22/06/2024 11:29 PM

Desertridgems

Swing your Cooking

A vegan and vegetarian food guide

The Bark's tofu banh mi – one of the restaurant's most popular menu items.

Plant-based eating is growing in popularity around the country and in Tallahassee. Here is a look into some of the many options available for vegans and vegetarians in Florida’s capital. 

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Strictly vegan and vegetarian

The Bark 

Owners Susie Petty and David Green opened this funky, colorful mural-covered vegetarian restaurant, bar and event venue four years ago in the All Saints neighborhood. 

“We combined forces to create this space,” Petty said, “which has a full liquor bar, where we do music and shows, but then we also have a backbone of really good vegan food, housemade bread and everything’s made from scratch.”

The Bark Owner Susie Petty

The menu includes hot sandwiches served on fresh bread, veggie burgers, salads, sides and build your own mac and cheese bowls. All offerings are vegan unless eggs or cheese are added by the customer. Creative daily specials are also offered along with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Craft cocktails and beer are also on the menu.

The Bark hosts events regularly, ranging from movie screenings, karaoke, music performances, comedy shows, drag shows, and more. 

“I’m amazed and appreciative,” Petty said of the last four years at the restaurant. “I really like how all of the people that come in here just seem to really, really enjoy it. And also contribute back into the feel of the space. It really feels very friendly in here and like people know each other.”

Hemplade Vegan Cafe 

Hemplade Vegan Cafe Owner Yudah Weh smokes Delta 8 inside his Frenchtown restaurant Monday, Sept. 20, 2021.

Inside this Frenchtown eatery, a vegan health food restaurant meets a juice bar meets a dispensary.

“It’s the first on the east coast to be able to have a vegan and the cannabis experience,” owner Yudah Weh claims.

The extensive menu offers a variety of all-vegan dishes like fried chick’n and kush waffles, a “kushroom” burger, pizzas, and mac and cheese. Items can be infused with hemp for an extra charge. 

Customers with a medical marijuana card receive 10% off their order. 

Hemplade Vegan Cafe's green kush waffle and shrimp

Weh and his wife Narsha Cumming started their business in South Florida in 2012 with their hemp tea, aptly named Hemplade Tea, before they moved to Tallahassee and opened their restaurant in 2019. 

The tea is served at the café in multiple flavor options along with other herbal teas, juices and smoothies all boasting different health benefits. 

Customers can also purchase desserts, pre-rolled joints of CBD, CBG and Delta 8 along with other forms of the hemp products like gummies and buds. 

“You can get a burger and a joint,” Weh said.

Sweet Pea Cafe

While Sweet Pea management declined to be interviewed for this article, the restaurant’s website describes it as a “casual counter service farm to table style cafe.”

Located on West Tharpe Street, the eatery offers daily specials as well as a beloved regular menu with an assortment of sandwiches and other offerings. 

Rachel Kaufmann chops sweet potatoes at Sweet Pea Cafe, which specializes in vegan food and uses local farms to supply many of its ingredients.

Very veg-friendly 

Iron Daisy

This Gaines Street spot offering “Mexican fare with Florida flair,” dishes up multiple veg options in different categories including vegan burritos, tacos, enchiladas and even chimichangas all served with Beyond meat. 

I Heart Mac and Cheese

If you’ve got a hankering for some classic mac and cheese, head on down to CollegeTown and walk on into I Heart Mac and Cheese.