Vegetarian friendly restaurants are sometimes hard to come by in the Heartland, but Fort Wayne is the exception. Luckily for vegheads, several options exist in the Summit City for dining sans meat:

1. Mad Anthony Brewing Co.: This restaurant/bar’s laid back atmosphere makes it a popular spot for an after-work drink or weekend get-together. According to their Web site, they offer ”classic pub fare,” however, I think they are being overly modest. Don’t leave town without trying one of their Almost Famous Gourmet Pan Pizzas, a deep dish Chicago style pizza that can be accentuated with a variety of vegetables. I recommend their Margherita, a delicious combination of basil pesto, cheese and fresh cheese. Another tip: some of their burgers can be converted into veggie burgers.
2. Three Rivers Co-op and Natural Deli: The co-op’s organic salad bar is perhaps the best-kept secret in town. The deli serves up a variety of meatless sandwiches and other concoctions. Check out the menu for the daily hot vegetarian dish.
3. Loving Café: The mission behind Loving Cafe is to offer affordable, healthy, vegan cuisine. That translates into soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. I think this might be the only place in town that offers a vegan hot dog!
4. Baan Thai: If you like food with a “kick,” Baan Thai is your best bet. They offer several vegetarian selections at reasonable prices. Tip: You can substitute tofu for meat in most dishes. Top off your meal with a dish of coconut ice cream.
5. Chuck and Bird’s: Chuck and Bird’s specializes in the “farm-to-table” experience. Their bistro menu changes regularly, but there are always a few veggie friendly dishes, like a market sandwich with fresh vegetables and goat cheese or a fettuccine with pesto sauce. And, make sure to check out their market on site. Chuck and Birds has closed its doors.
These are just a few of my favorites! What other vegetarian delights have you discovered?