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.
Tallahassee brunch restaurants:A few local spots to try (and what to order!)
Strictly vegan and vegetarian
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 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
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.
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.
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.
This fast-casual establishment offers not only its beloved namesake food but grilled cheese as well. Multiple vegan meat options are available to add to the mac and the sandwiches as well as a delicious vegan cheese sauce and slices.
This Apalachee Parkway Mediterranean restaurant boasts multiple veg-friendly options including the falafel wrap, veggie wrap, red lentil soup, Greek salad, tabouleh, hummus, falafel and veggie grape leaves.
Mayuri Indian Restaurant, located on Simpson Avenue off of Magnolia Drive offers an extensive list of nine vegan entree options on their menu with an additional nine vegetarian entrees. These offerings are in addition to the many vegetarian appetizers and a long list of Indochinese options, specialties, breads and desserts.
Persis Indian Grill on Mahan Drive offers over 40 veg options including appetizers and entrees with a few labeled as vegan.
Pho and ramen
Veggie-lovers can find noodle soup on many sides of town.
Pho Me on Apalachee Parkway offers three vegan soups with multiple tofu options in addition to vegetarian spring rolls, vegan summer rolls, veggie salads and sandwiches including a tofu Bahn mi.
On West Pensacola Street, Pho 7 boasts 12 vegetarian dishes including vegan duck and vegan chicken vermicelli.
In Midtown, Midtown Noodles Bar serves a tofu or vegetable pad thai, vegetable shoyu ramen, and a pho vegetable served vegan or vegetarian.
Vertigo Burgers and Fries
For those looking for a less processed burger meat substitute than Beyond or Impossible burgers, check out this restaurant just off of Apalachee Parkway offering two veggie burger options.
The “Going Green” is a quinoa and red bean burger topped with arugula, smoked pepper sauce, grilled red onion, cucumber, avocado and sprouts. The “Black Bean Maduro” is a vegan black bean burger served with vegan mojo sauce, roasted corn pico de gallo, guacamole and grilled maduros.
This Midtown institution offers a long list of vegetarian options including appetizers, soups, burgers and sandwiches with some that can be made vegan by removing cheese and some sauces. Any burger can be substituted with a garden burger or a Beyond burger while both chilis are vegan.
Their kaiser, sourdough and wheat bread and buns are vegan as well. But the restaurant does warn that there is cross-contamination with non-veg items in their fryers which affects things like french fries, onion rings and other appetizers and sides.
Unexpected — but delicious — veg options for when you’re dining with meat-eaters
Dog Et Al
This South Monroe Street staple offers a veggie dog that can be topped with the customer’s choice of a plethora of toppings and paired with their hand-cut french fries.
Over on Call Street, Max’s serves up a unique veggie experience in its vegan Philly called “The Gang Goes Vegan” – made of sauteed mushrooms, shaved Brussels sprouts, grilled onions and peppers and topped with a gooey vegan cheese sauce. Don’t forget a side of fries.
This Venezuelan restaurant on East Third Avenue in Midtown has a delicious arepa vegana (vegan arepa) that includes black beans, fried plantains, avocado and optional cheese.
Canopy Road Cafe offers a vegan skillet option made of turmeric-spiced scrambled tofu with sauteed onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and broccoli mixed in.
Lofty Pursuits serves up a vegan hash made from diced russet potatoes, onions, green and red peppers and sautéed spinach, and served with a side of vegan grits as well as vegan gluten-free pancakes.
Both The Bark and Sweet Pea Cafe also serve brunch on the weekends.
The vegan pizza options in Tallahassee are seemingly endless. Gaines Street Pies, Decent Pizza, Solle’s, Uncle Maddio’s, Momo’s and Munchie’s, all offer vegan cheeses on their menus and some even include vegan meats. Some pizzerias also offer vegan appetizers like Gaines Street Pies’ vegan garlic knots.
Local vegans and vegetarians recommend Sakura’s sweet potato roll and Nagoya’s grilled veggie roll among their other options. Izzy offers a “Trust Me” roll – a unique creation by their chefs, which can be made vegan or vegetarian. Masa and Siam Sushi both serve multiple veggie rolls.
Lofty Pursuits in Market Square offers multiple flavors of vegan sorbet and vegan ice cream as well as vegan candies. Sugar Rush Milkshake Bar in All Saints serves up vegan scoops, milkshakes and freezies.
For a fine dining experience
Mimi’s Table offers multiple vegetarian appetizers like crispy artichoke hearts and infused olive oil as well as vegetarian first-course salads and a vegan veggie roast and vegetarian lasagna entrees.
At Savour, located on Park Avenue, vegetarians can always find at least one entrée –currently the grits and greens – on the seasonal menu. The kitchen is more than happy to substitute the grits on that dish for a vegan-friendly replacement. In addition, salads and appetizers are also vegetarian and sometimes vegan friendly.
Kool Beanz Cafe
This Midtown hot spot has an ever-changing menu, but vegetarian diners can count on finding the black bean cakes listed each day – one of the restaurant’s most popular items according to owner Keith Baxter. Baxter said while other veg options may not be listed on the menu, the kitchen can accommodate customers without advanced notice.
The menu at this Lafayette Street restaurant changes every few weeks – always featuring a vegetarian entrée and sometimes a vegan one or two as well. Vegetarian dishes can easily be made vegan when one is not listed on the menu.
While this downtown dining establishment doesn’t have a dedicated vegetarian or vegan entree option on its menu, both diets can be accommodated with up to an hour’s notice ahead of time.
While Sage offers a vegetarian option on both its lunch and dinner menus, with 48 hours’ notice chefs also can prepare a multi-course vegan meal for patrons looking to dine at this Maclay Boulevard restaurant.
Contact Tori Lynn Schneider at [email protected] or on Twitter @photoriphy. Check out her photos on Instagram @phototori_.
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