Farm-fresh, plant-based restaurants are cropping up all over the Valley, and there’s way more to these menus than tofu and salads. From global cuisine to a profusion of tasty pastries made sans dairy and some shockingly good meat imitations along the way, the offerings are as abundant as they are inventive.
Here are 10 vegan eateries in metro Phoenix worth their weight in greens.
24 Carrots1701 East Guadalupe Road, Tempe
Sasha Raj, owner of 24 Carrots, likes the phrase “food for thought,” and therefore, she serves thoughtful food. Almost everything on the menu at the 2008-established vegan juice bar and cafe is made with organic, locally sourced ingredients and served in compostable or recyclable packaging. Arizona agave sweetens the fresh-fruit smoothies (you won’t get any sugar here, honey) and organic flour, Madagascar vanilla, and fat-free cocoa builds a flavorful foundation for a variety of vegan pastries and pies. Brunch, lunch, and dinner menus are “botanically inspired” and surprisingly robust, offering vegan versions of everything from biscuits and gravy (Biscuits and Groovy) to tacos, burgers, and cheesesteaks.
Casa Terra6835 North 58th Drive, Glendale
Chef Jason Wyrick takes a high-minded approach to the “plant-forward cuisine” served at Casa Terra. His Mediterranean- and Mexican-inspired fare captures the savory flavors of meat and cheese without any carne or queso. Dishes like Chilaquiles Divorciados with smoked vegan chicken, a taco trio with tempura artichokes and smoky spiced “pork,” and trumpet mushroom calamari with chipotle aioli are convincing facsimiles of meat, while pizzas topped with ingredients like Aleppo chiles, crispy kale, and Hatch chile sauce emerge bursting with flavor and beautifully blistered from the wood-fired oven.
The Coronado PHX2201 North Seventh Street
The vegan menu at neighborhood cafe and coffee bar The Coronado leans light and south of the border. Highlights of breakfast (served all day and night) swing sweet, like chia pudding, to savory, like chilaquiles. Overall, the menu is earthy and simple, much like the vibe in the restaurant, located in a bustling converted bungalow with books, board games, and a dog-friendly patio. Unlike Beyond Burgers and Impossible Whoppers, the two “burgers” on the menu don’t try to imitate meat – patties are composed of ingredients like quinoa, tepary beans, beets, mushrooms, and brown rice.
Giving Tree Cafe2024 North Seventh Street, #111
To put it bluntly, this might be the “hippiest” of vegan-friendly restaurants on this list. The menu at Giving Tree Cafe is entirely organic and gluten-free, and interior décor is sparse save for a kids’ corner play area and a couple gorgeous, gigantic amethyst geodes. The air smells of roasted vegetables and fresh-pressed juices, which manifests on the menu in items like the Buddha Bowl (roasted maple acorn squash, turmeric cauliflower, shishito peppers, Brussels sprouts, and Bangkok sauce) and the Solar Flare juice (orange, grapefruit, lemon, ginger, and turmeric).
Green New American VegetarianMultiple Locations
Home of the first famous “mock meat” in metro Phoenix, Green New American Vegetarian boasts possibly the best Buffalo wings in the vegan world — good enough to push skeptical carnivores into cravings. The award-winning wings are just one star in a stellar cast of plant-based greats: crab puffs bursting with “cream cheese,” spicy po’boys, and artichoke-stuffed garden burritos. Then, there are tSoynami ice cream treats for dessert, from neighboring sister business Nami.
Pomegranate Café4025 East Chandler Boulevard, #28
The whirring sound of blenders fills the air at mother-daughter-owned Pomegranate Café, as fruits and veggies get pulverized into superfood smoothies like the “Green Monkey” (with spirulina and Sunwarrior protein powder). The food menu is extensive and robust, offering more than a dozen breakfast items including scrambles, wraps, and burritos. That is followed by a slew of starters (standard vegan appetizers like Buffalo cauliflower, spinach artichoke dip with bread and chips, and a hummus plate), plus salads, sandwiches, and plant-based burgers. But don't skip specialty entrees like poblano wild mushroom street tacos, or the vegan brownies — the best in town, hands down.
Seed Shack3861 East Baseline Road, #K-136, Gilbert
Beets can make a bloody mess in the kitchen, but they also make a damn good burger patty base. That's proven in the Beet Burger at Seed Shack, which tastes like a sprightly and savory garden laden with mashed avocado, cucumber, mixed greens, and zesty lemon tahini. Beyond and Impossible burgers are also available for those who prefer beefy flavor and a firmer texture. The small but mighty menu is rounded out with a “Chik’n Sandwich,” Caesar salad, a barbecue jackfruit pita, cauliflower chickpea tacos, and the popular Rainbow Tofu Vermicelli — buoyant fried tofu tumbling on a bed of glass noodles and drenched in soy caramel sauce.
The Uprooted Kitchen 3000 East Ray Road, Gilbert
Located inside the Barnone community at Agritopia, The Uprooted Kitchen began in 2012 as a family-driven vegetarian food truck business before setting up stoves at its current and modest mini-mall space. The farm-fresh fare is entirely plant-based and vegan except for a few items containing honey. The menu is lengthy and bifurcated into sweet and savory sections full of breakfast dishes, bowls, sandwiches, and more. There’s also a kids’ menu with items like French toast, pesto flatbread, and nut-butter sandwiches.
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Verdura5555 North Seventh Street, #108
Touting itself as “Arizona’s newest vinyl-themed, plant-based eatery,” Verdura takes typical vegan fare and elevates it with the use of superior ingredients and creative combinations that break down culinary borders. For example, kimchi arancini deftly blends the flavors of piquant fermented Korean cabbage with slightly spicy Italian rice balls and zesty German cucumber salad. That while a sushi burrito dubbed the Cthonic is a marriage of smoked carrot lox and seaweed bonded by almond cheese. Even dessert gets a little edgy: The Goth Waffle may look bubbly since it’s made Japanese-style, but its heart is all black activated charcoal bleeding raspberry sorbet.
Whyld Ass4810 North Seventh Street
Things can get a little weird at Whyld Ass, especially for people who might not have tried many plant-based eateries yet. The water is green (from chlorophyll, added for its supposed health benefits), the menu is mutable (depending on what’s in season and sourced from local farmers that day or week), and the atmosphere is spartan (just a handful of tables and not much decor). But when things are on, it’s like winning the lottery. think blueberries bulging through thick French toast, hearty black bean chipotle chili steaming under cornbread, and quesadillas big enough for two bursting with potato and sunflower cheese. Clear water is also available, just FYI.