The popularity of vegetarian dishes

Vegetarian doesn’t have to mean tasteless. Stop by Grateful Bread for confirmation. | PC: Zach Morrison

Vegetarian doesn’t have to mean tasteless. Stop by Grateful Bread for confirmation. | PC: Zach Morrison


Lincoln has a wide variety of vegetarian restaurants each with their own unique twists and tastes. Grateful Bread, also known as Freakbeat Vegetarian, is one of them.

Grateful Bread, located at 1625 S. 17th St., offers a diverse selection of delicious macaroni and cheese, soup and other fresh baked goods. Their products are switched out often, and their Facebook page is updated each day with what they’ll be serving. All of their “soul food” dishes are vegetarian, and a few are even vegan as well.

The colorful restaurant is just as interesting as the food itself. A flying dinosaur is strung up overhead, and over a dozen different Mr. Potato Head toys are displayed throughout, creating a fun and unusual environment.

With delicious food at low costs, it’s easy to see why Grateful Bread often has a line out their doors and such high ratings online. However, it’s not the only vegetarian restaurant gaining popularity.

Recently, vegetarian-friendly options at restaurants are becoming more and more popular, both inside and outside Lincoln.

In 2015, The Vegetarian Research Group commissioned Harris Poll to survey 2,015 adults online to get a representation of U.S. eating behaviors. More accurately, they wanted to see how many people are actually interested in the vegetarian and vegan meals restaurants and companies are offering.

The results revealed 37 percent of those surveyed said they always or sometimes ate vegetarian meals when they when they went out to eat.

The Vegetarian Research Groups says, “there is incentive for producing vegetarian products as there is a demand from over one third of the population on at least a weekly basis, plus others who may eat vegetarian meals, but not as consistently.” Yet, according to their other research, the incentive is “not enough just to offer meatless items” because of other needs such as health, convenience, price and religious requirements.

When asked if he thought there was an increase in vegetarian options at restaurants, student Stuart Nelson answered, “Oh, yeah, there’s a huge growing vegetarian trend rising even outside of the Adventist community. For restaurants to ignore that, they’re losing a lot of money by not catering to that crowd.”

Already, the restaurant options in Lincoln have expanded to include Maggie’s Vegetarian Wraps and Pepe’s Vegetarian Bistro, both providing tasteful options for alternative cuisine. If this progression continues, though, we will see even more restaurants offering only vegetarian meals.

Amanda McCarter is a sophomore studying biomedical science.