A Foodie’s Guide To Vegan Dining in the Miami Metro Area
Sound the “foodie alarm” and get ready for the palette popping, restaurant hopping, delight of the year… It’s Miami Spice Month! The annual South Florida dining promotion that showcases specials at over 200 restaurants across the region is in full swing. Participating restaurants are offering dining deals from August 1st through September 30th. It’s a great way to splurge at your favorite local food hall or snag the golden chance to explore a new upscale restaurant across town, at a whopping discount. The full list of restaurants and their offerings is available at the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau website miamitemptations.com.
My veggie loving readers scanning the Miami Spice restaurant list will quickly discover a super short lineup of Vegan/Vegetarians restaurant options. Though many of the restaurants may offer at least one or two vegan entrees, folks looking for full fledged vegan/vegetarian restaurants may find the current Miami Spice list… “not so meaty” (pun intended).
So where do you go for a healthy, tasty, meat free entrees, dairy free flavourful dessert, creamy vegan ice cream or veggie cheese pizza while travelling to the region or dining in the Miami Metro Area? All my carnivorous readers are rolling their eyeballs in sarcastic disbelief right about now (LOL). So before you click away, hear me out… truth be told, you don’t have to be granola wielding vegan/vegetarian to enjoy a wholesome meat free dish. The vegan/vegetarian market is a growing niche market with impossible burgers popping up almost everywhere.. Nonetheless, despite the apparent green-eating “impossible burger buzz”, a recent poll conducted by Gallup found that fewer than one in 10 Americans consider themselves vegetarian and 3 percent say they are vegan.
Over the years, friends have comically asked: where do I “graze” for lunch or dinner at mealtime?” Most are pleasantly surprised when I share my “hearty list” of best places to get your healthy food grub on in the Miami Metro Area. Having given up meat for over 25 years (gasp) and still maintaining my card carrying “Foodie Loving Status” please note: Tanya The Mango Lady is always on the hunt for delicious meatless cuisine that does not sacrifice flavor in pursuit of health. Given my Caribbean descent, I enjoy a well cooked wholesome plate of tasty attractive vegan cuisine and refuse to trade savory pleasure for a spongy tasteless UFO (unidentified fried object).
So with Miami Spice Month underway and delicious food offerings floating across our minds, let’s go on a journey as I share my top picks across the region serving up delectable healthy dishes from raw all natural entrees, tasty mouthwatering desserts, to spicy steamy meat free ensembles.
Let’s do this! (Not in any particular order)
Konata – This hole in the wall lives up to the nomenclature that you can’t judge a book by its cover nor a motor by its size! The tiny take out restaurant has an edgy flair and occupies a whole 500 sq ft space. Konata offers a flavor packed ensemble of mouth watering caribbean themed entrees each day. You’ll love their quinoa with veggie and bar-b-q tofu. The cool thing with this restaurant is the element of spontaneity. A visit to Konata is like opening a box of chocolate…you never know what you’re going to get. New entrees are posted on the menu board each day so your visit is always met with a gleeful curiosity when you stop by to check out the menu board. The food selection never disappoints. You’ll love the curried chickpeas or the bar-b-que meatballs, veggies and brown rice. Be sure to try the Yatty or vegan banana bread. Yummeee https://www.yelp.com/biz/konatas-restaurant-north-miami
Holi – Short for holistic is a comprehensive dining experience for people interested in a new way of living. This American themed restaurant offers a fantastic and extensive array of both raw and cooked foods. The scent of wellness and organic health greets you once you step through the door. Get ready to take a refreshing whiff of mint, jasmine, cilantro or ginger in the air. My hands down favorite menu selection are the salad bowls and the paninis. The Holi Orange Sunset Bowl made a salad lover out of me!!! Its an ensemble of: carrots, roasted butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, bean croutons, lentils, diced roasted tofu, mixed greens and sprouts; served with sesame ginger dressing. Oh yeah! Thoroughly delish. http://holivegankitchen.com/
Plant Miami – The sacred space is such a hidden unassuming gem. The classy upscale restaurant sits on at least 4 acres and is such an optical contradiction to the surrounding neighborhood. The site is tucked away in the middle of an industrial district but once you enter the gates it’s like… boom! You discover a cool lush oasis within the desert. The ambiance emits all things zen and positive vibes. From the “love yourself” signage to the vibrant edible flowers on your plate, Plant Miami has some of the freshest organic living foods in town. The setting is absolutely zen-gorgeous and the delicious plant based raw food is so comforting. It feels like a hug (o: The raw harvest dumplings are so good they transport you to another time and place with the beet coconut wrapper covered in foam ginger. https://sacredspacemiami.com/pages/plant-miami-menu
Planta – South Beach is totally a mecca for vegan dining. Planta’s chic eclectic setting and turn it up menu rivals some of the best vegan dining spots in the region. Very romantic setting with modern fixtures. I loved the veggie dumpling and the crispy chicken sandwich. They also offer great veggie bowls, wraps and smoothies.
Clovermint – The lackluster facade on the exterior conceals the impressive jewel in the interior space. This restaurant is all about cozy comfort food. They serve “diner style” entrees, offering everything from salads to well seasoned patty melts. I enjoyed the vegan Philly cheese steak hoagie. The avocado fries and cauliflower bites are definitely worth a try as well.
Hakin’s – There is so much in store for the adventurous palate when you dine at Hakins. The Caribbean inspired menu is really extensive and there is truly something for everyone. You can get a chilled jelly coconut in the shell to wash down a serving of spicy vegan ginger chicken or a slice of vegan pizza in the same sitting. The vibe is very casual and you cannot leave without trying the vegan cheesecake or pineapple upside down cake for desert. http://www.vegbyhakin.com
Screaming Carrot – This small cafe has charm with lots of asian inspired vegan entrees to try. You will find lots of salad, rolls and the largest serving of soup on the planet. This is the place for all inclusive soups. I enjoyed the bowl of thai traditional clear broth soup with: shiitake mushrooms, carrot, celery, onions, scallions, baby bok-choy, spinach, bean sprouts, goji berries and other herbs & spices. Also enjoyed the green curry dish served over the sweet aroma of jasmine rice with a serving of adasha lentil protein. https://screamingcarrots.com/
Dosha – Chef Sonia and her staff at Dosha greet you with such warm hospitality that make you feel like you have been there before. The food is all about healing your body, nourishing your mind and promoting wellness. The dishes are tasty and include lots of turmeric, ginger and flavors reminiscent of Indian cuisine. The vegan empanadas are the bomb! Truly the best I have ever had. Delicious and flaky to the last bite. The Kitchari with long grain rice and mung beans is a must try. Also the rich assortment of teas and juices are worth every sip. http://ayurvedadoshacafe.com/
KC Healthy Kitchen – This restaurant is a hidden gem. A little tricky to find, since it’s tucked in the back end of an office tower on Biscayne; However, the food is well worth the foodie discovery. Entrees prepared by Haitian born Chef Jerry Dominique are a disruption in caribbean cuisine that kicks familiar traditional dishes up a notch with healthy ingredients and power packed flavors. You’ll enjoy vegan soup Joumo (pumpkin soup with no meat) or my all time favorite Buckwheat noodles with stir fried tofu and veggie. https://kocoyehcuisine.com/
The following is my bonus list (Restaurants that are not fully vegan but offer delectable vegan dishes):
Zaika Indian Restaurant – If your into spicy, rich, earthy flavors a trip to Zaika is in your future. The Chana Masala (curried chick peas) or the Shahi Veg Korma is the bomb! https://zaikamiami.com/
Oisha Thai – The ambiance, friendly staff and mouth watering massaman tofu dish make Oishi Thai, hands down my favorite Thai restaurant in Miami. You have a host of mouth watering vegan options and gravies to choose from.
Ironside – Looking for amazing vegan pizza? Look no further than Ironside Pizza. Their pizza melts and hugs your taste buds in all the right places. The restaurant is an eclectic spot off the beaten trail, nestled in the heart of the Wynwood arts district. Lovely destination for family pizza outing or a cozy date night with your boo. https://www.pizzaironside.com/
Crafted Burger– ok moment of silence for this restaurant. For all my burger lovers, their Vegan Beyond Burger is bad to the bone! Juicy, well seasoned and delish. The restaurant is tucked inside the Lincoln Road Eatery.
Chill N Ice Cream – ok so this is not foodie food. Just throwing this place in for all sweet tooth folks and the kiddies. Great vegan coconut milk based ice cream with oodles of flavor options to choose from. Creamy and flavorful. https://www.chillnicecream.com/
Visit the Mango Board for occasional vegan mango recipes. Check out the Mango Poke Bowl. https://wp.me/paWUYS-36
Hope you enjoyed my Foodie’s Guide to Vegan Dining in the Miami Metro Area. While your walking, biking or ubering around town, stop by and patronize these amazing local vegan restaurants. Take the plunge and indulge in the healthy tasty offerings. The options and the prices are varied to suit any budget or palate. So if you are a die hard carnivore, seasonal vegan or committed mango eating vegetarian, my parting wish for you is: Eat, drink and give thanks. Remember, “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” 1 Corinthian 10:31.
Bon Appetit! Have a Mango-licious day!