Vegan Options at Iowa City’s Big Grove Brewery

A picnic table full of vegan food including banh mi, tacos, guacamole, and vegetable skewers

My blogger friend Cadry and her husband David live in Iowa City, and I’m continually surprised by the vegan offerings in town. Cadry recently updated her post about vegan-friendly Iowa City businesses on Cadry’s Kitchen, and Big Grove Brewery sounded like a good spot to check out.

Ok, so this place is huge. HUGE. There’s plenty of seating inside, but outside has an expansive patio, plus a lawn for games, plus play areas for kids, plus even more seating beyond that. We got lucky with the weather and enjoyed the evening air while we sipped our beer, cocktails, and wine. There are two bars (at least, I know I saw two for sure) and a counter to order food separately, which is helpful to know going in. We were able to divide and conquer, sending one person to order food and another to get the drinks.

a blue plate topped with soft corn shell tacos filled with veggies
Curried Cauliflower Taco (front) and Sweet Potato & Black Bean Taco

Many of their food options are marked vegan or vegan upon request. They even have a fair amount that can be made both vegan and gluten free, like the tacos. I got one each of the Curried Cauliflower and the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos and loved them both. You can tell everything is fresh, and I love the colors! Is it just me, or does food taste better when it’s pretty? I appreciate that Big Grove offers the tacos a la carte so you can easily try a couple things. We also ordered the guacamole and chips for the table to share.

a dish of guacamole with tortilla chips in the background

The Banh Mi can be made with tofu on a French roll or with a Beyond Burger on a bun. If you’re a fan of spicy food, then I would recommend this one because of the sriracha lime tofu aioli and the jalapeƱos. Cadry ordered it with tofu, and Sean ordered it with the burger, so you can check them both out:

vegan tofu banh mi
Tofu Banh Mi
a vegan beyond burger made in the style of a banh mi on a bun
Beyond Burger Banh Mi

And last but not least, David selected Baba Ghanoush which comes with veggie skewers, flatbread, and roasted eggplant dip. I didn’t try it but it looked pretty darn delicious.

vegetable skewers and flatbread on a plate in front of roasted eggplant dip in a bowl
Baba Ghanoush

Because it was busy, there was a line to order food, and they give you a buzzer that goes off once your food is ready. I felt like our order was made in a very reasonable amount of time despite the crowd. We moved inside after the sun set, but it was tough to keep the conversation going because the music was pretty loud. Yes, I’m old. I have no complaints otherwise, though, and I would go back again without hesitation. Thank you to Cadry and David for a wonderful evening!

Don’t forget to check out Cadry’s blog: cadryskitchen.com

Big Grove: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Note that there is another location in Solon about 13 miles north of the Iowa City location which offers a completely different menu.

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