For years, vegetarians, vegans, and those who simply wanted to enjoy the occasional meal without animal protein, had it rough at restaurants: stuck ordering sad, plain salads or sandwiches minus pretty much everything, constantly met with blank stares when they asked about soup bases.

Well, say goodbye to that plate of wilted iceberg– we’re happy to say that era is over, and nowhere is that more evident than in the multitude of restaurants and cafes offering vegan and vegetarian options in Southwest Michigan. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, or just enjoy a great meal, we are here for this. 

Here are some of my favorite restaurants on Michigan’s Sunset Coast that offer plant-based fuel for your star-dusted, cosmic adventure through space:

Due to changing dining restrictions as we all navigate through Covid-19, please call the restaurant or check their website/social media for updated hours, menu, and availability.


Black Currant Bakehouse, Union Pier

Steps away from the flashing light at Red Arrow Highway and Town Line Ave is a bakery founded in 2016 and run by a husband and wife power team. The heavenly aroma of espresso invites you inside before you even reach the door. Black Currant Bakehouse offers a stunning array of plant-based foods; the menu is entirely vegetarian, with seitan and tempeh reigning high atop the protein throne. Their pastry options change daily, the selection is vast, and there are many vegan items also! I’d eat their chocolate ganache brownie for every meal forever. And once you’ve tried the French toast cruller, I promise you’ll never be the same. On winter break through January — they reopen February 5th at 8am!

At Black Currant Bakehouse, the coffee is strong and the doughnuts are holy

Water and WheatColoma

Watch their social media for pop-up shop locations! You can order online for special pickup dates!
If you’ve never thought your food was too pretty to eat, you’ve never been to Water And Wheat. (Aaaaand now I’ve written a song.) This 100% vegan Coloma restaurant offers local coffee and espresso drinks, and all of the deli salads and pantry items you could ever want. At the top the list is the banh mi, fantastic pastries, any of their ever-changing deli salads and sides– and their vegan bacon cheeseburger simply BEETS every other burger out there. Whether veganism is a part of your lifestyle or you’re just a little bit curious, Water & Wheat is an absolute must. 


RiosNew Buffalo

Homemade guacamole, homemade hot sauces, crispy AND melty cheese– everything on Rios’ menu is bursting with flavor. Not doing tortillas? Burrito bowl. Vegan? Beans for protein (made without lard!) And there’s just something about the perfectly crispy tortilla chip, cracking under pressure of all that guac, that totally balances out your life. You can enjoy dining al fresco on their adorable patio, or take it to-go. Online ordering is available (and is definitely a lifesaver).


Rio’s quesadillas (left) are L I F E

MabuhayBerrien Springs

mabuhayoriental on Facebook

Sitting ever so sweetly on M139/Cass street in Berrien Springs is a small cafe and deli with huge flavor. If the bright exterior of the building doesn’t guide you inside, your nose certainly will! Have some saucy, crispy tofu (the best I’ve ever had), vegan pancit, vegetable dumplings– the list goes on and on. And they don’t just serve vegetarian foods, there are other proteins to choose from, also. Complete your meal with a refreshing bubble tea, but good luck deciding on a flavor; there are so very many. Do yourself a favor and dine at Mabuhay. And pleeeeaase let me know how much you love the Fried Chinese Eggplant!
Find them on social media for current hours.

Tantalize your taste buds. Try the pancit at Mabuhay.

Go into the food forest, my friends. Live off of the plants. Fuel your bodies in whichever way pleases your soul.

And please, take all of the pictures.

Jocelyne Y Tuszynski