2016 was a year of good eatin’! So much exploring and discovering new vegan places around the world. It’s so hard to choose just a few of my favorite meals, because I truly savor each bite of vegan food as if it were the first time I tasted something so fantastic! Alas, I wouldn’t want this list to go on forever, so I’ve had to narrow it down to 16 delightful meals.
Try to keep the drool to a minimum, will ya?
16. Vegan Festival Food | Maryland and D.C.
Right from the start, I’m cheating and compiling multiple meals into one! Sheesh! Well, this one covers more than one meal, yes, but they’ve all be so scrumptious! I couldn’t leave anything out. From the Mac n’ Cheese Smackdown (thanks, PEP Foods!!) to Vegan Soulfest…to Thanksgiving with the Turkeys at Poplar Springs, to D.C. LineFes— I mean…D.C. VegFest—there have been so many fantastic food samplings at local vegan events!
15. The Food Market | Baltimore, Maryland
I couldn’t leave out one of the meals I eat most often. The Food Market is not a vegetarian restaurant, but they are very accommodating. They’re our neighbors (literally, right next door to my house), so we eat there regularly. My favorite are the Veggie No. 9 (not always on the menu) and the buffalo pickles appetizer (sans cheese).
14. Great Sage | Clarksville, Maryland
Allow me to introduce you to the wonder that is Great Sage. If you’re a plant-eater from Maryland or Virginia, there’s a good chance you already know about this fabulous restaurant. Great Sage is quite possibly the best vegan restaurant in Maryland. This year, I finally visited for the first time and I was blown away. I’ve since taken three non-vegan family members back to enjoy it!
13. Real Raw Organics | Ocean City, Maryland
How refreshing! I love their kombucha and the acai bowls are scrumptious! Thanks for being one of very few vegan-friendly establishments in Ocean City, Real Raw Organics!
12. Paulie Gee’s | Baltimore, Maryland
Oh, Paulie Gee’s, I think you were worth the wait! Their homemade cashew cheese and vegan sausages are on point!
11. Arcosanti Café | Arcosanti, Arizona
Again with the cheating, Crunchy Vegan Gal!! Sorry! This wasn’t one meal, but a series of meals that I enjoyed over my few night stay at Arcosanti. Their Arcosanti Cafe buffet is vegetarian and prepared by the residents of this intentional community. Everything was amazingly delicious and left me feeling light and fresh—plus, the views were fantastic!
10. Lost City Diner | Baltimore, Maryland
My mouth is watering just thinking about their Gardein burger and the rootbeer floats! It’s easy to pass off diners as being non-vegan friendly. That’s not the case with Lost City Diner. This non-veg restaurant is particularly veg-friendly—they even have non-dairy ice cream for their floats and vegan mayo for their many vegan sammys. I love this place so much!
9. Green New American Vegetarian and Nami | Phoenix, Arizona
I made the mistake of being super hungover the day that I went to Green New American Vegetarian (karaoke the night before…singing showtunes and Disney songs…at a gay bar…during Pride Week…I’m not mad.). But this place was spectacular! I got the chili cheese fries and then walked nextdoor to Nami for some vegan soft-serv!
8. ChocolaTree | Sedona, Arizona
Woah, I was not expecting this! They call ChocolaTree an “organic oasis in Sedona” and it truly is. Health food with a delicious twist! You can even just tell from the photo that this was made from some really incredible ingredients. And it was so good! Clean plate club!
7. Encantada | Baltimore, Maryland
I have a rocky history with Encantada. The first time I called I asked if they’d have vegan options, “We’re a vegan restaurant!” they replied. That wasn’t true, they served meat and some dairy, but they were very vegan-focused. The next time I went back, there was more meat and fewer vegan items. The time after that, almost no vegan options. But they’ve been committed to their vegan dishes lately and I can’t say a bad thing about their food—it’s all so amazing!
6. Elizabeth’s Gone Raw | Washington, D.C.
Wow, I would have never thought raw vegan food could taste so exquisite! Then I was introduced to Elizabeth’s Gone Raw. I couldn’t have been more wrong! These dishes were phenomenal! For my full review, check out this post.
5. Gnome Café | Charleston, South Carolina
Aaahhh, Gnome Café! Why did I have to discover this place on the final hour of my visit! It was so incredible! I want to go back just to eat their food!
4. Souls | Copenhagen, Denmark
Not only was the food amazing, but the company was fabulous! I met up with a long-distance vegan Facebook friend—who just so happened to be traveling to Copenhagen the same time I was! Souls was a great choice for breakfast!
3. The Coronado | Phoenix, Arizona
The food and atmosphere were together just perfect! I am so thankful to have enjoyed a warm evening in Phoenix at The Coronado! Mmmmm, Mexican Street Corn….
2. Video Video | Copenhagen, Denmark
So nice I had it twice! I LOVED Video Video! The tiny restaurant had such a chill vibe (arcade games, anyone?) and the food was scrumptious—it fulfilled a junk food craving but at the same time, you know it’s made with fresh and whole ingredients!
1. Brasserie 2eme Art | Paris, France
I wanted to say that my favorite meal of the year was in Copenhagen, because I just loved that city so much. Alas, I can’t pretend that the risotto from Brasserie 2eme Art wasn’t absolutely phenomenal. Just look at that artful presentation! I missed out on the Gentle Gourmet while in Paris, but that wasn’t a big deal because I just came back here, and had even more delicious food!
The food has been delicious—there were too many great meals to share them all on this post. I look forward to another delicious year in 2017! To keep track of my day-to-day eats, be sure to follow me on Instagram!