Gainesville isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking about vegan food.
The college town is mainly known for its pizza at Leonardo’s By The Slice and burgers at Relish. However, as veganism becomes more popular, local restaurants are responding by serving more plant-based options. In fact, some are offering special deals for customers on World Vegan Day this Friday.
Below are some of the best restaurants in Gainesville serving vegan options.
Hoggetowne Creamery is a new addition to the Gainesville community, having opened its doors this past August. The ice cream shop, located at 220 NW Eighth Ave., offers multiple nondairy flavors made from scratch and sourced from local ingredients.
Justin Langer, the creamery’s owner and chef, said he wanted to provide better vegan dessert options for Gainesville residents.
“We decided to start with something sweet because Gainesville was lacking any kind of dessert bar,” he said. “We felt that the ice cream could be made better. So, I decided to try to do everything from scratch.”
Their nondairy flavors vary based on season, with options changing every couple of weeks. Current flavors being offered include chocolate, black sesame and mango.
“I love the vegan bases,” Langer said. “I almost like them better than my normal dairy bases. They came out really good.”
For World Vegan Day, the shop will be offering $1 off the purchase of any vegan ice cream.
Curia On The Drag
It’s impossible to talk about vegan food in Gainesville without mentioning Curia On The Drag, as it is the only completely vegan restaurant in town.
This vegans’ paradise, situated along Northwest Sixth Street, offers main dishes such as jackfruit quesadillas and loaded tater tots, while their coffee and tea shop offers coffee, tea and baked goods.
Travel across the world through cuisine by dining at Civilization. The restaurant serves New American and global dishes, offering specials from a different country every week.
Fittingly, the restaurant is located in the historic Gulf Oil building, formerly a train station.
Items on their designated vegan menu include beer batter onion rings, Thai green curry and a falafel burger.
Even vegans can enjoy their Tex-Mex favorites when dining at Boca Fiesta. Co-founded by Warren Oakes, the former drummer of the punk band Against Me!, Boca Fiesta has been part of the Gainesville community for over 10 years.
Located on Southeast First Street, the restaurant offers tempeh as a meat substitute for many of their dishes, such as tacos, burritos and sandwiches. Pro-tip: On any entree that includes cheese, swap it out for vegan queso.
Daily Green takes pride in using local, organic and sustainable foods, according to co-owner John Arana.
The restaurant has been whipping up healthy dishes since 2013, and their easy-tonavigate menu clearly labels which items are vegan, raw, gluten-free and paleo.
The owners decided to include a wide variety of vegan menu options because they felt there was a high demand for it, Arana said.
Vegan dishes include daily sweet waffles, raw nachos and their most popular, the tempeh Rueben.
The restaurant will be offering a special for World Vegan Day that will be announced on their Facebook page.