KC Restaurant Review: a Vegan Approach

Sarah Ulsher

Gluten-free, vegan, keto, pescatarian, high-carbs only… whether it’s a choice of morals, necessity, or health, the growing food-fads have revolutionized the food businesses of the United States. Alternative options run rampant in well-loved fast-food chains, from the Impossible Burger at Burger King, to gluten free substitutes at Panera.

As we approach mid-semester, I have wondered if first-year students or transfers to the Kansas City area are aware of the fantastic different options available in KC. As a fellow vegan myself, I wondered which restaurants could supply me the best alternative options. Sometimes, the cafeteria is simply not appealing, especially if it’s a frequent component of weekly meals. Here is a list of my top seven favorite restaurants in KC that supply plenty of alternative menu options; vegan and gluten-free alike.

  1. Mission Taco

With two locations, one recently opened extremely close to school, it’s a perfect place to catch downtown or after a Plaza shopping trip. Mission Taco boasts gluten free options in the form of corn tortillas, instead of flour, and they have a vegan taco and burrito. After 10pm all their tacos and tequila shots are two dollars- which is perfect for a college student budget.

Recommendation: Cali Burrito, smothered in roasted tomato sauce

Pricing: $$$ (except after 10pm, then it’s $)

Overall rating out of 5: 3.5

  1. Lulu’s Noodle Café

As is the case with many Asian restaurants, Lulu’s has a variety of rice-noodle options that can make any gluten free individual happy, as well as three delicious already-vegan options, and ones that are easily customizable.

Recommendation: Rainbow Peanut Noodles

Pricing: $$

Overall rating: 4

  1. Café Gratitude

Quite seriously everything at this restaurant is vegan and can be turned into a gluten free dish. It’s a little higher on the budget, but the portions are generous, and you can easily get two meals out of it.

Recommendation: “Present”- a vegan bruschetta.

Pricing: $$$

Overall rating: 4.5

  1. Kin Lin

This Chinese place is delicious, and, if you snag them during their lunch specials, very affordable. Located on the UMKC campus, there is also delivery available to the Rockhurst campus. All of the vegetarian dishes are also vegan, unless stated otherwise, and almost all of the dishes are also gluten-free.

Recommendation: Tofu Hunan Style

Pricing: $ (especially for lunch specials, check it out)

Overall rating: 5

  1. Blue Sushi

Located near Lulu’s Noodles, this place is totally hopping. Their vegetarian rolls are almost all vegan, and many dishes are gluten free so long as they don’t have any tempura vegetables.

Recommendation: “Cowgirl” sushi rolls are smoky tasting, totally unexpected for sushi, and no fish!

Pricing: $$ ($ during happy hour)

Overall rating: 4