Vegans and vegetarians of Fargo, rejoice! Our pleas have been answered and the universe has smiled on us—last Friday the first vegan restaurant in North Dakota opened downtown on Broadway.
That’s right. No more searching through the menu to find a vegan option to cobble together when you go out to eat. No more preemptive eating to make sure you’ll be full after that order of fries from Mickey D’s. Vegan life just got better in Fargo.
Joey Haynes built his skills baking at the Northport Hornbachers, working as a cook in Moorhead’s Rustica Tavern and as head chef and general manager at Vinyl Taco before setting out with his wife Abby to open their own restaurant, the Green House Café.
The fact that Fargo didn’t have any vegan restaurants provided some of the impetus to open the Green House Café.
“I was tired of the modifications I always had to make whenever I went out to eat,” said Haynes. “Ethnic food can be a great choice to find vegan options, but sometimes you just want to find some home-style comfort food.”
The lunch menu offers some quick and healthy options for diners who don’t have lots of time on their lunch break, while the dinner menu offers a combination of simple meals and options that lean more towards the casual and fine dining sides of the market.
Additionally, Haynes plans on having a breakfast menu and a Saturday brunch menu.
Haynes’ vision for the future of the café is grounded in involvement with the local community.
“We purchase about half of our produce from the farmers’ market and we are working on getting deliveries in from local farmers—as we get more settled, we are planning on sourcing more goods from local farmers,” said Haynes. “Obviously, there are some grains and fruits that can’t be grown around here, but our goal is to be locally sourced as much as possible.”
The Green House Café also works with Emily Swedberg of Lucid Bakery, who creates vegan baked goods and desserts that can be purchased at the café.
The café will also be closed on Monday nights to help facilitate community outreach.
“We definitely want to be more than just a restaurant—that’s why we don’t have public hours on Monday nights,” said Haynes.
“We would like to provide a space for local musicians, maybe with the occasional open mic on Monday nights. We are also working on using that time to work with the food bank to serve meals for underprivileged families. That’s what we want for Monday nights—to be about connecting with and supporting the local community.”
With its community-centered view, the Green House Café looks to provide wonderful vegan cooking and to become an active part of the local community.