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.
When Carrot Express first started, it was at a local car wash, pairing vehicular cleansing with digestive cleansing and making it easy for customers who spilled their lunches in their cars to clean up quickly. Since then, Carrot Express's food has come to speak for itself and its moved to a less sudsy location. Here, customers can get everything from freshly squeezed kale juice to chicken-salad teeka salad with avocado, alfalfa, and cucumber. Pitas and wraps come in a variety of vegetarian and meat combinations, including turkey breast, organic tofu, and eggplant. Diners can also pair their savory treats with a sweet smoothie, such as the A?ai Dream that also contains blueberries, strawberries, banana, and OJ, or a power shot of wheatgrass that's good for humans or ailing potted plants.
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.
Every Saturday rain or shine, Glaser Organic Farms hosts the Coconut Grove Organic Market, a vegan-leaning outdoor market. Each week the farm offers an array of organic vegetables, fruits and prepared vegan foods that are prepared at the farm. These offerings include cashew butter, homemade salad dressings and fruit pies, while a big draw is the macadamia and cashew nut milk ice creams. For anyone looking to do more than just take home the ingredients of their next meal, a hefty salad bar, wraps, and a great assortment of prepared foods can be purchased and eaten at the market’s many picnic tables. In addition to the farm’s own offerings, there are many small local vendors who sell spices, beans, soaps and juices. Be sure to wear shoes you don’t mind scuffing up, because the market is held in a vacant lot.
Shing Wang Restaurant may not have the traditional Chinese flair in décor, but one can still enjoy the delightful menu. Although it offers such favorites as vegetable spring rolls, crispy soy chicken, chicken lo mein and lemongrass chicken, it’s mostly frequented for its Taiwanese bubble teas. The bubble tea comes in two sizes – regular and large – and can be made in a variety of ways, to suit the open-minded tea drinker. Flavors include almond, papaya, lychee, black sesame, coffee, green tea and passion fruit, nearly all of which are fan favorites with a certain segment of the locals who frequent Shing Wang. The interior is simple, with lots of mirrors, blonde wooden café tables and tile flooring, making takeout orders the most popular option.
Philly steak sandwiches. Lasagna. Burgers. If it weren't for the name, it would be easy to forget that Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin doesn't serve meat. Instead, the chefs here rely on seitan, tofu, and veggies to recreate the classic flavors of international cuisine, from America to Italy to the Caribbean.
One of the most popular dinners is the vegan pizza with toppings such as barbecue seitan. Earlier in the day, chefs scramble tofu to serve alongside pancakes with blueberries, bananas, or everyone's favorite fruit, chocolate chips. Fresh fruit smoothies and desserts such as gluten-free cupcakes add the finishing touches.