Many folks for whom #MeatlessMonday extends to the rest of the week often make the mistake of assuming Miami Spice is not for them. A fixed menu at most restaurants would surely include dishes starring beef, chicken, fish or pork, right?
These days, a plant-based (or mostly plant-based) diet has become fairly commonplace. Miami’s restaurants are now doing better to ensure no guest is left hungry, and that means giving plenty of veggie-friendly options. Here are our go-to spots for vegetarian Miami Spice dishes.
The folks at Soul Tavern claim to use the five elements as their basis for creating scrumptious food that’s good for “health and harmony.” Moreover, this plant-based joint likes to avoid things like GMOs, refined sugars, preservatives and other not-so-great-for-you stuff. If you eat veg, you’ll want to come for lunch and dinner during Spice.
Magical lunch offerings include jackfruit gyoza, low key gnocchi, and the porto Miami burger with “high frives.” Dinner’s highlights are hemp crusted edamame cakes and eggplant medallions.
1801 West Ave., Sunset Harbor; 305-925-0799 or www.soultavern.com/
You know that veganism is truly catching on when you can find an gourmet, plant-based dining option inside one of the hottest (and most eco-friendly) hotels on SoBe. Open for breakfast and lunch, plnthouse’s menu features nutritious, revitalizing avocado toasts and garbanzo scrambles in the mornings and an array of salads, bowls and wraps throughout the day to keep you feeling fit and fabulous. If you enjoy healthy, unforgettable meals with beautiful, oceanside views, this is your Miami Spice destination.
2341 Collins Ave. (inside 1 Hotel South Beach), Miami Beach; 305-604-1000 or www.matthewkenneycuisine.com
Cheese-loving vegetarians will be thrilled when they see the Miami Spice menus for Bakehouse Brasserie. This Parisian-style bistro situation in the South of Fifth neighborhood is all about indulgence – it’s the sort of place you go to treat yo’self.
So you’ll want to dig into the croissant French toast (with bananas foster and cream cheese glace) during Miami Spice brunch or opt for the French grilled cheese (because brie is everything) and a slice of decadent Key lime pie for lunch.
808 First St., South Beach; 305-435-8249 or bakehousesouthbeach.com
Vegetarians seeking a quality meal during Miami Spice would be wise to opt for Italian cuisine. And one of the best places for it is a posh but cozy little restaurant on Collins Avenue named Spiga. Open since 1995, this long-standing SoBe gem is opening its menu to omnivores and vegetarians alike for Miami Spice dinner.
Start off with the burrata followed by the house made gnocchi Pomodoro and end with cheesecake or tiramisu, both winners in our book.
1228 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-0079 or www.spigarestaurant.com
One of Miami’s most popular Chinese (or more specifically, Cantonese) restaurants, Hakkasan is definitely a place you’ll want to visit during Miami Spice. A dinner at this Michelin star-rated establishment might normally set you back a cool $100 (if you’re wanting the full experience, that is), so the deals this month are solid. While Hakkasan’s main Spice menu leaves something to be desired, the restaurant has a separate vegetarian menu available. That likely means some vegetarian dim sum similar to their usual offerings: bamboo dumplings and truffle bean curd rolls, but as it’s Spice, expect something even nicer.
4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 877-326-7412 or fontainebleau.com
Plant Food and Wine
The vegan haute cuisine restaurant located in The Sacred Space in Wynwood fuels Miami with gourmet plant-based meals. The menu here offers a wide array of flavors to choose from: green gazpacho, coconut ceviche tacos, kimchi dumplings, barbecue mamey.
105 NE 24th St., Wynwood; 305-814-5365 or www.matthewkenneycuisine.com
Kiki On The River
Maybe you’re looking to try something completely different during Miami Spice this year. How about something a little new and…Greek? Kiki On The River (the Miami river, that is) is just the spot for you. Chef Steve Rhee has whipped up a fabulous menu that can be served to vegetarians during dinner Mondays through Fridays.
Start off with a crisp, compressed watermelon salad or the dakos (an appetizer of torn barley bread, grated tomato, olives, feta, and oregano), then move on to a pasta dish with lemon butter sauce (just ask them to hold the avgotaraho and they’re happy to oblige), followed by baklava or gelato.
450 NW North River Drive, Miami; 786-502-3243 or www.kikiontheriver.com
Another top notch restaurant to visit for Miami Spice (vegetarian or not) is Zuma. Hit up the Spice lunch, and you’ll get a miso soup (but this is Zuma so expect more), grilled vegetable donburi (a flavor-rich veggie treat with rice and wafu dressing), plus the chance to try any of two unique desserts: a piña colada mitsumame or a chocolate caramel cremeux. At dinner, switch up your app for a roasted beetroot salad with goma ponzu. And for the truffle fans, the main course is a truffle rice donburi with mushrooms, Japanese veggies, and quail egg (which you could always nix if you prefer).
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way (inside the Kimpton Epic Hotel), Miami; 305-577-0277 or www.zumarestaurant.com
Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill
How often do you get the chance to experience South African cuisine? Why not try it out during Miami Spice? This Brickell-based newcomer is offering lunch and dinner this month with some delightful options for vegetarians.
Mini cauliflower samosas with green chutney are available for both meals, as is the focal dish: a toasted couscous risotto complete with butternut squash, baby shiitakes, kale and a rich Parmesan-thyme cream that will surely please anyone’s palate.
As for dessert, there’s ice cream, but you’ll probably want to try one of these two scrumptious sounding options: Nutella bread pudding with salted caramel and whipped cream or Cape Dutch malva pudding with amarula creme anglaise. Yes, please.
701 S. Miami Ave. (inside Brickell City Centre), Brickell; 786-814-5955 or www.bigeasy.miami/
Those who enjoy eating fresh, light and organic often find themselves dining at Essensia. The farm-to-table restaurant is doing Spice right by offering vegan and vegetarian guests the chance to order any item off the menu for their Spice experience. That means brunching on avocado toast and lemon poppy seed quinoa pancakes or enjoying oyster mushroom “ceviche” and a gluten-free chickpea cauliflower kale curry for lunch. Spring for the Haitian legume dinner (complete with roasted veggies, pea puree, fried spinach leaves, brown rice, and beans) plus sorbet for dessert.
Additionally, guests are welcome to combine their Miami Spa Month treatments with Miami Spice lunch or brunch deals. A 65-minute spa treatment with lunch or brunch gets sweetened with a free glass of bubbly. For 95 minutes plus lunch? You’ll get a free half-day usage of a beach cabana.
3025 Collins Ave. (inside The Palms Hotel), Miami Beach; 305-534-0515 or www.thepalmshotel.com.