Best of Kent: vegan/vegetarian dining


A quesadilla ordered at Grazer’s on Friday, March 6, 2020. 


GRAZERS downtown off of Main Street, won first place for “Best vegan and vegetarian dining.” Co-owner Stacey Lasher said this is something they love to brag about.

“We’re not in it for the money, we’re in it to make a difference and I think that shows in the way we care about the way we communicate [and] get to know our customers,” Lasher said. “We get to know their names, their diets, that they’re vegan, vegetarian or gluten-[free], so it’s about the relationships.”

Lasher said they love to provide options for everyone, and that it is an accommodating restaurant regardless of allergies and intolerances.

“We are 93 percent vegetarian, 75 percent vegan, [and] 73 percent gluten-free but we do have meat,” Lasher said.

The restaurant offers meat options such as steak, pork, chicken and bacon. The goal is to make it vegan and vegetarian friendly, while accommodating possible dining partners who do not have these restrictions.

“Say you’re vegan but your boyfriend is a die-hard meat eater and he does not want to go to that place that serves rabbit food, he can come here and he can get the mac attack and he can have macaroni and cheese with pulled pork and bacon,” Lasher said. “He’s satisfied as can be and you’re happy too because you got to eat your vegan food.” 

Erie Street Kitchen

Stepping into Erie Street Kitchen, seeing the bar for Venice Cafe on the left and the pool tables in the back, customers can expect an eclectic environment.

Erie Street, located at 163 W. Erie Street, received second place for best vegan and vegetarian dining. Owner Jeff Crowe said that they value having fresh, local ingredients and are happy to accommodate everyone.

“We had collaboration with Chef Molly [and] we do vegan night features once a month or more,” Crowe said. “Those items are incorporated into our menus, features and regular items. It’s an ongoing thing, we started off with not really [having] many vegan and vegetarian options and we’ve moved more and more that way.” 


Laziza, located at 195 Erie Street, won third place for “Best Vegan and Vegetarian Dining.” Executive Chef Josh Hopkins said this is what the restaurant strives for, and is appreciative of the recognition.

“Essentially [vegan and vegetarian dining] is what we try to offer at the Kent location,” Hopkins said. “Everything’s made fresh.”

Hopkins said his menus cater toward Mediterranean specialities, such as the hummus that is made fresh in the restaurant.

“I’ve been trying to work on some new menu ideas,” Hopkins said. “We do a vegan Alfredo, which is completely 100 percent gluten free, dairy free. I use coconut milk or zucchini noodles. I just kind of try and keep that in mind with the demographic of Kent, it is a college town at the end of the day.”

Kaitlyn Finchler is the photo editor. Contact her at [email protected]