This might be my favorite place on this list! They have so many vegan food options and alternatives to make most of their boba teas vegan as well (including thai tea!!). Fancy vegan food can be fairly expensive, but the sets here are a great deal (you get a large entree, 2 spring rolls, a tea, a vegan cupcake, and veggie straws for $15) and it's easily two meals for me. The food is healthy yet ridiculously tasty, and the tea selection is quite extensive as well.
From top left: Vegan Korean BBQ Bowl with seitan, Spring rolls with veggie straws and vegan matcha chocolate cupcake, Tofu rice bowl, mango tea with boba & tropical tea with lychee popping boba
If you're looking for vegan recreations of your favorite comfort foods, look no further. I went here for Valentine's day and couldn't have asked for a better meal.
I tried a vegan cuban sandwich (a Tampa must-have) for the first time here and was quite impressed, as a cuban is something that's quite hard to recreate without meat. My boyfriend also loved his Philly Cheesesteak, made with Impossible Burger. I had a bite and I might have to get it next time! We also tried the Mac and cheese and one of their pasta salads, both of which were divine.
Cali is honestly amazing and their food is so crave-worthy. My favorite thing here is the "Big Italy" bowl that comes with roasted mushrooms, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, almondmilk ricotta (amazing!) and pomodoro sauce. I get brown rice as the base and the crispy lentil bites as the protein. I am not joking when I say that the combination of the lentil bites (which are like deep fried, crispy cubes of soft lentil filling) with the red sauce and the almondmilk ricotta tastes JUST LIKE mozzarella sticks to me, and it can't get any better than that!! I love that dish so much :)
They also have a few other vegan dishes on their menu (denoted by pb, which stands for plant-based), including the Lean N' Clean bowl with broccoli and cauliflower, the Amalfi pizza which seems like the Big Italy bowl but in pizza form, the house salad, and chips & guac as well as avocado and hummus. I haven't had any of these yet because I love that one bowl so much, but I'm sure they're all amazing.
Left: The Big Italy Bowl: my absolute favorite!!!
I loved coming here for their authentic ramen even before I was vegan, so I was super happy to find out they do have vegan ramen! Pictured right is their Mushroom ramen, which is vegan if you ask for it without the truffle butter. I absolutely love mushrooms as you will probably see by reading this post and their ramen hits the spot.
Right: Ichicoro's vegan version of their Mushroom Ramen, pictured without the broth as due to COVID we ordered takeout and both parts came separately
Who doesn't love Chinese food? (and most other Asian cuisines for that matter) I also find that there tends to be a lot of more ethical, plant-based options at these kinds of restaurants as in China there is a long history of vegetarianism going back hundreds of years.
Yummy House has several vegetable-based entree options that are easily made vegan by asking for no oyster sauce. I personally eat oysters (that is a topic of a whole separate post) and was blown away by the Braised Tofu dish (right) with bok choy and shiitake mushrooms. The tofu was cooked to perfection and had a wonderful smoky flavor.
There are also several plant-based appetizers on the menu, like seaweed soup or salt & pepper eggplant. Not sure if these are 100% vegan as I haven't had them myself, but great for the flexible vegan like me :)
Noble Crust has AMAZING vegan pizza, the best I've had to this day! Pictured on the right is their Impossible Meatball Pizza with vegan cheese. I don't know whether this is credit to Impossible or to Noble Crust but those meatballs taste so much like real meat my boyfriend couldn't tell the difference. By the way, I always ask for light cheese because if there's too much on their it can get kinda gluey due to the imperfect nature of vegan cheese. I honestly like this pizza better as leftovers, topped with some nooch and extra fresh basil from my garden.
Noble Crust also has an Impossible meatballs starter, rigatoni with Impossible meatballs, and a Farro bowl that's vegan without the yogurt. I haven't tried any of these but I'm sure they're delicious.
Blaze Pizza is definitely not on the same level as Noble Crust, but it's cheaper, more casual, and a great place to go with friends because everyone can build their own pizza! Plus there's vegan options every step of the way.
Dough: Their classic, gluten-free, and high-rise doughs are all vegan.
Sauce: Their red sauce and spicy red sauce are both vegan!
Cheese: Ask for vegan cheese!
Meat: If you want, they have vegan spicy chorizo!
Toppings: I recommend getting as many veggies as possible :) I like peppers, black
olives, garlic cloves, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms... etc.
Finishes: Olive oil drizzle, balsamic drizzle, arugala, dried oregano all sound good!
Best Burgers & Fries:
3 Dot Dash www.3dotdashvegan.com/
This place is kind of a hole-in-the-wall, as it's tucked inside a brewery and doesn't have its own storefront. Don't let that turn you off however, as this place makes quite the burger and fries! Pictured right is their mac & cheese burger, and alongside that my boyfriend got their "No Animal" (get it? haha) style fries that come with cashew cheese, grilled onions, and burger sauce. Really hits the spot when you want that fast-food style burger!
This has been one of my favorites restaurants since I was little. Ethiopian food is really underrated and more people deserve to know about it! Their vegetarian options are vegan by default, and there's so many choices (lentils, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, collards, potatoes, etc.) so you can have a really fulfilling mirror without any meat. The 2 best things about Ethiopian food are 1. the spices, as everything is seasoned so well and one of the main Ethiopian spice blends, berbere, makes even "healthy" food so flavorful. 2. the injera bread, which is the special flat bread that's like a tangy, bubbly crepe, and is used to grab the other dishes so you can eat with your hands. You just have to try this :)
Right: The Queen’s Eight veggie platter!
Best International Cuisine:
Vegan International Co. www.veganinternationalco.com/
This place is amazing when you want that special cuisine that otherwise isn't vegan! My boyfriend and I love coming here for the Impossibile Kefta boxes (pictured right), which are a delicious Mediterranean-inspired meal of yellow rice, Impossible meat crumbles, coconut yogurt tzatziki sauce, dolmas, and a yummy side salad. I've also tried the empanadas here and they're so flavorful and a huge portion for the price. They also have a large selection of classic Southern dishes which I haven't tried yet but all look really amazing!