Long gone are the days that vegetarians and vegans had only salads to look forward to when going out to eat. Since the meatless lifestyle has gone much more mainstream, chefs everywhere are looking at vegetarian food in a whole new light. They’re getting creative (and delicious) with the dishes that they prepare, and it’s easier than ever to cut meat out entirely. But if you still feel like it’s a gamble when you walk into a restaurant or even if you’re a carnivore that isn’t yet convinced the vegetarian life is for you, we’re here to set your mind at ease. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite St. Augustine vegetarian and vegan dishes – wraps, burgers, tofu, and everything in between.
DRAGGED THROUGH THE GARDEN DAWG
Brewz N Dawgs
This gourmet hotdog spot has pretty much every kind of hotdog you could possibly imagine, so it’s no surprise that they make a mean vegan dog too. The wheat-based vegan frank is overlaid with a generous coat of organic yellow mustard, relish, diced onions, and jalapeño peppers.
TOFU ‘N GRITS
The Spanish Street restaurant has all sorts of options for vegetarians and vegans, but we’re pretty partial to their take on this Southern staple. Blackened tofu is served over goat cheese and purple rice grits and topped with flash-fried spinach, corn-poblano salsa, and housemade ricotta cheese.
Old City Market
Vegetarian or not, the Old City Veggie is an approachable, friendly menu item. Biting into its smooth texture complemented by smoked gouda might easily fool any traditional burger lover. The crunch of romaine and juiciness of sliced tomato add to the layered experience. The avocado goes nicely with the smoked Gouda for a smoothness that sets everything off nicely.
The Manatee Cafe is one of the local authorities on all things vegetarian and vegan. They’ve got options from salads to stir fry to burritos, but if you’re craving a vegetarian take on a classic, order the Tofu Reuben. Baked tofu with red cabbage, sauerkraut, tomato, cheese, sprouts, and mustard – does it get any better?
Consistently abiding by their “Rule of Five” – every dish is made from scratch with five ingredients or less – every piadina that these chefs serve is beautiful in its simplicity. The Verdiana contains Scamorza (a cow’s milk cheese imported straight from Italy), zucchini, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and a balsamic glaze.
Present Moment Cafe
Surprisingly reminiscent of the real thing, you’re going to fall in love with the Un-Tuna Melt. The sandwich consists of the cafe’s house-made sunflower seed un-tuna on toasted millet bread with melted cheddar cheese, avocado, and tomato.
SESAME GINGER TOFU
The Sesame Ginger Tofu a prime example of a meal created to be comprehensive. The tofu is packed with 22 grams of protein and paired with a serving of jasmine rice and a colorful vegetable medley of purple cabbage, red bell peppers, shredded carrots, and broccoli. It’s finished off with wheat-free soy sauce, ground ginger, and sweet chili glaze.
Burritos are a classic that very few people are willing to miss out on if they’ve gone meatless. Luckily, you don’t have to thanks to places like Mojo’s Tacos. Mojo’s serves a Tempeh Burrito with black beans, jasmine rice, cheddar cheese, fresh salsa, and Mojo sauce. And don’t forget to add the queso.
Don’t let the simple name fool you – this wrap is loaded with flavor. Served with portobello mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, carrots, cheddar jack, mozzarella, cajun spices, and the unbeatable house garlic sauce, we get ours with the tomato basil tortilla.
Utterly authentic Peruvian, this dish is a vegetarian version of the classic seafood dish. The flavors are a fresh contrast of sweetness, citrus, and heat (trust us, the heat is absolutely necessary). Share it with the table as an appetizer, or go for a lighter entree and keep it all to yourself (no judgment here).