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Miami: Vegan & Vegan-Friendly Eateries

December 15, 2011
By Guest Blogger
|14Comments|


Whether you’re shaking it on the dance floor, strolling cool ’hoods on art and architecture walks, doing yoga on the beach or sampling the newly hot bicycle scene, Miami gives you a workout. Good thing this sexy city also gives you hip and healthy places to refuel and rehydrate.

So where can you find sazón (sassy seasoning) – while keeping your pH and budget in balance? My Miamian gour-mates fed me their secrets, so now I’ll dish them out to you.

Vegan Venues

T.H.R.I.V.E. (The Raw Inspired Vegan Experience)
A true insider secret, this new oasis is tucked within a busy South Beach block. Look for the sidewalk sandwich board; pass through the blossom arbor and alley; then behold an Eden of breeze-blown sashes, lush foliage and beachy sofas. The all-vegan raw and organic dishes are phenomenal, attracting daily visits from eco- and physique-conscious foodies. Rich in enzymes, vitamins and flavor, tantalizing choices reflect the globetrotting owner’s wide-ranging tastes: spiralized zucchini with Tuscany-inspired sun-dried tomato marinara or basil pesto, nut meat/cabbage tacos, sprouted seaweed-veg pate nori roll. The new Sunday brunch includes tofu with sweet potato hash browns. Note: Sweet potatoes are culinary bliss to Miamians; the orange superfood pops up in foods from fries to pies … and in beauty and detox diets! 1239 Alton Road, South Beach. *Juice bar

lifefoodLifefood Gourmet
Aside from the honey, it’s raw vegan rapture, from the “wild milk” (Brazil nut-based) and goji shakes to the pumpkin nut-meat plus nut-cheese burrito, veggie-flaxseed pizza and lasagna layered with alt-Alfredo macadamia pine nut sauce, spinach and Irish moss-erella. Seeking chlorella, spirulina and blue green algae? Craving mamey or carob? Got it. In the throes of ecstasy, you might miss the mission statement, which outlines goals of cellular nourishment and rejuvenation, tapping self-healing powers and “spreading a sense of well-being, sanity and happiness.” Sounds and tastes great. 1248 SW 22nd Street, Coral Gables.

La Vie En Raw Cafe
Run by a vibrant integrative nutritionist and certified raw chef, this totally vegan, mostly organic cafe starts working its magic with the revitalizing local art gracing the walls. The menu changes with the seasons, but pounce on the Beet “Raw-violi,” ground walnut-and-carrot faux tuna with creamy avocado, any sea vegetable or nut-cheese dish – and the chocolate pie. 3808 Southwest 8th Street, Coral Gables. *Juice bar

Mac’n Food Truck
Miami has a new food truck – and it’s vegan. Feel like having mac ’n cheese with portobello and plant-based mozzarella? Fresh-cut sweet potato fries? Fried green tomatoes? Just-picked watermelon with fresh basil and sea salt? Step right up! Check the website for locations, which change daily.

escopazzo

Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

Catch Grill + Bar
Across the muy bello Venetian Causeway, the recently renovated Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay houses a cool new indoor/outdoor bayfront restaurant committed to sustainably sourced fare. The chef can veganize some dishes or whip up a seasonal veggie platter. But even more fun: plant-based teasers plus mocktails. Go for the zesty hummus, eggplant-abulous baba ganoush, munchy edamame and lightly fried plantain with yummy guac. Then greet the starry night with handcrafted healthy cocktails, such as a most refreshing pineapple juice splashed with agave and pink peppercorns. 1633 North Bayshore Drive, near the Port of Miami.

Metro Organic Bistro
This hip haven in historic MiMo (Miami’s Modern Architecture district) serves several vegan entrees such as a Green Burger and crispy Chickpea Cakes. Or make a meal of fresh-off-the-farm sides such as grilled fennel. 7010 Biscayne Boulevard, MiMo district.

Escopazzo
Long committed to organic, sustainable and divine, this chic Italian bistro introduced a raw-vegan menu late last year. Indulge in such delicacies as a gingery butternut tagliatelle with ginger, lasagnette layered with pesto, pine nut-derived ricotta, eggplant and squash, and spiced vegetables wrapped in Swiss chard. 1311 Washington Avenue, South Beach.

The Cafe at Books & Books
One of the few Lincoln Road sidewalk cafes offering inspired vegan dishes. Helmed by a pioneer of New South Florida cuisine, temptations include a perfectly seasoned Cuban black bean soup, grilled tofu fajita wrap with roasted corn salad, and tropical wild rice with coconut. 927 Lincoln Road, South Beach.

books & books

Sweet Tooth

Sweat Records Cafe
At this all-vegan coffee shop, great tunes pair well with Unicorn Love Bomb Espresso, Dirty South Chai and mouth-tingling cupcakes – coconut lemon-iced, anyone? (They even serve vegan empanadas: spinach/sun-dried tomato and curry.) 5505 NE 2nd Avenue, Little Haiti.

Coconut Grove Saturday Organic Market
Eco-conscious, plant-based diners rejoice! In addition to just-picked veggies and raw deli, raw tostadas, raw pizzas, you can indulge in raw tiramisu and raw pies with moist crusts of dates, nuts and spices. 3300 Grand Avenue, Coconut Grove.

Peace A’ Cake
Pure vegan food porn made by a holistic health coach from spelt flour, apple sauce, coconut palm nectar, dark chocolate chips and raw almonds. Sold at local health marts and juice cafes; website lists locations.

Indulge for health’s sake – you’re in Miami! Want to add to our list? Dish and tell!

Robin Soslow is a writer/photographer who pedals and noshes her way through cities and countrysides. Embracing the credo “Be the change you wish to see,” she lives small, volunteers with animal welfare groups and enjoys having omnivores lust after her vegan dishes.

Photo francis ledoux, LoreniaZlatko UngerInes



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14 responses to Miami: Vegan & Vegan-Friendly Eateries
  1. thanks robin — just moved to miami beach and so glad to have these recommendations. we have really enjoyed the raw goodies that wholefoods carries, cant remember the company, but there is a large section in the produce area and everything we tried was yummy! look forward to checking out some of these places when i go back in january!

  2. I’m planning on moving to Miami in a couple years…I will not forget this list!! (buh bye vegan non-friendly Iowa)

  3. And here’s yet another wonderful and new place that’s vegan, health, and tastebud friendly! Choices Cafe. Check out their website at http://www.mychoicescafe.com/

  4. Get ready to get hungry – take a peek at this vegan delight from THRIVE cafe in South Beach: http://twitpic.com/7tnr97

  5. WOW so many to choose from – I’m jealous. I live in Janesville, WI (small city Midwest) and there is not even ONE vegan restaurant in my home town. I suggest all of you, who live in cities with even one vegan establishment, to eat/buy and dine there as aften as possible before your city becomes like mine. AND THEN THERE WAS NONE. If I were younger and cancer free AND had boundless energy, I’d start my own vegan restaurant/deli. This may be an inspiration for you young folks out there.

  6. Someone should do one on Philadelphia!!! ;)

  7. Bunnie Cakes vegan bakery .. best vegan cupcakes in Miami :) http://www.bunniecakes.com

  8. I have some great Philly places to veg out :)

  9. Miami also has a wonderful vegan bakery — BunnieCakes. I can’t wait to get back there and indulge. Here’s the link: http://www.bunniecakes.com

  10. I am a long-time Miami vegan and your list is FAB! AWESOME places – they are all super yummy. I live around the corner from the Farmer’s Market in Coconut Grove…. uuummm, hello, raw vegan Tiramisu!!!!!! JUST went to Lifefood Gourmet today with a great friend from Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Thanks for the post! Bookmarking it fo sho!

  11. Thanks Kris. going to Miami to run the ING half marathon at the end of January.

  12. I want to go to Miami just so I can try out these places!! :) :) Yum, and thanks!!

  13. Marie, would love to live near the Coconut Grove Farmer’s Market, where desserts count as health food! PCRM is one of the best organizations on earth…they speak truth to power! Folks, they have great fact sheets, free resources… http://www.pcrm.org .Kristin, best on running the marathon. I did lots of running…between eateries :) Here’s a pic of the vegan Superbowl at Go Go in South Beach http://twitpic.com/7v0h26

  14. Robin, definitely share some of your top Philly places to “veg out” like you said. ;)