Kalamazoo has no shortage of worldly flair. When veggie burgers and fries just won’t satisfy, try a little Indian, African, or Middle Eastern cuisine.
3321 Stadium Drive
A quiet little spot stuck in a strip mall on Stadium Drive, Cumin Indian Cuisine is a treasure trove of delicious vegan dishes. From the Potato Pakoras to the Aloo Tikki to the Veggie Samosas, the appetizers will have you fired up and ready for the main course. Speaking of fire, you can choose the hotness level of your spices when you order, from one (for wimps only) to ten (somebody call the fire department). A word of caution, Cumin is liberal with hotness. Whatever you think you might order, subtract at least three. Vegan entrées include Aaloo Gobhi, Dal Tadka, Bhindi Masala, and Aloo Baingan. Don’t forget to order with bread (roti/chapatti). Dine in or take out. Either way, you’ll be glad you did.
6521 Stadium Drive
No eggs. No butter. Lots of coconut milk. Jambo brings the taste of East Africa to Kalamazoo. A counter service restaurant in Oshtemo Township on Stadium Drive, Jambo offers a wide assortment of vegan options. We tried the Dengu (chickpeas sautéed with olive oil, coconut milk, tomatoes, red onion, and salt), Mchicha (steamed spinach with red onion, garlic, curry, tomatoes, olive oil, and peanuts), Veggie Samosas, Vitumbua (a type of sweet fried bread), and Kachumbari (a cabbage slaw with carrots, red onion, sweet peppers, and tomatoes in a lemon juice and olive oil dressing). By the end of the meal, we were as stuffed as those samosas. And plenty pleased with our food.
1710 W. Main Street
A fine dining experience, Saffron offers not only evening menu service but a weekday lunch buffet as well. From Vegetable Samosas and Aloo Tikki for starters to Aloo Masala, Pindi Channa and Channa Saag for the main course, vegan options abound and are clearly marked on both the website and menu. And don’t forget the bread, the Crisp Poori is not only vegan but tasty as well. But stay away from the Naan. This is not a vegan option. A word about Naan: It is a common misconception that Naan, an unleavened Indian bread, is vegan. Generally, this is not the case as yogurt and milk are common ingredients in making Naan. Vegan alternatives include Roti/Chapati or Poori, among others.
1710 W. Main Street
From the artsy, funky vibe to the gorgeous food and friendly service, Zooroona satisfies more than just the palate. Zooroona rice (no worries, that yellow color is saffron, not butter), Vegetable Biryani (order without the hard-boiled egg that comes on the side), Dolmeh (grape leaves), Falafel, and Zataar fries are all VegOut favorites! When a dish is served with yogurt sauce (NOT vegan!), be sure to switch it out for the garlic sauce or tahini (both definitely vegan!). And can we just say that lentil soup is by far the best in town!