A number of readers have asked me to talk more about vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants. Admittedly, not being a vegan, I'm not usually conscious of these things beyond the choices at Root & Pecker, Southern Charm Kitchen, and The Top. That's why I've asked Darcy of Gainesville Vegans to help me with her list of 6 spots for vegan-friendly fare. While many of you will likely already be familiar with these spots, I hope this can be a good resource for those just moving into town or visiting. With that said, here's Darcy's take:
Dining out when you're vegan can daunting, even more so if your friends and family don't share the same dietary lifestyle. I know this first hand, considering my husband loves noshing on burgers and barbecue while my daughter's main food group is cheese!
Luckily, here in Gainesville there are plenty of places that offer great vegan options, but can satisfy your carnivorous friends and family at the same time. I've tasted pretty much all of the vegan options in town and I'm happy to share my favorite/most vegan friendly restaurants with you. From the plant-based healthy eats to the luxuriously decadent vegan treats, let's get this party started...
Daily Green -
436 SE 2nd Street
Daily Green is one of the most vegan (and allergen) friendly restaurants in town. They use high quality, locally sourced organic ingredients to make their deliciously healthy food, which is one of the reasons I'm drawn to their restaurant.
They offer a wide variety of vegan options, like luxuriously delicious waffle towers with sweet cashew cream, savory sandwiches, salads and fresh pressed juices. They have some killer daily specials, so be sure to check the board. If you ever see Tempeh Tacos as the special, order them vegan style -they're to die for, seriously.
Satchel's Pizza -
1800 NE 23rd Avenue
As far as pizza goes, Satchel's makes the best vegan pizza in town! They offer two different faux cheeses (Teese and Daiya) and have a great selection of veggie toppings and tempeh.
They don't do vegan slices, but they offer the "Indie" which is a personal sized pizza equivalent to about two regular slices.
If you want a real treat, give them 24 hours notice and they'll make you a vegan deep dish using Earth Balance! Let me tell you, it's amazing. Grab all of your friends and go big, order that deep dish!
The Top -
30 North Main Street
Head to The Top if you're looking to indulge for Sunday brunch. Comforting foods like biscuits and gravy, banana bread French toast and tofu benedict are served every Sunday starting at 11AM.
For dinner options, the Coconut Tofu with Rice and Kimchi is a slam dunk. Sweet, savory, spicy and that kimchi is oh so good for the gut. If you order the sweet potato fries be sure to ask for a side of vegan Cesar to dip.
Seriously, you'll thank me!
Boca Fiesta -
232 SE 1st Street
Boca Fiesta has you covered for dinner, late night, and Sunday brunch. My favorite menu item here is the Vegan Mac & Cheese. "Cheesy", decadent, and esthetically appealing. It's big enough to share, but trust me, you won't want to!
In addition to the delicious fried mac, they have tasty tempeh street tacos, stir fry burritos and even a vegan empanada.
For Sunday brunch they're serving up tofu scramble and full bottle mimosas - start that Sunday Funday off right!
101 SE 2nd Place
If you haven't sampled the deliciousness of Israeli cuisine at Sababa, you are missing out.
Falafel, veggie schnitzel, hummus, tahini, oh my! The great folks here make vegan dining a breeze. Vegan options are clearly marked and the employees are always happy to make suggestions.
From pita sandwiches to full on platters and desserts, they've got you covered. Stop by for good food, great people and a little falafel fun!
Karma Cream -
1025 W University Avenue
If you're looking for a sweet treat, Karma Cream has the best vegan baked goods and ice cream in town. Their offerings vary daily, but you can usually find cupcakes, scones, cinnamon rolls, cookies and my personal favorite, the carrot cake cookie sandwich. As far as ice cream goes, they carry both vegan and dairy varieties with plenty of flavors and toppings to choose from. They even have waffle cones-yum!
In addition to sweets, they also offer teas, coffees and sandwiches. I almost forgot to mention, everything is organic!
Now that you have this information, get out there and start eating your way through Gainesville! After your non-vegan friends and family see how good your food looks, they may even try a meatless meal.
Darcy Fiorello is the creator of Gainesville Vegans and I'm grateful she was willing to be a guest writer. Be sure to follow her on Instagram and on Facebook to keep up with the latest and greatest in vegan options around town.
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