Garden Grille Cafe’s menus are stacked with delicious American-style food offerings designed to meet the hungry demands of vegetarians, vegans, and anti-gluten demonstrators. Introduce your stomach to vegan vittles with the gluten-free grilled sweet potatoes ($6), the vegan-friendly and gluten-free soybean pod sustenance of edamame ($6), or Grandma Reggie’s raw heaven salad ($10), a concoction of arugula, mango, avocado, grapefruit, beet-infused jicama, cashew gomasio, and homemade dressing. Lunch lovers can munch on a vegan BLT ($7) with tofu "bacon" and chipotle sauce, while dinner derring-doers can opt for the Buddha Bowl ($15), filled with grilled tofu, tempeh, organic brown rice, and fresh veggies, or a roasted butternut-squash quesadilla ($10) with black beans, jack cheese, and a salsa side. Guests who show up on Sundays from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. can enjoy the brunch menu, which unifies the chronologically asunder meals with vegan French toast ($8), the Garden Grille omelet ($8), and pancake stacks ($6–$7).
The health-conscious confectioners at Wildflour Vegan Bakery and Juice Bar craft baked goods and beverages using locally sourced organic ingredients and unrefined sweeteners. Silence the incessant chatter of sweet teeth with a chocolate chip scone ($2.25), or infuse taste buds with wheat-free pep through gluten-free banana coconut muffins ($2.25 each). A frosty vegan-ice-cream milkshake($5) cools steaming palates after a long day of heated conversations and emotional fire-eating. A smoothie and juice bar dispenses freshly-squeezed fruit and veggie nectar in sippables such as the verdant avocolada green smoothie, which merges avocado, coconut water, and vanilla ($7). Parched talk-boxes can hungrily drink in a beverage menu chockablock with coffee, tea, and agave-sweetened lavender lemonade ($4 for a small, $5 for a large).
According to Denise Taylor of the Boston Globe, the "scrupulously vegan" Peace o' Pie eatery is run by vegan foodies who "refuse to skimp on taste," adding that Daiya’s "tapioca-based mozzarella lives up to all the hype. It really does stretch, brown, and satisfy in a way close to real cheese." The pizza's dairy-free cheese—along with other fresh ingredients and totally vegan ingredients—have garnered rave reviews from diners and critics alike. The intimate gourmet bistro was the first runner-up in PETA's national Best Vegan Pizza awards, and the Phoenix bestowed it with the Best Restaurant, Veggie award in 2011, predicting that "even carnivores will be impressed." Peace o' Pie has also earned six awards on CityVoter, including being named the Best Vegan restaurant in 2010 and 2011 and a top finalist in the Best Pizza-Slice and Best Pizza-Upscale categories in 2011.
In addition to using ethically minded ingredients on the menu, the vegan owners avoid honey and refined sugars, and opted to use eco-friendly materials during the building's remodel. They chose a sustainably produced bamboo counter front, a countertop of 100% recycled office paper, and ceiling tiles with 65% recycled content. The team also uses compostable, biodegradable packaging and supplies and illuminates the space with energy-saving light bulbs wherever possible.
Lauded by Daily Candy for accommodating raw and vegan diners, Prana Restaurant balances native temperatures with mouthwatering flavors in organic and gluten-free dishes. After being greeted by fresh hair streaming through wide-flung windows, diners dip flora-favoring taste buds into garlic, veggie, or fig balsamic pizza on naan crust ($10). Chefs trade off gluten-rich pasta for ribbons of zucchini in the pesto primavera entree, served raw or slightly warm with spinach, a seasonal garden medley, and almond-and-cashew cream sauce ($16). Chard leaves or chia-seed shells trump humdrum tortillas in a lunchtime burrito that bulges to bursting with vegetables, beans, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa ($12). Refuel after fatigue-inducing feasts or all-night model-UN deliberations by chugging a coconut-rich SuperCharger smoothie tinged with cacao, dates, and cashews ($9.75).
The intermingling aromas of ginger, coconut, lemongrass, chilies, and basil is pretty typical of most Asian eateries. But Grasshopper Restaurant isn’t like most Asian eateries. Rather than stick with one regional specialty, it borrows recipes and flavors from Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisines. The chefs also distinguish their menu by avoiding any meat, opting for stir-fried seitan and tofu as protein-packed alternatives. However, the Zagat-rated restaurant mostly relies on fragrant herbs, piquant seasonings, and fresh vegetables to concoct its animal-friendly, plant-hostile versions of classic dishes such as beef lo mein, barbecued pork, and steak with spicy black bean sauce.
My Thai Cafe makes a strict diet a little easier for those who don’t eat animal byproducts. The all-vegan Thai restaurant crafts meals from vegetables and realistic meat costumes, serving veggie-shrimp basil fried rice and veggie-chicken pad thai. The restaurant also hosts a selection of tofu dishes that mix the bean curd with bamboo shoots, pineapple chunks, or steamed jasmine rice. The plates aren’t the only things abundant in plants. The restaurant’s interior is decorated with a variety of potted plants bathing in the sunlight that pours in through the large windows. They rest below high, vaulted ceilings that sprout fans to keep diners cool.