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).
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.
Vegetarian restaurants? Miami has plenty, each serving healthy, meatless meals and wholesome plant-based dishes.
Skipping Miami steakhouses for occasional meals at the local salad joint is one thing, but it would Herculean efforts for a carnivore to embrace vegetarian restaurants. Miami eateries have made the meat-free proposition less of a heroic feat by tapping into the local Latin you’d find at a Miami Cuban restaurant and sourcing produce from nearby farms. The result? Vegetarian restaurants in Miami that serve nourishing food that tastes good and that’s good for you and the beach body you’ve been sculpting at a Miami gym.
The local fast-casual chain (with locations in Sunset Harbour, Brickell and South Beach) caters to healthy eaters with big appetites. Bowls are large and packed with plant-based proteins (though grass-fed meat, free-range chicken and other animal proteins are an option), whole grains and vegetables, and all can be topped with a delicious cage-free egg. Calories, carbs and other nutritional facts are clearly listed on the menu—so no cheating, guys.
When you were little, you probably spent countless hours sitting in front of plates of spinach you refused to eat. But now, as Miami embraces a new health trend, there’s no escaping your favorite leafy greens. Luckily, the Magic City does “clean eating” well by offering a handful of local restaurants and organic eateries that make being healthy a breeze.
From hidden homestyle cafeterias and simple salad shops to innovative restaurants with refined vegan cuisine, here are Miami’s best healthful spots.
Chef Nicole Votano offers fast-casual dining in a bright and airy environment at Dirt in South Beach. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, customers can order from Paleo-friendly, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-sensitive menus depending upon dietary restrictions. Dishes change seasonally, but some crowd favorites are almond butter and jam toast ($6) and the nourish bowl ($12), which is made with farro, sprouted chickpeas and lentils, roasted curried cauliflower, and caramelized onions.
There’s so much to love about Dirt, not the least of which is that no single item costs more than $16. Such prices are rare in South Beach, especially when you consider Dirt isn’t serving just run-of-the-mill fare. Indeed, this fast-casual concept is committed to offering clean food that’s locally sourced whenever possible, and best of all — it tastes amazing. That’s largely because the restaurant’s director for culinary operations is Nicole Votano, a classically trained chef who was the top toque at Fooq’s, where she garnered praise for her comforting yet chef-driven cuisine.Dirt has four menus: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and Paleo, but most dishes are built around vegetables and allow for a choice of protein. A favorite is the nourish bowl ($12), starring quinoa, sprouted chickpeas, lentils, roasted curried cauliflower, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper, golden raisins, shaved carrot, mole vinaigrette, and cucumber-mint yogurt. Throw in some orange-basil chicken, and call it a very healthy day.
Jeff Latulippe has a passion for healthful, nourishing, clean food. But he hasn’t always. Several years and 60 pounds ago, Latulippe was a student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He was focused on international studies and business, and studied abroad in Barcelona. Before graduating in 2007, Latulippe also completed an internship at the Executive Office of the President at The White House. As an ambitious post-grad, Latulippe worked as an investment banking analyst on Wall Street for three years and then spent five years rising to senior associate at Harren Equity Partners in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Then a shift occurred (or maybe more of a drop). Call it enthusiasm, fanaticism, obsession … Latulippe had discovered healthy living while he was in college, eventually lost 60 pounds, and decided that is was time to share the benefits of his lifestyle with anyone with an appetite. Latulippe wanted South Florida diners to have delicious, intriguing, healthy options every day and at a reasonable price. It was also important to him that this type of cuisine be backed up by a fresh, local, sustainable ethos and infrastructure.
Latulippe’s physically fit brainchild was born: DIRT. The simple, convenient, nutritious concept serves fast fine food from early morning until 9pm, seven days a week because healthy living doesn’t get a day off. DIRT, as it adds stores across the region, strives to support local farmers and to make South Florida a more healthful place to eat.
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