Besides giving up meat, being a vegetarian in Dallas means you also give up on the idea of limitless choices when it comes to dining out. There is a small circuit, and if you’re a part of it, you’ll see familiar faces at every vegetarian stop: that’s part of the reason the vegan Spiral Diner & Bakery opening a second location in Oak Cliff (following the success of the Fort Worth original) created such a buzz in the meat-free community—finally, a new place to “pig” out! The food, like Spiral’s décor, is a bright, fresh spin on ’50s diner fare. There are a handful of hot plates on the menu, but Spiral specializes in the kind of comfort food vegetarians can’t get anywhere else: a Texas-sized chopped barbecue “san’ich” with grilled seitan (a meat substitute made with wheat gluten) and dill pickles; a V-L-T that did better than fine with soy-veggie “bacon” bits instead of the real thing; and my favorite, the Big Taquito, a stomach-filling mix of tofu scramble with diced soy-based sausage, potatoes, and avocado. The salads—especially the taco salad, with soy crumbles and Mexican quinoa—were made with the same care as the wraps, burritos, and sandwiches, meaning there is a bit of each ingredient in every bite. The service may be a shock to those expecting to be catered to (it’s a sit-down restaurant, but you’re responsible for fetching your own silverware and drinks), and some of the sauces are surprisingly bland for homemade. But those are the only chinks in the armor. It’s enough to turn the vegetarian circuit into a one-way street.

Get contact information for Spiral Diner.