What once was a relatively obscure trend among small populations has grown into a full-blown lifestyle adopted by celebrities, professional athletes, and regular joes alike. Veganism's rise as a lifestyle choice has, in fact, made it easier for people to go vegan thanks to a great proliferation of vegan-friendly eateries and grocery stores – especially in cities dominated by a younger population, like the collegiate town of Gainesville. From trendy neighborhood spots to unique cultural cafes, here are some of the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Gainesville, FL.
Located in a historic Gulf Oil building, Civilization proudly touts its locally sourced ingredients as well as its impressive cultural footprint. Their menu features food from five continents, and every Wednesday they offer a new special from a different country. Civilization also boasts an entirely separate vegan menu full of appetizers like onion rings and delicious entrees like Thai Green Curry with Mushrooms.
To put it simply, if you're a cool kid, you've been to The Top in downtown Gainesville. The Top serves up fine cuisine without pretension or stuffiness in a hip setting full of fun people. You're treated to delicious meals like eggplant rollatini (filled with house-made cashew cream cheese) or coconut panko-fried tofu. If you're in a handheld mood, check out the black bean or falafel burgers served on whole wheat Kaiser buns.
East End Eatery prides itself on its familial atmosphere, eco-friendly ingredients and practices, and home-cooked breakfast and lunch. The all-day breakfast and Sunday brunch menus feature items like huevos rancheros with tofu eggs and vegan cheese, while the lunch menu is full of tasty options like a buffalo tempeh wrap with vegan blue cheese.
This downtown eatery commits to environmentally friendly practices so much, they put green in their name! All the drink cups are recyclable, they cook all their food with Energy Star appliances, and they give all food scraps to local farms from which they source ingredients. Meanwhile, the menu is full of vegan-friendly delights, from dairy-free waffles to tempeh sandwiches.
Who says vegan food can't have a little kick to it? The folks at Reggae Shack Café put Jamaican spins on classic vegan meals – or perhaps they put a vegan spin on classic Jamaican meals? You won't ponder the question for long when you're chowing down on handmade seitan steak simmered in a sweet Caribbean sauce with veggies or spicy tofu with the heat cranked up to 11.