If you ask us, spaghetti is a vegan staple! There is something comforting and delicious about a classic bowl of piping hot pasta coated in marinara. While many vegetable pasta dishes may seem to naturally be vegan, it is always important to speak with the restaurant staff to make sure the pasta and marinara sauce do not contain animal products. We checked in with some of our favorite Italian-inspired restaurants, both locally- and corporate-owned, to find Kalamazoo’s vegan spaghetti offerings.
1. Mangia Mangia - 209 S Kalamazoo Mall
Traditional Italian fare can be found on the Kalamazoo Mall. Per Chef Michael, pair any of the pasta options with house marinara, an old family recipe dating back 85 years. Locally-grown, seasonal vegetables can always be added to pasta dishes as well. And when it comes to Mangia Mangia’s Monday $3.50 Spaghetti Special, vegans can totally get in on the action by omitting the meatballs and cheese.
2. Olive Garden - Multiple Locations
Create your own Italian favorite at Olive Garden in Portage. Choose from angel hair, cavatappi, fettuccine, rigatoni, small shells, spaghetti, whole grain linguini, and gluten-free rotini. Top your pasta of choice with either traditional marinara or tomato sauce and if you’d like, add some vegetables to you pasta like steamed broccoli or sauteed mushrooms. Olive Garden offers vegan breadsticks and vegan Minestrone soup to accompany your meal. The salad can also be made vegan when ordered without the cheese or croutons and topped with oil and vinegar rather than the house dressing.
3. Zazio’s - 100 West Michigan Avenue
Located inside the Radisson, Zazio’s makes for another downtown Kalamazoo favorite. While the house spaghetti is an egg-based pasta, handmade extruded pastas such as rigatoni and gemelli can be ordered in place. Pair your pasta with seasonal vegetables and house-made red sauce, a delicious combination of crushed tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic. Zazio’s also recommends ordering pasta topped with zucchini, summer squash, garlic, heirloom tomato, and white wine. Make sure to try some of their vegan freshly baked bread with your pasta.
4. Fazoli’s - Multiple Locations
Got a taste for Spaghetti but in a time crunch? Fazoli’s has you covered with it’s fast food take on Italian cuisine. Order pasta like spaghetti, penne, or fettuccine topped with Fazoli marinara sauce. Broccoli, ordered without butter, can add some extra flavor to the dish. Make sure to pair your meal with an order of breadsticks, but do order them without the garlic butter topping. Enjoy your vegan Italian on the go!
5. Comensoli's - 762 W. Main Street
This homestyle Italian restaurant now offers vegan pizza! Brand new to the menu, the pizza is made of light red sauce, artichokes, peppadews, red onion, and topped with nutritional yeast and crisp arugula. Comensoli's also has a variety of pasta dishes on their menu, so just consult your server when ordering vegan. In addition, over half their menu is gluten-free. Make sure to check out their Facebook page for weekday food and drink specials!
Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know in the comments!
Photo: Courtesy of Mangia Mangia