Orlando, Fl – amusement parks, crazy rides, and greasy foods.
That is what I think about when I hear Orlando. And all those things are great – well except the greasy foods – but my main concern was where the heck was I going to find vegan food in Mickey Mouse town? To my surprise, Orlando happens to be a pretty decent vegan-friendly town. With plenty of options to choose from, I narrowed it down to my top three favorites from our 4 day weekend in O-town.
Dandelion Communitea Cafe
As we got out of our car and walked up towards the entrance, I was greeted by beautiful artwork- a wooden sign that read phrases such as “Eat Organic” and “Make Tea, not war”. I immediately knew this place was perfect for me! A colorful cafe recreated inside of what use to be a house, I think. When I called and asked about parking, I was literally told I could pull up the driveway and park next to the house err I mean cafe.
This magical place is pretty small and cozy, but big enough to allow plenty of tables and chairs inside; and a nice little terrace area on the outside. Live music on certain nights makes this a pretty cool place to hang out with friends or for a simple date. The food here was amazing. This cafe is completely vegetarian, so be vegan-aware, as some options might include dairy or cheese (but you can swap it for vegan cheese!!).The hardest thing here will probably be choosing from their diverse menu filled with so many choices. Bowls, wraps, nachos, sandwiches, quesadillas – oh my! All foods are made from organic and mostly locally sourced ingredients. They even have their own vegetable garden that you can walk through – I was there at night and it was too dark to go inside. This place gets major points for their mission of delivering fresh healthy foods that is not only organic, but fair trade and eco friendly too!
Ethos Vegan Kitchen
This place is your modern day restaurant and bar with a laid back feel. Oh and it’s completely vegan. I would say this place is more of a vegan-junk-food kinda place… Still very delicious but not something I would personally eat every day. However, we were on vacation, and so are you, and it’s still vegan! We had pizza, garlic breads, and a “philly no-cheese-steak sandwich”.
To say it was good is an understatement – we devoured that meal. The place is very lively – there is a full service bar and loud music playing throughout. Great place to hang out with friends or date on a Friday night. There was a 30 minute wait the night we came, however we were seated much sooner than that. Like I mentioned above, the menu is completely vegan but a non-vegan wouldn’t know that if you didn’t mention it.
This place is not only perfect for herbivores, but for omnivores and carnivores alike! Even though not completely organic, they do try to keep at least 50% of all of their ingredients from organic sources. And if you are feeling wild, try their cookies – O.M.G!
Market on South
This place is pretty unique. It’s three in one. A restaurant (Dixie Dharma), a bakery (Valhalla Bakery), and a bar (HumbleBumble Kombucha) – all vegan! All three are independently owned but they have come together in this location “market on south” to combine their talents and bring the Orlando community the best of plant based eating. Vegan BBQ, Kombucha on tap, and delicious vegan pastries for dessert are a few of the things you can stuff yourself with while at Market on South.
I would have to say that the menu is limited with only about five to six items to choose from; however, the food was great. I had the BBQ Sloppy Joe made out of Jack fruit “meat” – I can’t explain what went on in my mouth. The flavor just exploded! We decided to skip on the sweets – but there was an endless supply of beautifully decorated cupcakes, and cookies, and brownies, and now I wish I had taken some for the road. The hours are great – open till midnight – which is perfect for all you late night vegan owls. It’s always so tough to find vegan food after 8 or 9pm usually – but this place kicks that to the curb with their open late hours.
We were here on a Sunday afternoon right before heading back home to Miami. The place was packed and there was a line but it moved very quickly. Wait time for the food must have been 10 minutes max; which is great for vegan food! There is an outdoor seating area that is great for a sunny Florida afternoon. Keep in mind this place is more of a hippie-vibe, laid back cafe than a upscale restaurant.
Orlando vegans, any other hot spots we missed? Fill us in below…