Food & Drink

Where to Find Miami's Most Delicious Vegan & Vegetarian Food

Published On 04/28/2016 Published On 04/28/2016
Manna Life Food miami
Manna Life Food | Sasha De Almagro

Vegans come in all shapes and sizes. There are die-hard vegans, Instagram-only vegans, religiously raw vegans, and just about everything else in between. But what all Miami-based vegans and vegetarians share (hopefully) is a craving for a plant-based, animal-free diet sans meat, dairy, and eggs. But even the most dedicated vegans get frustrated when it comes to where to eat and what to eat, especially when grabbing a bite with bacon-loving and cheese-doting friends.

Leave it to us for the perfect solution. Here are 16 Miami favorites serving up no-meat-eggs-or-dairy dishes that are ridiculously delicious and will probably up your Instagram game as you munch (because colorful #foodporn always wins).

Blue Collar Restaurant

Blue Collar

MiMo

Rib, Parm, and braised beef specials are what most people come to Blue Collar for, but dig a little deeper and find something only true vegans and vegetarians can appreciate it: a veggie chalkboard with more than 20 different $6 varieties. There’s sautĂ©ed kale, roasted artichoke hearts, sweet potato plantain mash, and even veggie fried rice. As your friends nosh on a brisket and steak, order a veggie plate which blends four dishes of your choosing, making it a colorful and flavorful meal for one.

Eden in Eden

Coral Way

Vegan Francophiles, look no further. Eden in Eden is Miami’s first vegetarian-inspired French brasserie. If that’s not enough to inspire you to trek to this local spot, imagine a vegetarian croque-monsieur. Swap slices of ham and cheese for thick cuts of veggie pork, tomatoes, olives, and soy-cheese goodness. The restaurant manages to tastefully create a bevy of French staples without butter, cheese, and eggs. Don’t worry, texture and flavor aren’t compromised in the process.

DIRT // Eat Clean

DIRT

Miami Beach

Don’t let the name turn you off -- DIRT is probably the cleanest place you can eat in the 305. Watch fast, farm-to-counter food come alive in the form of curried cauliflower bowls, harissa hummus wraps, and almond butter and jam toasts. Menus change seasonally, using only organic and mostly local ingredients. Vegan and vegetarian-specific menus are available, making a meal at DIRT tasty and ridiculously easy.

Sasha de Almagro

Manna Life Food

Downtown

The word “Manna” refers to food from heaven. At Downtown’s Manna Life Food, heaven is nature, and its food is the result of nutrient-dense, organic produce and ingredients, which together create a type of body-fuel that puts your all-time favorite junk food to shame. On the menu find life bowls, where you can literally “eat the rainbow” with everything from coconut brown rice to acai pickles; superfood arepas with avocado, hemp hearts, and three-bean salad; and a bevy of raw treats like protein bliss balls and ice cream made with banana and maca fudge. Let’s just say if you’re not vegan, you probably will be after this meal.

Della

Wynwood

There’s a good chance that a bite or two of a Della bowl might result in an obnoxious smile and that weird inner-feeling of excitement you thought only your dog could give you. Needless to say, they’re not called “healthy bowls of happy” for nothing. Each Della bowl is customizable, with every ingredient a veggie-lover might fancy. There’s lentils, tofu, and chickpeas for protein, along with marinated kale, crispy broccoli and a handful of sweet and savory sauces like spicy almond pepper, ginger tamari garlic and sweet citrus tahini waiting to be drizzled on top. Give it a boost with some raw roots, avocado, or spicy sunflower seeds. Don’t lie, we know you’re already smiling.

Sweat Records

Sweat Records

Midtown

Inside the indie record store, find Miami’s first and only fully vegan coffee shop. Grab a cup of locally-roasted Panther Coffee blended with vanilla almond milk or get a little crazy with an order of a vanilla iced rice baby made with toasted rice green tea or a unicorn love bomb topped with vegan marshmallows. There’s always a selection of vegan cookies, bars, and treats perfect to pair with a quick drink. Spend the afternoon or grab-and-go and maybe snag a few records while you’re at it too.

Choices Cafe

Choices Cafe

Coconut Grove

Miamians are lucky enough to have their own home-grown brand of vegan chains. If you’re around Brickell, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, the Upper East Side, or the Miami Airport, smile because there’s a Choices Cafe near by. If you’ve never been, its name is a good way to describe its experience: a plethora of choice. There’s salads, bowls, meals under $10 and signature dishes like a sprouted tofu and black bean wrap or a chickpea tuna and sautĂ©ed onion rice bowl. Pro tip: end your meal with a maple bacon donut, where the bacon is courtesy of a tree instead of a pig.

Full Bloom

Miami Beach

Vegans might have mastered the art of trendy juice bars and fast-casual spots, but Full Bloom wants to show vegan- and vegetarian-conscious diners that plates without meat and cheese can be gourmet too. The full-vegan menu offers dishes like cashew ricotta and spinach ravioli, and eggplant steak milanese. There’s a raw bar too, but it’s not the one you’re thinking of. It takes uncooked ingredients like zucchini, carrots. and cauliflower and transforms them into creations like carrot nut soup and cauliflower rice.

The Lost and Found Saloon

The Lost & Found Saloon

Wynwood

With barbecue bottles lined throughout the Lost and Found Saloon’s interior, it’s safe to say this hole-in-the-wall restaurant is not what you’d envision for a clean vegan-friendly joint. Its dĂ©cor is similar to something you’d find out of an old Western movie, with a menu featuring a hodgepodge of flavors -- think smoky barbecue, Mexican, and good ol’ southern comfort. But credit must be given where it’s due, and this neighborhood spot offers more vegan and vegetarian options than most. Pro tip: try the grilled tofu platter topped with crushed pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh herbs.

Bunnie Cakes

Bunnie Cakes

Edgewater

Everyone has a sweet tooth, including vegans and vegetarians. Though a dairy-free diet makes it difficult to satisfy those sugary cravings, Bunnie Cakes makes it easy. As the only vegan bakery in Miami, the shop offers a bevy of cupcakes and cakes in varieties like banana chocolate chip, cinnamon sugar, cookie dough, and red velvet. They make cinnamon rolls, cheeseballs, and cheesecake in a jar too. If you thought going vegan would give you an excuse to say no to dessert, think again. But hey, we’re not complaining.

Plant Food + Wine

Wynwood

Vegan and vegetarian spots can come in gourmet chef-driven form too. Matthew Kenney’s plant-based restaurant brand has become an essential for diners hungry for more eccentric plates like kimchi dumplings or coconut ceviche tacos. The menu is inspired by South Florida’s warm climate and eclectic culture, so don’t be surprised to see innovative and slightly weird dishes like green gazpacho, green papaya, or a Caesar salad showered in sunflower seeds and sprouts. If you’re inspired, take a walk next door to Kenney’s culinary school where spreading the art of raw food attracts students and teachers from around the world.

Roots Juicebar

Roots Juicebar

Kendall

What started as a small cupcake shop has blossomed into an organic café with health, sustainability, and cruelty-free practices at the forefront of its mission. Owner Angela Prada-Moed wanted to bring nutrition to her neighborhood and through swapping sweets for vegan treats, she’s done just that. The menu features juices and boosters easily paired with fajita and quinoa bowls, super oatmeal, acai bowls, and salads, which are nearly all vegan friendly.

Miami Juice

North Miami

The dual grocery and cafĂ© in North Miami is the perfect compromise for vegans and their meat-and-dairy loving counterparts. The menu features dozens of sandwiches, salads, and hearty plates like pizza, burgers, and mixed Middle Eastern-inspired plates, many of which have a vegan supplement. Think gooey cheese pizza with soy cheese or a veggie-patty burger. The restaurant is flexible too: dine outside on its patio, inside the market, or get a quick bite to go.

Plant Theory

Miami Beach

Situated between tourist traps and nightclubs is a quiet, vegan-friendly eatery named Plant Theory. The name speaks for itself, as the restaurant uses 100% local and organic ingredients, with a focus on all things veggie for every dish. Besides traditional salads, sandwiches, wraps, and juices found in most vegan/vegetarian spots, Plant Theory offers a full-blown brunch menu too. Try a spinach or egg melt, topped with melted cheese and a side of coconut bacon; or opt for a fruity berry parfait, layered with fruit and granola.

Courtesy of Green Bar Kitchen

Green Bar & Kitchen

Ft. Lauderdale

Though the name might sound like a spot you'd go somewhere in Colorado to GET the munchies, this Broward County vegetarian outpost serves up vegetarian takes that can oftentimes be better than their meat-based original. The fish taco with kimchee and dill ranch has all the greasy, savory goodness of the San Diego classic, without the fishy flavor. The burgers, mostly made with brown rice, quinoa, and chickpeas, are still smoky and hearty without making you feel guilty about raising your cholesterol 40%. And the pizzas? You'll barely notice they’re gluten-free. For some really out-there vegetarian creations, hit the Green Bar Express on Galt Ocean Drive, a spot chef Charles Grippo uses as a test kitchen for the main restaurant.

Manuel Torterola

Lilikoi Organic Living

SoFi

The husband-and-wife team that opened Lilikoi recently relocated from Maui, and they've brought the fresh, laid-back feel of the island to the often-frenetic and crowded South Beach. Though the entire restaurant isn't vegetarian -- for the beautiful people of SoFi -- no place offers better vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free fare. The collections of pressed juices and smoothies are the sort of fresh, healthy treat one would expect from such a location. But the real surprises come when you order stuff like the vegan burger made with garbanzos and topped with caramelized onions, or the falafel wrap, both fresh, spicy, and better than any similar sandwich in the area.

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Clarissa Buch is a Thrillist contributor who shamelessly Instagrams all of her meals. Follow her foodie adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

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1. Blue Collar Restaurant 6730 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138

Blue Collar's mission is to give off a true neighborhood hang-out vibe, which it successfully does with a huge menu of comfort food staples. Every day, the kitchen serves a different rib dish (baby back, short ribs, spare ribs, etc), parmesan dish (chicken, veal, pork, eggplant, etc), and a braised dish (brisket, pot roast, ox tails, pork shoulder). There's a whole chalkboard of vegetable sides to counter the meaty entrées, and appetizers like definitely-order-or-you'll-regret-it potato latkes. Don't even get us started on brunch -- just make sure you get there early.

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2. Eden in Eden 1248 SW 22nd St, Miami, FL 33145 (Coral Gables)

Eden in Eden is Miami’s first vegetarian-inspired French brasserie. The restaurant tastefully creates a bevy of French staples without butter and eggs, and swapping slices of ham and cheese for thick cuts of veggie pork, tomatoes, olives, and soy-cheese. Don’t worry, texture and flavor aren’t compromised a bit. The Coral Way location is a one-of-a-kind in Miami, decked out with solid colors in a cozy, brightly-lit room.

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3. DIRT 232 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Miami Beach)

Organic, macrobiotic eats rule the menu at Dirt, a hip veggie resto in South Beach. This modern, minimal spot serves eclectic fare -- the menu's broken up into sections for vegan, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, vegetarian, and seasonal dishes-- in a bright, welcoming setting. Dirt also presses their own craft juices, which are perfect for sipping on the go.

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4. Manna Life Food 80 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33131 (Downtown)

Manna Life Food inside the DuPont Building in Downtown Miami feels au naturel as soon as you step in: natural sunlight floods through the floor-to-ceiling windowed store front, accenting the white and brown decor. Opened as a passion project by a veteran nutrition expert, the menu offers healthy versions of popular comfort foods, including “life bowls” (you can literally “eat the rainbow” with everything from coconut brown rice to acai pickles) and “superfood arepas" (a play on burritos, but with avocado, hemp hearts, and three-bean salad). It puts your all-time favorite junk foods to shame. If you’re not vegan, you may be after this meal.

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5. Della 56 NW 29th St, Miami, FL 33127

This Wynwood area "test kitchen" and prime lunch spot offers DIY veggie and grain bowls that are so delicious, you'll forget that they are actually good for you. Choose your base (quinoa, fresh greens, or brown rice), pick a protein (chickpeas, tempeh, lentils or tofu) and your choice of roasted and marinated vegetables, premium dressings and toppings (avocado, sunflower seeds, or toasted almonds among others).

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6. Sweat Records 5505 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137

Don't let the name trip you up: inside this indie record store you can find a premium espresso bar. Menu highlights include signature coffee drinks like The Devastator and the Unicorn Love Bomb among the more traditional latte and cappuccino. Munching on all-vegan treats while perusing rows of vinyl makes for a relaxing afternoon.

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7. Choices Cafe Coconut Grove 2895 McFarlane Rd, Coconut Grove, FL 33133 (Coconut Grove)

Choices Cafe is a vegan chain home-grown in Miami. You can’t miss this bright yellow Coconut Grove spot— other locations include Brickell, the Upper East Side, or the Miami Airport. Its menu is true to its name: there are salads, bowls, meals (all under $10!) and signature dishes like a sprouted tofu and black bean wrap, or a chickpea tuna and sautéed onion rice bowl. Pro tip: end your meal with a maple bacon donut, where the bacon is courtesy of a tree instead of a pig.

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8. Full Bloom Gourmet Vegan Cuisine 11 Island Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Miami Beach)

Full Bloom is an elegant, waterfront spot on Miami Beach serving gourmet organic plates. The full-vegan menu offers dishes like cashew ricotta and spinach ravioli, and eggplant steak milanese. There’s a raw bar too, but not the kind you’re thinking of: instead, expect uncooked ingredients like zucchini, carrots, and cauliflower transformed them into delicious creations like carrot nut soup and cauliflower rice.

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9. The Lost and Found Saloon 185 NW 36th St, Miami, FL 33127 (Wynwood)

Lost and Found Saloon is a hole-in-the-wall Mexican eatery outfitted in old-Western decor. The menu features a hodgepodge of heavy flavors—think smoky barbecue, Mexican, and good ol’ southern comfort—alongside lighter vegan and vegetarian options. Insider tip: try the grilled tofu platter topped with crushed pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh herbs.

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10. Bunnie Cakes 2322 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127 (Wynwood)

The bakers at quaint Bunnie Cakes promise "their hearts with every cupcake," decorating each bite sized cake with a sugar heart. If that's not twee enough to make you want to stop by, then know that everything at Bunnie Cakes is gluten-free, vegan, and kosher - their cupcakes are not only tasty, they're also healthy not as bad for you as other cupcakes!

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11. Plant Food + Wine Miami 105 NE 24th Street, Miami, FL 33137 (Wynwood)

Plant Food + Wine in Wynwood is chef Matthew Kenney’s plant-based restaurant brand that’s become a staple in Miami. The menu is inspired by South Florida’s warm climate and eclectic culture, so don’t be surprised to see innovative and slightly weird dishes like green gazpacho, green papaya, or a Caesar salad showered in sunflower seeds and sprouts. If you’re inspired, take a walk next door to Kenney’s culinary school where spreading the art of raw food attracts students and teachers from around the world.

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12. Roots Juicebar 8530 SW 124th Ave Ste 101, Miami, FL 33183 (Kendall)

Roots Juicebar is an intimate, casual cafe in Kendall serving all-organic fare. The menu features affordable juices and boosters easily paired with fajita and quinoa bowls, super oatmeal, acai bowls, and salads, which are nearly all vegan friendly. The decor blends simple and modern with earthy accents, with a statement, large common table in the center of the room.

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13. Miami Juice 18660 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160 (North Miami)

The dual grocery and café in North Miami is a perfect compromise for vegans and their meat-and-dairy loving diners, alike. The menu features dozens of sandwiches, salads, and hearty plates like pizza, burgers, and mixed Middle Eastern-inspired plates, many of which have a vegan supplement. The restaurant is flexible too: dine outside on its patio, inside the market, or get a quick bite to go.

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14. Plant Theory 744 6th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Miami Beach)

A gathering of playful pink chairs and dark wood shelves stocked with healthy products greet visitors at this gluten-free cafe. The goal here is a healthful, hormone-free meal, but thankfully the owners execute the concept with a grin and a nudge, preparing fun meals like a "jungle crepe" made with a raw coffee-cinnamon-coconut wrap and an Italian "neatball" sub prepared with sprouted nuts, mushrooms, sweet peppers, herbs and seasonings.

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15. Green Bar & Kitchen 1075 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (Fort Lauderdale)

Serving kombucha on tap, as well as certified vegan Kosher fare, this cafe offers a full-service reprieve from surrounding fast food joints and dives. It's got plenty of sizable tables and a warm, inviting atmosphere, but counter ordering maintains the kitchen's casual reputation. All items are meat-free, meaning even the ever popular burger deluxe patty is made with a savory and filling blend of brown rice, quinoa, chickpeas, roasted veggies, sunflower seeds.

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16. Lilikoi Organic Living 500 S Pointe Dr Ste 180, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Opened by Maui transplants, Lilikoi takes organic and plant-based cooking to a new level. The kitchen works with nearby farms to ensure that its menu is built around fresh and local produce, and dishes like vegan nachos, mushroom farro risotto, and loaded veggie burgers will tempt typical meat evangelists. Though Lilikoi certainly highlights vegan and vegetarian options, the chicken & Brie sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, and pesto proves that nothing can truly replace the simple combination of meat, cheese, and bread.

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