Carrying a pita, a diner approaches a salad bar brimming with pickled condiments, crunchy vegetables, and sauces. Without paying or even speaking to someone behind the counter, the diner lifts the spoon and festoons the pita with a pile of fresh toppings, ready to start the meal anew. At most restaurants, this could get you kicked out, but at Maoz Vegetarian, it’s not only overlooked, but also encouraged. After choosing from such vegetarian and vegan-friendly options as gluten-free falafel and fried eggplant, pita wraps or salads head to the stainless-steel salad bar. Belgian fries—a thick-cut version of their french cousins—and mounds of sweet-potato fries complement sandwiches and salads along with green-chili sauce, tahini sauce, and salsa for dipping and boosting the self-esteem of napkins.
While feasting, diners sit atop benches at long, shared tables that emulate the communal lunch joints of old in the unabashedly modern chain of restaurants, founded in Amsterdam two decades ago. Mirroring the eatery’s fresh, stylish food, the interior at Maoz features green tiled walls and steel fixtures illuminated by hanging lamps and baby pictures of supernovas.
The Fijian expression “Bula!,” a salute to health and happiness, can be heard reverberating within the earth-toned walls of Kavasutratu as visitors take shots of kava served in coconut shells. Before first tastes, the bartending owners of Kavasutratu edify sippers on the history of the refreshing drink, which derives from a root found in the Pacific and is known for its deeply calming qualities. The lounge’s breezy, beach-theme setting mimics kava’s tranquilizing effects with its bamboo bar, dim lighting, and plentiful decorative greenery to nap under. Ears lose themselves in the soothing music that emanates from Kavasutratu’s sound system, and large, flat-screen TVs flash a variety of abstract visuals.
Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar cajoles the tahini-demanding bellies of vegetarians and omnivores alike with fresh wraps, salads, baguettes, and desserts, as well as a spectrum of Mediterranean specialties. Chef and owner Ilan Cohen slings traditional family meals straight from his native Israel onto the tables of his American bistro haven. Chickpea cheerleaders can form pyramids with one of many hummus-centered dishes, such as the sabih pita sandwich, with roasted eggplant and hard-boiled egg ($8), or the mahi-mahi beet wrap, rolled with sumptuous tiers of garbanzo mash, spinach, and alfalfa ($17).
Sublime is an innovative concept in vegetarian dining that's completely cholesterol-free but satisfies even the most devout carnivore. With an award-winning menu featuring natural and organic foods and spirits from around the globe, Sublime is one South Florida restaurant that truly lives up to its name.
Without the use of animal products, the chefs at Gourmet Greenhouse raid Mother Nature's pantry to pile plates with healthy salads, savory sandwiches, drinks, and desserts. After discovering meat-free diets can lower the risk of disease and provide unconditional moral support to canine teeth, the founders inked a menu full of vegetarian, vegan, and raw delights. Creamy soups contain almond or rice milk instead of lacto-liquids ($4–$5), and almond-flaxseed meatballs wait to hatch in a squiggly nest of raw yellow spaghetti squash ($8).
At The Last Carrot, fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grain breads come together to feed the body and mind. Lean chicken, tuna, or tofu nudge up against shaved carrot slices and crunchy cucumber inside the welcoming embrace of a whole-wheat pita sandwich. Diners also dip into freshly made bean soups, or slather snacks in homemade peanut butter. The health food enclave also offers a colorful mélange of freshly squeezed juices, including acai, wheatgrass, and a frothy blend of carrot juice spiked with sweet strawberry, papaya, and mango.