Regardless of what you may think about dishes that eschew meat and dairy, one thing is for sure: vegan offerings at restaurants have become more prevalent and delicious.
For our first roundup since before the pandemic, we reached out to a popular and prolific local vegan Instagrammer, Hannah Hernandez aka Death Free Foodie.
A practicing vegan since 2017, Hernandez launched Death Free Foodie in 2019 to keep her never-ending flood of photos of local vegan dishes off her personal Instagram account.
With 5,000 followers and growing, she hopes it continues to grow and help anyone interested in the vegan lifestyle or just looking for new restaurant options.
Without further ado, here’s Hannah’s top 20 picks for summer 2021…
Lemon Fried Tofu at The 81 Hong Kong Cafe
625 E Wetmore Rd
Look for the many vegan symbols on The 81 Hong Kong Cafe’s menu! Lemon Pepper Fried Tofu, Basil Eggplant, and Veggie Chow-Fun are my current favorites.
Learn more at the81hongkongcafe.com
Vegan Crush Pizza at Renee’s Organic Oven
7065 E Tanque Verde Rd
One of my favorite of Renee’s vegan dishes, Vegan Crush Pizza features red sauce, vegan pesto, zucchini, Kalamata olives, broccoli, artichokes, and peppers. Add Daiya for an extra $3. If you want a little extra, go for the garlic knots, and cinnamon rolls for dessert.
Check out Renee’s Organic Oven at reneestucson.com
Muffaleta Sandwich at Urban Fresh
73 E Pennington St
This all-vegan restaurant offers daily specials and a wide variety of menu items that are healthy and delicious. Urban Fresh also has daily sweets available, so bring your sweet-tooth. Pictured is one of my favorite specials: The Muffuletta Sandwich.
More info at urbanfreshtucson.com
Orange Peel Cauliflower & Tofu at El Torero
231 E 26th St
Whether you’re vegan or not, you’ll love the incredible flavors in the plant-based specials at El Torero. The creativity and thoughtfulness that Chef Mikey Hultquist puts into his vegan dishes is truly impressive.
More info at eltorerotucson.com
Wildcat Burger at Lovin’ Spoonfuls
2990 N Campbell Ave #120
Lovin’ Spoonfuls has offered a 100% vegan menu since 2005. My favorite is their Wildcat Burger. This drool-worthy burger features a house-made soy patty with tempeh bacon, caramelized onions, vegan blue cheese and sriracha mayo.
More info at lovinspoonfuls.com
Veggie Sushi at Yoshimatsu Japanese Eatery
2741 N Campbell Ave
Yoshimatsu makes it easy to locate the many vegan options on their clearly labeled menu. The Mushroom Ginger Ramen and veggie sushi rolls always make my day.
More info at yoshimatsuaz.com
Double Double Classic Burger at Goodness Fresh Food & Juice Bar
2502 N Campbell Ave
My personal Goodness Fresh Food & Juice favorite is their Double Double Classic. Two 4oz patties, Goodness sauce, vegan cheddar, shaved red onion, tomato, arugula, pickles, and a sprouted wheat bun. Enjoy your meal to-go or on their outdoor patio.
More info at goodnessfresh.com
Soy Chorizo Burrito at Tanias 33
614 N Grande Ave
Tania’s menu is packed with vegan options. My favorites right now: Vegan Cazuela Soup, Red Chile Jamaica Tamales, Vegan Machaca breakfast plate, Fried Cauliflower or Jamaica tostadas/tacos.
More info at tanias33.com
Buffet at Govinda’s
711 E Blacklidge Dr
The new ordering process at Govinda’s is fast and easy. Walk in, pay, look at the options behind the glass and a sweet person will ask you what you’d like! Order your food to-go, or sit outside in their beautiful outdoor area. Vegan days are Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The other days are mostly vegan and vegetarian.
More info at govindasoftucson.com
Vegan Breakfast Burrito w/ Tofu Bacon at Substance Diner
1015 S Park Ave (Food Truck)
The vegan menu at Substance Diner is full of excellent options. The Vegan Breakfast Burrito with added tofu bacon + Diner fries is one of my favorite orders. Order at the Substance Diner food truck and enjoy your meal out on Motosonora’s outdoor patio or take it to-go.
More info at substancediner.com
Cauliflower Sandwich at Zayna Mediterranean Restaurant
1138 N Belvedere Ave
My favorite vegan option at Zayna Mediterranean Cafe: The Cauliflower Sandwich. Fried cauliflower with hummus, tahini, cumin, pickle, tomato, lettuce and onion on a Greek pita. You have the choice between fries or a salad on the side. Their falafel sandwich is also vegan!
More info at zaynamediterranean.com
Mexicano Love Plate at Tumerico
2526 E 6th St
Mostly vegan with some vegetarian options, Tumerico creates beautiful dishes. Pictured is the amazing Mexicano Love Plate.
More info at tumerico.com
Vida Bowl w/ Beyond Carne at Charrovida
7109 N Oracle Rd
Charrovida offers many vegan dishes, and you can easily customize any dish. My favorite dishes to order are the Keto Relleno with jackfruit carnitas and the Vida Bowl with Beyond carne, cauli ‘al pastor, and super fajitas.
More info at charrovida.com
Graze Lunch Bowl at Tohono Chul Garden Bistro
7366 N Paseo Del Norte
Tohono Chul Garden Bistro has generous portion sizes and high protein options. Their Graze Lunch Bowl is a beautifully organized bowl of Vegan Sausage, Spinach, Sweet Corn, Mushrooms, Roasted Tomato, Shallots, I’ltoi Onion Smashed Spuds, Poblano & Vegan Herb Aioli. They also offer a Beyond Burger with Grilled Ciabatta, Vegan Chipotle Aioli, Avocado, Tumbleweed Onions, Arugula, Pickle & Tomato.
More info at tohonochul.org
Vegan Jackfruit Birria Burrito at 520 Taco Stop
10290 E Speedway Blvd
520 Taco Stop will have you thinking differently about jackfruit. Find dreamy vegan jackfruit birria burritos, tacos, tortas and more at this food truck off of Speedway & Houghton.
Veggie Delight at La Indita
722 N Stone Ave
Free of lard and animal broth, La Indita’s delicious beans and rice are always made vegan. Their menu items marked with the red asterisk are vegetarian and can be made vegan. (Except anything with green sauce or mole.) The Veggie Delight; which I’d personally recommend, is a special combo plate with a potato taco, spinach enchilada, mushroom spinach tostada, served with beans and rice. The #7 plate is an enchilada, mushroom taco, chalupa, served with beans and rice. (Ask for no cheese on the beans.)
More info at lainditarestauranttucson.com
Vegan Bolognese at Vivace
6440 N Campbell Ave
Vivace Tucson offers two mouth-watering vegan dishes. Vegan Bolognese and an Italian Style Vegetarian Burger that can be made vegan if you ask for their house-made vegan cheese. Perfect for a date night.
More info at vivacetucson.com
La Cauliflora Pizza at Falora
3000 E Broadway Blvd
Find vegan mozzarella and house-made vegan sausage at Falora! My favorite order: La Cauliflora pizza and Hazelnut Gnocchi.
More info at falora.com
Golden Caulifower Torta at Tito & Pep
4122 E Speedway Blvd
Tito & Pep’s seasonal Golden Cauliflower Torta with turmeric-ginger fried cauliflower, black bean hummus, and spiced red cabbage slaw. If you love turmeric like I do, you’ll want to get your hands on this as soon as possible.
More info at titoandpep.com
Bedeviled Sandwich at Beaut Burger
267 South Avenida del Convento
Another full vegan menu! Beaut Burger creates unique burgers, sandwiches and more. My usual order: Bedeviled Sandwich (tofu “eggsalad,” tomato, dijon mustard, marble rye) with a side of beer-battered cauli bites.
More info at beautburger.com
Think we missed a vegan dish or two? Let us know below. Want to write for Tucson Foodie? Reach out to us here.