Plant-Based Meat

By: Karen Dybis | January 17, 2020
Plant-Based Coney Dog from Chili Mustard Onions

Photo Courtesy of Chili Mustard Onions.

Maybe you made a New Year’s resolution to eat with more intention. Perhaps you want to lose some weight by cutting out so much traditional protein. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking to eat more plant-based meals, then Metro Detroit is the place to be.

Restaurants all around the area serve vegetarian or vegan dishes that feature big brands such as the Impossible Burger. Others come up with concoctions of their own. But there are such an array of offerings at bars, beer halls, classic diners and upscale eateries that you’ll have no problem eating clean while eating out. 

One place that is a must try is Detroit’s Chili Mustard Onions. Chef and owner Pete LaCombe has plant-based love running through his veins. Chili Mustard Onions carries the moniker of Detroit’s Original Plant Based Coney Island, and everything on the menu has that theme, LaCombe said. Diners recommend the beetball sub, the Big Mock (a take on the Big Mac-style burger), the “chili” fries and the meatless yet still savory coney dogs. 

When asked what he recommends that is plant-based to nosh on when visiting Chili Mustard Onions for the first or 100th time, LaCombe said, “Everything on my menu!”

Here are some favorites suggested by Metro Detroiters who love to eat well when they eat their greens around plant-based meats. 

Starter’s Bar and Grill

Indeed, you may see a lot of steak on the menu. But there also is the classic Impossible Burger right there on the table. This very busy Detroit-based bar and grill is known for its grilled meats, especially pork chops and steak. But if you seek out the vegan or vegetarian offerings, you’ll find they’re just as flavorful and well prepared as the rest of the menu. 

Brome Modern Eatery 

Many people who prefer to eat a plant-based diet as well as those who just dabble in vegetarianism highly recommend Brome Modern Eatery, which has locations in Detroit and Dearborn. Yes, the restaurant is widely known for its organic hamburgers. But it also serves the Impossible Burger as well as 100 percent vegan bratwurst at its locations. “Their Impossible Burger is the best I’ve had,” raves writer Lori Tucker-Sullivan, who said she is a regular. 

Unburger Grill 

Head to Dearborn to get what this restaurant describes as “the vegan choice” when it comes to plant-based meals. The menu, created by Chef Christopher Oliver and his sisters, is entirely vegan with fresh ingredients in every dish, and the results are delicious. There are even comfort foods to try, such as fresh summer slaw as well as chocolate delights such as vegan brownies. 

Howlers and Growlers 

You might not think a place known for its beer would come up with tasty vegan or vegetarian options for its menu. But this Grosse Pointe Park newbie tries to change up what you know about the traditional beer hall. The kitchen focuses on gourmet bites, including its salads, sandwiches and burgers. If you’re looking for a completely vegan option, you can always order your Impossible Burger on a tortilla instead.

Green Space Café 

Ferndale is the perfect location for this plant-based restaurant, founded by Dr. Joel Kahn. He is known as a champion of food as medicine and devoted his career to talking to his patients and everyone else about the healing power of plants. This fully vegan, plant-based eatery is beloved for its brunch specials as well, including gluten-free spiced buns with cranberry, apricot, dark rum, orange and candied ginger. Delicious and nutritious.