Old Abe is a vegetarian restaurant & coffee shop in Rochester, Minnesota with vegan sandwiches and rice bowls. It’s a quick service restaurant with a fun and quirky interior.
Rochester is known for being the birthplace of the Mayo Clinic. But it’s also home to vegetarian restaurant, Old Abe. (Old Abe is the only vegetarian restaurant in Rochester, Minnesota.)
It added about 40 minutes to our drive. But from everything I’d heard about it, I knew it would be worth the detour!
Old Abe is a brightly colored, striped house that has been turned into a coffee shop & restaurant. The fun continues inside the restaurant with comic books and toys on display.
Almost everything is vegan at Old Abe – except for a couple of drinks. Just look for the V’s on the handwritten menu above the counter.
Since it was warm while we were there, we were able to enjoy the back patio area for dining. You just order at the counter. Then your meal is brought out to you.
Their menu changes. But while we were there, they had vegan rice bowls – Korean bulgogi BBQ, Kung Pao chicken, Peking duck, and chopped banh mi. They were also serving vegan sandwiches including an Herbivorous Butcher sriracha brat, and a mock duck po’ boy.
I decided to get this massive banh mi roll.
It was topped with seitan bacon. Then there was a layer of vinegar tossed daikon radish, carrot, and cucumber. Finally, it was finished with cilantro and mayo on a fluffy bolillo roll.
It was served with crinkle cut potato chips.
I really enjoyed the puffiness of the bread. The vinegary vegetables added tang and crunch. And there was a good ratio of vegetables to seitan.
My only quibble was that the seitan bacon was served cold on the sandwich. I would have preferred it to be warm and crisp.
(Want to make your own banh mi at home? Check out this recipe for a vegan banh mi with seitan.)
To drink, I ordered the peach Arnie Palmer. It was reminiscent of the peach rooibos iced tea that I make at home. With ripe peach juice and a mix of tea, the drink was fruity without being overly sweet.
David ordered a club-style BLT with crisp lettuce, summer tomato, and a thin schmear of mayo on a three slice toast stack. BLT’s are a simple sandwich, but the freshness of all of the ingredients made this one a home run.
Along with his BLT, David had a cherry Coke made with sugar & not high fructose corn syrup. It was garnished with dark red frozen cherries.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals at Old Abe and look forward to stopping by again on a future road trip.