes to sample as a family so you can enjoy even more flavors.

Hungry? Just go to 3794 Fishinger Blvd., Hilliard, 43026. Taj Palace is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. on Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays.Crème de la Crème of Westerville just gave you five great local restaurants to try when you want to go out for a vegetarian or vegan meal. If we didn’t include your family’s favorite, drop us a line so we can add it!