Vegan food isn't just vegetables and bland tofu. As plant-based diets become more popular, vegan menus get bigger and more creative.\u00a0 Sure, you'll find healthful green salads, grain bowls, juices and veggie burgers nearly everywhere. But chefs have also found ways to craft vegan versions of traditional comfort foods, swapping animal products for plant-based ingredients. Think nut-based cheeses, Southern fried "chicken" sandwiches with seitan standing in for the bird, and decadent chocolate desserts with avocado instead of cream or butter.\u00a0 With World Vegan Day on Nov. 1, we've highlighted some of Connecticut's vegan restaurants and food trucks, where you may not even miss the meat or dairy. \u00a0 \u00a0 G-Zen, a popular shoreline vegan spot (and its affiliated food truck, GMonkey Mobile) features raw, vegan and organic dishes: vegan nachos with black bean chili, tempeh crab cakes,\u00a0collard green wrap with nut pate, a portobello tofu Napoleon, Creole tempeh with cornbread, vegan spinach and potato pierogi, and a coconut curry with tofu, sweet potato and broccoli. The "Feisty Monkey" whole-grain pasta with spicy peanut and cilantro sauce is a best-seller on the truck, as is a housemade black bean chipotle burger with sweet potato fries and hickory-smoked ketchup. 2 East Main St., 203-208-0443, @gzenrestaurant. ION (It's Only Natural), a Middletown vegan institution "proudly serving sexy plant-based food for more than 30 years,"\u00a0 offers specialties like Southern-fried tofu, "surf and turf" with grilled seitan and "scallops" made from trumpet mushrooms, a chickpea parmesan cutlet sandwich and decadent cakes and cheesecakes.\u00a0 606 Main St., 860-346-9210, @ionrestaurant. Pure Foods, a healthy cafe and smoothie bar, offers salads, sandwiches, wraps, smoothies and smoothie bowls and juices, with vegan options. Creative specials have included a fried seitan "chicken" sandwich, vegan birria tacos using braised hibiscus "meat" and "fish" tacos with fried banana blossoms; "crab"\u00a0cakes made with chickpeas and hearts of palm, and a vegan "Reuben" with braised celery root.457 North Main St., 860-585-5150, @pure_foods_inc. Three Girls Vegan specializes in plant-based cheeses and "meats" (sausage, pastrami, pepperoni, cutlets) and serves a wide variety of hot foods like apizza, calzones, lasagnas and stuffed "shrimp" at its creamery location on Boston Post Road. Its downtown location on Water Street offers grain bowls, smoothie bowls, soft-serve ice cream and baked goods. 645 Boston Post Road and 23 Water St., @threegirlsvegan. Most of the menu is vegan at Flora, a stylish West Hartford restaurant and juice bar, with entrees like a meatloaf and burger with Impossible plant-based meat, vegetable fried rice, mac and "no cheese" and a nut-based cheese plate. Flora also serves "viable fauna" dishes, with sustainably-raised animal foods like wild shrimp, organic chicken and grass-fed beef. 45 Raymond Road, 860-216-5992, @floraweha. Enjoy Jamaican, Caribbean, African and Indian flavors at this popular Hartford cafe, with a menu featuring Ital stew, meatless Jamaican patties, jerk and BBQ tofu, curry seitan and red lentil dahl. Fire & Spice also offers smoothies, cupcakes and other baked goods (including gluten-free options.)\u00a0 491 Capitol Ave., 860-519-0476, @firenspice491. Middletown residents Allison and Calvin Vaughan eat a vegan diet, but they know that doesn\u2019t have to mean missing out on burgers, hot dogs and fries. Their food truck, which launched in May, offers vegan versions of the comfort foods, using plant-based Beyond Meat. Unique burger preparations include the \u201cSoulful\u201d with sweet plantains and jerk sauce and the Spicy PB&J, with peanut butter and jalape\u00f1os. With stops in Middletown, Hartford and Waterbury, the truck posts its weekly schedule at soulfullyvegan.com\/our-locations and on Instagram at @soul_fully_vegan. 860-435-7878. The vegetarian restaurant, a staple in New Haven for 46 years, offers several vegan options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and baked goods. Dishes that always include egg or dairy are clearly marked on the menu.\u00a0 1000 Chapel St., 203-562-3888, @clairescornercopia. Organika, a plant-based kitchen, offers baked goods and treats like avocado chocolate mousse, breakfast options like carrot "lox" and coconut-based cream cheese on a sprouted bagel, and a full lineup of smoothies, juices and acai bowls. Sandwiches and wraps include falafel, a Beyond burger melt and vegan Italian meatballs, and the menu also features gluten-free pastas, salads, protein bowls and pizzas. 3546 Post Road, Southport, 203-955-1500424 Main St., Ridgefield, 203-403-3346, @organikakitchen. The Stand's vegan fare includes breakfast all day, including bagels with cashew-based cream cheese and breakfast burritos with seasoned tofu; sandwiches like a tofu banh mi and buffalo jackfruit grilled cheese, salads, soups, avocado toast and desserts. The cafe also features a full menu of juices and smoothies. 85 Mill Plain Road,\u00a0203-873-0414, @thestandvegancafe. Green & Tonic, a healthy cafe, offers a full menu of plant-based, gluten-free offerings. Enjoy smoothies and acai bowls, collard green wraps, soups, leafy green salads, cold-pressed juices and "pastries and power snacks" made with gluten-free flours. New breakfast sandwiches are made with house-baked gluten-free focaccia, egg and cheese alternatives, avocado and optional "Beyond" plant-based sausage. Locations in Darien, Fairfield, Cos Cob, Westport, Rye Brook (and soon, New Canaan.) @greenandtonic. You can "sort by diet" on Little Beet's website, and see what's available for a variety of lifestyles or dietary needs: gluten-free, vegetarian\/vegan, keto, paleo, nut-free, dairy-free and more. Vegan diners can build their own meals with bases of basmati rice, quinoa or mixed greens; assorted cold and warm vegetable sides, proteins like baked beet falafel and sweet and spicy tofu and sauces like turmeric tahini,\u00a0beet hummus, chimichurri and avocado bean dip. Full ingredient lists are also available.\u00a0 635 Post Road, 332-205-7188, @eatlittlebeet. Guests at Hartford's Parkville Market food hall had been clamoring for a vegan vendor, and they got their wish, with the addition of Vegan Bodega in June. The menu includes both nutritious plant-based meals, like salads and wraps with fresh vegetables, grain bowls, \u201csushi\u201d bowls with vegetables and watermelon standing in for tuna, and cold-pressed juices. But there are also more indulgent vegan takes on a banh mi, Cuban sandwich and Italian hero with plant-based "meats"; dairy-free mac and "cheez" with fried chick'n, and vegan Pop-Tart style pastries.1400 Park St., @veganbodega_ct. The organic plant-based cafe offers juices, smoothies, wellness shots, acai and smoothie bowls, brown-rice based Buddha and Tex-Mex bowls with vegetables and beans, wraps, salads and toasts. 879 Post Road, 203-202-7165, @barvidajuicebar. Life Bowls' acai and pitaya bowls are joined by smoothies, hot oat bowls with toppings and toasts topped with avocado, fruits and hummus. A Buddha bowl features quinoa, chickpeas, leafy greens, avocado and choice of dressing. 757 Boston Post Road, Madison, 203-589-074197 Orange St., New Haven, 203-891-6430, @life.bowls. Bloodroot, a feminist restaurant and bookstore founded in 1977, offers a seasonal rotating menu with recent features like black bean tostadas and jicama mango pineapple salsa and lasagna with kale, artichoke hearts and housemade vegan mozzarella. Expect options like vegan quiche and veggie burgers, salads, fresh-baked breads and vegan cheese tastings.85 Ferris St., 203-576-9168, @BloodrootVegetarianRestaurant. Catch A Healthy Habit, a vegan cafe (with lots of raw options), offers smoothies and juices, smoothie and acai bowls, salads, snacks and raw desserts, like strawberry "cheesecake" and cacao turmeric fudge. Owner Lisa Storch recently shared her recipe for her buckwheat waffles with apple pie filling. 39 Unquowa Road, 203-292-8190, @@catchahealthyhabitcafe. The Sweet Beet is a grab-and-go cafe, and all of its products are vegan, gluten-free, organic\/non GMO, and soy and peanut-free. Sandwiches with chickpea-based "tuna" and "egg" salad are served on gluten-free bread with a side of tortilla chips, and takeout options include mushroom and chickpea pot pies, mac "no cheese," vegan pizza on a gluten-free crust from Bloomfield-based Still Riding Foods, and sweets like cupcakes, doughnuts and brownies. 498 Salmon Brook Road, 860-653-2338, @thesweetbeet. Creative vegan comfort fare is on the menu at 21 Oak, a Manchester plant-based haven, featuring a country-fried seitan dinner with pepper gravy, loaded black bean and mushroom burgers, spicy Cajun and peanut tofu wraps and a poke bowl with marinated tofu, avocado and seaweed salad. The restaurant also features daily flavors of vegan doughnuts. 21 Oak St., 860-533-9218, facebook.com\/21Oak. Heirloom offers a variety of sandwiches, wraps, burgers, soups, salads, rice bowls and smoothies. All but two menu items (a tuna salad and turkey sandwich) can be made vegan, including all of its soups, baked goods and prepared foods. Everything can also be prepared gluten-free.\u00a0 630 N. Main St., 860-779-3373, @heirloomfoodco. Shayna B's, which moved to its new location in Westbrook this summer, is a dedicated gluten-free and vegan cafe with housemade pastries, salads and bowls, veggie burgers, wraps and pizzas with plant-based cheeses. Desserts like cupcakes and cookies, vegan cheesecakes and specialty cakes are all made in house. 631 Boston Post Road, 860-339-3144, @shaynabsbysea. Right Path's organic, plant-based menu offers juices and smoothies, bowls and salads with ingredients like kale, quinoa and sprouted legumes; veggie burgers and vegan "tuna" or "chicken" salad sandwiches, and raw and vegan dessert options. 147 Bank St, 860-437-9700, @rightpathorganiccafe. Arles & Boggs is "living on the indulgent side of life," according to its website, with vegan eats like chili cheese fries, potato skins, fried rice with tofu, malai kofta made with potato and tofu paneer dumplings, and jackfruit "pernil" with rice, beans, fried sweet plantains and avocado.\u00a0 100 Quinnipiac St., 203-741-9186, @arlesandboggsveganeatery.