The vegan food scene has really taken off in the Greater Phoenix area, and every time I visit the Valley of the Sun, as it’s commonly called, there are more options. The growing popularity of vegan food has caused a change 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 offering plant-based options on the menu. So whether you want to eat super healthy, indulge in decadent treats, or see what vegan food is all about, you won’t be disappointed. Phoenix has around 300 days of sunshine a year, and many restaurants have outdoor tables so you can enjoy a vegan soft drink among the cacti of the Sonoran Desert. Here are five restaurants to enjoy a plant-based meal — the first two establishments are all-vegan and the last three are vegan.
Earth: plant-based cooking
Earth: Plant Based Cuisine is a family restaurant serving home-cooked, plant-based meals. In their own words, being vegan is more than “just eating grass” – as some people mistakenly believe. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Earth’s appetizers include buffalo wings with tangy ranch dressing, nachos loaded with refried beans and cheese sauce, chorizo fries topped with avocado salsa, and lemon-seasoned street corn fresh greens and cheese. But don’t stop there, check out their high-protein dishes such as the flautas de pollo stuffed with vegan chicken and tangy toppings or the Bruno burger – a grilled vegan patty with the works. They also have a choice of 5 different tacos so you are ready for Taco Tuesdays. In addition to being an entirely 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 sweet vegan options than you could imagine. What started as an organic vegan ice cream treat – tSoynami – has turned into a vegan dessert heaven filled with mouth-watering options. Their sweet organic soy and coconut milk comes in a biodegradable cup with a biodegradable spoon, and you can add all kinds of decadent toppings and frozen fruit to create your masterpiece. Nami is also a delicious breakfast and serves delicious burritos loaded with tofu scramble, seitan steak, melted cheddar cheese (non-dairy) and homemade potatoes with salsa. Complement your meal with crafty specialty coffee and choose from a variety of plant-based milks.
Farm and Craft
If you’re 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 filled with farro, sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes and black beans or create your own bowl with grilled tofu or add it to a salad. The vegan acai bowl is loaded with goodness, including blended acai, fresh berries, banana, coconut almond granola, chia, hemp seeds, and the option to add almond butter. Press? Get a smoothie with plant protein powder – kale berry and dragon chia smoothies are both vegan.
Located in the heart of a pedestrian area, Postina Arcadia is perfect for a lunch with friends. Sit outside the converted brick post office among blooming orange trees or find a comfy seat inside 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 and chopped tomatoes, apple and fig spread (omit the brie) and tomato and basil (omit the mozzarella) and your board will be full of goodness. Postino Arcadia is a short walk from La Grande Orange Grocery, a super cool boutique with a bohemian vibe filled with unique gifts and souvenirs such as jewelry, clothes, toys, soaps or books to remember your travels . They also serve amazing coffee with vegan milk options.
real food kitchen
I became a fan of True Food Kitchen years ago and every time I visit the US where there is a place, I come back. This health-focused restaurant chain offers wholesome seasonal ingredients made from scratch with a rotating menu of flavors. 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 several vegan options and other dishes can be vegan. I dined out 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 a delicious homemade vegan almond ricotta. If you have room for dessert, they serve vegan strawberry cheesecake or my favorite, chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream.