Culture Counter owner Bryce Gott serves up a Green Machine smoothie from the shop’s walk-up window. Culture Counter offers vegetarian and vegan options, including the Green Machine, on its menu. The smoothie is made from pineapple, mango, mint, spinach, local raw honey, sea salt and coconut milk. (Photo by Jym Wilson)


Even as veganism and vegetarianism (and everything in between) grow in popularity, it can be difficult to find restaurants that provide options for different diets, especially those related to meat consumption. 

Springfield is strapped for exclusively vegan and vegetarian restaurants, but is home to a handful of restaurants that have a bevy of options for those on various diets. (Jump to restaurant list here.)

“It’s more difficult,” said Amy Bennett, a vegan and the owner of Bosky’s Vegan Grill in downtown Springfield. “You can’t just run through any restaurant and grab something quick for lunch.”

Prevalence of veganism and vegetarianism in Springfield

It can be difficult to determine the prevalence of veganism, vegetarianism and similar diets in Springfield, and national data is little help. 

Bosky’s Vegan Grill is one of Springfield’s two 100 percent vegan restaurants. (Photo by Jack McGee)

A 2020 study from the National Institutes of Health found that, of 2,449 adults analyzed, over 5 percent followed a vegetarian diet, and over 1 percent followed a vegan diet. The data is relatively mixed, with some sources indicating that vegans make up north of 10 percent of the population, even while others suggest that number is decreasing.

A 2018 Gallup poll found that non-white Americans were about three times as likely to consider themselves vegetarian, and Americans ages 18 to 54 were over three times as likely to be vegetarians than those aged 55 and older.

While an overwhelming majority of Springfield’s population is white, according to Census data, the average age of Springfield residents is almost five years less than the average of the national median age. 

The Facebook group Springfield (MO) Vegetarians and Vegans has roughly 2,400 members, although the group doesn’t consist of just vegans and vegetarians.

Local business owners try to be more accessible for different diets

Amy Bennett, the owner of Bosky’s Vegan Grill. (Photo by Jack McGee)

Even if Springfield’s rate of vegans and vegetarians don’t reflect the national trends, the city is still home to plenty of people who live on a reduced meat diet.

That’s why Bennett opened Bosky’s and Bryce Gott maintains his vegan options at Pickwick’s market and cafe Culture Counter. 

When Bennett first became a vegan in 2019, she very quickly noticed the lack of exclusively vegan restaurants in Springfield. Sure, she has a few favorite spots that have a couple of menu items that work for her diet, but ultimately, Springfield didn’t offer what Bosky’s now does: a 100 percent vegan menu.

“There are places that have options…but thinking about why we don’t have [a vegan restaurant] here, ‘I wish I could eat out at other places,’ the pandemic happened, ‘what am I going to do with the rest of my life?’” Bennett said. “All those questions that we all had, and that’s kind of what helped push me to get this place open.”

Bosky’s Vegan Grill, located in downtown Springfield. (Photo by Jack McGee)

Culture Counter, while its focus isn’t entirely vegan, strives to be more accessible for those various diets. Its menu includes house-made vegan ice cream and other vegan and vegetarian items made as grab-and-go items or made to order. In addition to these offerings, they have fresh produce, meat and meat products, and gluten-free options. 

“What I hope Culture Counter represents is intentionality,” Gott said. “…Compounded with the issues with sustainability, and the larger ethical discussion, I just wanted to provide another option.”

Both Bennett and Gott emphasize that their vegan options don’t just have to be for vegans.

“I know that the word vegan is scary for people,” Bennett said. “I think if they’re just willing to try something new and maybe not worry so much about it being vegan…and so if they can forget that part, it doesn’t mean it’s any less flavorful or fun or enjoyable.”

“One of the goals of Culture Counter is to introduce people so that they want more plant-based options,” Gott said.

Vegan restaurants in Springfield, Mo.

Springfield currently has only two exclusively vegan establishments: Bosky’s and Whipped Cream and other Delights.

  • Bosky’s Vegan Grill – Bosky’s 100 percent vegan menu features burgers, brats and “chickn,” with some available as full-sized sandwiches or as sliders. Additionally, they have a salad, several side options and different vegan sauces and dressings. Located at 405 W. Walnut St., they are open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and closed on Sunday.
  • Whipped Cream and Other Delights – The south Springfield bakery carries the same name and logo with a similar font to that of the 1965 album by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. While they specialize in vegan cakes and other desserts, they advertise plenty of savory options on their Facebook page. Located at 608 W. Walnut Lawn St., they are open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and closed on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.

Restaurants in Springfield, Mo. with extensive vegan and vegetarian offerings

Despite the limited number of exclusively vegan restaurants in Springfield, there are plenty of places Bennett and other Springfield vegans and vegetarians go to that feature accessible menu options.

  • Culture Counter – The Rountree market and cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 607 S. Pickwick Ave. Ste. A. They have a variety of fresh produce, house-made vegan ice cream and other vegan and vegetarian items made as grab-and-go items or made to order.
  • The Wheelhouse – The Wheelhouse Street Fare menu features a number of vegan wok-fired options, including pad thai, and drunken noodles, as well as other vegetarian items. Located at 1845 E. Sunshine St. inside of the VIB Best Western hotel, they are open to the public Sunday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Van Gogh’s Eeterie – While they have an extensive menu that features sandwiches and other entrees, they are famous for their Dutch pancakes, several of which are vegan. Located at 334 E. Commercial St., they are open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Cafe Cusco – Springfield’s Peruvian restaurant of the same owner as Van Gogh’s features an extensive, standalone vegan menu alongside its regular menu, with appetizers, salads, sandwiches and plenty of entrees to choose from. Located at 234 E. Commercial St., they are open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Zayka Indian Cuisine – Zayka’s menu has an entire category of 14 vegetarian options, which include korma, vindaloo and palak. Located at 313 S. Jefferson Ave., Zayka is open Sunday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.
  • Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant – Like Zayka, Taj Mahal has plenty of vegetarian Indian curries and other traditional dishes. Located at 1250 E. Republic Road, south Springfield’s Indian restaurant is closed on Tuesdays, but open every other day of the week from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • First Watch – The chain restaurant First Watch features a number of vegetarian breakfast items and has two locations in Springfield, one at 2946 S. National Ave. and the other at 3103 E. Sunshine St. They are both open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every day of the week.
  • Druff’s – Druff’s menu has a number of veggie-friendly items, including a vegan breakfast bowl and a vegan melt. Located at 331 Park Central E, they are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Farmers Gastropub – At 2620 S. Glenstone Ave., the farm-to-table restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and their seasonal menus always have several vegetarian options, from mushroom soup to zucchini noodles.
  • Koriya – Self-dubbed a “healthy, fresh kitchen,” this Korean restaurant has a number of vegetarian offerings, including in their appetizers, noodles and for their famous bibimbap. Located at 4121 S. Fremont Ave Ste. 128, Koriya is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and closed on Sunday.
  • Progress – Progress, nestled in the Farmers Park Apartments complex, is located at 2144 E. Republic Road B-101. They are open for dinner service Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Their seasonal rotating menus regularly feature several vegan and vegetarian options, including an always-present carrot dish and a roasted cauliflower large plate served with cauliflower kimchi and other accoutrements.
  • OMO Japanese Soul Food – The Chesterfield Village-based Japanese restaurant has plenty of vegetarian options, including a number of meatless sushi rolls and tofu-based “OMO boxes.” At 2101 W. Chesterfield St. B-102, OMO is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
  • That Lebanese Place – That Lebanese Place joins Commercial Street’s diverse food scene with traditional vegan and vegetarian Levantine dishes, including labneh, baba ganoush and tabouleh. Located at 338 E. Commercial St., they are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday and are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Greek Belly – Although gyros are the name of the game for Greek Belly, they still have a handful of vegetarian options, including falafel and veggie souvlaki. Located at 320 E. Walnut St. in downtown Springfield, they are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and are closed on Sunday.
  • The Grotto – Springfield’s “West Coast Grill” has several vegetarian options, from Greek pizza to salads to the Impossible Burger. Located at 301 E. Battlefield Road in the Battlefield Plaza, they are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every other day of the week.
  • Polymath Educational Cafe – While not a restaurant per se, Polymath Educational Cafe has been offering meal plans since 2017, with many vegan and vegetarian options including plant-based burgers, tofu soup and an assortment of desserts. Located at 381 McNabb Road in Marshfield, pre orders can be placed via text or Messenger, both accessible on their Facebook page.

These restaurants are not the only ones in Springfield to have vegan and vegetarian options in Springfield. If there are any you feel need to be added to this list, send them to

Jack McGee

Jack McGee is the business and economic development reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He previously covered politics and elections for the Citizen. Before that, he worked at documentary film company Carbon Trace Productions and Missouri State University’s student-led newspaper, The Standard. He’s an MSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor political science. Reach him at or (417) 719-5129. More by Jack McGee