By Daniela Ortega, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Vegan cuisine has arguably become mainstream since the 2010’s in cultural hubs around the world, and in Miami there are countless options for dining out – but not all are equal when it comes to quality, flavor and ambiance.
According to Vegan Society, “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
While there many aspects to this philosophy, a core practice is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and even honey – which quite frankly can leave many feeling short changed.
Nothing can be further from the truth today. Vegan cuisine, even at its many price points is as delightful, nutritious and varied as “regular” cuisine is. Miami, a city that is known for its health-conscious, fitness-loving and trendy locals, quickly started offering an array of vegan places where to satisfy the appetite and socialize as well.
According to GlobalData, veganism in the U.S. has grown from one percent to six percent of Americans that identify themselves as vegans, that is a growth of 600 percent. Here are few of Miami’s best restaurants capitalizing on the market.
For a chic atmosphere, Planta in South Beach is also a well-known for its scrumptious vegan cuisine. With a menu filled with cheesy nachos, truffle pizza, and creamy pastas, and their most popular veggie sushi, rolled fresh every day in the dinning room.
Not very far away, at The Sacred Space in Midtown, Plant Miami, offers a more chic atmosphere for customers to enjoy vegan dishes by Chef Horacio Rivadero, and Pastry Chef, Veronica Manozili.
Plant offers “a modern plant-based approach with an emphasis on vibrant organic living foods, with a commitment to the art of conscious cuisine.” Their dishes are not only delicious, but also beautiful and even certified Kosher.
For vegan burger lovers Love Life Cafe located in Wynwood, won the Seed Food + Wine Week’s Plant Based Burger Battle in 2016, also referred to as the “Best Veggie Burger in America.” The café has become an icon of Wynwood for its relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
The menu is filled with tasty options, from salads, to tacos, to pizzas, to smoothies and even desserts. Next to the actual café, is a smaller vegan coffee shop where local products from vegan bakers can be purchased, as well as coffee-blends handpicked by the owners.
The reasons to adopt a vegan lifestyle vary from person to person. Some chose it to protect animals, others for its health benefits, or both, while others choose it because of it environmental impact. It was believed at some point that livestock was responsible for the largest greenhouse gases emulsions currently in the world.
However, research has proven (according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) “that all animal agriculture represents a mere 3.9 percent of total U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions.” Nevertheless, veganism, has many benefits that should be considered, specially when eating such delicious meals is always an option.