Food & Drink

The 10 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in Phoenix

Published On 01/31/2017 Published On 01/31/2017
True Food Kitchen
Ancient Grains Bowl at True Food Kitchen | Courtesy of Fox Restaurant Concepts

If you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just trying to cut down on your meat intake, you might think dining out isn't a viable option in Phoenix. But there are plenty of spots around the Valley with dishes that will make missing meat a thing of the past. Even if you do love a good steak, these restaurants are serving up veggie-filled delights that even the most steadfast omnivore shouldn’t pass up.

Courtesy of Fox Restaurant Concepts

True Food Kitchen

North Scottsdale and Central Phoenix

While not every item on this high-end, health-conscious chain’s menu is vegetarian, it offers herbivores quite a few selections. Try the Brussels sprout & wild mushroom pizza and the T.L.T., a vegan dish that features smoked tempeh, butter lettuce, tomato, avocado, and vegan mayonnaise. Each menu item is easily identifiable as gluten free, vegan, or vegetarian, which makes choosing a delicious meal easy, even for the pickiest of eaters.

Pita Jungle

Several locations

Arizona’s favorite Mediterranean chain is a must-try for vegetarians, with options like the grilled portobello mushroom burger, chipotle black bean burger, lavosh pizza, and the falafel pita. The now-wildly-successful restaurant has been an Arizona staple for over two decades, and is a great option for vegetarians who are dining with non-vegetarians, as there really is something for just about everyone.

Green New American Vegetarian

Green New American

Tempe, Downtown Phoenix

Green is one of the Valley’s most popular exclusively vegan dining spots, and for good reason. There are meat-free versions of traditionally carnivorous dishes -- think Buffalo wings, chili fries, and Buffalo chicken sandwiches -- that you didn’t know you were missing (or wanted a vegan version of). The restaurant also strives to use mostly organic ingredients and even has gluten free options. Plus, after you enjoy one of their spectacular meals, you head over to Nami right next door to their Phoenix location for a delicious vegan ice cream.

Veggie Village

Veggie Village

North Phoenix

Former meat lovers rejoice, because Veggie Village has everything you need to relive your meat-eating days. From faux chicken and fish to burgers, the Asian-inspired menu has almost anything you might find yourself craving. We recommend the orange chicken, sweet and vinegar fish, and the burger. Vegetarian options can also be made vegan for those avoiding all animal products.

Vegan House

Downtown Phoenix

As the name suggests, Vegan House is a haven for vegetable lovers. The all-vegan menu is expansive, with something for virtually everyone. Some of our top picks include the vegan spaghetti, soy chicken wrap, and yellow curry. All produce is locally sourced, making each dish as fresh and delicious as possible.

Desert Roots Kitchen

Tempe

Desert Roots Kitchen is a spot anyone can enjoy -- whether they’re vegan, vegetarian, allergic to soy, or gluten-free. Menu items are inspired by cuisine from across the globe and concocted with largely local and organic ingredients. Restaurant goers can also look forward to an entirely new menu every day -- just make sure to check out the lineup on their Facebook page before you go.

Loving Hut Phoenix

Loving Hut

Central Phoenix, Glendale, Tempe, Litchfield Park

This highly underrated chain offers vegan versions of a variety of popular Asian dishes like pho, chow mein, and pad Thai as well as American favorites like burgers and hot dogs. The restaurant also has teas and unique juices like the Pink Lady, made with cranberry juice, organic vanilla soy milk, and rose petals. Don’t forget to save room for dessert; we like the flan best.

Pomegranate Café

Chandler

For the best vegan brunch in town, there’s nowhere better than Pomegranate Café. Gorge yourself on gluten-free pancakes with maple syrup and coconut whip, scrambled tofu, and even tempeh bacon. Get the party started with a the sorbet mimosa (if you have room, that is). For lunch and dinner, try one of Pomegranate Cafe’s sandwiches, burritos, or its variety of veggie burgers.

Courtesy of Fox Restaurant Concepts

Flower Child

North Scottsdale, Arcadia, Central Phoenix

If you ask us, Flower Child is the hip, younger sister to our beloved True Food Kitchen. The casual, counter-style operation is just as healthy and delicious, but delivers its own unique flavors. While not every meal is vegan or vegetarian, the menu does a great job of differentiating what’s vegan friendly, meatless, and gluten-free. Our favorite vegetarian dishes include the Indian-spiced cauliflower, gluten-free mac & cheese, and the Mother Earth bowl, which includes sweet potato, portobello mushroom, avocado, cucumber, and broccoli pesto in a red pepper miso vinaigrette.

Emily Spetrino/Courtesy of The Coronado

The Coronado

Downtown Phoenix

The Coronado is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that’s breaking the mold of what a meat-free restaurant should be. The breakfast menu boasts biscuits and gravy, jalapeño waffles, and avocado toast. And don’t worry, the rest of the day offers just as many delicious dining options, including chili guacamole fries, huevos rancheros, chorizo tacos, and a goat cheese and jalapeño marmalade quesadilla. Don’t skip the cocktail menu either, particularly The Willett, which mixes tequila and house-made chocolate soda.

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Jamie Killin is a Phoenix writer who's always looking for the next best restaurant.

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1. True Food Kitchen 2502 E Camelback Rd #135, Phoenix, AZ 85016

A haven for yogis, cross-fit addicts, and wellness gurus alike, this healthy-eating mecca is all about food that feels as good as it tastes. True Food Kitchen's menu is focused on vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free foods. Standout dishes include the quinoa burger topped with avocado, hummus, tomato, and feta, and the ancient grains bowl with miso-glazed sweet potato, turmeric, grilled portobello, and grass-fed steak. The entrees are as colorful as they are protein-packed, and the space is equally bright and lively. And because even the most wellness-minded folks need a drink every once in a while, the cocktail menu features concoctions like "farmers market sangria," topped with organic apples and pears.

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2. Pita Jungle 4921 E Ray Rd Ste B2, Phoenix, 85044

Built inside the restored 1925 Gold Spot Marketing building, this Mediterranean eatery is serving a full menu of healthy, guilt-free dishes. Between the Spanish colonial architecture, the casual modern patio, and the cozy leather seating, Pita Jungle is an ideal happy hour locale, with plenty of shared mezze plates and cocktails available. The entrees -- like red quinoa with jalapeño-cilantro hummus -- are rich and well-seasoned, but free of extra fatty oils and refined carbs, as are the selection of seafood and veggie-centric small pates. Even desserts like chocolate-dipped walnut baklava are somehow both low-calorie and indulgent.

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3. Green New American Vegetarian 2022 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

Green New American Kitchen has taken on a noble experiment: to recreate traditional American bar fare with 100% vegan ingredients. "Buffalo wings" made with mock chicken are chewy, juicy, and spicy enough to trick you into thinking they're the real (boneless) thing, while garden burritos packed tight with veggies are heavier than their traditional carne asada counterparts. Plant-based burgers, po-boys, and cheesesteaks are not only satisfying, but creative reincarnations of their fat-and-cholesterol-ridden brethen.

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4. Veggie Village 1255 E Northern Ave Ste 5, Phoenix, AZ 85020

Veggie Village is the gatekeeper for newly converted vegetarians, offering open arms and a menu of accessible plant-based dishes that won’t make you crave a bacon cheeseburger. The Village’s fried pot stickers, lettuce wraps, edamame, spring rolls, and General Tso’s (mock) chicken mean you’ll eat some of your favorite snacks without the added meaty guilt at this Phoenix spot that is clean, bright, and always happy to have you.

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5. Vegan House 20 W Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85003

It’s not easy to recreate a seafood curry without, well, seafood. Yet Vegan House achieves this crustacean-free feat by trading whitefish for soy- and seafood-based mock fish and shrimp with plump little potato-based “shrimp.” Onions, eggplant, bamboo shoots, and bell peppers amiably swim with the faux seafood in the curry and manage to stay firm without falling victim to any sogginess. It’s dishes like this -- and other specialties like summer rolls, orange soy chicken, and pad thai -- that keep Vegan House fans coming back for more.

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6. Desert Roots Kitchen 414 S Mill Ave #111, Tempe, AZ 85281

If you’re turned off by the prospect of mock meats and cheeses, well, you’re not alone. Thankfully, the vegetarian-focused Desert Roots Kitchen forgoes imitation meat for grains, legumes, and whole vegetables, ensuring there's no mystery to your meal. The menu changes daily, but expect breakfast burritos, hummus plates, and various wraps. The deli-style space has outdoor seating if the heat's not too bad, otherwise, take your food to go.

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7. Loving Hut Phoenix 3239 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Protein bowls and almond milk smoothies have their charm, but we’re not afraid to admit that vegan food can get tiresome. Loving Hut puts the oomph back in meat-free food by flinging Vietnamese flavors across the globe to Phoenix and including them in a menu of appetizers, soups, sandwiches, and burgers. Come here with a group so that you can sample as much of the menu as possible; start with Golden Spring Rolls, pan-fried dumplings, and wonton soup, and dive into more substantial plates like the banh mi sandwich with sliced marinated veg-protein. It’s understandable if you’re hesitant about trying this traditional sandwich sans pork, but remember: love is meat-blind.

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8. Pomegranate Café 4025 E Chandler Blvd Ste 28, Phoenix, AZ 85048

This crowded, casual Ahwautukee vegan and vegetarian destination offers breakfast and lunch dishes that are as photogenic as they are good for you. Plates like French toast with granola, fruit, and coconut milk; an avocado sandwich with tomato, cheese, pepita pesto, and sunflower sprouts; and a green garden protein bowl with broccoli, purple cabbage, and roasted seasonal veggies are bright and colorful, reminding you that under no circumstances does eating healthy need to be boring. Check out the guilt-free weekend brunch, with offerings like a giant cinnamon roll and pancakes.

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9. Flower Child 10460 N 90th St Ste 100, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

True to its name, Flower Child is all about plant-based cuisine that's good for you and the environment. The healthy-eating gurus here source local, additive-free ingredients to create dishes like Thai cashew quinoa with roasted vegetables and curry bowls topped with salmon. The fast-casual space is cozy with peace signs and flowery artwork on the wall.

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10. The Coronado 2201 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

Built in the interior of a converted farmhouse, The Coronado is an idyllic restaurant for vegetarians and their dogs. Dishes like jalapeño waffles and rosemary-mushroom-gravy-topped biscuits make it easy to forget the absence of bacon or sausage on the brunch menu, and the afternoon fare, featuring grilled street corn and fried guacamole, is equally filling and delicious. Cocktails and food both come at great prices during the restaurant's daily happy hour, and the extensive cocktail (and mocktail) menu is replete with drinks crafted exclusively with house-made syrups.

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