Searcy, Ark. – It may seem hard to find vegetarian-friendly options at restaurants in Central Arkansas. However, Searcy restaurants offer a variety of options that go way beyond a typical salad. In fact, vegetarians can not only survive but thrive! Don’t skip out on a night out with your omnivore friends; just head to one of these local Searcy eateries and enjoy their meat-free options. 

Mediterranian Sandwich 

Midnight Oil Coffeehouse
801 E. Race Ave.

Midnight Oil (MO) may be known for its coffee, but their lunch is equally good, with a variety of soups, salads, or sandwiches to choose from.

Their Fall/Winter menu offers a tasty vegetarian option; the Greek Sandwich. It’s full of fresh hummus, house-made Mediterranean salsa, kalamata olives, feta, over fresh Five Acre Farms Spring Mix between two pieces of honey wheat bread. Or, if you’re watching the carbs, skip the bread and get the sandwich as a salad.

Come between May and September to try MO’s Untitled Sandwich on their Spring/Summer menu. It’s made with chicken, but they suggest you substitute hummus instead. The flavorful sandwich includes avocado, a sweet homemade ranch, tomato, salt, and pepper.

Whether you choose the sandwich or the salad, I also suggest pairing it with a bowl or cup of their steaming hot tomato soup available all year long, or their surprise soup of the day, for a filling lunch that won’t leave you in a food coma.

Photo by Nicole Swann. Midnight Oil Coffeehouse

Pretty much everything

Wilma’s Filipino Restaurant
701 E. Race Ave.

Whilma’s is one of the most unique restaurants in Searcy. Chef Whilma Frogoso grew up in the Philippines and brought her tasty, authentic Filipino dishes to town. Luckily for vegetarians, Wilma’s is by far the most vegetarian-friendly restaurant in Searcy because of the ease of substituting meat for veggies in just about every dish. Even vegans will find it easy to pick out a delicious meal!

Try the classic vegetable Kamayan dinners full of grilled veggies over a large bed of banana leaves and rice. My absolute favorite is the Pancit Bihon; rice noodle with cabbage, onions, carrots, celery, and bell peppers. If you’re feeling like a steaming bowl of soup, warm up with Mami; a steaming, flavorful noodle soup.

Vegetarians are sure to leave full and happy thanks to Whilma’s wide variety of veggie-options.

Photo by Nicole Swann. Whilma’s Filipino Restaurant

Potato Dumplings 

Slader’s Alaskan Dumplings
301 E. Center Ave. 

Slader’s is a unique dining experience that offers Searcians — and visitors — a taste of Alaskan cuisine. The dumplings are a pasta shell enclosed with your choice of three fillings, then boiled and topped with curry powder and a butter sauce, and are a classic dish of the owner’s hometown.

For vegetarians, one of the three available filling options is the potato, which is just as good as the chicken or pork, in my opinion. Top your dumplings with sour cream and their house famous, hot sauce on top to get the full Slader’s experience!

Make Your Own Burrito 

Burrito Day
110 E. Center Ave.

As most vegetarians know, Mexican food is so easy to eat by replacing all meat with extra beans or potatoes. You can find those and so many more ingredients every day for lunch at Burrito Day!

The downtown restaurant is a Searcy favorite known for fresh, build-your-own bajo-style burritos. There are so many ingredients to choose from for your burrito; brown or white rice, black beans or pinto beans, roasted corn, shredded cheese, cilantro, tomatoes, lettuce, and their famous salsa and sauces- tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, jalepeño ranch, chipotle salsa, honey-lime vinaigrette, queso, or guacamole.

Burrito Day is also a perfect place for breakfast. The ingredients change up a bit and include eggs, sauteed veggies, roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes, shredded cheese, and their house-made salsas.

You don’t have to get a burrito! You can skip out on the tortilla for a gluten-free style burrito bowl.

Photo by Nicole Swann. Burrito Day.

Vegetable Omelet

Chit Chat Chew
110 W Race Ave

There is nothing like breakfast out with all your friends. Stop by Chit Chat Chew to experience a true, American breakfast diner.

Vegetarians should try their veggie omelet; fluffy eggs filled with bell peppers, chives, tomatoes, pepper jack cheese, and onions. It’s served with their amazing hash browns or homestyle potatoes full of seasonings, onions, and peppers. Top the omelet with their house-made salsa that adds an extra flavor kick. 

Photo by Nicole Swann. Chit, Chat, & Chew Cafe.

Beach Babe 

Smoothin’ & Groovin’
912 East Race Avenue

Looking for something unique and healthy here in Searcy? Smoothin’ & Groovin’ is just the place for you! They are excited to bring 100-percent plant-based options to those here in Searcy!

One smoothie that is especially delicious is the “Beach Babe”. This smoothie contains all the yummy things such as banana, blueberries, dark sweet cherries, coconut charcoal powder, and your choice of mylk (A dairy-free, plant-based milk drink). Not only does this smoothie look amazing, it tastes even better.

Smoothin’ also offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, and smoothie bowls, all perfect if you’re looking for a light meal on the go!

Photo by Abby Shoemaker

Hibachi Vegetable

Dora Express
1516 E. Race Ave.

For those looking for a quirky joint with some out of the ordinary, vegetarian-friendly options, we suggest Searcy’s Hibachi style food truck/restaurant.

Dora cooks all their dishes in the food truck parked out back then serves it up hot to patrons inside the restaurant. Order their Hibachi meals and opt for veggies instead of meat and dip them in their tasty “yum yum” sauce. The Hibachi style veggies, carrots, zucchini, onions, and broccoli, are served over steaming hot noodles.