13 Plant-Based Sandwiches to Try in Columbus

From fried and filling to American classics, these veg-friendly handhelds are just as impressive as their meatier alternatives.

Erin Edwards
Columbus Monthly
Vegan BLT sandwich at Can't Believe It's Vegan. (Photo by Tim Johnson)

The recipe site Epicurious is saying so long to beef recipes. Manhattan’s Eleven Madison Park is reopening as a 100 percent vegan restaurant. The plant-based future looks promising. 

Here in Central Ohio, vegan and vegetarian options are growing by the day. One venture we’ve had our eye on is Can’t Believe It’s Vegan, a Black-owned business launched in late 2018 by Clayton Freeman. 

Freeman and his wife have been vegan for four years, and for two years Can’t Believe It’s Vegan has been operating out of Columbus’ Food Fort. On a recent Tuesday, Freeman is at the commissary kitchen in his white chef’s jacket, preparing the day’s orders, which he accepts via text message and then personally delivers to doorsteps in the afternoon. 

More:25 of the Best Sandwiches in Columbus

He’s busy making one of his most popular items, the Vegan BLT: a layered tower of vegan mayo, avocado, smoky and sweet seitan bacon (from Sweet Earth), chopped greens, tomatoes, cilantro and Sriracha mayo on toasted whole wheat. 

Before making the leap into the food world, Freeman was in the car dealership business for 30 years. Now, he’s working toward his first brick-and-mortar vegan restaurant, with a healthy focus. 

“There are junk food vegans just like there are junk food omnivores,” he says. “I’m trying to [provide] a little bit more healthy alternative to meat, fish and dairy.” 

As he piles more greens, more tomatoes and a fourth strip of plant-based bacon onto his BLT, he smiles and sounds a bit like he’s back in the car business: “I’m going to give you value for your dollar.” 

12 Other Vegetarian and Vegan Sammies to Check Out

1. Chick’n Parm Sandwich, Eden Burger  (vegan, Campus) 

2. Falafel Pocket, Falafel Kitchen (vegan, Bridge Park) 

3. Crispy Lion’s Mane Mushroom Sandwich, Preston’s/Honey’s (vegetarian, Short North) 

4. Italian Sub, Portia’s Diner (vegetarian, Clintonville) 

5. The Notorious B.B.Q., Seitan’s Realm (vegan, Clintonville)   

6. Philly Cheesesteak, Vida’s Plant-Based Butcher (vegan, Grandview) 

7. Banh Mi with Tofu, Huong Vietnamese (vegetarian, North Side) 

8. Vegan BLT, Can’t Believe It’s Vegan (vegan, Delivery Only) 

9. Vegan Lox Bagel, The Little Kitchen (vegan, Bridge Park) 

10. Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheddar, Woodhouse Vegan (vegan, Italian Village) 

11. Weezie’s Cheesie, Brown Bag Deli (vegetarian, German Village) 

12. Franklin’s Kibbetz, Katzinger’s Delicatessen (vegetarian, German Village/Dublin)