Great Vegan Restaurants in Miami
Yes, folks, In the Minnesota tradition, I took a “snowbird” vacation to Miami in January. The plane was full or parka-toting, smiling Northerners both ways, as we gleefully abandoned our snowblowers for some warmth and sun. I was ready to soak up some Vitamin D, and had the supreme pleasure of visiting an old friend who was happy to serve as a local guide to all things, but especially, food.
When you visit a city, the absolute best way to see it is with someone who lives there. Travel guides give you some general tips, but really, only another vegan food writer has found every good plant-based meal that I want to try, and is going to send me there. The talented Ellen Kanner was my guide, and she made sure we had a blast, while eating amazing food. She’s so involved with the food scene there that she already had a visit to a Taste of Redland planned, and another farm to fork event on our agenda.
I posted about a fantastic meal that she and I shared in DC at Fancy Radish in September.
Plane Lands, Vegan Miami Begins
In preparation for our visit, Ellen had bought the amazing croissant pictured above, an ethereal construction of plant foods that rivals any conventional butter croissant. In fact, the L’Artisane Creative Bakery croissant won best croissant in Miami- beating out the buttery ones! We admired the croissants as we prepared to go out for lunch, waiting to devour them until breakfast the next day. Talk about an epic feat of vegan baking.
Our first meal was at Books and Books, and we fortified ourselves with strong coffee, and I inhaled a bowl made with brown rice and squash. A great bookstore with coffee and good food? I’m all in. We didn’t overdo it, because we had a plan to go to Thatch for dinner. There, we started with a Smoked Carrot Lox Tartine, slathered with cashew cheese and topped with capers and dill. The carrots were tender and just smoky enough to suggest lox, and the toppings added pops of flavor. I ordered the Lo Mein, my sweetheart had the BBQ pizza, and Ellen had the Ramen. We really enjoyed the food, although I wanted a little more spice or salt or acid in my Lo Mein.
We were too full to really sample the desserts, so we tried two little treats, the peppermint pattie and the salted snickers bar, divided three ways. They were well-crafted and chocolatey. Just what we wanted.
Planta is World Class Vegan
The next day, after some tourism, we popped over to Planta, for a quick lunch. As you can see in the photos below, the food was gorgeous. My Avocado and Beet Tartare with Taro Chips barely lasted long enough to take a picture. My sweetie’s Potato and Truffle Pizza was lush and flavorful. Yes, he had pizza two days in a row. It was a vacation, after all!
For a fun, playful dessert, we shared the Chocolate Terrarium, made with cacao-date “soil” and an impressive crunchy toffee on top- floating on a creamy mousse. Both delicious and cleverly beautiful.
Plant is World Class Vegan, too
After a trip to the Everglades, an Art Deco Festival and some beach time, we made our way to Plant. The dumplings, wrapped in a handmade wrapper of beet and coconut, were almost too pretty to eat. The payoff inside, a creamy nut puree with a hint of kimchi, was perfectly complemented by the ginger foam.
At the server’s recommendation, I tried the Sunflower Seed Risotto, covered with clumps of grilled Maitake mushrooms, herbs, and flower petals. It was creamy, savory, and spectacular.
My companion tried a Tropical Jackfruit Taco, made with fresh, handmade jackfruit strands and a pineapple salsa. I straded him some risotto to get a bite, just to try it, and it was revelatory. The jackfruit was supple and much more delicious than the brined, canned kind I have cooked with so often.
We couldn’t help ourselves, we both went for cheesecake for dessert. Raw, nut-based cheesecakes, of course. Orange Creamsicle was a creamy, rich flavor bomb, laced with orange zest and dipped in dark chocolate. The Seasonal Cheesecake was a beautiful bar of melt-in-your-mouth creaminess, studded with perfect fruit and a delicate sauce.
Vegan Miami had so much more to offer, but for the sake of space, I am giving you the restaurant highlights. So, go for the sunshine, the beach, or whatever draws you to this bustling metropolis. You can count on some truly impressive plant-based foods, if you seek them out.
I’m well-nourished, rested and ready to take on 2020, with all the inspiration that vegan Miami provided.