Vegan-Vegetarian Dining, love veggies.
When my older daughter left for UF, she was a carnivore. In fact, one of her last meals at home was her dad’s steak dinner with his secret marinade. As time progressed, she experimented with her diet. She first tried vegetarianism and ultimately found her comfort zone as a pescatarian, a lifestyle choice she and I both still practice. So I’m here to tell you: more veggies are needed, wanted, and loved!
Whether your student is vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of options for veggies in Gainesville. Even if you’re just trying to keep veggies in your student’s away-from-home diet, here are our tasty recommendations for doing just that:
Afternoon – This new breakfast addition to the Gainesville dining scene is located in the Grove Street neighborhood, which is about 1.4 miles from campus. The owner worked at The Top for ten years before opening this small, casual order brunch restaurant. They are closed on Wednesdays, but also serve dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Big Island Bowls – Located on NW 8th Avenue, they serve up smoothies, acai bowls, poke bowls and Buddha bowls.
Civilization – Found at 1511 NW 2nd St, Civilization is known for its organic and locally sourced menu with vegan options. Please note that this is a cash only restaurant serving lunch Tuesday – Friday, Dinner Tuesday – Saturday, and brunch on Saturday and Sundays. Closed on Mondays.
Curia on the Drag (vegan) – Located on 6th Street, Curia is an urban oasis on 2.5 acres. This is a relaxing place for gathering over lunch, dinner, dessert, coffee, or tea. They specialize in a plant-based menu and, if you’re looking for vegan baked goods, X marks your spot at Curia. They also serve beer and wine, but Dad’s Bar (for dinner) is closed on Tuesdays.
Daily Green (vegan) – Located near downtown, this establishment offers organic and locally sourced foods for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike. Soups, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, gluten-free and sugar-free menu items provides lunch for one and all. Their original waffle cones come filled with your choice of tempeh (okay, personal yummmm here), or enjoy their famous tarragon yogurt chicken salad, a lentil burger, and more.
Just Salad – Gainesville’s newest salad place, bringing a concept familiar to those from New York. Featuring healthy salads, wraps, bowls, avocado toast, chicken noodle soup, and smoothies, they aim to serve affordable healthy food with their 10 items under $10 menu.
Mint Indian Cuisine (formerly Vegan to Goloka but still vegan) – located on Newberry Road, their “healthy bistro” menu offers everything from mac & cheez to subs to veggie burgers to salads. And smoothies. And don’t forget dessert.
Reggae Shack Café (vegan) – Located on University Drive, this Jamaican-influenced eatery serves vegetarian and vegan options including jerk tofu, veggie burgers, vegan steak sandwich, and stews. Their “Jamaican-on-a-plate” offerings also include tempeh and tofu dishes.
Sababa – Located downtown, this order-at-the-counter restaurant features Israeli cuisine. While they have THE best falafel, the menu is sooo filled with ethnic temptation it takes me longer to decide what to eat than to eat the meal itself. And then there’s dessert to choose! Babka or Baklava, hmmm…
The Top – Located in downtown Gainesville, there is typically a minimum 45-minute wait on weekends to get into this hip spot. Known for its modern take on American food, their vast menu includes many tempting vegetarian and vegan options. My daughter loves to start with either their corn nuggets or fried pickles. As a pescatarian, some of my favorite entrees are the pecan-crusted tofu, the seared scallops (usually a special), and their black bean burger. And did I mention you can order a Tempeh Reuben?
Vale Food Co – Vale Food Company is a healthy fast-casual restaurant that recently opened in Gainesville. They are based out of Tallahassee, having begun by catering to the FSU campus. (We’ll overlook this). Their food model is to make healthy eating more affordable, convenient, and delicious for college students. They feature chef-made “meal plan” bowls including acai, quinoa, potato noodles, and more. They will be rolling out optional meal plans in the near future.
Okay, blogger lunch break…who wants to join me? (And please excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin…) Happy Veg-eating!
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