For a Midwestern town, Springfield has a decent amount of restaurants with vegetarian options. No restaurant stands out as much as the Grotto—a sandwich and pizza café on the south side of town. Not only does the grotto have several vegetarian options, including a black bean burger, pizza, and salad, but it also features an entirely vegan menu, complete with non-dairy cheese.
The Grotto is a smaller restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant has roomy booths and a casual atmosphere. In addition to the food, the Grotto also serves local beers (several Schlafly beers are on tap, currently Winter ESB and Coffee Stout) and wine. If you don’t want to dine in, you can also get your food to go.
The Grotto’s vegetarian items are hearty and filling. The Berkley Burger—a spicy chickpea patty served up with Tzatziki sauce—is simply amazing. The Grotto offers several other vegetarian sandwiches, but the Berkley Burger is one of the most satisfying.
The vegan menu is impressive for a non-vegetarian restaurant. Three of the four sandwiches are available, and the pizza menu is even more inspired than the regular one. For a dazzling (and spicy) taste sensation, try the Spicy Cilantro Pizza. It comes with the vegan cheese, diced jalapenos, and chopped cilantro.
If just thinking about spicy food sends you running to the glass of water, the Grotto has several other pizza selections. For something simple, try the Margherita pizza; it comes topped with basil-marinated tomatoes, roasted garlic, basil and other hand-cut herbs.
For variety and excellent accommodation to vegans, the Grotto is definitely one of Springfield’s most vegetarian-friendly restaurants. They are located just off of Battlefield road at 3046 S. Kimbrough. For more information, check out www.gogrotto.com.