Order delicious vegan fare at the Venice, Calif.-based Plant Food and Wine. // © 2015 Plant Food and Wine
Feature image (above): Dirt Candy’s Ice Cream Salad is just one of the unique vegetable iterations on the menu. // © 2015 Even Sung
Concurrent with the rise of wellness travel is the explosion of inventive plant-based cuisine. Not just for vegetarians, these restaurants cater to all travelers increasingly eager to discover exceptional foodstuff with less guilt and more nutrients.
Following are five popular vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants that are sure to delight herbivores and omnivores alike.
Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe in Seattle
As one of Seattle’s first raw restaurants, Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe is a must for vegans visiting the Pacific Northwest. Now with two locations, Chaco Canyon offers numerous options for out-of-towners looking for a nutritious treat.
Ninety percent of the restaurant’s waste is hand sorted and recycled — Chaco even lets you borrow silverware for to-go orders to decrease the amount of disposable utensils used. In addition to the restaurant’s passionate environmental stance, the menu boasts a palatable array of vegan options, including a delicious enchilada plate with mango pico de gallo salsa. With house-made kombucha on tap and an extensive homemade dessert menu, the only difficult thing about ordering is narrowing down the options.
Christopher’s Kitchen in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Christopher’s Kitchen near West Palm Beach, Fla., is known not only for its organic menu, but also for its extensive juice menu and cleanses. Adding a simple yet refreshing take on classic vegetarian and raw vegan dishes, Christopher’s maintains a laid-back, modern feel both in the ambiance of its open-air kitchen and on the menu.
Guests can indulge in quinoa pasta, a customer favorite, and cashew “cheese” mac n’ cheese, or stay loyal to raw food principles with the restaurant’s classic Live Pizza, which includes veggie flax crackers and cashew cheese. Hot or cold, you can’t go wrong at Christopher’s Kitchen.
Dirt Candy in New York City
A recent reboot of its original tiny East Village location, Dirt Candy and its chef Amanda Cohen are on the mission to make vegetables fun. And it seems to be working, as the New York City restaurant was the first vegetarian restaurant to receive two stars from The New York Times in 17 years. Dirt Candy has also been recognized in The Michelin Guide for five years in a row.
Touting everything from a “broccoli dog” to a dessert salad consisting of lettuce, cucumber and goat cheese sorbets, a meal at Dirt Candy will be far from typical.
Plant Food and Wine in Venice Beach, Calif.
Under the umbrella of chef Matthew Kenney’s plant-based empire is his newest endeavor, Plant Food and Wine in Venice Beach, Calif. Located on the notoriously hip Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Plant Food and Wine is designed to be a communal dining experience, made even better with its gorgeous courtyard featuring lush greenery, fire pits and an edible garden.
Plant Food and Wine attempts to offer a “new approach to plant-based food,” through its vegan iterations of classic dishes, including zucchini cacio e pepe and biscuits with mushroom gravy. And don’t miss the restaurant’s wine list, which features organic and biodynamic varietals.
Karyn’s Raw Bistro and Karyn’s Cooked in Chicago
Karyn Calabrese has made a name for herself and the vegan lifestyle in Chicago, a city well-known for its affinity for steaks and deep-dish pizza. A living-foodist and holistic educator, Karyn’s mission is to help people achieve wellness through food. In fact, Karyn’s Raw Bistro was one of the first fully raw restaurants to open in the U.S. and is still serving “living” nachos to this day. Without sacrificing taste (or enzymes), Karyn’s Raw maintains the philosophy of cooking food no higher than110 degrees Fahrenheit for all of its menu items.
The bistro includes the attached Karyn’s Inner Beauty Center and Day Spa and a fresh market, Karyn’s Fresh Corner, for to-go juices and raw food, including desserts. If fully-raw food isn’t your thing, Karyn’s Cooked a few blocks down from Karyn’s Raw features fare on the warmer side, including vegan pizza and soy buffalo wings. Beyonce made the establishment a household name in 2013, when she stopped by for vegan meals two nights in a row.