I was excited to try the Vertical Diner in Salt Lake City, not because it was a new diner but because it’s a vegan diner. In the 400+ diners, I’ve been too, I’ve never been to a vegan diner before. How fun is that?
The Vertical Diner has another location in Portland, Oregon as well.
Vertical Diner Atmosphere: A
The Vertical Diner is a stand-alone building with parking. It appears there is outdoor seating, but no one was sitting outside when it was 30 degrees. The building itself is a small long building. It is not a shiny metallic diner but does stick out along the main road.
Walking indoors, it appears like most other diners. There are several booths, tables as well as a full-length bar. It looked like the majority of people were sitting at the bar.
I didn’t order coffee this time around.
Vertical Diner Food:
As mentioned, the Vertical Diner only serves vegan food. Whoa, a diner that only has vegan food? That alone made me want to visit. I’m neither vegetarian nor vegan, but I enjoy trying new things.
To be honest, I was slightly nervous. A few things that caught my eye on the Vertical Diner menu include:
- tender tigers: chickun style tenders
- jerk chicken burrito: tortilla stuffed with jerk chickun, black beans, and rice, grilled peppers and onions,
smothered in red sauce, sour cream, and topped with guacamole.
- world famous dude cakes: two pancakes, sauzage, caramelized onions, grilled peppers, mushrooms, french fries, smothered in gravy.
- tempeh Thai salad: mixed greens tossed into Thai style dressing made with dates, ginger, garlic, chili, lime juice, cold-pressed olive oil, Thai basil, and tamari topped with avocado, tempeh bacun, avocado, house kimchi, carrot, cucumber, tomato, beet, and red onion. (whew, that is a lot happening)
You can see the full Vertical Diner menu here.
Ultimately I decided to get the tender tigers, as well as the “Joaquin phoenix burger” The burger was made of red lentil-brown rice and topped with tempeh bacun, house-made dill pickles, and ranch. I chose fries for my side. To be honest, I had no idea what tempeh was, and I still don’t feel like I really know (fermented soybeans?).
The tender tigers tasted nearly identical to chicken nuggets. I probably couldn’t tell the difference if you put them side by side. The ranch sauce was interesting to me. I am not usually a fan of ranch (I know crazy), but this was more of an oil and vinegar-based ranch. It tasted good.
The Joaquin Phenix Burger tasted great. I thought it was one of the best veggie patties I’ve had, and I enjoyed the “crunch of the tempeh bacon.” The french fries tasted like normal fries, and I wouldn’t have guessed or known they were vegan.
In all, my meal was great. I was happy with my selection, and I would eat it again.
The staff was friendly, and the food came out quickly. I had a good experience.
For my burger and tender tigers, it was $24. The Vertical Diner is not the cheapest diner you’ll go to, but the food and fresh and everything tasted good.
Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Vertical Diner?
I really enjoyed the Vertical Diner, and I would definitely be back. It surprised me how much I liked a vegan diner, and I’m curious to try other vegetarian and vegan food.
You can see more diner reviews here.
Questions for you:
Have you been to the Vertical Diner?
What is your favorite vegan food?