With the Tampa Bay area being a hot spot for animal lovers (we have loads of pet-friendly date night spots) it only makes sense that our backyard is equally known for its cruelty-free, vegan restaurants. Sure, these restaurants are known for their lack of animal-based products, but they wow with culinary creativity, too. Check out these wildly popular Tampa vegan and plant-centric restaurants.
The Cider Press Café – Raw, Vegan
*Currently open for takeout and outdoor seating
Multiple award-winning The Cider Press Café in St. Petersburg is known for its delicious food selections that you would never guess are both raw and vegan! The brainchild of Johan Everstijn and Roland Strobel, the idea for this eatery was inspired by their commitment to bringing healthy alternatives to the otherwise “garbage in – garbage out” fast food mentality that has spread nationwide. Couples will love the plant-based, vegan and vegetarian spins on classic comfort dishes.
Ground Foods Cafe – Vegan
*Currently open for takeout only (outdoor patio available for takeout orders)
Feast on a selection of pastas, square pies and small plates at Ground Foods Cafe. This eatery in Seminole Heights serves up Italian comfort dishes reimagined in vegan form. Pastas and pies get a creamy, flavorful boost from nut-based cheeses made from scratch in house. Cheeses and creamy sauces are crafted with a base of nuts (typically walnuts, almonds or cashews), olive oil, plant-based milk, spice blends and the most important ingredient in Italian cooking, love. Nutritious and filling menu highlights include cacio e pepe pasta (fresh black pepper, creamy cashew sauce, linguine, cashew parm) and the salsiccia square pie (house made seitan “sausage”, almond “ricotta”, san marzano sauce, chili flake).
Ray’s Vegan Soul – Vegan, Gluten Free
*Currently popping up to offer prepackaged Soul to Go meals on Sundays from 1-4pm; order in advance and pick up curbside in front of Plant Love Ice Cream in St. Pete
Ray’s Vegan Soul is exactly what it sounds like – a plant-based eatery dishing up vegan soul food. In terms of the menu, it changes often as the chefs at Ray’s only use food that is in season. While there isn’t a brick and mortar location, you can get your fix every Sunday with a Soul to Go meal, available for pickup in front of Plant Love Ice Cream in St. Pete on Sundays from 1-4pm. Check the eatery’s Facebook page for the weekly menu and to place your order.
Oh, and PS: Ray’s caters if you and your partner are looking to cater a party (or your wedding) anytime soon.
Dixie Dharma – Vegan
*Currently open for takeout
This Orlando-based eatery expanded into Tampa in 2019 with its current home at the Heights Public Market inside of Armature Works. Dixie Dharma is beloved for its vegan BBQ options, sandwiches and hearty Southern-inspired comfort food dishes. Get your fill with hearty combo dishes that come with one comfort side (think tater salad, mac n’ cheese and grits).
Loving Hut – Vegan, Gluten Free
*Currently open for takeout
With a Tampa location on Fletcher Avenue, Loving Hut is known nationwide for its vegan cuisine as well as its scratch kitchen! Do you have any specific food allergies? Just let the chef know and they will whip up something special just for you. Keep in mind, even though this is a franchise, each location has a unique menu.
Bamboozle Cafe – Vegan, Gluten Free
*Currently open for takeout and delivery
Located in Downtown Tampa, Bamboozle Cafe (pictured in feature image) specializes in healthy Vietnamese dishes and a variety of Pho dishes, with both vegan and gluten free options. Bamboozle uses ingredients that are wholesome and healthful bringing a unique take on the more traditional dishes they provide, such as their Tofu Papaya fresh roll and noodle salads. The more upscale ambiance makes it totally date night-worthy.
Hot tip: Check out the eatery’s Facebook page for an assortment of takeout deals available different days of the week.
Gourmet Pizza Company – Vegan, Gluten Free
*Currently open for dine-in and takeout
Gourmet Pizza Company is a staple for pizza lovers and foodies alike. While not gluten-free or 100% vegan by nature, this focused pizzeria has nailed their gluten free dough and provides Daiya vegan cheese to pile on top of your veggies.
Craft Kafe – Vegan, Gluten Free
*Both St. Pete locations currently open for contactless pickup; window ordering and patio seating available
Craft Kafe is a gluten-free café serving up all types of food, but they are most known for their vegan options. This cute spot is perfect for both a breakfast and lunch date for couples. They offer daily specials, including vegan soups and pastries, as well as tasty options that are always available. This includes the vegan burger made with a quinoa, mushroom and black bean blend, as well as other vegan sandwiches. Craft’s cold brew is also to die for. This local spot offers meals for meat-eaters and dairy-eaters alike.
Love Food Central – Vegan, Gluten Free
*Currently open for takeout only
Love Food Central is known to be St. Pete’s vegan and gluten free comfort food restaurant. This adorable cafe is a favorite among locals, with sweet specials such as vegan soft serve, delicious cookies, BBQ jackfruit sandwiches and daily soup specials. The menu is packed full of flavors that will win over even your most meat-loving dining companions.
AWAPUHI by Leafy Greens Cafe – Raw, Gluten Free, Non-GMO
*Temporarily closed. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for the latest info
An award-winning restaurant that has been featured in Creative Loafing and Food Network, Leafy Greens in Downtown St. Pete provides an eclectic variety of dishes. Earlier this summer, the restaurant revamped with a new concept and name, complete with a brand new brunch menu and inventive made from scratch dinner options. While this much loved eatery has had to temporarily close due to the pandemic, the owners have plans to reopen soon.
More Tampa Vegan restaurants to try:
- Golden Dinosaurs Vegan Deli: Vegan made from scratch desserts, sandwiches and more
- Wicked Cantina Sarasota: Vegan and gluten-free options, tacos, bowls and Beyond Burger
- Fresh Kitchen: Vegan, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free options to build your own healthy bowl
- Sweet Soul: Vegan soft serve
- Farmacy Vegan Kitchen & Bakery: Vegan burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, sandwiches, acai bowls and more
- 3 Dot Dash: Vegan sandwiches, burgers, subs and more
- Pure Kitchen: Grab and go vegan meals
Feature image credit: Bamboozle Cafe