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Are vegan restaurants automatically kosher?

Are vegan restaurants automatically kosher?


A vegan restaurant would not have a hard time getting kosher certification. However, as long as there is no such certification one should not eat there.

There are many reasons why a strictly vegan establishment requires kosher certification. Here are a few of them:

  1. It is possible for a minute quantity of animal products to be included in a vegan-certified food. According to the Vegan Society, an outfit which licenses vegan foods, "vegan products must, as far as is possible and practical, be entirely free from animal involvement." Furthermore they state, "Animal products are sometimes used in instances that are not immediately obvious."1
  2. All utensils used to prepare kosher food, as well as countertops, ovens, etc., must be kosher. Meaning, if they were previously used for non-kosher foods, they must be koshered before being used for kosher food preparation.
  3. Wine and grape juice are not kosher unless they are certified kosher (see Wine and Grape Products). Even if the restaurant doesn't have a wine list, many dishes include wine or grape juice in their ingredients.
  4. Certain foods must be cooked or baked by a Jew in order to be kosher (see Baked and Cooked Foods).

To repeat, however, it is certainly much easier for a vegan eatery to receive and maintain kosher certification. If your neighborhood has a kosher consumer base, perhaps ask the restaurant management to consider this not-so-difficult option which could increase its clientele.

Rabbi Eliezer Posner



Eliezer Posner is a former member of the Ask the Rabbi team.
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Discussion (17)
May 16, 2016
Re: Bakery?
Seeing the ovens would not necessarily change anything. But as the author states as the end, "it is certainly much easier for a vegan eatery to receive and maintain kosher certification."

So if this "small bakery" is interested in exploring going kosher, they should contact a local orthodox rabbi.
Eliezer Zalmanov
May 16, 2016
Hygiene, etc.
I did not mean this as a "cheap shot" or out of any rancor toward you, chas v'shalom. Just to support the position that a frum vegan still needs to obtain prepared foods with a hechsher. The points you raise about hygiene and the limitations of hashgachah are good.
Eiver LeNahar
May 13, 2016
What about small vegan bakeries where you can see the ovens?
January 18, 2016
Eiver LeNahar, your comment is a cheap shot to a subject that requires a more serious attention; not to give the source of your information is a basic lack of respect in a debate. What report are you talking about........or you are inventing a report just for the sake of refuting my previous comment?
It's a well known fact that Kosher supervisors don't check for hygiene issues whatsoever but only for kosher labeling and application of Kashruth rules.
Kashruth rules have nothing to do with hygiene in a manufacturing facility.
Human DNA in food? Of course, everywhere, every time when employees and management ignore OSHA Regulations in the US of A. Human hair or human sweat and human skin cells are present in Vegetarian, kosher, vegan, organic, halal and many other type of prepared foods that disregard the sanitation requirements imposed by the authorities, in any country in the world including Israel.
January 17, 2016
Vegan and vegetarian hot dogs without kosher supervision
I recently came across this report which is but one example of what can happen when vegan or vegetarian foods lack kosher supervision, you can search the web for the source as no urls are permitted here:

"Substitution: We encountered a surprising number of substitutions or unexpected ingredients. We found evidence of meats not found on labels, an absence of ingredients advertised on labels, and meat in some vegetarian products.
Hygienic issues: Clear Food found human DNA in 2% of the samples. 2/3rds of the samples with human DNA were vegetarian products.*"
Eiver LeNahar
January 16, 2016
From Rabbi Eliezer Posner's words and after reading the comments herein I can only say: humbug! For a vegan restaurant to be kosher only because the application is easy and simple is not a reason to get a kosher certification, specially if there's no guarantee that the customer traffic will increase, but for sure it means quite a few troubles like using only ingredients and produce with rabbinical supervision (and thus more expensive), the issues of lighting the fires in the kitchen, consulting the Rabbi for several issues, opening on Saturdays, the handling of the Passover season and many more subjects. And, of course, to have a Rabbinical Certification cost money......every year.
June 28, 2014
Kosher in South Jersey
It would appear that none of you has gone south of exit 9 on the turnpike
There are two Shoprites in Cherry Hill that have "Kosher Experience" supervised sections.
The Cherry Grill on Route 70 is also under supervision by the local Vaad.
There is another restaurant on route 38 that I was looking for on your site when I discovered that you don't get into this part of the world.
H. Stein
New Jersey
May 1, 2014
Re: Tithed Israeli produce, does that apply to restaurants owned entirely by a non-Jew?
Josh Pactor
Seattle, WA
February 16, 2014
In addition to the issues raised above, vegetables and fruits from Israel need to be tithed. By rights, this should be done prior to importation, but a kosher vegan or vegetarian restaurant would need to make by consulting a kosher supervisory agency.
Eiver LaNahar
January 28, 2014
checking for bugs
I think that the restaurant crew will wash and check the lettuce just as a matter of course. I remember working in a restaurant, and we soaked and rinsed and checked three times, and rinsed for good measure. No lightboxes. I'd say that's pretty clean lettuce.