Nature’s Food Patch has loads of leafy greens and other healthy products, but you can also check out the healthy deli and café.
These days, more and more people are turning to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. It’s estimated that about 5 percent of Americans have ditched the meat and adopted a plant-based diet.
Some people are attracted to the health advantages, which include disease prevention – cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer are among the ailments eating veggies can help prevent – and weight loss.
Others might turn vegan for ethical reasons, such as a love of animals or concern for the environment. Growing plants uses fewer resources than raising animals for dairy and meat consumption.
As vegetarianism grows in popularity, this lifestyle has become easier than ever to maintain.
Mainstream grocery chains are stocked with faux meat products and veggie alternatives so you can whip up a delicious cruelty-free meal at home. And these days it’s just as easy to find a veggie-friendly restaurant if you’re hoping to dine out.
Here are a few veggie restaurants in Pinellas County.
Community Café, 2444 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Call 222-6979 or visit www.communitycafestpete.com. This cozy coffee shop has a number of veg options. This late-night spot also hosts local artists, musicians and other community events.
Consciousness Blossoms, 3390 Tampa Road, Palm Harbor. Call 789-1931 or visit www.consciousness-blossoms.com. This casual café is a great veggie-friendly brunch or lunch spot. They’re currently closed to reinvent their menu but will reopen after Labor Day.
Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant, 6575 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park. Call 549-1688 or visit www.lotusveg.com. Lotus’ vegan menu offers a healthy twist on authentic Vietnamese cuisine, attracting veggie lovers and carnivores alike.
Meze 119, 119 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. Call 498-8627 or visit www.meze119.com. This vegetarian bistro in downtown St. Pete serves traditional Middle Eastern cuisine with a modern flair.
Nature’s Food Patch, 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Call 443-6703 or visit www.naturesfoodpatch.com. Not only does this large natural food store carry a large array of organic produce, bulk foods, groceries, cheeses, wine and more, but it also has a healthy deli and café on site. Have a sandwich made to order, grab a to-go item from the case or hit up the salad and hot bars. There’s also a juice bar serving fresh juices, smoothies and fair trade coffee and tea.
Ohana Café, 306 Orange St. N., Palm Harbor. Call 787-1234 or visit www.theohanacafe.com. Ohana mixes the flavors of Hawaii with a healthy flair. Though meat is served there, the menu includes a number of veggie entrees, creative salads and delicious smoothies.
Ozona Pizza, 404 N. Orange St., Palm Harbor. Call 786-9662 or visit www.ozonapizza.com. This pizza place has a vegan cheese option, gluten-free crusts and soy-free mock-meat toppings.
Rawk Star Café, 32522 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. Call 772-7295 or visit www.rawkstarcafe.com. This creatively healthy restaurant serves up delicious raw and plant-based dishes with an emphasis on the superfoods that pack a nutritional wallop conventional diets tend to lack.
Serendipity Café, 664 Main St., Dunedin. Call 483-9233 or visit www.myserendipitycafe.com. This completely gluten-free restaurant prides itself on serving fresh foods, emphasizing using whole foods.
Vida de Café, 120 Eighth Ave., St. Pete Beach. Call 289-7164 or visit www.vidadecafe.com. This vegan restaurant on the beach serves up a gourmet raw dining experience in a casual environment.