Two trailblazers head the list of time-tested dining places offering meat alternatives.
Ethos Vegan Kitchen
Kelly and Laina Shockley opened the all-vegan Ethos in 2007 on the shores of Lake Ivanhoe, moving to Winter Park in 2012. Plant-based “chicken,” tofurky and bean curd substitute for meat, often successfully, and the Bay cakes ($13.95), a chickpea crab cake imposter, are savory and tempting whatever they’re called. The black bean Samson Burger is one of the best in town. ethosvegankitchen.com
Infusion, opened in 2004, is a cornerstone of the College Park neighborhood, and has in its history hosted poetry readings, movies and tea tastings from its 75 varieties, with a section of the shop devoted to locally crafted products. Owners Christina and Brad Cowherd lead faith-based missionary trips to Central America when not running the veggie landmark, which has become so important to resident writers at the nearby Kerouac House that Infusion offers a namesake Jack Kerouac Quesadilla ($8.25) of black beans, roasted peppers and Colby-Jack cheese (shown above). infusionorlando.com
Dandelion Communitea Cafe
The center of a large and enthusiastic community in the Mills 50 district since 2006, serving organic vegetarian dishes and an almost legendary tempeh and bean chili. dandelioncommunitea.com
Pressd Juice Bar
At Plant Street Market in Winter Garden, offering juices, smoothies and vegan wraps. pressdjuicebar.com
Skyebird Juice Bar
Cold-pressed juices, Mason jar salads, veggie burgers and organic and dairy-free smoothies, at Audubon Park’s East End Market. skyebird.com
Water Drop Tea House
Traditional Chinese noodles, steamed buns and fried rice inside the Guang Ming Buddhist Temple on Hoffner Avenue.
Fine South Indian cuisine, dosai, pullavs and complexly spiced vegetable dishes at this Florida Mall-area restaurant. woodlandsusa.com
Check out these three new vegetarian eateries