Vegan donuts: delicious even after getting smushed on a transcontinental flight.
Ah, Las Vegas. City of sleaze, exploitation, and hedonism; somehow ethical eating doesn’t seem to factor into the equation. So I was surprised that I ate well this weekend in Vegas.
The city is full of ostentatious ads for steak and seafood, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find good vegan options. And–surreal and wonderful–Vegas is also home to Ronald’s Donuts, with two shelves full of delightful and fully vegan donuts.
If there’s one thing not to miss in Vegas, it’s Ronald’s. The average little donut shop exterior gives no hint to the vegan paradise within. I entered and declared “I’ve come for vegan donuts,” and the super friendly proprieters filled a huge box with an assortment for me to take back to New York. Apparently another group of vegans had come before me and nearly cleaned them out, but I still got a huge array of cinnamon buns, fruit tarts, and the classic glazed donuts that I haven’t eaten since I went vegan twelve years ago. Incredibly, it cost only $13 for a huge box of donuts and a bottle of water. (Located at 4600 W Spring Mountain Road; call ahead to make sure it’s open: 702-873-1032.)
Ethnic food is your best bet when it comes to vegan meals. At an Indian restaurant called Ghandi, you’ll find a nice variety of vegan-friendly North and South Indian options, and they’ll even tell you what’s vegan in the lunch buffet. It’s located at 4080 Paradise Road at East Flamingo Road, not far from the Strip. Call 702-734-0094.
I also had great Ethiopian food at Meskerem, just off the Strip at 252 Convention Center Drive. They’ve only got one vegetarian dish, but it’s hearty, filling, and delicious. Avoid the iced tea, though; it’s not even freshly brewed, but made from an ultra-sweet mix. Call 702-732-4250.
I had two decent-if-overpriced meals at Mandalay Bay, a swanky hotel on the South Strip. The Border Grill, which overlooks the pool, has a tasty grilled portabello mushroom, although make sure to talk to your server; half the accompaniments aren’t vegan, and they’ll still charge you $16 for the meal. On the plus side, they make a nice mojito.
I normally wouldn’t even glance at a place called Burger Bar, but I was bored and happened to notice they they offer a dish called the “Vegas Vegan.” It’s just a bunch of grilled vegetables in the shape of a hamburger (portabello mushrooms for the bun, eggplant for the burger, lots of toppings) but it was satisfying. And they have an exceptional beer selection. It’s located at Mandalay Place, which is a little shopping mall connecting Mandalay Bay and Luxor.
I also noticed that Japonais in the Mirage has a nice selection of (extremely expensive) vegetable sushi. I didn’t have time to try it, but it’s another option to check out if you’re in the area.
I’ve only concentrated on the options closest to the Strip. Am I missing anything? Let us know your Vegas Vegan experiences in the comments.