FL, home of Walt Disney World, the
place where dreams come true? Really?
What if you are vegan or vegetarian?
Let's take a look...
parks, arts, museums and so much more... thousands
of people visit Orlando, FL every year from
all over the world. But the number 1 challenge
has always been where to grab healthy vegan
food and snacks, right?
The truth is
I've been to Disney parks with family and
friends numerous times, and every single time
finding vegetarian or vegan friendly dishes
was a big challenge. I often grabbed french
fries and some tea at best and usually had
to bring my own vegan food with me so I don't
As far as Disney
parks go, (as fas as I know) there is one
restaurant at Disney's Hollywood
Studios which offers a vegan
burger with fries. All other parks have very
limited options, and intentionally so, since
a huge part of the Disney experience is to
allow visitors to enjoy the foods they crave
and love, not necessarily healthy foods
McKennas Bakery (aka BabyCakes NYC) at Downtown
on that note, I did
however find some delicious and health conscious
desserts at Downtown Disney at
Erin McKennas Bakery (aka BabyCakes NYC),
which opened their doors during Spring 2015
and is already a huge hit among local vegans
and vegetarians! Plus their gluten-free, dairy-free,
egg-free and soy-free desserts are sweetened
with agave and unrefined sugar (which are
better than regular sugar at least), so there
is something for everyone! I tried the banana
cake and it was simply delicious. Highly recommend
this place, dynamite!
I've also tried and loved
the pumkpin slice from Erin
McKenna's BabyCakes, the world's
premiere gluten-free vegan bakery, and previously
the shop at downtown Disney before Erin
Mc Kenna's Bakery opened its doors.
See pics below from Summer 2015:
Vegan Brocolli Cheese Biscuit:
Now outside of Disney and the parks there
is lots to explore! Check out these must-try
vegan and vegetarians restaurants around the
city of Orlando...
#1 choice! Ethos Vegan Kitchen:
My all around
Ethos is 100% vegan and most importantly,
they estimate that 50% of their menu is organic.
What started as a vegan restaurant in downtown
Orlando has grown to its current beautiful
location in Winter Park since July 2012. The
new location now attracts vegan and health
concious people from around Orlando daily.
Ethos provides wonderful food at a reasonable
price and even vegan bakery items made from
scratch on-site daily. Plus Ethos is just
walking distance from the shops and museums
in beautiful historic Winter Park. A must
Here are some of the dishes:
Ethos Garden Salad GF SF
Mixed spring greens loaded with artichoke
hearts, vine ripe tomatoes, black olives,
sprouts, red onions, carrots, cucumbers and
broccoli. Served with your choice of dressing.
(Tip: Plus I added Tofu for
a small extra fee)
Sautéed chickun and button mushrooms
covered in a Marsala wine sauce on a bed of
Blackened Tempeh GF
Tempeh coated in our special blend of Cajun
seasonings and seared in a cast-iron skillet.
Served over basmati rice and layered with
black beans with carrots and peppers, collard
greens and tomato-mango salsa.
here are some of the small bites and soups
at Ethos Orlando:
A side of spinach
(Tip: A nutritious side at
a great value also)
Black Bean Soup GF SF
Black beans, onions, carrots and red and green
bell peppers seasoned then slow-cooked to
perfection. Topped with sour cream and diced
Seasoned carrots, potatoes, and broccoli wrapped
in a layer of flaky pastry and baked until
Chickun Gyro (Tip:
There is something new and unique
daily on their specials menu!)
popular among locals is the Garden
Cafe in downtown Orlando. An asian
chinese restaurant with all time favorites
including veggie fried rice, tofu and veggies
noddles and much more. Note that there desserts,
however, are vegetarian, not vegan, and since
they include milk I didn't get to try them.
Note that their food, oils and many of the
dishes are heavily processed. Plus if you
are not a fan of fake meats avoid most dishes
including the sushi as well. Perhaps give
it a try once, but definitely not ideal for
healthy conscious eaters. They most likely
use GMO tofu as well.
Another great find is vegan
sushi at Kiko Japanese Cuisine.
Chef Jim Wu moved from San Francisco, CA
to Orlando, FL and brought with him the fine
art of japanese sushi, but better yet, without
any food coloring, MSG or lard. In addition
to his regular sushi menu he also created
a special vegetarian menu. I guess being that
he came from California, he brought a piece
of their delicious and healthy food culture
to Orlando! He also teaches cooking healthy
classes. And his lunch specials include salad
and miso soup as well 5 days a week. Check
out these great photos below of the
Avocado on top Roll and Shrimp
Tempura vegan sushis.
Two Roll Combo (w/ soup & salad)
(Pick two rolls from: California, Avocado
on top Roll, Shrimp Tempura Roll, Spicy yum
Roll or B.B.Q Pork Roll)
When asked they say they use the brand
House Tofu but were not sure if GMO or not.
Floyd's Urban Barbakoa
What? A bbq place? Let me
share this one...
Imagine being in town and family wanting
to drag you to a BBQ place. I'm sure you've
been there, and most times you don't find
much to eat... well, unless you try Pig Floyd's
Pig Floyd's Vegan Tofu, Fries and
It tastes awesome! I ate the whole thing.
Plus the place is so cute, well-designed and
guess what? It smells great! No heavy bbq
smell if that bothers you. So step inside
for a great time with family and friends!
Love the manager too as he constantly checks
with everyone and make sure we are all having
a great time.
When looking at their menu remember:
Substitute tofu for any menu item at no charge
House of Orlando:
A favorite among locals is
Thai House of Orlando. Tip: They
are always packed during lunch hours, so be
sure to get there early and no later than
2pm to make sure you grab a seat!
Their Phad Panang Spicy Curry
with tofu, broccoli, bell peppers and mushroons
At the heart of Winter Park
you will find Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine.
While not a vegan restaurant, it's a great
place to take family and friends, with great
prices, a beautiful atmosphere and awesome
freshly made food! Some of the vegan friendly
Vegetable Sauté (Guvec)
A delightful combination of fresh green beans,
eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, carrots, and
garlic in a savory tomato sauce
Fresh smoked eggplant purée with tahini,
olive oil, and yogurt
Freshly pureed chickpeas with olive oil, tahini,
garlic, and lemon juice
That's not all folks!
Other vegan and vegan friendly restaurants
Black Bean Deli http://blackbeandeli.yolasite.com
Check out the awesome new location on East
Colonial Drive, a dream that came true for
the owner who dreamed of this 2nd location
for years! You can now have sit, grab a drink,
enjoy the Vegetarian Platter (rice, black
beans, sweet plantains and salad), and a side
of Vegan Enpanadas. There is also cuban coffee,
latin sodas, kombucha and much more.
Raphsodic Bakery http://www.raphsodic.com
A must try vegan bakery for vegans and non-vegans.
I tried a few of the cakes and cupcakes and
while they were a bit too sweet for me, they
are a favorite among locals for sure!
Loving Hut Orlando http://www.lovinghut.us/florida
A popular asian restaurant in California,
now with 4 locations in Florida.
Infusion Tea http://www.infusionorlando.com
A wonderful place with a great variety of
teas, plus you also get a stamp card. Enjoy
sandwiches, soups, delicious vegan cakes and
Dandelion Communitea http://dandelioncommunitea.com
Beautiful patio and artwork at Dandellion.
From soups to sandwiches to dessert and more.
I even brought my guitar and enjoyed playing
with a couple local guitar players.
Open only between 5-9pm, and a bit pricier.
You will enjoy the freshest ingredients, beautiful
delicious dishes and a lovely staff.
Olea Grill Orlando http://www.oleagrill.com
An awesome Greek-inspired menu with a Chipotle
inspired experienced. Note that most of the
foods are salads and cold however, and the
falafel is fried in canola or vegetable oil
on their own pan.
Tako Cheena, an Asian-Mexican-fusion
inspired menu with several vegan friendly
options. A small restaurant with limited sitting
and very limited street parking. Also note
that when you order a burrito you pay extra
for each small container of salsa, as they
are freshly made. The water did not seem filtered,
so be sure to bring or grab a drink. You can
order to go or have sit and wait to be served,
however the service is very slow I noticed,
and after reading some reviews online I guess
it's not just my opinion. Overall a favorite
among locals and often packed during busy
I asked and they do use GMO tofu they said.
Bento Cafe http://www.bentocafesushi.com
They offer a couple vegan friendly options,
however most dishes are fried in the same
oil pan as the chicken and fishes, so ask
before ordering. I tried the Veggie Stir Fry
and it was quite sweet and the portion was
small also I thought. Additionally be sure
to find street parking, as at their plaza
I was only refunded $5 of the $10 parking
They also use GMO tofu.
The awesome thing is they announced they were
going organic and elimating GMO foods. In
fact, much of the vegan ingredients, rice,
beans, avocado, corn, tofu are already organic
or moving towards organic and non-GMO. When
I asked their corn is not organic but not
Italio Kitchen http://italiokitchen.com
They offer delicious dishes from grill including
sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, roasted
red peppers and more for a pasta bowl or wrap.
Vegetarians can add some cheese, but vegans
might need to bring their own protein source.
Pei Wei Orlando http://www.peiwei.com
Photo: Veggie Tofu Rice
Noodles at Pei Wei
Find many more vegetarian friendly
places here: http://www.happycow.net/north_america/usa/florida/orlando
Place after all, just be careful... :)
So whether it's soup, salad, sandwiches or
even sushi, Orlando has something vegan for
every taste! So on your next trip be sure
to take a day or two to explore the local
cuisine as well. Orlando might not be famous
for its vegan cuisine, but I was sure impressed
by all the choices! A diverse and exciting
vegan-friendly city after all! :)
Note that most places don't even know
about the quality of their foods, so I could
not include many details here. When I ask
about the tofu, for example, some told me
they use GMO tofu but after I asked what brand
they use and checked myself, it was just regular
tofu, not organic but not GMO as well.
have a favorite vegan or vegetarian restaurant
in Orlando, FL? Be sure to share with