9 Best Vegetarian Restaurants In The American Southwest
Inside this post, Josephine Morris, Food Policy Coordinator for the Humane Society, shares on Epicure & Culture her top finds for vegetarian restaurants in the Southwest. As a way to reduce the overall impact on climate change and eat a healthier, more sustainable plant-based diet, more and more vegetarian restaurants are popping up. Here are nine wonderful places in the Southwest.
The American Southwest is known for its beautiful sunsets, wide open spaces, dry climate and vast mountains that reach farther than the eye can see. As more and more people move plants to the center of their plates, the Southwest has also become a hot spot for delicious flora-based cuisine. The food industry magazine Fast Casual reports, “Three-fifths (62 percent) of general population consumers say they consume meals without beef, pork, chicken or turkey at least once a week.”
Numerous large organizations in the Southwest such as Intel Corporation, Arizona State University and Dallas Independent School District are making big changes by moving plants to the forefront of their dining operations. This helps their employees and students eat healthier plant-based foods while lessening their impact on the environment. According to the Sierra Club, “Eliminating or reducing meat consumption in your diet is one important way to reduce your contribution to climate change, since animal agriculture is the single largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions from food production.”
Whether you travel to Arizona, New Mexico or Texas or call one of these states home, there are an abundance of outstanding dining choices for people looking to fill up on plant-powered meals.
PHOTO: GREEN NEW AMERICAN VEGETARIAN
Locations: 2240 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 8, Tempe, AZ 85281 2022 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Green is a funky and modern diner that masters comfort food and celebrates vegetables. They make their own plant-based meats for mouth-watering meals like the Black Jack Pita with blackened Cajun meatless chicken and artichoke hearts and the Argentine Po-boy with seitan steak and caramelized peppers. Save room for dessert and order a Cookies ‘n’ Cream Tsoynami which combines soft serve ice cream with Newman-O’s and organic chocolate. Rumor has it that Green is a favorite takeout spot for Bill Clinton and Madonna.
Location: 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 28, Phoenix, AZ 85048
Patrons can often see local farmers delivering their produce right to the counter. The café has expanded three times since it opened in 2010 due to popular demand. Their robust breakfast menu features plates like Wild Western Tacos that combine tofu, mixed vegetables, potatoes and cashew cream and their Lumberjack Sandwich with tofu, tempeh bacon and avocado have made this a local hot spot. Owned and operated by a mother-daughter team Cassie and Marlene Tolman, Pomegranate creates food that is a labor of love.
Location: 2990 N Campbell Ave #120, Tucson, AZ 85719
You will often find Sunny Holliday, owner and operator, behind the counter at Lovin’ Spoonfuls where she’s proud to offer an entirely plant-based breakfast, lunch and dinner in a warm atmosphere. For breakfast, the Stack O’ Pancakes is a must. Or you can pick from a variety of scrambles complete with meatless ham and home fries. Lunch and dinner offerings include plenty of options from pasta bowls and salads to burger baskets. Bring the littles ones to enjoy some Golden Nuggies or a Kiddie Pup.
Location: 2201 Silver Avenue SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106 (two other locations)
Annapurna’s is where nature and organic food meet in the heart of New Mexico. Yashoda Naidoo, the restaurant’s owner and operator, aims to serve food as simple as possible. It shows in dishes like the Cauliflower Chapati Tacos, which are filled with crisp fried cauliflower, shredded veggies and sambal chili, and the Saag Paneer, a creamy, spiced dish served with house made cheese. The menu is robust and the varieties of chai tea are plentiful.
Location: 317 Aztec Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
When in Santa Fe, Indulge Café is a must stop for lunch or an afternoon treat. The Best Burrito Ever combines pesto, quinoa, black beans, corn and spinach into a giant tortilla that is sure to fill you up. Or you may want to start with dessert first since the Ma Chérie Bakery is located within the café. The bakery churns out double chocolate cupcakes with wild orange frosting, lemon cake with coconut crème filling and raspberry frosting and chocolate coconut sparkle cake with a cinnamon crust.