Regardless of what you may think of dishes that eschew meat and dairy, one thing’s for sure: vegan offerings in restaurants have become more prevalent and delicious.
For our first roundup since before the pandemic, we reached out to popular and prolific local vegan Instagrammer, Hannah Hernandez aka Gourmet without death.
A vegan practitioner since 2017, Hernandez launched Death Free Foodie in 2019 to keep his endless stream of photos of local vegan food on his personal Instagram account.
With 5,000 subscribers and growing, she hopes this will continue to grow and help anyone interested in the vegan lifestyle or just looking for new dining options.
Without further ado, here are Hannah’s top 20 picks for summer 2021 …
Lemon Fried Tofu at 81 Hong Kong Cafe
625 E Wetmore Road
Look for the many vegan symbols on the menu at 81 Hong Kong Cafe! Lemon Pepper Fried Tofu, Basil Eggplant and Veggie Chow-Fun are my current favorites.
Learn more about the81hongkongcafe.com
Vegan Crush Pizza at Renee’s
7065 E Tanque Verde Road
One of my favorite vegan dishes from Renee, Vegan Crush Pizza includes red sauce, vegan pesto, zucchini, Kalamata olives, broccoli, artichokes and peppers. Add Daiya for $ 3 more. If you want a little extra, opt for the garlic knots and cinnamon buns for dessert.
Discover Renee’s organic oven on reneestucson.com
Muffaleta Sandwich at Urban Fresh
73 Pennington Street East
This fully vegan restaurant offers daily specials and a wide variety of healthy and delicious dishes. Urban Fresh also offers daily treats, so bring your sweet tooth. In the photo, one of my favorite specialties: the Muffuletta sandwich.
More info on urbanfreshtucson.com
Cauliflower with orange peel and tofu in El Torero
231 E 26th St
Whether you’re a vegan or not, you’ll love the incredible flavors of El Torero’s herbal specialties. The creativity and thoughtfulness that Chef Mikey Hultquist puts into his vegan dishes is truly impressive.
More info on eltorerotucson.com
Wildcat Burger at Lovin ‘Spoonfuls
2990 N Campbell Ave # 120
Lovin ‘Spoonfuls has been offering a 100% vegan menu since 2005. My favorite is their Wildcat Burger. This drool-worthy burger features a homemade soy patty with tempeh bacon, caramelized onions, vegan blue cheese, and sriracha mayonnaise.
More info on lovinspoonfuls.com
Veggie Sushi at Yoshimatsu Japanese Restaurant
2741 N Campbell Ave
Yoshimatsu makes it easy to locate the many vegan options on their clearly labeled menu. Mushroom and ginger ramen and veggie sushi rolls always make my day.
More info on yoshimatsuaz.com
Double Double Classic Burger at the Goodness Fresh Food & Juice Bar
2502 Campbell Avenue
My personal favorite Goodness Fresh Food & Juice is their Double Double Classic. Two 4oz patties, Goodness sauce, vegan cheddar, minced red onion, tomato, arugula, pickles and sprouted wheat bun. Enjoy your meal to take away or on their outdoor terrace.
More info on goodnessfresh.com
Soy Chorizo Burrito at Tanias 33
614 N Grande Ave
Tania’s menu is full of vegan options. My current favorites: Vegan Cazuela Soup, Jamaican Tamales with Red Chili, Vegan Machaca Breakfast Plate, Fried Cauliflower or Jamaican Tostadas / Tacos.
More info on tanias33.com
Buffet at Govinda
711 E Blacklidge Drive
The new ordering process at Govinda is quick and easy. Come in, pay, look at the options behind the glass and a lovely person will ask you what you would like! Order your take out or sit outside in their beautiful outdoor space. Vegan days are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The other days are mainly vegans and vegetarians.
More info on govindasoftucson.com
Vegan Breakfast Burrito with Tofu Bacon at Substance Diner
1015 S Park Ave (food truck)
Substance Diner’s vegan menu is full of great options. The Vegan Breakfast Burrito with Added Tofu Bacon + Diner Fries is one of my favorite orders. Order from the Substance Diner food truck and enjoy your meal on Motosonora’s outdoor patio or take it away.
More info on substancediner.com
Cauliflower Sandwich at Zayna Mediterranean Restaurant
1138 N avenue du Belvédère
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 side salad. Their falafel sandwich is vegan too!
More info on zaynamediterranean.com
Mexicano Love plate at Tumerico
2526 East 6th Street
Mostly vegan with a few vegetarian options, Tumerico creates beautiful dishes. Pictured is the incredible Mexicano Love Plate.
More info on tumerico.com
Vida Bowl with Beyond Carne in Charrovida
7109 N Oracle path
Charrovida offers a lot of 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 on charrovida.com
Graze Lunch Bowl at Tohono Chul Garden Bistro
7366 N Paseo del Norte
The Tohono Chul Garden Bistro offers generous portions and high protein options. Their Graze Breakfast Bowl is a beautifully organized bowl of vegan sausages, spinach, sweet corn, mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, shallots, I’ltoi mashed potatoes, Poblano and vegan aioli with herbs. They also offer a Beyond Burger with grilled ciabatta, vegan chipotle aioli, avocado, tumbleweed onions, arugula, pickles and tomatoes.
More info on tohonochul.org
Vegan Jackfruit Burrito Birria at 520 Taco Stop
10290 E Speedway Boulevard
520 Taco Stop will make you think of jackfruit differently. Find dreamy vegan jackfruit burritos, tacos, tortas and more at this food truck from Speedway & Houghton.
Vegetarian delight at La Indita
722 N Stone Ave
Without lard or animal broth, the delicious beans and rice at La Indita are still vegan. Their menu items marked with a red asterisk are vegetarian and can be vegan. (Except anything with green sauce or mole.) The Veggie Delight; which I would personally recommend, is a special combo plate with a potato taco, spinach enchilada, spinach and mushroom tostada, served with beans and rice. Plate # 7 is an enchilada, mushroom taco, chalupa, served with beans and rice. (Ask no cheese on the beans.)
More info on lainditarestauranttucson.com
Vegan bolognese at Vivace
6440 Campbell Avenue
Vivace Tucson offers two mouthwatering vegan dishes. Vegan bolognese and an Italian style veggie burger that can be made vegan if you ask for their homemade vegan cheese. Perfect for a romantic evening.
More info on vivacetucson.com
Pizza La Cauliflora in Falora
3000 E, boulevard Broadway
Find vegan mozzarella and homemade vegan sausages at Falora! My favorite order: La Cauliflora pizza and hazelnut gnocchi.
More info on falora.com
Golden cauliflower torta at Tito & Pep
4122 E Speedway Boulevard
Tito & Pep Seasonal Golden Cauliflower Torta with Turmeric Ginger Fried Cauliflower, Black Bean Hummus and Spicy Red Cabbage Slaw. If you love turmeric like I do, you’ll want to get your hands on it ASAP.
More info on titoandpep.com
Messy Sandwich at Beaut Burger
267 South Avenida del Convento
Another full vegan menu! Beaut Burger creates burgers, sandwiches and more. My usual order: Bedeviled Sandwich (tofu “egg salad”, tomato, Dijon mustard, marbled rye) accompanied by bites of beer breaded cabbage.
More info on beautburger.com
Think we missed a vegan dish or two? Let us know below. Want to write for Tucson Foodie? Contact us here.