Try the Raw Pad Thai at Dania Beach's Zen Mystery

Raw pad-Thai
Raw pad-Thai
Photo by Hannah Sentenac

Zen Mystery is a lot of things: a wellness studio, a kitschy, new age boutique, and an organic, vegan cafe. Tucked away in a charming corner of Dania Beach, the center has something for everyone; everyone who's into a healthy lifestyle, that is. 

Founded in 2013 by Denis Soukhanov and Lina Gonzalez, the spot is all about inclusivity and healing, and its food is no exception. The plant-based menu features life-affirming items, from raw pad-Thai to Buddha burgers.

In addition, the cafe is also a tea lounge, with a full menu of 34 organic, loose leaf teas, including the house blend, green rooibos, tulsi holy basil, and mint. 

The short and sweet menu includes starters like raw vegan pate with fresh veggies ($10), including a save the tuna spread with dulse, celery, onions and sunflower or a sunflower cheese with sunflower cheese, garlic, miso and pepper; entrees like a live pad Thai with raw almond butter sauce, veggies and kelp noodles ($12 for a small, $16 for a large) and a Buddha burger with sprouted beans, quinoa, gluten?free oats, and veggies ($13 on salad, $15 on quinoa and greens). 

There are also different desserts available, including (the day we visited) vegan cupcakes and chocolates. 

Zen Mystery's drink menu
Zen Mystery's drink menu
Photo by Hannah Sentenac

"I worked in educational technology for ten years, creating learning materials for kids. Then I felt like it was time to do something different," says Soukhanov of the Zen Mystery endeavor.

"I've been vegan for a decade," he adds, and is a self-taught chef. "The food came later. It's always been about kind of an integral approach where we have classes and we have community gatherings and a little store. It's more about education, and this is an addition to the education," he says of the cafe.

The entrance to Zen Mystery Cafe.
The entrance to Zen Mystery Cafe.
Photo by Hannah Sentenac

The spot's lineup of classes includes yoga, tai chi, belly dance and more. They also have an open mic night. So, go to learn a little something, stay for the tasty eats.

Zen Mystery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, at 56 N. Federal Highway in Dania Beach. Visit ZenMystery.com.

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