Vegan Dining in Santa Fe
It's easy to find delectable vegan fare in Santa Fe!
If you want to eat healthier after being house-bound for the past months, you're living in the right place. Santa Fe has plenty of spots offering vegan fare, which generally is devoted to a variety of whole plant foods (veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds), though raw-food vegan diets are popular and several other vegan varieties exist.
The vegan diet omits any animal products, and that means eggs and dairy along with meat. Its intent is to avoid animal cruelty and exploitation in food, clothing and any other related product or practice. The diet can promote weight loss and a lower body mass index because the higher dietary fiber content can leave you feeling more full than a non-vegan diet does.
This year, plant-based entrées take center stage. That's great news for vegans as well as vegetarians and even those on a gluten-free diet and you can already find such dishes in restaurant around town. So let's take a look at some revered Santa Fe restaurants where you'll find delectable vegan fare. In some places, you can order vegan dishes right off the menu and in others, you can request substitutions, swapping out meat and dairy with fruits and vegetables, for instance, and asking to keep cheese out of a salad.
One of the most popular Santa Fe spots serving vegan fare is Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen, which offers vegan items for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as dessert. “We have so many vegan options,” says co-owner Soma Franks. One of her favorites, “and I don't even have to think twice,” she says, is the chile relleno, a roasted poblano chile pepper stuffed with quinoa, mushroom and zucchini and served with roasted tomato sauce, creamy cashew cheese and a side of black beans. “It's far and away my favorite and vegan or not, it's the best,” she says.
For lunch, Franks recommends the Buddha Bowl. “There are lots of other choices but as far as bestsellers, our Buddha Bowl is far and away in the top three,” she says. “It's made with sautéed kale, brown rice, nori seaweed, pickled radish, avocado and sprouted watermelon seeds, lightly tossed in a spicy ginger garlic tamari sauce and topped with sautéed tofu or tempeh At Sweetwater, it's worth saving room for vegan desserts. “The vegan chocolate cream pie is a good reason to come in all by itself,” Franks says. It's crafted with coconut cream, dates and coconut sugar, both for sweetening and a crust made with organic cacao and dates.”
Franks has noticed a definite growth in the number of vegan diners at Sweetwater. “It's a huge part of our business and definitely increasing,” she says. We also serve gluten-free and paleo fare. People are becoming more and more conscious of healthy eating.”
At The Teahouse, savor a vegan wrap stuffed with marinated and roasted tofu, tomatoes, bell peppers, arugula and cucumber, accompanied by an aioli made with mustard instead of mayo. You can order it for lunch or dinner. Pair it with a side of Castelvetrano Olives— those bright green Sicilian olives even olive-haters love—or roasted Brussels sprouts dressed up with a balsamic glaze. After your meal, relax with a cup of exceptional tea, choosing from some 150 fine teas from around the globe. Try a flowering tea, such as Tiffany Rose Melody. The blend of marigold and amaranth blossoms, rose notes and grassy green tea will whisk you far from our wintery weather to a serene, summery landscape, if only in your mind.
Vinaigrette is a popular salad bistro, where it's easy turn a non-vegan salad into a vegan option, making minor substitutions. The Asian Chopped Salad, though, is all ready to roll for vegans, a blend of chopped Napa cabbage and rice noodles with julienned red bell peppers, scallions, shredded carrots, cilantro and peanuts. It's all tossed in a zippy vinaigrette dressing with miso and ginger and then garnished with crispy noodles. Not just good, but good for you.
Paper Dosa cooks up some amazing southern Indian food that is a little lighter than the northern food many of us know. You can start with a bowl of asparagus soup, have a mung sprout and radish salad and wrap up with a delicious curry if you haven't had your fill.
Annapurna's World Vegetarian Kitchen proudly boasts not only vegan food, but Ayurvedic vegan food, which can be a very wholistic approach to eating. Luckily it is delicious, too. The menu is extensive, from breakfast foods to soups, salads, sandwiches and a mix of international entrees.
The vegan diet has become so popular that you can find at least one dish devoted to it at many upscale restaurants around town. For instance, Geronimo elegant menu offers the Garbanzo Bean and Eggplant Croquette, an entrée of Italian squash ratatouille with crispy artichoke hearts and romesco sauce.
Tucked into a discreet corner of Agua Fria and Hickox is Ras Rody's Jamaican Vegan Kitchen, devoted to healthy cuisine with the flavors of Jamaica you know and love. Give them a ring at 505-660-4174
The Apothecary Restaurant offers a unique menu based on comfort foods for take out our jubilee gluten free take no bake gluten free pizza and new world deli with paleo, vegan and vegetarian specialties for building strength and power.with Herbalism, and farm to table superfoods. (505) 986-5037
Do you have a favorite vegan restaurant that we missed here? Let us know at the SantaFe.com Facebook page.