Utica has a population of about 62,000. And out of those people, there are a few of us who are vegan. Although Utica is a somewhat small city, there are some great places to go to get a vegan or vegetarian meal. I should mention that the places on the list do have meat options as well as vegan options. Today, I would like to share with you my list of favorite vegan-friendly restaurants in Utica.

5. Rio Grande Tex-Mex Grill--3913 Oneida Street, Washington Mills


If you are looking for some of the best burritos around, this place has them. Although not centrally located in Utica, it's just a few minutes outside of the city limits. Not only does Rio Grande Tex-Mex Grill have vegan-friendly options, like burritos and tacos without meat, cheese and sour cream, they have an amazing chips and salsa bar.

4. Peter's Cornucopia--New Hartford Shopping Center


Like the restaurant above, Peter's Cornucopia is just a mile or two outside of Utica. Peter's has a wonderful natural food grocery store. And, it also has a cafe called Cafe Ucopia that offers vegan options. The staff taking orders are very knowledgeable when it comes to specific diets. So, if you're not sure what what's vegan on the menu, they can definitely help you out.

3. The Phoenician--623 French Road

Hummus, tabbouleh and falafels, oh my. The Phoenician has everything a vegan loves. Hummus--a chickpea dip with tahini, tabbouleh--a tomato and parsley salad, and falafels--which are chickpea patties. Lunchtime is the best. There is a weekday all-you-can-eat lunch buffet that has of all these vegan treats and more. And, if you're looking for a buffet during dinnertime hours, they offer a dinner buffet on Wednesday nights only.

2. Sakura--1143 Mohawk Street


Sakura offers both Japanese and Chinese cuisine. If you like sushi, this is the place to go. When I go, I always get the vegetable sushi with a side of edamame (soybean pods). Sakura is open Monday through Sunday, and they have many options on the menu.

1. The Tramontane Cafe--1105 Lincoln Avenue


Here it is at number one--the best place to get a vegan meal in Utica--the Tramontane Cafe. Not only do they have vegan meals, like a vegan deli sandwich or a dish of their signature hummus, they have vegan desserts. But, it's not only the food that keeps me going back to the Tramontane Cafe, it's the atmosphere. They have open-mic nights, live bands, poetry readings and a whole lot more. It's definitely worth stopping in and trying some delicious food and watching a great show.