By: Jennie Fine
On the heels of “Veganuary,” a global campaign with the goal of inspiring people to ditch meat and dairy for one month for the benefit of the environment, the planet, and their health, we’re highlighting some of Miami’s best plant-based restaurants. Whether you’re trying to drop a few pounds, reduce your carbon footprint, save a few animals, or just try something new, Miami is one of the best places to go plant-based for a meal or two and February just might be your time to start. Here’s a list of our favorite vegan spots in the 305.
Located at the Sacred Space, Plant is an oasis in the heart of Wynwood. The Sacred Space delivers a modern approach to sensory experiences through its programming, plant-based cuisine, wellness product offerings, and its own Paradise Farm’s biodynamic harvest and retreats. Try the handcrafted (cashew) cheese board and stuffed Castelvetrano olives to start and move onto the cacio de funghi with kelp noodles and truffle caviar. Don’t leave without the chocolate dessert, which includes salted ganache, truffles, and bon-bons, or, if chocolate isn’t your thing, the passionfruit flan.
Miami’s OG vegan restaurant, Choices Cafe, now shares its Coconut Grove space with the world’s first all vegan food hall. Next Generation Pizza, Southern Sol Garden BBQ, and Ice Dream Parlor are just a few of the plant-based enterprises. With so many great vegan options, it’s hard to choose just one, but I recommend the Buffalo Bob pizza with chik’n, buffalo hot sauce, cheddar “cheese”, ranch sauce and scallions, and the ice Dream Sammy with sprinkles and gluten free chocolate chip cookies.
Restauranteur David Grutman opened this plant-based South Beach hot spot last year. It’s not hard to see why it was recently named one of America’s top 50 restaurants for vegetarians by OpenTable.com, with everything from burgers to pizza to sushi and more. Get the spicy “tuna” roll with ahi watermelon (you won’t miss the fish at all) on a Maki Monday, when the restaurant offers unlimited maki and bottomless sake, along with the cauliflower tots with truffle almond Parmesan and kelp Caesar salad or heart of palm “crab” cakes. Finish off with the activated charcoal soft serve ice cream and chocolate terrarium with chocolate mousse, peanut butter cream, chocolate date “soil” and salted caramel.
Want to try out some plant-based delicacies but not ready to commit to go full veg just yet? Head over to St. Roch Market. This food hall located in Miami’s Design District is full of delicious vegan and non-vegan options. First, stop at Jaffa, which offers Israeli-influenced cuisine, for the roasted turmeric cauliflower (hold the yogurt) and classic hummus. Next, move on to Itamae for the Market Salad or Tigre Roll with charred peppers, avocado, sweet plantain, shiitake, and sweet soy. Finally, no trip to St. Roch Market would be complete without the matcha soft serve and decadent sea salt chocolate chunk cookies from Chloe and the Vegan Cafe.
The taco spot, which started in Tulum, Mexico, recently opened its first U.S. location right here in the 305. Designed for meat lovers, made for vegans, Charly’s offers authentic Mexican food in a laid back atmosphere in the middle of Wynwood. These vegan tacos have the taste and texture of traditional Mexican favorites but are 100% plant-based. Start off with the Nachos Machos, which come with a spicy chipotle-leek cheese, homemade pickled jalapenos, refried beans, and vegan crème, and move on to your choice of three tacos with the Taco Love Trio. From carne asada to rajas poblanas to al pastor, there’s something for everyone.
Love Life Café in Wynwood was founded by couple Veronica and Diego on the belief that eating healthy is an act of self-love and a social responsibility towards the planet and animal welfare, and eating healthy has never tasted so good. Try the “best veggie burger in America” or one of their plant powered arepas with black bean sofrito, avocado, and cilantro aioli sauce, and the taco salad with walnut “meat”, pico de gallo, cashew cream, and smoked tortilla chips. If sweets are your thing, head next door to the Love Life Coffee & Sweets for some Pamela Wasabi baked goods and specialty lattes.
Le Cordon Bleu-trained and American Culinary Federation Certified chef Carolina Molea founded L’Artisane Creative Bakery last year with the goal of creating a cruelty-free world through delicious and beautiful French-inspired desserts and pastries. Located on Miami Beach, the bakery offers a wide selection of sandwiches made with artisanal breads, savory empanadas, and classic desserts. Try the award-winning croissant, decadent pain au chocolat, or even the Impossible Burger!
If you’re looking for a plant-based eatery in Midtown, look no further than GLAM. With options like jackfruit tacos, roasted mushroom flatbreads, and chana masala with spicy mango chutney and papadum, you can’t go wrong. Stop for brunch, which is served all day every Sunday, and get the gluten free waffles or vanilla-almond French toast with blood orange and goji marinade with a side of hickory eggplant bacon. GLAM also offers a wide variety of kombucha, hearty shakes, and sangria, as well as desserts like sesame ginger and chocolate coconut mousse.
Honorable mentions: Galleria, Roots Juice Bar, CombinAsian