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Vegetarian banh mi at Portland's Green Elephant
Vegetarian banh mi at Portland's Green Elephant
Green Elephant/FB

12 Essential Vegetarian Restaurants in Maine

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Vegetarian banh mi at Portland's Green Elephant
| Green Elephant/FB

While Maine has its fair share of farm-to-table restaurants that feature local animal proteins, vegans and vegetarians needn’t look very far for a good vegetable-based meal. Dining out with dietary restrictions shouldn’t be a chore in this day and age, so here’s 12 restaurants across the state that serve up delicious meals without meat.

Note: map points are ordered south to north.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

This cafe, bar and bistro offers two different dining experiences with its casual cafe and dinner bistro menu. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes are marked as such on the menu, where meat-free diners will find dishes like grilled portobello cap stacked with summer squash, peppers, and pesto and the elusive vegetarian Caesar salad.

Bandaloop

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This bistro in Kennebunkport’s Dock Square offers plenty of organic vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Standouts include the kale salad with shaved golden beets, candied pecans, and a sesame-tahini dressing and the Vermont cheddar and cavatappi—a rich dish with roasted tomatoes, broccoli and basil. Several vegan dessert options are always available.

Green Elephant Bistro

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Craving Thai? Head to Green Elephant, where veg-lovers can enjoy meat-free curries, noodles, and stir fries. Many dishes are vegan, a rarity in Thai cuisine, while soy meat and tofu are available to add to your entrees.

Local Sprouts Cafe

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This employee-owned cooperative is dedicated to countering the stereotype of health food, with veggie burgers, tofu scrambles, tacos, and rice bowls packed with flavor. The cafe uses local produce, so the veggie selections change with the seasons. A number of beverage options, including coffee, beer, wine and kombucha make this a popular hangout any time of day.

Kamasouptra

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This popular soup spot in the Public Market House (with another location at the Maine Mall) offers many vegetarian flavors like grilled cheese and tomato soup soup, chili, beer cheddar and jalapeno, and white bean and kale. With a cup of soup and a roll coming in at just over $5, these filling soups are also a bargain.

Frontier

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A combination of a gallery, theater, and cafe, Frontier’s global cuisine offers many options for vegans and vegetarians. A falafel wrap, veggie tacos, mushroom risotto, and even vegan nachos are just the beginning of meat-free fare at Frontier.

Guthrie's

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This funky, bohemian cafe in downtown Lewiston has a menu to match. Vegetarian options abound with the selection of soups, salads, paninis, and burritos. Try the quirky Surfer Rosa quesadilla with kale, pineapple, cilantro, peppers, feta cheese, and jalapeño peppers. There's also live music on many nights.

Taste of Eden Bakery & Cafe

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This earnest cafe in Western Maine is all about the health aspects of a vegan diet, but that doesn't mean they skimp on flavor. Try comfort foods like vegetable pot pie and spinach lasagna or the intriguing harvest nut roast, a meatloaf substitute.

A1 Diner

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With its gorgonzola risotto cakes with grilled baby bellas, vegan hummus wraps, and red coconut curry with tofu, A1 Diner isn’t your typical greasy spoon. Perched over the river in Gardiner, this antique diner car is a fun stop for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Thrive Juice Bar & Kitchen

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This new juice bar is bringing the juice lifestyle to downtown Bar Harbor. Smoothie bowls, a salad, bar, and vegan and gluten-free baked goods offer a healthy pick-me-up before or after some hiking in Acadia.

Chase's Daily

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One of Maine’s most renowned vegetarian restaurants, Chase’s Daily in Belfast also serves as a farmers’ market, illustrating the owners’ commitment to local vegetables. Between the cherry tarts and tofu scrambles at brunch, the banh mis and curried fried rice at lunch and dinner, no one is missing the meat at Chase’s.

Fork & Spoon

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This cafe on Bangor’s Main Street offers creative and filling vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as an extension juice, smoothie, and coffee menu. Grab a flavor-packed West Meets West salad, with roasted cauliflower, green peas, toasted hazelnuts, chopped dates, and red pepper to go or relax with a BLT made with tempeh bacon.

Misto!

This cafe, bar and bistro offers two different dining experiences with its casual cafe and dinner bistro menu. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes are marked as such on the menu, where meat-free diners will find dishes like grilled portobello cap stacked with summer squash, peppers, and pesto and the elusive vegetarian Caesar salad.

Bandaloop

Green Elephant Bistro

Craving Thai? Head to Green Elephant, where veg-lovers can enjoy meat-free curries, noodles, and stir fries. Many dishes are vegan, a rarity in Thai cuisine, while soy meat and tofu are available to add to your entrees.

Local Sprouts Cafe

This employee-owned cooperative is dedicated to countering the stereotype of health food, with veggie burgers, tofu scrambles, tacos, and rice bowls packed with flavor. The cafe uses local produce, so the veggie selections change with the seasons. A number of beverage options, including coffee, beer, wine and kombucha make this a popular hangout any time of day.

Kamasouptra

This popular soup spot in the Public Market House (with another location at the Maine Mall) offers many vegetarian flavors like grilled cheese and tomato soup soup, chili, beer cheddar and jalapeno, and white bean and kale. With a cup of soup and a roll coming in at just over $5, these filling soups are also a bargain.

Frontier

A combination of a gallery, theater, and cafe, Frontier’s global cuisine offers many options for vegans and vegetarians. A falafel wrap, veggie tacos, mushroom risotto, and even vegan nachos are just the beginning of meat-free fare at Frontier.

Guthrie's

This funky, bohemian cafe in downtown Lewiston has a menu to match. Vegetarian options abound with the selection of soups, salads, paninis, and burritos. Try the quirky Surfer Rosa quesadilla with kale, pineapple, cilantro, peppers, feta cheese, and jalapeño peppers. There's also live music on many nights.

Taste of Eden Bakery & Cafe

This earnest cafe in Western Maine is all about the health aspects of a vegan diet, but that doesn't mean they skimp on flavor. Try comfort foods like vegetable pot pie and spinach lasagna or the intriguing harvest nut roast, a meatloaf substitute.

A1 Diner

With its gorgonzola risotto cakes with grilled baby bellas, vegan hummus wraps, and red coconut curry with tofu, A1 Diner isn’t your typical greasy spoon. Perched over the river in Gardiner, this antique diner car is a fun stop for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Thrive Juice Bar & Kitchen

This new juice bar is bringing the juice lifestyle to downtown Bar Harbor. Smoothie bowls, a salad, bar, and vegan and gluten-free baked goods offer a healthy pick-me-up before or after some hiking in Acadia.

Chase's Daily

One of Maine’s most renowned vegetarian restaurants, Chase’s Daily in Belfast also serves as a farmers’ market, illustrating the owners’ commitment to local vegetables. Between the cherry tarts and tofu scrambles at brunch, the banh mis and curried fried rice at lunch and dinner, no one is missing the meat at Chase’s.

Fork & Spoon

This cafe on Bangor’s Main Street offers creative and filling vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as an extension juice, smoothie, and coffee menu. Grab a flavor-packed West Meets West salad, with roasted cauliflower, green peas, toasted hazelnuts, chopped dates, and red pepper to go or relax with a BLT made with tempeh bacon.