The beginning of the year seems to be the time when we collectively start getting ambitious with our health. More spin classes! Less booze! And, it’s true, the body needs nutrients, per science. While we love diving into new barbecue joints and Tex-Mex favorites, even the food team needs—and wants!—to eat healthy. Kale salads and cashew cheese? We’re in.
Gluten-Free Waffles at Tribal All-Day Cafe
When we’re feeling like weekend warriors, we indulge in a dish we know we can only find on Saturdays and Sundays at this regular spot for turmeric almond-milk lattes. These crispy-chewy beauties are made with a gluten-free flour blend; aquafaba, that magical chickpea-water whipped situation, gives them loft; vegan coconut yogurt and goji berries make the minimalist plate pretty. We often add a side of jackfruit, which the secret house marinade turns to something with a teriyaki lilt.
Snacks at Brewed and Pressed
We do love the sky-blue Island Milk, thick with coconut and tocos (a rice derivative) and blue majik. Among the elixirs, we go for the raw vegan snacks. The seasoned sun-dried tomato–kale crackers (spread these with the hemp-cashew cheese) and packets of sea palm and activated almonds make us secretly happy on the go.
The Mannawich at JuiceLand
The Tigerlilly and its sisterhood of juices keep you coming back. But we also love the grab-and-go fare in the fridge. The Mannawich (sprouted grain “sandwich” with nut-butter-date filling) is the ultimate favorite, though close behind is the faux cashew-cheese tzatziki-topped quinoa studded with pistachios and apricots.
Gather Kitchen’s Tiramisu
When we’re craving something sweet, Gather Kitchen provides a mean soaked-cashew tiramisu. The scoop is made primarily of a creamy blend of soaked cashews, with all the requisite coffee-cacao flavors. It’s light on sweetness, long on satisfying texture.
All Raw Salad at Spiral Diner and Bakery
We love the veggies and hemp seeds that make us feel energized. All the raw veggies means red bell pepper, zucchini, cucumber, avocado, along with raw pecans, a liberal showering of hemp seeds, some bursts of apples, walnuts, and raisins. The crowning glory is the walnut vinaigrette. Odes have been written to that dressing.
Apple-Fennel Shio or Veggie Shoyu at Ichigoh Ramen
We adore both of these vegan options for comforting ramen. George Itoh respects the details of broth, noodles, tare (seasoning), and oil in old-school fashion. For the veggie ramen, the broth gets fuji apples and burdock root (secret sweetness and earthiness) and an infusing sachet of sesame and peanuts (for depth and richness). An oil of roasted shallots and root vegetables adds umami nuance in the finishing touch.
Vegan Elotes at Toluca Organic
Vegan elotes involve vegan queso fresco—yes, the place has vegan chorizo or barbacoa for its tacos—along with all the street-food fixings of Mexican corn.
Veginator Breakfast at Goodfriend Package Store
A scramble of egg whites, avocado, white cheddar, red onion, kale, jalapeño, tomato goodness is a nice way to start the morning. We’ve been known to dub the mushroom pastrami & rye—a vegetarian take on a Reuben with portobello mushroom “pastrami,” Swiss cheese, house-made sauerkraut, and Million Island dressing on marble rye—something worthy of the Best of Big D list. Just sayin’: they may make good biscuits, but they’ve got the veggie thing covered.