We’re big fans of the Las Vegas vegan restaurant scene. There are a growing number of options, but Violette’s Vegan Cafe and Juice Bar helped kick this whole thing off back in 2015. My first visit to Violette’s, which was also my first experience dining at a vegan restaurant, was in March 2021. Since then I have either eaten at Violette’s in person or gotten a to-go order from them at least 8 more times. Based on that information alone it’s fair to say that my family and I enjoy this restaurant a lot, so let’s dive into why!
Here are a few things you need to know about Violette’s Vegan Cafe right off the bat:
- They are located on the west side of Las Vegas on Desert Inn and Durango
- Everything they serve is 100% vegan
- They have a full juice, smoothie, and milkshake bar in addition to the restaurant kitchen
- Their menu focuses on recreating plant-based versions of classic dishes using locally sourced ingredients
- Almost everything is made in house from scratch
- Violette’s Vegan Cafe is owned by Cindy Violette. In addition to being a restauranteur, Cindy is a well known poker player in Las Vegas.
Initial impressions of Violette’s Vegan
My first time sitting down at Violette’s was with my Mom back in March 2021. It was also her first time visiting a vegan restaurant, so we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. I had been eating plant-based for 7 or 8 months at that point, but it was the middle of the pandemic so I hadn’t gone out to any restaurants in a long time.
Before even ordering I already had a feeling that I liked the place. It had this artsy hippy-ish vibe going on with lots of artwork on the walls and a surfing video playing on the TV. People were coming and going with various smoothies and juice concoctions. The staff was friendly and the place had an overall positive vibe to it. While Las Vegas does have vegan fine dining on the way, Violette’s is more about casual comfort with delicious food.
Violette’s Vegan Cafe Menu
The first thing you will notice on Violette’s menu is that you’re familiar with all of these dishes. The atmosphere might be inducing flashbacks for certain visitors, but the food is old-school Americana in nature. Sassy Wings, Loaded Potato Skins, and Red Rock Nachos all stand out in the Appetizers section of their All Day menu.
We ended up getting the Red Rock Nachos as an appetizer and were quickly impressed. I couldn’t figure out how they got such a perfect melty cheese consistency. The pico and guacamole were so fresh and delicious, plus I loved their sour cream. You have to remind yourself that these are all plant-based ingredients because it’s not noticeable at all.
The All-Day menu at Violette’s is surprisingly large, including options for burgers, sandwiches, wraps, breakfast classics, salads, entrees, and sides. A separate brunch menu is available on the weekends from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Items such as the Rise ‘n Shine Platter, Banana Foster French Toast, and the BLTA Scramble Sandwich are all standouts.
Violette’s Juice, Smoothie, and Milkshake menu
In addition to all their delicious food options, Violette’s offers a wide variety of juices, smoothies, and milkshakes. Soy milk, almond milk, coconut water, and oat milk, are all options for smoothies and milkshakes. Fresh ingredients are used for everything, and a variety of “Boost it!” options are available for an extra buck.
Best Las Vegas vegan fried chicken
Simply put, the fried chicken dishes at Violette’s are outstanding, and we’ve had all of them. I usually have no problem picking a favorite dish at a restaurant, but that’s not the case at Violette’s. One day it might be the Country Fried Chicken, featuring mashed potatoes, country gravy, yellow corn, coleslaw, and cornbread. Then another day it could be the Southern-fried chicken burger served with lettuce, tomato, and pickles on a sesame bun with your choice of side.
Finally, the Buffalo Chicken sandwich, with its tangy Buffalo sauce, pickles, ranch, red onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese sauce, and toasted ciabatta roll is always a strong contender. Chances are, after trying one of the fried chicken dishes at Violette’s, you’ll soon find yourself wanting to come back and try another.
A Las Vegas vegan family affair
The whole time I was enjoying my first meal at Violette’s with my Mom, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much my wife would enjoy the place. We were back shortly thereafter, and as soon as she got a taste of the Southern-fried chicken burger, I knew this was going to be one of our favorite new spots. Several more visits ensued over the next few months. Coming from a restaurant background in our younger years, my wife and I always like to support small local restaurants. Switching to a plant-based diet in Summer 2020 was a big deal for our family, but finding places like Violette’s helped ease the transition.
The cost of eating plant-based
The unfortunate reality of switching to a vegan diet is that your food costs will likely increase. It shouldn’t be cheaper to buy junk food than fresh fruits and vegetables, but this shines a light on how backward our food systems in America have become.
Whether you’re eating plant-based at home, or going out for your meals, you can probably expect some increase in your food costs. However, the health benefits of a plant-based diet are well documented, so it may be worth it to ask yourself where you’d rather spend the money – the grocery store or the pharmacy?
Based on this, I think it’s fair to say Violette’s Vegan Cafe is slightly on the expensive side compared to its traditional restaurant counterparts. But is it fair to compare Violette’s to a traditional restaurant? There’s no question you’re getting better quality ingredients at Violette’s, so doesn’t that make it worth it to spend an extra couple bucks on your meal? Considering how long Violette’s has been in business and how long the average restaurant stays open, I think it does.
Family dining at Violette’s Vegan
It’s worth noting that Violette’s does not have a kids’ menu, so you may need to get a little creative when ordering for kids. We were able to pick out a couple of entrees and sides for the kids to share and it worked out fine. All 3 of them enjoyed their food, and that’s saying something because usually at least 1 of them finds something to complain about. The kids also really enjoyed the fun artistic atmosphere at Violette’s.
Las Vegas vegans have welcomed Violette’s Vegan Cafe with open arms and this love affair doesn’t seem to be losing any steam. Violette’s is open 7 days a week from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, plus they do brunch on the weekends from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Don’t be surprised to find an artist selling their works at a table when you enter and feel free to fill out their partner form for business and charity inquiries. Happy eating!