If you ask us, Zion National Park is one of the most magical national parks in the country. A two-hour drive from Las Vegas — and worth every minute — not only for the spectacular destination that awaits in Springdale, Utah, but for the pretty desert landscape you’ll view along the way. National parks tend to be located in remote areas, and consequently it can be difficult to find vegan options nearby. Springdale happens to offer a variety of vegan-friendly restaurants just outside of Zion.
The park itself is truly breathtaking, full of scenic vistas and hiking trails for all levels of fitness and ability. But one of the unique features is the quaint and vibrant town sits just outside the park gates in Springdale. The town is filled with comfortable hotels and cute bed and breakfast spots, artisan and souvenir shops, art galleries, and an impressive selection of restaurants and bars.
If you’re a fan of the National Parks in the American Southwest, you may know that this combination of a must-see treasure like Zion, situated in a fun town with a myriad of dining options, is a truly rare gem.
But the icing on the cake is that there are tons of vegan options in Springdale, just outside the majestic landscape of Zion. From casual to fine dining, quick healthy breakfasts to local craft brews and specialty coffees, these are spots worth trying before or after you head out to the stunning park.
Vegan Options in Springdale, Utah
Hungry?? Don’t blame Oscar’s. That’s what the billboard says, and the slogan is justified.
Southwestern fare reigns supreme at Oscar’s Cafe, and the portions are generous. Vegan options are clearly marked on the menu and the staff totally gets it. Load up on eats to give you energy for Angel’s Landing like the bottomless chips and salsa (because, of course, chips and salsa). There’s also a modest but decent selection of regional craft beers on the menu, so this is a great way to get started. We also love the grilled portobello and avocado sandwich. A large mushroom cap is marinated in balsamic vinegar, rosemary and garlic, then grilled over an open flame. So good. Order the vegan version and it’ll arrive at the table without cheese or mayo.
If you’re craving salad instead, try the portobello avocado salad. Basically, it’s the salad version of our favorite sandwich with romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, corn, avocado, pistachios and more. Just swap out the dill vinaigrette dressing (it’s got honey) and opt for the oil and vinegar instead. Other vegan-friendly options at Oscar’s Cafe include veggie enchiladas with sautéed veggies (hold the cheese), a black bean salad, Taco Grande, burritos and chimichangas, and a black bean veggie burger. Exciting option: any burger on the menu at Oscar’s can be ordered with the Impossible Burger for a $2 surcharge. 948 Zion – Mount Carmel Hwy.
You’ll be hard pressed to find more authentic vegan Thai food made with fresher ingredients in Zion. But drop Thai Sapa, a little gem of a restaurant into the magical setting of Zion Canyon, and it’s an absolute vegan dream. In fact, the proprietor grows all her own vegetables locally, and each dish is organic, non-GMO and free of MSG. Order up the Bach Sio noodles (aka Drunken Noodles), the veggie-packed Springdale stir-fry or the delicious yellow curry here. Bonus: Thai Sapa has vegan desserts! Save room for mango sticky rice, fried banana or Coconut Bliss Cherry Amaretto ice cream. 198 Zion Park Blvd.
The cute Café Soleil is another vegan-friendly restaurant near Zion. We adore the superfood salad and superfood salad wrap. Jam-packed with amazingly healthy ingredients, yet still incredibly delicious, this salad or sandwich can also be ordered with curried tofu to make it more substantial. However, it’s still a lot of food even if you get the basic version. The wrap also comes with a bag of potato chips, so plan to be full!
Other great choices include the granola with fruit and non-dairy milk, Asian spicy tofu wrap, the Ultimate Veggie wrap (add tofu for a little more) and the hummus wrap (hold the feta). Plus, Café Soleil also offers 10-inch pizza you can top with Daiya for an additional $3. The Portobello Pizza can be ordered with regular tomato sauce instead of the tomato pesto to make it vegan. For the kids, there’s peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese (you can request Daiya for an extra charge).
They’ve also got non-dairy coffee drinks (even mocha) and smoothies, as well as vegan cookies from Alternative Baking Company. Grab a seat on their breathtaking patio to soak up all the goodness of Zion. Or, take it to-go and order your eats “hiker wrapped.” They’ll pack it up for you for a 35-cent surcharge, so you can have a vegan picnic lunch in Zion ready to go when you reach the grand vista point along your trail. 205 Zion Park Blvd.
Deep Creek Coffee Co.
Stop in for breakfast or lunch at the vegan-friendly Deep Creek Coffee Co. until 2 p.m., or hit the walk-up window with a more limited menu and specialty coffee drinks until 8 p.m. Deep Creek’s vegan game is strong, and the staff is super accommodating and knowledgable. Just mention you’re vegan and they will make it work.
Their vegan beverage lineup alone is spectacular with drinks like smoothies, lattes (Matcha, Golden and Beetroot), vegan-friendly Mocha, and loose-leaf teas, not to mention Kombucha. The non-dairy milk options at Deep Creek Coffee Co. are oat, almond, soy and coconut. For breakfast, definitely check out the Southwest Quinoa Bowl with organic quinoa, black beans, roasted potatoes, sausage, blackened-corn salsa, avocado and chipotle sauce with soyrizo (hold the egg) and ask for the cashew-based cilantro sauce, because OMG, what? Yes, please. Deep Creek offers locally-baked vegan bagels, muffins and raw granola bars for some quick eats.
Other vegan options we love include Deep Creek’s açai bowls, oatmeal, gluten-free granola with non-dairy milk (ask for vegan option without honey, or sub maple or agave syrup), avocado toast (hold the egg and cheese), the Monkey Wrap filled with peanut butter, banana and cinnamon (hold the honey), and the “Dirty Virgin” sandwich (named for the Virgin River running through the Canyon) stuffed inside a whole wheat wrap with hummus, pepperoncini, mixed greens and more with a maple-balsamic vinaigrette in a whole wheat wrap (nix the feta). 932 Zion Park Blvd.
Honorable Mentions for Vegan Dining Near Zion National Park
Just outside the park gates (and a quick easy walk from the Watchman Campground inside the park), the local Zion Brewery, offers a selection of 13 vegan craft beers and a few vegan food options as well, complete with a separate vegan and gluten-free fryer. Craving fries? Order them seasoned or Chimichurri. If you’d like to order a snack with your brews, you can munch on the hummus (without feta), or pretzels (without cheese). Salads can be ordered without animal products and you can mix and match salad ingredients (e.g. add chickpeas, veggies or apple to a salad that doesn’t usually come with any). For picky little ones, there’s PB&J on Texas Toast, which can be ordered without butter. 95 Zion Park Blvd.
King’s Landing Bistro
Springdale’s number-one fine dining option, King’s Landing Bistro, also happens to be vegan-friendly. Attached to the Driftwood Lodge — one of our favorite hotels in town — this is where to eat if you’re celebrating a special occasion on your visit, or if you just love an upscale ambiance and gourmet fare. Their vegan selection isn’t huge, but the chef really does a nice job with it. Begin with an organic baby greens salad (minus the blue cheese), and for the main course, order the Zion Veggie Trio which features spaghetti squash, mushrooms and crispy parsnips with bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup, bruschetta with white bean puree, peperonata and basil pesto broccolini, roasted tomatoes and balsamic. The times we’ve dined at King’s Landing, the chef made us vegan dessert, but it isn’t always available so if you are craving sweets, call ahead to make sure. 1515 Zion Park Blvd.
At MeMe’s Café, a vegan-friendly spot in Springdale, breakfast is served all day, a perk that’s not easy to find elsewhere in town. The cafe has a few vegan options like their oatmeal and the housemade vegan meatloaf. If you see a sandwich you like, you can also veganize it and swap out meat for a vegan patty. Soy and coconut milk are available for all of their coffee drinks. 975 Zion Park Blvd.
Bit & Spur Restaurant & Saloon
A popular nightlife destination, Bit & Spur is a vegan-friendly bar and grill in Springdale. Order a drink and pair it with chips and salsa or make it a meal and try the polenta (without goat cheese), tomato pasta (again, specify no cheese on the pasta and olive oil on the garlic bread), mushroom tamales (hold the cheese) and a veggie burrito (yup, you guessed it, no cheese). 1212 Zion Park Blvd.
Casa de Amigos Fresh Mex
For vegan Mexican food to dine-in or takeout in Springdale, Casa de Amigos Fresh Mex is a friendly, spacious restaurant that’s a nice crowd-pleaser for groups. Vegans can opt for the sizzling fajitas, the Amigos Hot Plate with veggies, or the Traditional Single Items dish with veggies. You can also request vegan tacos or vegan burritos at Casa de Amigos Fresh Mex. 805 Zion Park Blvd.
A favorite among locals, Whiptail Grill offers a few options for us animal lovers. The popular Whiptail Burrito can be ordered with tofu or veggies. The chef also recommends asking for the enchilada sauce — just ask for no cheese. Here, you can also get salads made vegan with vegan dressings, plus nosh on chips and salsa or guac. 445 Zion Park Blvd.
Zion Pizza & Noodle Co.
Perhaps due to the universally loved menu items, Zion Pizza & Noodle Co. is perpetually packed for dinner. While none of the menu options are explicitly vegan, surely you can order a pizza or pasta dish without cheese or meat. This one might be an acceptable choice if you’re dining with a mixed party of vegans and omnivores. 868 Zion – Mount Carmel Hwy.
Sol Foods is a full-service supermarket located in town and within walking distance to most of the hotels in Springdale. Lots of vegan-friendly items can be found on their shelves, including snacks and candy, frozen foods, beer and juice, along with an impressive fresh produce selection. And… surprise! Venture all the way to the back of the store to find a pay-by-weight Salad Bar ($8.49/lb). Nice! 95 Zion – Mount Carmel Hwy.
Restaurant we’d love to see offer vegan options in Springdale
There are a couple of options that might be appealing from the sidewalk, but merit skipping in favor of other choices which are more vegan-friendly (or, they can add vegan options and we’d be there in a heartbeat!).
The first is Don Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant. Although Mexican cuisine is frequently easy to veganize, at this restaurant even the beans are made with lard, and there are basically no vegan options.
Bamboo Chinese Restaurant advertises that most dishes can be made vegetarian, but it was difficult to communicate with the staff due to a language barrier, and their responses regarding vegan options didn’t inspire confidence. You may be able to find a good vegan meal here, but it was difficult for us to ascertain. This, combined with the fact that there are a plethora of other restaurants in town doing an excellent job at vegan dishes, gives us reason to express a word of caution on these two establishments.
Bonus: Tips for Zion National Park
Bring your reusable water bottle to Zion National Park. At the Visitors Center and at the Museum inside the park, there are free fountains to fill your bottles with natural, local spring water that has been filtered through the sandstone rock for centuries before making its way to your mouth. This is arguably some of the best-tasting water in the world.
Also, in an effort to protect the environment, they don’t sell bottled water within park limits.
Especially in the summertime, campfires are almost always prohibited inside the park due to the dry climate and the resulting fire hazard. So if you’re lucky enough to score a campground, be sure to check online about open flame restrictions before you go, so you don’t unnecessarily bring a couple loads of groceries for your campfire only to find out you can’t cook them. No worries, though, the Park Shuttle system can give you lift right into town so you can enjoy all of the aforementioned restaurants and bars instead.
Speaking of shuttles, you can hop on and off the local shuttle system for free, to take you just about anywhere along the main drag in Springdale, all the way to the Visitors’ Center inside the park. A separate bus loop will take you to the trailheads to help you explore.
Many of the bus stops in town have additional water fountains for filling your reusable bottles.
Want to see where these restaurants are? We’ve put together a map of vegan options in Springdale for you to plan your vegan chow downs.
Stefanie Ramsden Dougherty is a plant-based lifestyle coach, recipe developer, cooking instructor and nutrition educator with a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell University. She is the founder of Green Sage and offers guidance for individuals interested in transitioning to a healthier plant-based diet and lifestyle.