Every dish from our Meatless Madison series

We combed through Madison menus to find some of the best meatless dishes the city has to offer.

Since 2018, Erica Krug and Mackenzie Krumme have highlighted some of Madison’s tastiest vegan and vegetarian dishes in our Meatless Madison series. We’ve compiled a gallery of those features to make your next choice for takeout a bit easier. Click on the linked restaurant names in the gallery above to learn more about the dish and the restaurant/chef who makes it. (Editor’s Note: Be sure to check restaurants’ takeout menus to make sure these dishes are available for takeout right now.)

While Madison doesn’t have many vegan- and vegetarian-focused restaurants, the meatless offerings are a plenty in town for those who choose not to eat meat or animal byproducts.

While some choose veganism and vegetarianism for ethical reasons, others make the lifestyle choice because of environmental reasons. As Krug reported in 2019: “There is mounting scientific evidence that eating animals has severe implications for the environment and the global economy. According to the United Nations, one-third of farmable land on earth is used to grow feed for livestock. The production of nonorganic feed (corn and other grains) requires huge amounts of fertilizer, fuel, pesticides, water and land. The process produces nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. Additionally, if all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, it could feed nearly 800 million, reports ecologist David Pimentel of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.”

Carnivores might also be eating less meat due to COVID-19’s disruption of the meat supply chain. As the Times reported, Tyson Foods — one of the largest producers of meat in the U.S. — had to close its pork-processing plant in Iowa on April 22 after several workers tested positive for the coronavirus. And Tyson isn’t the only meat processing facility in the U.S. having to close doors or slow production. This setback is increasing food waste, as processing facilities can’t get meat and other food products on store shelves — even when the demand is so high during this epidemic.

Hannah Twietmeyer is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine.

To read more stories from Madison Magazine’s Beyond Earth Day section, click here.