Following a vegan diet at home can be tricky enough, so when it comes to eating out, many vegans find it difficult to seek out a spot that’s both animal-free and delicious. Fortunately for UM students, the Miami area stays on the cutting edge of the culinary scene. There are a variety of nearby vegan options that are so good, even your meat-eating friends will start tagging along.
Conveniently located on Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Choices Cafe proves that dietary restrictions don’t have to mean flavor restrictions. Have your health food however you like; wraps, quinoa bowls and salads are just a few of the platforms for Choices’ innovative faux-proteins. The colorful spot also sells cold-pressed juices that feature standout ingredients like zingy ginger and hearty spinach.
Lori Zito, the president of the cafe, said the company aims to “inspire compassionate choices serving delicious, healthy and organic plant-based food,” and this mission is evident by the inspirational quotes and animal photos that span the walls.
No matter how full you’re feeling, don’t leave Choices without trying one of their gluten-free desserts – they’re as indulgent as the real thing (seriously).
2626 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Miami, FL 33134
Beehive Juice Bar
Beehive also features vegetarian dishes, but its vegan menu items like the baked tofu sandwich and soy chicken nugget empanadas are strong standouts worth sampling. Daily specials let seasonal ingredients shine in everything from hearty soups to veggie pies. Beehive also offers vegan protein shakes and supplements to promote a healthy lifestyle even after customers have cleared their plates.
6490 SW 40th St., Miami, FL 33155
This playful eatery is a favorite among students and focuses on seasonal, local ingredients to construct the creative menu. Temple spices up the average vegan diet with globally-inspired ingredients like kimchee, edamame and curry. The menu is divided into “Cool & Crisp,” and “Steamed & Savory,” so whatever you’re craving, Temple takes care of it. They also offer breakfast options, parfaits, juices and smoothies, as well as “Hot Pots” and “Energy Pots,” which feature a blend of bold ingredients over grains.
Sophomore Charlotte MacKinnon is a vegan and said that Temple is her favorite place to eat in the area. “They make really good use of different spices and flavoring so the food isn’t boring,” she said.
Junior and vegan Sarah Visalli agrees. “It’s super close to campus, so yummy, delivers and has reasonable prices,” she said. “Not only that, but they also have quality ingredients that are organic and locally sourced when possible.”
5831 Sunset Drive, South Miami, FL 33143
Mi Vida Cafe
Inspired by the chef’s own dietary struggles, Mi Vida Cafe is an all-vegan eatery that also stays on the cutting-edge of popular cuisine. Their Eggplant a la Italiana, stuffed with tofu and veggies and smothered in a basil tomato sauce, is just as hearty and comforting as a dish from an old Italian deli. Fresh herbs and citrus also make frequent appearances across the menu, bringing a refreshing brightness to the dishes. Unique items include homemade almond milk and hummus that is made in house every day. After savoring one of Mi Vida Cafe’s hearty meals, head to the juice bar for a boosting wheat grass shot that’ll keep you going all day.
7244 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138
Eden in Eden
This cafe combines classic French techniques with organic, vegan and vegetarian options. With a create-your-own sandwich option and crepes that contain no eggs, dairy or soy, eaters of all dietary styles flock to Eden in Eden. The spot also offers a variety of soy-based substitutions including ham, pepperoni, and sausage that that’ll have guests saying, “I can’t believe it’s not meat!”
1248 SW 22nd St., Miami, FL 33145
The earthy richness of the stuffed mushrooms and creaminess of the nut cheese in the zucchini lasagna may make guests feel like they’re indulging in an upscale and high-calorie meal, but Veganaroma actually focuses on fresh ingredients and healthy living. Though Italian cuisine seems to have a strong presence across the menu, many dishes draw inspiration from across the globe. The Hawaiian pizza puts a spin on the traditional staple, featuring a crispy brown rice tortilla instead of dough and topped with tropical tastes like guacamole and fresh pineapple. They also sell three-day and six-day detoxes for those looking for a total transformation.
3808 SW Eighth St., Coral Gables, FL 33134
Even if you’re an adamant meat-lover and completely unwilling to ditch eggs and dairy, these destinations are still a must for dining in the Miami area. Grab your health-conscious, hipster friends and try out these trendy eateries – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
words_ julie harans. photo_ liat cohen.