It is no secret that in the past few years the number of people living vegan lifestyles increased dramatically. Many underlying factors contribute to this spike, namely an increase in social consciousness as well as recent improvements to substitutes for animal products. Several popular documentaries such as Cowspiracy, Earthlings and What the Health argue the positive environmental effects and personal health benefits of a vegan diet.
So how does the average omnivore transition to a more plant-oriented or even entirely vegan diet? Luckily, in the Jacksonville area, we have ample options to cut out animal products without sacrificing taste. I planned out the perfect vegan adventure around town that even the most die-hard meat eater would enjoy.
The most important meal of the day. Satisfy that early morning sweet tooth with a slew of vegan goods from Sweet Theory Baking Co. From classic donuts to crumb cakes, muffins and heavenly cinnamon rolls, this spot has an option for everyone. They sell out quickly on the weekends, so be sure to get to Riverside bright and early for a vegan latte and a box of delicious bites. If you’re more of a savory breakfast person, they make a drool-worthy chickpea and coconut “bacon” sandwich on a biscuit called the Throwdown.
::S A V O R Y:: General Tso Cauliflower with @veggieconfettifarm microgreens and Garlic Cheez. S I D E// Asian Style Slaw S W E E T::T R E A T:::: Blueberry Pie with Cocowhip! #jaxcoffeeculture #sofreshandsoclean #eatyogreens #cleaneats #southernrootsjax #eatjax #ediblejax #vegansofig #jacksonvilleeats #vegan #glutenfree #plantbased
Head down the road to Southern Roots Filling Station for their daily special. Recently, they had General Tso’s cauliflower with a garlic “cheez” sauce that would make your head spin. Of course, lunch wouldn’t be complete without a sweet treat and a caffeine boost. Grab a coconut milk ice-cream affogato (shot of espresso poured over a scoop). While you’re there, stock up on some bulk dry goods from their market section.
The next stop on this vegan adventure is TacoLu down in Jax Beach. After a full bowl of chips and salsa and a few sips of a house margarita, you should be ready for some delicious tacos. TacoLu offers two completely vegan options, and I recommend ordering both. The Tempeh Bangin’ is a meat-free, dairy-free version of the Bangin’ Shrimp Taco. They also offer a vegan version of the chorizo taco, which tastes almost exactly like the original.
Since you’re already at the beaches for TacoLu, head on out for some scratch-made vegan ice-cream. Located right off third street in Jacksonville Beach, Flava Moose offers an entertaining and customizable experience. You pick the milk base of your ice-cream and they serve several nut-milks and a soy milk option for a creamy vegan dessert. The best part of this ice-cream is that they prepare it in front of you on a large frozen plate. Finish it off with your choice of toppings (I always go with Oreos and rainbow sprinkles).
There you have it — a full day and a full vegan belly. Whether you try one or all of these eats, you are making a solid choice for both your body and the environment without sacrificing any flavor.