vegan deli & butcher photo by adam rothbarth

First Look: Vegan Deli & Butcher in St. Charles

A vegan deli and butcher shop might sound a little out there to people who aren’t woke to the plant-based lifestyle but, to those who are, it’s one of the most exciting combinations of words they’ll ever hear. That’s why chef and co-owner Chris Bertke (formerly of Utah Station) calls his new restaurant, simply, Vegan Deli & Butcher. Following in the footsteps of beloved producers like Minneapolis’ The Herbivorous Butcher and Nashville’s The Be-Hive, Bertke’s new endeavor doubles down on a demographic that is unquestionably on the rise. Laugh at this concept in the wrong company and you’ll quickly find that the joke’s on you. 

Now open at 524 S. Main St. in St. Charles, right down the street from Schlafly’s new outpost, Schlafly Bankside, Vegan Deli & Butcher offers sandwiches, sides, coffee, pastries and more. The idea was birthed after Peace Love Coffee co-owners Jason and Heather Granger – vegans themselves – reached out to Bertke last year to come to St. Charles for a pop-up. Once they started talking about what a potential restaurant could look like, they decided to team up for something more permanent. 

Vegan Deli & Butcher’s fleet of house-made vegan sandwiches includes options like a Reuben, a French dip, a meatball Parmesan and an egg salad sandwich; "meatballs" are soy-based, while components like "roast beef" are made with wheat gluten. Items like pepperoni and Mostaccioli, as well as a tomato and cucumber salad can be found pre-packaged in a cold case, while various sliced meats, tabbouleh, potato salad and pasta salad can be ordered per ounce from the deli case. Soups and salads will roll out imminently. 

Vegan Deli & Butcher’s early morning game features original pastries – doughnut holes, doughnuts, muffins, et cetera – from local baker Blooberdoodle; Peace Love Coffee partners with St. Louis’ Blueprint Coffee to offer brews, lattes, espresso and more. Almond milk is the standard here, though diners can substitute oat milk for an additional $0.50. 

A small market offers both local and national products, ranging from Crio Bru cacao and Peppermancer hot sauce to beef jerky from Kentucky giants Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. Customers can also purchase bagged coffee from Blueprint. Cheese from Three Vegan Brothers is available in the cold case. 

Vegan Deli & Butcher is open from 7 to 11 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday for coffee and pastries, and from 11 a.m. until sold out for the savory deli options. The restaurant doesn’t currently have a liquor license, but they are working on getting one, anticipating serving boozy coffees, beer from 4 Hands Brewing Co. and a small cocktail menu.  

Check out the slideshow below for more photos and more information.