Since moving to the Tampa Bay area, I’ve been missing abundant health food stores, vegan options at restaurants, and a vibrant community to connect with. I am a (silent) member of a Vegan group on meetup.com, but I’ve yet to attend one of their events. I was pleased when I got an email from them today about the first annual Tampa Bay Veg Fest on October 2nd at the Curtis Hixon Waterpark Park on the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa.
If that news wasn’t exciting enough, I then found out there that a new vegan restaurant just opened in town called Loving Hut. Loving Hut serves all vegan food with a low price point. Their website says, “Loving Hut is created with a vision that all beings can live in peace, love and harmony with each other and the planet. Loving Hut chain restaurants are newly opening around the world. It is an invitation to gourmet cuisine made with wholesome, vegan ingredients, and it offers an accessible starting point for those making the noble transition to a plant-based diet.” I am looking forward the checking them out! I’ll report back soon (well, soon is like in the next few months… my husband and I rarely go out to dinner.)
A bit closer to home is Sumatra Bistro which is located on Oakfield Drive in Brandon. I’m happy a locally owned cafe which boasts serving “healthy, natural and organic choices” opened in my next of the woods. I just wish they had more vegan and vegetarian options on their menu. I sent them an email asking them to add some other wraps and salads to their menu. Nothing yet… so I’ll keep pressing!
If all this news wasn’t exciting enough…. this arrived today! No, not the dog. The big white box is my new bike. I’ve unwrapped it and loaded it in my car. Tomorrow after work I’ll be stopping by the bike shop to get it fit and should be on the road in no time! I’m so excited to have a road bike of my own!
….Also, let’s not forget these other great Tampa Bay vegan eateries….
Grass Root Restaurant serves organic vegetarian, vegan, and raw vegan food. I especially LOVE their key lime pie. My husband brought me home TWO pieces for my birthday, and he let me eat them both.
Here is what I wrote about Grass Roots on Yelp: “I’ve been eating high-raw/vegan for a few years now and when I first started dated my novio, we decided to go on a picnic. He said he would bring the food. I was concerned. I’m a picky, health nut, so I wondered how he could possibly fill my tummy with a smile on my face.
But, boy did he pull thru. He wouldn’t let me peak in the coolers till we stopped on the right spot at the beach to dine. He first pulled out Grass Roots card and said something like “just so you know where this food is from!” GRASS ROOTS!!!
At that point I had eaten there one other time with my Dad and enjoyed it, but to see this guy I’d been on a date or two with go out of his way to get yummy raw vegan food was awesome.
We enjoyed every bite that day and continue to visit Grass Roots when we treat ourselves to dinner. (I’d rather cook than dine out when given the option; however, Grass Roots is our go to spot when we want to hit the town!)
Some of my favorites:
Raw spaghetti – for the price you get a good amount of food and a side salad. great dressing.
Vegan Cheesecake: YUMMY. I’ve tried to replicate this recipe, but haven’t topped it. Crust is raw, the filling is a mystery. YUMMY!!!!
Some things to consider…. the price is quite steep, but that is how it goes dining at these types of joints. When they use organic produce things get pricey! Also, be prepared to wait… they aren’t in any hurry, but what you get is very fresh food. Additionally, Grass Roots isn’t in the best part of Tampa. I would suggest going at a reasonable hour and not strolling that part of the hood after your meal. You’ll understand. However… the vibe inside the restaurant makes you forget about what lies beyond the doors!
Sabrina and Spencer, a partner team, are soulful people. Their energy shines in their food.
Definitely well worth many trips… HAPPY VEGAN DINING!”
And also… Vida de Cafe on St. Pete Beach, which I have yet to try. I hope to make it there soon. Here is their Coconut Pad Thai. Their menu is raw vegan it appears.
Source: Jenny Miller Website