The vegan dining scene has really taken off in the Greater Phoenix area, and each time I visit the Valley of the Sun, as it’s commonly referred to, there are more options. The rising popularity of vegan food has caused a shift in the food industry and restaurants are making changes. There is now a thriving community of vegan restaurants to choose from in Phoenix as well as non-vegan restaurants with plant-based options on the menu. So whether you want to eat super healthy, indulge in some decadent treats, or see what vegan food is all about, you will not be disappointed. Phoenix has about 300 sunny days a year and many restaurants have outdoor seating so you can enjoy a vegan soft serve among the cactus of the Sonoran Desert. Here are five restaurants to enjoy a meal made from plants – the first two establishments are fully vegan and the last three are vegan friendly.
Earth: Plant Based Cuisine
Earth: Plant Based Cuisine is a family-owned restaurant serving homemade plant-based meals. In their own words, being vegan is more than “just eating grass” – as some people falsely believe. In reality it couldn’t be further from the truth. Appetizers at Earth include buffalo wings with zesty ranch dressing, nachos loaded with refried beans and cheezy sauce, chorizo fries topped with avocado salsa, and street style corn seasoned with fresh lime and cheeze. But don’t stop there, check out their protein packed entrees such as flautas de pollo stuffed with vegan chicken and zesty toppings or the Bruno burger – a grilled vegan patty with the works. They also have a choice of 5 different tacos so you are all set for Taco Tuesdays. In addition to being an all vegan establishment, their goal is to be as green as possible to protect the planet and encourage others to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost.
Dessert lovers will rejoice at Nami with more vegan sweet options that you could ever dream up. What began with an organic vegan ice cream treat – the tSoynami – has blossomed into a vegan dessert haven packed with mouth-watering options. Their soft serve organic soy and coconut milk is served in a biodegradable cup with a biodegradable spoon, and you can add all sorts of decadent toppings and frozen fruit to create your masterpiece. Nami is also a delicious breakfast spot and they serve scrumptious burritos loaded with tofu scramble, seitan steak, melted cheddar cheese (non-dairy) and homestyle potatoes with salsa. Complete your meal with a crafty specialty coffee and choose from a variety of plant-based milks.
Farm and Craft
If you are craving a healthy brunch head to Farm and Craft in North Scottsdale. Their menu offers several plant-based dishes such as the nutritious AZ Bowl packed with farro, sweet potato, corn, tomato, and black beans or build your own bowl with grilled tofu or add it to a salad. The vegan açai bowl is loaded with goodness including blended açai, fresh berries, banana, coconut almond granola, chia, hemp seeds and the option of adding almond butter. In a rush? Get a smoothie to go with plant-based protein powder – the kale berry and dragon chia smoothies are both vegan.
Located in the heart of a pedestrian friendly neighborhood, Postino Arcadia is perfect for lunch with friends. Sit outside the converted brick post office among blooming orange trees or find a cozy indoor seat at Happy Hour after a day of exploring. For plant-based options, Boards & Bruschetta are the way to go and big enough for a meal. Choose the almond hummus & chopped tomato, apple & fig spread (omit the brie), and tomato & basil (omit the mozzarella) and your board will be packed with goodness. Postino Arcadia is steps away from La Grande Orange Grocery, a super cool shop with Bohemian vibes packed with unique gifts and souvenirs such as jewelry, clothing, toys, soaps, or books to remember your travels. They also serve amazing coffee with vegan milk options.
True Food Kitchen
I became a fan of True Food Kitchen years ago and every time I visit the US where there is a location I go back. This health driven restaurant chain offers wholesome seasonal ingredients made from scratch with a rotating flavor forward menu. Their dishes are based on the anti-inflammatory food pyramid and cater to a variety of preferences such as gluten-free, vegetarian and plant-based. There are multiple vegan options and other dishes can be vegan-ized. I dined outside at the Scottsdale location and devoured the vegan charred cauliflower, herb hummus (omit the feta), and edamame guacamole with pita chips. Their spinach and mushroom pizza is created with delicious house-made vegan almond ricotta. If you have room for dessert they serve vegan strawberry cheesecake, or my favorite, chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream.