Vegans and vegetarians haven’t always had the pick of the crop in terms of dining options, but the plant-based eating lifestyle often associated with the hippie counter-culture movement has gone mainstream.
In Phoenix, those in search of meatless, diary-free and other non-animal food menus don’t have to travel off-the-beaten path—or to a concert in the woods—to find delicious, culinary fare. From the casual to the gourmet, Phoenix provides a bounty of vegan and vegetarian restaurants that suit a range of earthy appetites.
Nami (Photo by Mark Lipczynski)
At Green—and its neighboring breakfast/brunch and dessert restaurant Nami—you can order American vegan comfort food with a side of the familiar. All your favorites are made with 100 percent plant-based ingredients, vegan cheeses, and mock meat.
Consider Green’s award-winning vegan Buffalo wings. Gluten-free, they’re served with cucumbers, carrots and dilly ranch. Don’t forget a side of Animal Fries, classic gluten-free thyme fries smothered with melted cheese, grilled onions and Thousand Island sauce. You also can soothe your palate with rice bowls, burritos and “hand-held” po boys, burgers and sandwiches.
Pace yourself for the soft-serve finish: the tSoynami, an organic and homemade vegan soy ice cream mixed with cakes, cookies, chocolate and peanut butter goodness. Or stir up you own treat at home with namiDOH Take N’ Bake vegan cookie dough.
The Loving Hut
If a restaurant could give a virtual hug to all citizens of the world, The Loving Hut would be the place. A longtime local favorite with a global message that embraces a compassionate and sustainable diet, this Phoenix restaurant is part of an international chain that serves all-vegan gourmet cuisine with a delightful dash of peace, love and harmony.
The extensive menu includes a mix of American comfort food and Asian-themed appetizers, starters, sandwiches, burgers and 39 entrees, as well as specialty drinks, fresh juices smoothies and dessert. Try the Chow Fun, fresh flat rice noodles stir-fried with broccoli, carrots and cauliflower with Napa cabbage, snow peas, tofu and veg protein followed by a slice of The Loving Hut’s signature organic cheesecake.
True Food Kitchen
True Food Kitchen’s “Inside Out ” Quinoa Burger (Photo by Fox Restaurant Concepts)
The wide selection of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available at True Food Kitchen speaks nothing of depravation, but rather healthy food abundance. Closely adhering to the principles of the anti-inflammatory diet designed by Dr. Andrew Weil, the eco-chic chain with two Greater Phoenix locations offers a menu with a number of organic, gluten-free and non-processed options, and follows an honest blueprint designed for optimal health so you can eat in good conscience.
Think kale, quinoa, seabuckthorn and acai. The simple, but tasty approach includes fresh spirits and pizzas made with in-house spelt and flax dough and signature salads—the organic Tuscan kale salad is often imitated—as well as sandwiches and entrees prepared with responsibly sourced protein such as the “Inside Out” quinoa burger.
Biltmore Fashion Park
2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
15191 N Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Imagine an intersection where delicious flavor and nutritious ingredients cross paths with a genuine concern for eating well. That’s the Pomegranate Café. The little neighborhood eatery started by a mother-daughter duo took root in 2010 in the urban village of Ahwatukee and has blossomed into a must-stop spot to indulge in a mostly organic, made-from scratch, plant-based vegan, vegetarian and raw dining lineup that is eclectic and ever-changing.
The 100 percent non-GMO menu features one-of-a-kind, vibrant brunch and lunch selections like French toast and tofu scrambles, to salads, bowls and delectable smoothies and sweet treats that appeal to all ages. To get started, order some clean energy with an ancient Mayan coffee alternative, Inantik, or Rodrigo’s Rocket Fuel, a concoction of nutty butter, Pom milk, cocoa, banana, cinnamon, Sun warrior protein and caca nibs. A trip to the ‘burbs never tasted so good.
Treehouse Bakery (Photo by Mark Lipczynski)
If you think vegan baked goods have to taste like tree bark (no pun intended) think again. At the Treehouse Bakery, sweets are fluffy, moist and full of mouth-watering texture without all the conventional dessert fanfare. The quaint, pink-striped bakery with snug counter service is located on Roosevelt Road in downtown Phoenix and just oozes gooey sweetness.
The delectable treats cover a complete range of sugar needs with hand-crafted artisan cupcakes, specialty cakes, pies and other baked goods like cinnamon rolls, cookies and brownies. All selections are made with organic, non-egg and dairy-free ingredients and include traditional to creative creations and flavors, from classic vanilla to salted caramel and lemon lavender.
This is part of a series of guest posts from our friends at Bite Magazine that explore the food and drink scene of Greater Phoenix.