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Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 5 hot new vegan restaurants

Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 5 hot new vegan restaurants

Surely that burger can't be vegan and yet it is. Photo courtesy of Zonk Burger

January is a favorite time of the year for diets, getting in shape, turning over a new leaf, and one popular route is to cut out bad-for-you foods like meat. There's an entire movement called Veganuary, an annual challenge that encourages people to go vegan for the month of January.

The good news is that Fort Worth has become an incredibly easy place to do this, thanks to a number of restaurant openings in the past year that are either all vegan or else highly vegan-friendly.

It shouldn't be a surprise. Fort Worth is, after all, the birthplace of Spiral Diner, one of the most significant vegan restaurants in the U.S. But until recently, Spiral was a loner. Not anymore.

Here are five new vegan (or almost vegan) restaurants that have recently opened in Fort Worth:

Belenty's Love Mexican Vegan Restaurant
Belen Hernandez is a skilled chef, a lover of animals, and a vegan who opened the first location of her Belenty's Love restaurant in Granbury in 2018. Now there are three locations: the original in Granbury plus locations in Keene and in Fort Worth. She's known for her vegan spins on Mexican dishes such as portobello asada tacos and seafood nachos, with vegan crabcake, black beans, cilantro lime rice, and guacamole. Belenty's is part of a wave of Mexican vegan restaurants across DFW that also includes El Palote, Nuno's Tacos & VegMex Grill, and Pepitas in Denton.

Mariachi's Dine-In
Vegan-friendly Mexican spot does tacos, burritos, and other Tex-Mex dishes in both vegan and regular versions. They're known for their birria tacos, and the vegan version is made with shredded jackfruit, a vegan favorite whose texture resembles pulled pork. They also serve alcohol, including margaritas, beer, and cool cocktails such as a frozen Jack and Coke made with Mexican Coke. In 2021, they made the list of 10 best restaurants in CultureMap's annual Tastemaker Awards.

Pizza Verde
Exceptional vegan pizzeria is from husband-and-wife Landon and Jennifer Cabarubio, who previously ran a vinyl record store but wanted to expand Fort Worth's vegan restaurant scene. They started out as a pop-up, before moving to a full-menu brick-and-mortar at 5716 Locke Ave. Their pizzas aren't just clever vegan versions featuring their own mozzarella made in house, with intriguing varieties such as the Kimchi — with kimchi and gochujang "beef." They're just great pizzas with beautifully billowy crusts.

Zonk Burger
Excellent new restaurant in a former doughnut shop at 2912 Race St. serves vegan burgers, sandwiches, and fries. Zonk is from Erin Hahn and Zachary Stacy, who started out with a food truck in 2019 before graduating to this permanent location in the River East neighborhood of Fort Worth. It's a vegan, counter-service restaurant, selling house-recipe burgers using high-quality ingredients. Two big things set them apart: They make their own vegan burgers from scratch, and they have a variety of vegan burger options.

Torque Grill & Cantina
Tex-Mex-burger joint in Burleson was originally conceived as a way to serve food to customers at the car dealership next-door by adding a food truck in the lot. It eventually blossomed into a full-scale restaurant next door, which they finally opened in March 2021. It's a sweet place with a car theme, fun atmosphere, TV's for sports, and outdoor patio with live music. They're a pretty confirmed meat-and-cheese place — but they do have Impossible beef plus mushrooms as an option, and will happily veganize many of their items, including tacos, quesadillas, and tostadas.