Dining Spotlight: Vegan, Vegetarian and Healthy Restaurants

vegetables, healthy, vegetarian, vegan, restaurants

Photo by Michelle Meiklejohn from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or just looking for healthy options in your local community,I offer these suggestions of restaurants and cafes.

What are your favorite healthy eating destinations? Please share your resources with our Savor blog community. If you are looking for specific types of restaurants in your hometown, please let me know, I would be happy to advise.

California

Santa Monica

Earth Bar – Vegan-Friendly

The Earth Bar menu combines the whole food goodness of exotic ingredients with the latest research benefits of healing properties within their foods. The Earth Bar is dedicated to sustainability using bio-degradable cups and utensils, recycles and reduces waste output, and supports local farmers, community projects and organizations.

La Pain Quotidien – Vegan Friendly

For a great breakfast in Santa Monica La Pain Quotidien is the spot with the  freshest and finest ingredients..   Within  their cafés and stores you will find shelves with products they've created: from jams and chocolate spreads to granola and coffee.

Golden Mean Vegan Café – Vegan

The Gold Mean Vegan Café offers organic and fresh soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods as well as a variety of coffee, tea, and juice. Their bakery uses no refined sugars and offers an array of gluten free options.

Santa Rosa

Seed – Vegan 

Seed offers indulgently healthy live, organic vegan cuisine. At Seed they use only fresh, organic ingredients with minimal salt added to bring out the natural flavors. All menu items are raw unless otherwise specified.

San Rafael, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Healdsburg, Cupertino

Café Gratitude – Vegan

This vegan and raw-foods café also offers an array of gluten-free selections. This cafe is dedicated to sustainability supporting local farmers and environmentally friendly products.

Alhambra, Huntington Beach,  Ladera Ranch, Milpitas, Orange, Palo Alto,  San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Upland

Loving Hut – Vegan  

Loving Hut was created with a vision that all beings can live in peace, love and harmony with each other and the planet. This international chain, offers gourmet cuisine made with wholesome and vegan ingredients. The menu presents raw vegan salads, noodle bowl soups, a variety of stir-frys with different, colorful vegetables and your choice of tofu or unusual mockmeats .

Los Angeles

The Shojin – Vegan

The Shojin is a Japanese restaurant that uses organic and natural foods to prepare traditional Japanese cuisine, originating from Buddhist vegetarian cooking. Their food has nochemical seasonings or harmful additives. At Shojin there are no  food items containing refined sugar.

Pasadena

Green Earth Vegan Cusine – Vegan

Green Earth Vegan Cuisine offers a diverse all vegan menu. Their dishes have a range of influences from Vietnamese, to Chinese, Thai, Italian, American, and Middle Eastern. Green Earth Vegan Cuisine also offers meat substitutes to accompany many of their meals.

District of Colombia

Washington

Java Green – Vegetarian

At Java Green they use only the finest organic fruits, vegetables, breads, beans, rice, noodles, soy sauce (wheat free), sugar, cheese and flour. They also only use organic dairy, soy milk, coffees and tea. Java Green does not serve any meat, fish or eggs on its fusion menu.

Florida

Naples

Loving Hut – Vegan

This chain offers gourmet cuisine made with wholesome and vegan ingredients. The menu presents raw vegan salads, noodle bowl soups, a variety of stir-frys with different, colorful vegetables and your choice of tofu or unusual mockmeats .

Food and Thought – Vegan- Friendly

At Food and Thought all of the food is 100% certified organic.  They offer a standard co-op style foods and cafe, including some vegetarian and vegan options. Food and Thought present s an array of healthy options from smoothies to stir-frys andsoups.

Georgia

Atlanta

Dulce Vegan – Vegan

Dulce Vegan is Atlanta’s only 100% vegan owned and operated bakery.  All of their products are completely animal free and made with the finest organic, unprocessed, and non-hydrogenated ingredients .  . Dulce Vegan specializes in special occasions.

Lov’n It Live – Vegan

Lov’n It Live prepares organic living and vegan cuisine daily. Lov’n It Live is dedicated to sustainability and supporting local organic farmers .Lov’n It Live is also an art gallery as well as a music venue often featuring live music and poetry. On Sundays, Lov’n It Live hosts a “12 Steps to Raw” support group that gathers to discuss healthy living.

Illinois

DeKalb

The House Café – Vegan Friendly

The House Café offers  a fantastic variety of fresh bakery items, wraps and sandwiches, soups, salads, and a flavorful vegetarian fare.  At the House Café you will find an array of vegetarian and vegan options at a very reasonable price range of $3-6. They also have wonderful selections of teas, coffee drinks, beer and wine.

Missouri

St. Louis

Black Bear Bakery - Vegetarian

The Black Bear Bakery serves food Friday-Sunday.The rest of the week they are  bakery only. The Bakery features tofu scramble and tempeh sandwiches. Black Bear Bakery is dedicated to environmental sustainability, neighborhood support and quality, local, and organic ingredients.

New York

New York

Blossom – Vegan

This upscale vegan restaurant serves gourmet organic dinners and also offers lunch & brunch on Friday, Saturday & Sunday  from 12-3. All ingredients are organic and the entire menu is 100% vegan from appetizers to desserts. Blossom’s is dedicated to sustainability, using only the fresh organic ingredients from local farms and small distribution companies. 

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

Sweet Freedom - Vegan

Philadelphia’s first and only gluten-free, vegan, allergen-friendly bakery. Not only are their products vegan (dairy-free, casein-free, egg-free) and gluten-free, but they avoid the use of corn, wheat, peanuts, and soy as well.

Rhode Island

Providence

AS220 – Vegan-Friendly

At AS220 they are very sensitive to all food allergies and dietary restrictions.Almost all of the menu items can be easily adjusted to meet the needs of vegan or vegetarian needs by their renowned full time vegan chef, Justin Earsing.

Texas

San Antonio

Green Vegetarian Cuisine – Vegetarian

San Antonio’s only 100% vegetarian and kosher restaurant. green’s mission is to serve delicious and affordable vegetarian comfort food to our diverse customers. Many of their vegetarian meals appeal to the non-vegetarian community as a way of introducing them to a great tasting vegetarian experience.

Austin

Beets Living Food Café - Vegan

The Chefs of Beets Café are dedicated to creating uncommonly good food, alive with flavor and nutrition. At Beets café they utilize seasonal vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.Their menu is created from scratch.  

Case de Luz – Vegan

Casa de Luz is 100% vegan  and organic with the occasional non-organic ingredient marked on the menu. The combination of their dining room, philosophy, and food create a comfortable and peaceful ambience.

Vespaio – Vegetarian friendly

This Italian restaurant offers many vegetarian pasta dishes as well as many vegetarian selections from their antipasto bar. Vespaio also offers gluten-free pasta on site.

Virginia

Richmond

Elephant Thai – Vegetarian-Friendly

Elephant Thai’s extensive menu of authentic Thai cuisine includes an array of vegetarian dishes.. All dishes are created fresh using only the very best ingredients, including their special herbs and spices that they obtain direct from Thailand on a weekly basis.

Washington

Seattle

Loving Hut – Vegan

This chain offers gourmet cuisine made with wholesome and vegan ingredients. The menu presents raw vegan salads, noodle bowl soups, a variety of stir-frys with different, colorful vegetables and your choice of tofu or unusual mockmeats .

Teapot Vegetarian House – Vegan

The Teapot is proud to present a full vegan menu. Throughout their menu you will find Pan-Asian selections from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and China.

Other Resources

http://www.vegguide.org/

www.happycow.net

A note from Savor on vegetarians and protein:

Variety Is Essential to Good Health. There is one difference between plant and animal proteins that is important for us, and especially for vegetarians, to understand. Our body takes the protein in plant and animal foods and breaks it down into smaller components, called amino acids, which it then uses to build and restore tissues and to run a multitude of functions. Some amino acids are “essential,” meaning that the body cannot make them and must obtain them from food. Others are not essential, and the body can build them by rearranging the essential amino acids. Proteins from animal foods are called “complete proteins,” meaning that they contain all the essential amino acids. Proteins from plant foods are called “incomplete proteins,” meaning that they tend to be low in one or more essential amino acids. Even so, plant proteins can meet your daily protein needs, as long as you choose a variety of plant foods and get enough calories throughout the day. So vegetarians should take care to eat varied high-protein vegetarian foods every day—beans (including tofu), nuts, seeds, and whole grains—to ensure that they get enough of all the essential amino acids.

Comments

I was surprised that Greens Restaurant in San Francisco wasn't listed. While admittedly on the expensive side, their vegetarian food based on seasonal organic produce is delicious.

I have to say that the information here was the most complete that I found anywhere. I am definitely bookmarking this to come back and read later.

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