Heading to Super Bowl LV? Here are the 12 Best Places to Go For Plant-Based Food in Tampa
Tampa is in the news. Host of the upcoming Superbowl LV between hometeam Bucs and the Chiefs, Tampa has always been known and loved for the nearby beaches and sunny weather. It is also one of the best cities to be vegan as not only do a lot of the local eateries carry a variety of plant-based fare, but there are many all-vegan places to dine. Below, we’ve rounded up our 12 favorite spots that will satisfy all your veggie-filled cravings.
1. Dharma Fine Vittles: 1910 N Ola Ave
Plant Yourself: Located in Armature Works Heights Public Market, Dharma Fine Vittles is perfect for a quick bite or celebratory gathering with friends. This is the only plant-based restaurant in the market, filled with delicious Southern comfort foods that are sure to delight.
Order to Share: They have everything from fried tomatoes to a good ol’ fried chick’n sandwich! Heights Public Market is full of food lovers 24/7, so be sure to order in advance to avoid waiting for your tasty bites.
Don't Miss: grab the Carolina BBQ Pulled Jackfruit sandwich! This Carolina style sandwich is filled with tangy BBQ jackfruit, garlic pickles, crispy fried onions, and arugula – topped off with a preserved cola and lemon reduction on crisp Texas Toast. For sides, you absolutely cannot go wrong with their Cheesy Homies – cheezy fried potatoes covered in a creamy hot sauce and topped with scallions.
Leave Room For: The indulgent cheesecake brownies. These creamy, bite-sized pieces are filled with goodness for a fair price of $5.50. Another special treat would be their comforting Dharma Spiced Tea, perfect for a chilly winter night. Sometimes, they have one-time specials (as advertised on their IG: @DharmaFineVittles) that you surely don’t want to miss out on!
2. Farmacy Vegan Kitchen + Bakery: 803 N Tampa St and 117 N 12th St
Plant Yourself: This quick-service café is the best destination for anyone in the mood to grub, as they have a variety of comforting vegan fare. From Philly cheesesteaks to traditional American burgers, this place is not sure to disappoint. Be sure to arrive early at one of their two locations downtown to secure a sweet spot for enjoying your meal.
Don’t Miss: The Mean Black Bean hot sandwich! This hot piece of paradise is a house-made lentil and black bean patty with chipotle mango slaw, Farmacy pickles, tomato, and garlic aioli on a sesame bun. For an extra bit of creaminess, add an avocado for $1.50 – it’s definitely worth it! I’m also a big fan of their Jerk Burger and Jerk Pasta, prepared with spicy jerk seasoning that always hits the spot. Stay tuned for their special deals and one-time exclusives (found on their Instagram @FarmacyVeganKitchen) you surely want to try!
Leave Room For: The oatmeal cream pies and chocolate avocado brownies! Their desserts, made with 100% vegan ingredients, never cease to impress. For instance, their decadent chocolate avocado brownies topped with a luscious cocoa glaze and white icing, are a chocolate lover’s dream. If you’re craving a nostalgic sweet, I recommend the oatmeal cream pies – baked to perfection and filled with buttercream – guaranteed to warm your heart and soul.
3. Ground Foods Café: 6428 N Florida Ave
Calling All: Italian food lovers! Located in the Seminole Heights neighborhood, this vegan eatery is the perfect destination for a date night or even happy hour. Ground Foods café is notorious for serving the best pasta in the entire city for vegans and non-vegans alike. They make everything – from their sauces to their nut-based cheeses – in house, full of tons of love and nutritious ingredients. Try their authentic Italian dishes and your taste buds will thank you.
Order to Share: There are so many scrumptious appetizers perfect for a gathering, be it a celebratory lunch at the restaurant or a movie marathon at home. Grab their bruschetta toast – toasted sourdough with heirloom cherry tomatoes covered in balsamic that will literally melt in your mouth. I also love to share the Salsiccia Square Pie – a crispy sourdough flatbread topped with spicy San Marzano sauce, almond ricotta, and house-made seitan sausage. Make sure to get your order in early – they sometimes sell out before 9 pm.
Be Sure to Enjoy: Any of the Italian pasta! Their most popular dishes (that I am a huge fan of) are the Penne Alle Vodka, and Cacio E Pepe, fettuccine tossed in a rich cashew sauce with fresh black pepper. The chefs are super creative and have a tradition of adding an exclusive menu item each week, which rotates every Tuesday (as seen on their Instagram @GroundFoodscafé). Every entree is served in a huge portion, which means you’ll have plenty of leftovers the following day!
4. Ice Spice Indian Street Food Café: 20304 Trout Creek Dr #101
Plant Yourself: Ice Spice Indian Street Food café is a hidden gem located on the streets of New Tampa. It’s a cute, trendy café complete with a frozen yogurt bar and indoor dining. Make sure you get there early to grab a spot to indulge in some fascinating food. A quaint place with natural lighting – this counter will serve up fresh smoothies, shakes, and sandwiches in no time!
Don’t Miss: Any of their chaat specials! Chaat is a popular snack – or group of snacks – served in roadside stalls or food carts in India. This famous delicacy is 100% vegan and includes a variety of delicious flavors and spices. I am a huge fan of their Chilli Pakora – deep-fried chilis – and their pani puri – a crispy puri filled with tamarind chutney, chaat masala, potatoes, onions, and chickpeas. If you’re looking for an extra kick of spice, they can certainly amp up the heat in any dish to give your tastebuds a little flare.
Leave Room For: The Island Blue or KnockOUT smoothie! Nothing sounds better after a hot, spicy meal than a sweet, cold smoothie. For a tropical vibe, try their Island Blue smoothie made with pineapple, mango, banana, spinach, and kale. If you’re leaning more towards a pina colada, their KnockOUT smoothie with avocado, spinach, kale, pineapple, and coconut will surely hit the spot. Their smoothies are super creamy and rich in plants, which will leave you wanting for more!
5. Loving Hut: 1905 E Fletcher Ave
Calling All: People looking for a quick bite! This Tampa vegan favorite offers a diverse menu of vegan Pan-Asian and American staples to satisfy those nights when you just want a burger or orange chicken delivered to your doorstep. This restaurant has over 70 vegan options – from Raw Sushi to subs to Kung Pao Chick’n, you name it. Loving Hut, the largest vegan restaurant chain in the world, holds a very special place in vegans’ hearts.
Order to Share: their Buffalo Cauliflower Wings and Nacho Cheese! Their appetizers are the perfect accompaniment to family game night or a picnic in the backyard. The cauliflower is soft and covered in buffalo sauce (the BBQ-lovers can opt for barbeque sauce instead) and the nachos are coated in their house-made nacho cheese sauce, pico de gallo, and fresh jalapenos. There’s also Chilli Cheese Fries and Cheese Sticks, fan-favorites of vegans and non-vegans alike.
Leave Room For: their mouthwatering cakes! For cheesecake lovers, there are two delicious cheesecake varieties that will satisfy any sweet tooth. The Organic Raw Cheese Cake is made with organic cashews, dates, vanilla, agave, lemon, and sea-salt (it’s GF too), and the Vegan Cheese Cake is made with vegan cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice on a crumbly carrot cake crust.
6. New Leaf Café: 11813 N Armenia Ave
Plant Yourself: Whether you are craving waffles, pancakes, or biscuits and gravy, New Leaf Café has all the fixings for a hearty and nutritious breakfast. This café is located in the heart of the Forest Hills neighborhood, a go-to brunch spot for many vegans in the city. Not only can you purchase delicious vegan cuisine from here, but also grab vegan grocery items, gemstone jewelry, and loose leaf teas from the in-house market. There’s even a special breakfast buffet held on the first Sunday of each month from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.
Don't Miss: The breakfast omelet! This is your classic breakfast plate but you won’t miss the meat or dairy. Try a plate with an omelet made of a Follow Your Heart vegan egg, some Tempeh Fakin’ Bacon, and hash brown patties. I am a huge fan of their tofu scramble, breakfast potatoes, and pancakes, which are stellar additions to your breakfast plate as well. If you’re looking for something to grab on the go, pick up their breakfast burrito filled with guacamole, red beans, corn, salsa, tofu scramble, breakfast potatoes, and vegan cheese.
Order to Share: The house-made cupcakes and peanut butter bars! For just a couple of dollars, you can try the decadent peanut butter bars that will just melt in your mouth. If you’re craving something chocolate or vanilla flavored, head over to their dessert case and ask for fresh-baked chocolate or vanilla cupcake. I love to pair baked goods with a latte or hot chocolate as the best afternoon treat. They have a wide variety of latte flavors such as dark chocolate, cinnamon, and butterscotch that will surely satisfy all your coffee cravings.
7. Nojak’s : 305 E Polk St
Calling All: burger lovers! If you love a flavor-packed, immaculate burger, look no further. Located in the bustling downtown Tampa, this new burger joint will not cease to impress. They are certainly a crowd-pleaser, so get your burger orders in early to avoid the rush. The chef of this eatery is super creative and introduces seasonal side-items in partnership with local farms (usually announced on their Instagram @NojaksTastyFoods) which are too good to miss!
Must-Try: Nojak’s has two vegan burgers prepared with fresh house-made patties. The Classic Nojak has a ground vegetarian patty, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, and fry sauce. They also serve the NFTOFU Supreme, filled with a crispy brined tofu patty, pickles, and vegan ranch. And if you’re gluten-free, they can prepare your burger in a crunchy lettuce wrap. If you’re looking for that ooey-gooey burger experience, ask for a slice of vegan cheese or extra sauce – no questions asked.
Don’t Miss: The enticing side items! Nojak's offers a lot of healthy and hearty side items that make a perfect accompaniment to your burger. My favorites are the Crunchy Seasonal Slaw, Chili Rancho Gordo, Twice Roasted Potatoes, and the House Chopped Salad. If you’re looking for a sweet dessert to complete your tasty meal, order their house-made brownie batter pudding, which tastes like a piece of heaven.
8. Pure Kitchen: 3214 W Kennedy Blvd
Calling All: Meal-preppers! If you love to meal prep for the week, this place is for you. Situated in South Tampa, this casual vegan café offers a variety of pre-made, grab n’ go dishes and drinks. Be sure to get your order in early before 6 pm on the weekdays and 5 pm on Saturday – they sell out pretty fast. Follow their social media (@pure_kitchen_tampa on Instagram) to get a glimpse of what they’re cooking for the week!
Be Sure To: Grab their Vegan Benedict for a weekend brunch. This savory dish has spinach, avocado, dehydrated portobello bacon, caramelized onions, tofu, and hollandaise sauce on top of a vegan English muffin. I usually pair that with a side dish, mostly one of their exquisite salads. They have so many yummy options, including Greek Salad, Potato Salad, Taco Salad, Creamy Cilantro Yucca Salad, and Raw Curry “Chicken” Salad.
Leave Room For: A scrumptious dessert! Cookies, cupcakes, brownies, you name it, they have it and it’s 100% vegan. The credit goes to Gabby, a self-taught vegan baker, and founder of Gabby Bakes LLC, who makes baked goods just for Pure Kitchen. One of her most popular – and mouthwatering – cupcake flavors is chocolate chip cookie dough. This is a decadent chocolate sponge cake under buttercream filled with real cookie dough! In other words, it’s an immaculate treat that you just have to indulge in.
9. Revelations Café: 17808 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Lutz, FL 33548
Plant Yourself: This trendy café is the best place to have a spontaneous coffee date or study sesh with a friend. It’s quiet, comfy, and filled with gratifying vegan food – what more can you ask for? They have a quiet zone for the book worms and on some tables, they have a place to put phones so you can enjoy a meal face-to-face with other(s) without the distractions of technology. Try to snag a seat there early if you want to secure a table, especially on the weekends.
Order to Share: The Pesto Artichoke Flatbread–this dish is perfect as an appetizer to be passed around the table – something all diners will surely enjoy. It’s a crispy flatbread topped with pesto layered with artichokes, cherry tomatoes, red onions and topped with their famous house-made vegan mozzarella. This piquant hors d'oeuvre is garnished with balsamic glaze and fresh basil, which all will feel like a party in your mouth.
Be Sure to Enjoy: The energy mouth-fulls! These are little energy-boosting bites filled with natural, plant-based ingredients. Each mini ball is made with old fashioned oats, vegan chocolate chips, cinnamon, vegan protein powder, pecan butter, coconut milk, and maple syrup. Every bite will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
10. The Mediterranean Chickpea: 3217 S MacDill Ave Suite C
Calling All: Mediterranean food lovers! This vegetarian restaurant holds a variety of plant-based Middle Eastern dishes, from falafel to hummus to moussaka, you name it. Located in Bayshore Plaza, this café sits in the heart of South Tampa, enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike. Seating is limited so be prepared to take your meal to-go from this charming little eatery.
Order to Share: Any hummus and their Pita Bag. You just can’t go wrong with creamy hummus and fresh-baked pita. They have a multitude of hummus options from the Original Hummus to the Black Olives Hummus. I’m a huge fan of their Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus, prepared with fresh chickpeas, fresh jalapenos, tahini sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Trust me when I say this hummus melts in your mouth. Make sure to order plenty as you and your guests will definitely be wanting more!
Don’t Miss: The Falafel Bowl! Their falafel is house-made – crispy on the outside and soft right in the center. I usually get their Fava Beans Salad, which is fava beans, tomatoes, parsley, and garlic tossed in a concoction of lemon juice and olive oil. If you are looking for something warm, I’d recommend their Rice and Lentils – a dish prepared with basmati rice, black lentils, onions, olive oil, and caramelized onions.
11. Vegan International Co.: 13751 N Nebraska Ave
Plant Yourself: Vegan International Co. serves up delicious cuisine from all around the world. They have two locations – one being the café in the University area and the other being the Vegan Halal Cart in South Tampa. At their café, seating is limited so get there early to secure your spot. Try to get your order in advance at both locations as it’s a pretty popular place for vegans and non-vegans to hang on the weekends.
Be Sure to Enjoy: The Gyro Box! This vegan gyro is packed with flavor and cooked to perfection – you won’t miss the meat. Each box comes with gyro seasoned seitan over saffron-infused basmati rice, a side salad, and their signature coconut milk Tzatziki sauce – all for a fair price of $13. Add a side of four grape leaves, which are stuffed with goodness. Trust me, you just don’t want to miss out.
Leave Room For: The buffalo vegan drumsticks–Think hearty wings covered in spicy buffalo sauce but 100% plant-based. That’s exactly right – their drumsticks can be covered in one of the following sauces: buffalo, BBQ, Sweet N’ Spicy, and Jerk BBQ. If you’re not a huge fan of drumsticks, I’d go for a side of tostones instead. These crispy fried green plantains are served with a luscious garlicky ketchup and mayo sauce.
12. 3 Dot Dash Vegan Kitchen: 6203 N Florida Ave
Calling All: Sandwich lovers! Located inside the Jug & Bottle Dept, 3 Dot Dash is every sandwich lover’s dream. This place is filled with comfort food – from Chick’n sandwiches to hoagies – all of which will please the palate. Get your orders in sooner than later – they sell out pretty quickly. They have exclusive menu items that stay only for a short period of time (as showcased on their Instagram @3DotDash) so be on the lookout as you definitely want to get in on this!
Order to Share: The “No Animal” style fries! Think crispy french fries smothered in a cheesy sauce. These mouthwatering fries are covered in cashew whiz, grilled onions, and their house-made burger sauce. Be prepared to order more, because one bite and you’ll surely get addicted. If you’re not a fan of fries, I’d recommend tasting their creamy Mac baked southern style in cashew “cheese” sauce. An order of this is definitely a big win.
Be Sure to Enjoy: Take a bite of their Tampaville Hot Chick’N. This sandwich is literally on fire with their house-made fried chick’n seitan breaded in Fuego Takis, tossed in chili oil, and topped with a ranch slaw and pickle. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, try their Mustard Tiger – mustard grilled 1/4 lb Impossible patty, Follow Your Heart American cheese, house burger sauce, grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and a pickle. Just wait and see, these burgers taste as heavenly as they sound.