Chili is a dish that gives lifeblood to Minnesotans during the winter. It helps us through the cold, and gives us energy and strength when we’re stuck inside for weeks on end. But what about the vegetarians? Can they still benefit from healing powers of chili, even without ground beef, pork or chicken? Of course. And here are the best places to get it.
(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Cafe Latte
850 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
(651) 224-5687

The Chipotle Bean Chili at this Grand Avenue institution is delicious. Just enough spice comes from chipotle peppers, and a hearty mix of black, kidney and pinto beans makes it a hearty alternative to fauna chili, and creates a completely satisfying meal every day of the week. It’s true. While the other soups and stews change daily, this is one is on the menu no matter what. It’s amazing with cheddar cheese and sour cream on top, but it’s completely vegan if you leave them off.

French Meadow
2610 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 870-7855

There are a few different metro locations to enjoy this vegetarian chili, so you’ll never be too far away. The original Minneapolis location is still the best, but you can also enjoy it if you find yourself on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue (on the opposite end of another entry on this list, Café Latte), or before a flight at MSP airport. The vegan black bean chili is not too spicy, with just a little warmth from ancho peppers, corn tomatoes and black beans, it’s a great winter warmer.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Mill Valley Kitchen
3906 Excelsior Blvd.
St Louis Park, MN 55416
(952) 358-2000

Known for California-inspired lunch and dinner, Mill Valley Kitchen’s dedication to healthy eating has made it a staple just outside of Minneapolis. The chili here deserves recognition for its perfect balance between hearty stewed goodness and lighter, “I can still go and work out after this” lunch option. There are plenty of other vegetarian options as well (including a fantastic veggie burger), but during the cold months of winter, you have to go with the chili.

Related:  Best Chili Dishes In Minnesota

Trotter’s Cafe
232 Cleveland Ave N
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 645-8950

One of the best places in Minnesota to get a hot bowl of soup, Trotter’s Cafe is a great winter destination. Keep an eye on their soup menu to find out when you can find the to-die-for black bean chili, and stick around for some live music or an art show while you enjoy it. This place is centered around community, and what brings people together better than steaming bowls of chili? And some of the very best vegetarian chili to boot? There are other vegetarian soups as well that rotate in and out daily, so herbivores will be well taken care of here this winter.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Hard Times Cafe
1821 Riverside Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 341-9261

A grungy mainstay of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, Hard Times is well known as a “for us, by us” vegetarian cafe. You’ll hear some great stories of Minneapolis days past while you throw down on some of the city’s very best vegetarian chili, and you’ll never be bored with the myriad of characters coming through the door to join you. As they stay open until 4:00 a.m., you don’t have to eat and run. Sit back and stay awhile. This is a vegetarian’s paradise.

Related: Best Places For Vegetarian Food In The Twin Cities

Adrian Schramm is a resident St. Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.