Now Open: Grindhaus Gets Crafty with Vegetarian and Vegan Only Menu

Food & Drink, Food & Drink News


Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on October 15, 2015
Grindhaus, Allentown, Step Out Buffalo

Pour Overs at Grindhaus / Photo from Facebook

Many people embrace vegetarianism for ethical reasons, but a growing part of society is also embracing the diet for healthful reasons.

It’s this growing vegetarian sentiment that Megan Stewart is looking to tap into with her new Grindhaus Café on Allen Street, located in the former New York Style Pizza.

Stewart’s love of café culture began as a young girl growing up in Ypsilanti, Michigan – a small town in the eastern part of the state, between Ann Arbor and Detroit. All through her formative years, she spent time going to the Ypsilanti café now known as the Ugly Mug.

That love of café culture led to her taking a job at Starbucks, and after many years of pulling espresso shots for the corporate café, Stewart said she began feeling the urge to open a café in her own vision, one with less corporate rules that catered to her passion for the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle.

Grindhaus is the realization of that vision, focusing on hand-crafted drinks and plant-based food offerings. Stewart told me the decision to go vegetarian also makes good business sense.

Grindhaus, Allentown, Step Out Buffalo

Grindhaus / Photo from Facebook

“That’s something I wanted to do: corner that niche and provide that for Buffalo,” she said. “Lately, there have been increasing options, but there isn’t a strictly vegetarian restaurant.”

While some people may roll their eyes at the idea of going vegetarian – even for a day – both food experts and public health officials have been increasingly calling for people to lay off the meat from time to time. Some are even going so far as to call for an embrace of veganism – or a diet without any animal products at all.

Grindhaus, Allentown, Step Out Buffalo

Lemon Basil Rice at Grindhaus / Photo from Facebook

One of the most prominent champions of this push is author and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. Bittman has authored a book called Vegan Before 6, and claims in it that abstaining from animal products before 6 p.m. each day, substituting a healthy plant-based diet, can help you lose weight. The columnist has alternatively called for people to get healthier by going vegan for just a day each week.

Grindhaus does have vegan options, but for those who need their dairy fix – the café isn’t full-on vegan. Stewart told me the menu is designed to be accessible, not the rabbit food many people associate with a vegetarian restaurant.

“Everything here is nice and balanced,” she said. “Everything is fresh and full of veggies. And everything has a protein in it.”

Grindhaus, Allentown, Step Out Buffalo

Smoked Tofu Pasta Salad at Grindhaus / Photo from Facebook

The food at Grindhaus has an emphasis on Middle Eastern flavors and for those who just want something to pair with their caffeine fix – the vegan biscotti is delicious and nearly identical to its dairy-filled cousin.

“It’s not just celery and peanut butter,” she added. “We have interesting and weird takes on traditional café and deli food.”

Grindhaus has been open for a couple months, and we at Step Out Buffalo have watched as the café has slowly evolved from just a place you could get great pour-over coffee and biscotti, to a quaint Allentown lunch spot. Stewart told me she plans to continue the evolution, by expanding both the drink and food offerings in the coming weeks and months. Over the course of the fall and winter, Grindhaus is set to offer whole-leaf tea, pour-over espresso, soup and baked goods made in-house.

“Customers want breakfast sandwiches,” Stewart said, “and we want to give them to you.”

“Grindhaus will always be a work-in-progress,” she added. “I like that idea, where we can constantly change and evolve. We started out just being coffee, then added biscotti, then added the food menu… and now we’re just going to keep climbing. I don’t know if I’m ever going to be satisfied.”

For more info on Grindhaus Cafe in Allentown, check out their Instagram and Facebook.

Grindhaus, Allentown, Step Out Buffalo

Grindhaus Café

160 Allen Street, Buffalo, NY

(716) 725-6300

Price: $

Cuisine: Coffee Shop / Vegetarian / Vegan

Hours: Mon-Thu: 7:00 am-7:00 pm, Fri: 7:00 am-8:00 pm, Sat: 8:00 am-8:00 pm, Sun: 8:00 am-6:00 pm



For updates on the best things to eat, drink & do in WNY, sign up for our newsletter!


You might also like…

[justified_image_grid preset=4 row_height=130 height_deviation=1 prettyphoto_social=yes prettyphoto_analytics=yes caption=fixed mobile_caption=same timthumb_crop_zone=t limit=3 hidden_limit=6 max_rows=2 aspect_ratio=16:9 disable_cropping=no recent_posts=yes recents_description=nicetime recents_include=city-guide post_ids_exclude=current]

We launched a new look!

Our new design features a better browsing experience, modern mobile navigation, more visual displays of key info, better filtering options on the search page, and much more.

We hope you love our new look! That said, we’re #ForeverTweaking and would greatly appreciate your feedback so we can make *all* you want and need as your go-to resource for the best of Western New York!

Send feedback >

Written by <a href="" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
Find More ➭ Allentown, Downtown


Forgotten Password?

You must be logged in to use this feature.