In September 2022, I attended the two-day Plant Based World Expo North America, the official tradeshow of the Plant Based Foods Association, at New York City’s Javits Center.
Attracting 232 exhibitors from across the U.S. and abroad, including Italy, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, South Korea, and The Netherlands, and featuring keynote speakers including influential chef restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn, co-founder of the expanding East Coast PLNT Burger chain, the show affirmed the plant-based food movement’s major momentum. The Javits Center, which is itself a “plant-forward” facility, supports 300,000 honeybees in its 6.75-acre roof farm and grows 40,000 pounds roof-to-table produce every year on its 1-acre rooftop farm.
It is not a recent phenomenon that the emphasis on plant-based, natural foods with a mission to promote healthier living, animal welfare, and global sustainability has gained so much attention and market share. As far back as the early 1970’s, chef-restaurateurs, often organized as collectives, were putting vegetarian and vegan food on the map.
From original pioneers to today’s champions, here are six progressive plant-forward restaurants across the U.S. that have made an art of delicious…