Mya Lysne ’23
One of my biggest concerns when moving to Moorhead was finding restaurants and grocery stores that cater to my vegetarian diet. Not every place here has veggie options, but many do. Here is my personal collection of the best restaurants in the Fargo-Moorhead area as a vegetarian.
Sushi Burrito Cafe is one of my go-to places when I want a filling vegetarian or vegan meal but want to experience some fun fresh flavors. Not only is it delicious, but it’s unique to the area. Sushi Burrito Cafe makes, well … sushi burritos, which are exactly what they sound like. Choose from a seaweed wrap, flour tortilla, or a bowl and load it up with rice and all sorts of sushi toppings. My go-to is a poke bowl with tofu and all the fresh veggies and toppings. They also have boba and smoothies, which is a massive win in my book. Nothing beats a sushi burrito.
Newroz Kebab is quickly becoming a Moorhead staple and located just south of campus, which makes walking there on a warm fall day a great afternoon activity. For vegetarian and vegan options, Newroz offers delicious fresh falafel, along with rice, hummus, pita, fresh veggies, and more. I usually order the falafel meal with rice and extra hot sauce. Newroz even has a student discount, which is always helpful for those of us on a budget.
Smiling Moose breaks the “salads only” stereotype for vegetarian food. Smiling Moose is a Denver-based sandwich chain but also has locations in Wyoming and North Dakota (two in Fargo alone). My sandwich of choice at Smiling Moose is the Beyond Mo — a vegetarian take on the Original Mo! signature sandwich — with Beyond beef, cheese, veggies, and Mo’s vinaigrette. It’s a vegetarian sandwich that will actually leave you full and satisfied. Another highlight from Smiling Moose is that they’re open for breakfast, too.
Rhombus Guys was genuinely one of the reasons I chose to attend Concordia. When I toured in high school, my family went out to eat there and I loved the amount of vegan and vegetarian options available. Plus, the crust is like no other and, in my opinion, it’s the closest thing to a perfect pizza crust that I have seen in my life. My go-to pizza at Rhombus Guys is the wild mushroom. Rhombus Guys is located on Main Avenue in downtown Fargo and could be considered “walkable” during non-winter months.
India Palace is one of Fargo’s great Indian takeout restaurants. This place is exploding with vegetarian options, with meat-free versions of almost every dish. I like the paneer tikka masala and the malai kofta. I always end up ordering a bunch of dishes and splitting them with friends — that way we each can have the option to try something new. Also, ordering extra naan is a must.
BernBaum’s is one of Fargo’s most unique brunch joints. It’s a Nordic and Jewish inspired deli on Broadway in downtown Fargo. When I ate here for the first time, I was so hooked that I went again the next two mornings. My favorite dish is the shakshuka, which is focaccia bread topped with eggs perfectly poached in a tomato-pepper sauce served with a side of fresh daily greens. This has become not only one of my favorite dishes at BernBaum’s but one of my favorite dishes in all of Fargo-Moorhead.
Izumi Sushi in Fargo is surprisingly one of my favorite study spots. During finals week, I like to show up during the all-you-can-eat lunch hours and set up shop. In my opinion, the best brain food is Izumi’s crazy roll with miso soup between each course. Who needs coffee shop study sessions when you can have sushi study sessions?
Mi Familia Taco takes the coveted spot of best Mexican food in Fargo-Moorhead. We vegetarians are treated well with offerings that are more than the typical cheese quesadilla and rice and beans. The hippie veggies, which are a variety of grilled vegetables that can substitute almost any meat, make this place unique from most other Mexican restaurants in the area. Plus, there are even smoothies and fresh juice.
Drunken Noodle & Slurp Ramen is a downtown Fargo staple. From mac ‘n’ cheese to tonkotsu ramen, this place has something for everyone. The vegetarian ramen on the menu is great, but I like to get the sukothai ramen with vegetarian broth and tofu instead of meat. Another plus is that Drunken Noodle & Slurp is located next to Insomnia Cookies, which makes the experience even more delicious.
If you’re looking for fusion and a unique culinary experience, Sol Ave. Kitchen is the way to go. Located next to Junkyard in north Moorhead, this lovably tiny spot describes the menu as “a casual concept-globally (and thoughtfully) inspired street food with a midwest twist to make you feel happy,” which sums up the energy of the food, restaurant, and staff. I love the cauliflower tacos but always choose to load up on sides and appetizers, like their potatoes bravas and charred broccolini, and wash it all down with a locally made Flannel Fizz soda.
Published November 2022