How to Hack Taco Bell's Naked Chicken Chalupa
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.