In an attempt to help the environment, eat a cleaner diet or simply to remove meat and fish/animal products from one’s diet, many have chosen to convert to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Oftentimes it may seem that eating out could possibly become restrictive with limited options, but an increasing number of cafes and restaurants seek to serve those who choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Below is a list of restaurants and cafes which cater to both the vegan and vegetarian population of Miami, as well as those who wish to eat a plant-based meal. All restaurants and cafes have been listed in order of their proximity to Miami Palmetto Senior High School, making it easy for students to find plant-based options near them. No matter what dietary restrictions one may have, many restaurants and cafes want to work with their patrons to create a meal that suits them.
“A lot of restaurants are willing to take the meat out of the dish, so it’s really just talking to the waiters and seeing what can be moved around,” Palmetto freshman and vegetarian Ava LaPlant said.
Local (Within a 10-mile radius of MPSH)
Nestled in the Village Plaza and a short drive away from Palmetto, the local cafe and art house remains popular for their variety of innovative teas, lattes, cold brews, matchas, traditional beverages and brunch menu which has options for both vegetarians and vegans. Ranging from Pumpkin Pie Lattes to Cookies ’N Cream Cold Brew to Pistachio Matcha Lattes to Tropical Raspberry Tea, Brewing Buddha has something for everyone. The restaurant also offers milk alternatives, such as almond and oat milks for any warm or iced coffee beverages, ensuring that vegans can choose from the wide selection of beverages offered. As always, check with your barista regarding the ingredients of beverages or brunch items to ensure that they comply with your dietary restrictions.
Chill’N Ice Cream Shop
The nitrogen ice cream shop offers a wide variety of flavors ranging from chocolate and vanilla to dulce-de-leche and salted caramel. Chill’n also has a vegan coconut base as a substitute to the traditional dairy milk. With the coconut milk base, customers can choose from popular flavors like vanilla, strawberry, coffee, peanut butter and mint. The shop also offers a selection of vegan toppings like Oreos, pecans, almonds, mixed berries, coconut shavings, peanuts and bananas.
Chill’N allows customers to dine-in or take out and delivers through the DoorDash delivery service. The nitrogen ice cream shop allows those with dairy restrictions to enjoy a sweet treat without the stomachache.
The small cafe in the Pinecrest Community Center offers healthy vegan and vegetarian options as well as meat-based meals. Elia Cafe, sandwiched between the fitness center and soccer field, has a large menu with many options. One of the most popular dishes on the menu, the Vegan Quinoa Salad, is served with red and green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and chickpeas topped with Elia dressing. Other vegan and vegetarian dishes offered at Elia include acai bowls, smoothies and more. Elia’s large menu allows non-meat eaters a seat at the table alongside their meat eating friends.
Despite the burger stand being known for an array of meat-based burgers, the restaurant also offers a vegetarian alternative. Shake Shack’s menu provides several burgers, as well as a vegetarian shroom burger. Instead of the traditional meat, the shroom burger consists of a portobello mushroom patty topped with Muenster and cheddar cheese, tomato and lettuce. Many vegetarians at Palmetto enjoy the Shroom burger option at Shake Shack.
“Even if you’re not vegetarian, try the shroom burger at Shake Shack, it is to die for and by far my favorite food,” Palmetto freshman and vegetarian Sofia Taddeo-Goldstein said.
Offering options for meat lovers and vegans alike, BurgerFi has a burger for every customer. The Vegan Beyond Burger which sits on a vegan multigrain bun comes topped with condiments and vegetables, with modifications available according to personal preference. For vegetarians, BurgerFi offers both a Beyond Burger topped with cheese and choice of vegetables as well as the Vegefi Burger, a crispy quinoa and vegetable burger topped with cheese, vegetables and BurgerFi sauce. All burgers may be ordered “Green Style,” which means swapping the burger bun for a lettuce wrap. Customers can also choose from a choice of fries and onion rings in addition to vegetarian deserts like custards, shakes and concretes.
A more casual and convenient drive-thru option, Diced offers quick and healthy wraps, bowls and salads for both vegans and vegetarians. Following an “Eat it your way” design, patrons choose between a wrap, bowl or salad and choose which fillings they would like. Offering protein choices like vegan chicken and strictly a vegetable option, vegan and vegetarians may opt for a protein option if they wish. Filled with a choice of rice, beans and multitude of vegetables, vegetarians may also add cheese to top their meal if they wish. Known for their sauces, Diced offers a medley of both standard and vegan sauces to choose from. For those who love smoothies, Diced sells smoothies, which may include fruits, veggies and superfoods. For customers who prefer to stay home, Diced offers delivery.
The Salty Donut
Typically, most donuts tend to follow vegetarian guidelines, however The Salty Donut makes an exception for vegan patrons. With a rotational menu, The Salty Donut always introduces a different vegan and gluten free donut. Currently, donut lovers can purchase a vegan Oreo and Almond Cookie Butter Brioche donut topped with a cocoa glaze and chocolate almond bark, as well as gluten-free Cookies and Cream donuts topped with swiss buttercream and crushed sandwich cookies. As for vegetarian donuts, the donut shop serves Classic Glaze doughnuts and more extravagant ones, such as the White Chocolate Tres Leches.
Semi Local (Within a 25-mile radius of MPSH)
Pura Vida, a popular restaurant with several locations throughout South Florida, offers many options for the whole family. With a variety of dishes, ranging from wraps and sandwiches to acai bowls and freshly squeezed juices, Pura Vida supports many lifestyles, including Vegan, Vegetarian, gluten-free and even kosher. The cafe has become well known for their all-day breakfast menu that includes dishes like the vegan avocado smash; a multi-grain sourdough toast lathered in an avocado spread and topped with fresh lemon juice, micro cilantro, radish, cucumber and red pepper flakes. The modernized cafe-style restaurant offers food-delivery through their Pura Vida app and third-party services like UberEats and Grubhub, along with first-come, first-serve style dine in.
An entirely plant-based restaurant located in South Beach, vegetarians and vegans alike can enjoy Planta’s entire menu. Catering to a variety of eaters with differing palettes, the restaurant offers a variety of items like California Rolls, Rainbow Rolls, Truffle fries, Spring Rolls, Coconut Ceviche, Fully Loaded Nachos, a signature Planta Burger and most famously, a wide array of exotic artisanal pizzas, which can be made gluten-free. The chic restaurant offers in-person dining and reservation, takeout and delivery through third-party services. Known also for their beverages and deserts, Planta has options for each and every member of the family, regardless of dietary restriction.
While eating out as a plant-based person seems rather difficult, the above suggestions cater to all sorts of lifestyles and dietary restrictions. Please remember to always check with your barista or server regarding ingredients and your personal dietary restrictions in order to ensure that your meal remains in compliance with your guidelines.
“When I first became vegetarian it was difficult to eat out but, over the years, it’s been amazing to see restaurants add more and more options besides just a salad and fries,” senior and vegetarian Elise Meurrens said. “Most restaurants definitely cater to dietary restrictions if you just ask them.