Ethical Eating

PETA's Ingrid Newkirk on Why Sublime Is the Number-One Celebrity Vegan Dining Spot in the U.S.

More and more, celebrities are turning vegan. Confirmed non-meat-eating superstars include the likes of Russell Simmons, Ellen DeGeneres, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Paul McCartney, and Pam Anderson. 

So where would you go to spot these famous foodies as they tuck into a plate of veggies? Turns out, the best place to spot vegan actors and musicians is in Fort Lauderdale.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) just named Sublime the number-one celebrity vegan dining spot. 

The Virginia-based organization that offers vegan starter kits and gets its message across via celebrity endorsements and social media put Sublime at the top of its Top Five Star-Studded Vegan Restaurants list.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk says the award is based on seeking out veg-friendly restaurants outside the normal celebrity-studded meccas of New York and Los Angeles. "In those cities, stars basically put their foot outside the door and find five vegan restaurants on every block. You always see famous faces in them. We were interested in finding where else they eat when they are traveling or on location."

Newkirk said PETA started by asking its network of vegan and vegetarian celebrities where they eat while on the road. "We also sent out messages asking people where stars are eating. There are so many famous people who dine at Sublime.

"Paul McCartney has eaten there while coming through town, and television journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell practically has a private room there. She basically lives at Sublime. On the wall, there's a picture of basketball great John Salley picking up Sublime's owner Nanci [Alexander]., and there's a large Peter Max painting on the wall. Everybody who is anybody within a fork's distance has been there. That's pretty amazing for a Fort Lauderdale restaurant."

Other celebrity sightings including Pam Anderson, who celebrated her 40th birthday party at the restaurant, and Real Housewives of Miami alum Joanna Krupa, who unveiled a PETA campaign at the restaurant in 2012. Big names also spotted at the upscale restaurant include rockers Chrissie Hynde, Tommy Lee, Iggy Pop, and Joan Jett and actors Alec Baldwin, Mickey Rourke, Alicia Silverstone, and Kevin Nealon. Bill Maher was said to have had meals delivered to his stage door when he was pressed for time and couldn't make it to the eatery.

Newkirk says the key to Sublime's success goes back to delicious food that appeals to both vegans and carnivores. "It's a meat eater's vegan restaurant. Nanci Alexander set it up that way. You can have [vegan] chicken piccati and fritto misto. Where could you have a more sublime tiramisu?"

Newkirk said the idea for the list was to make sure the rest of the country knew that good vegan food could be found most anywhere. "There are many wonderful restaurants tucked away." As for all these vegan celebrity sightings? Well, get used to it. "If you're not vegan, you're not tuned in anymore."

For its win, Sublime will receive a framed certificate. Other PETA picks for Best Celebrity Vegan Dining Spots include Green New American Vegetarian in Phoenix, Woodland's Vegan Bistro in Washington, D.C., Chicago's the Chicago Diner, and Seattle's Plum Bistro.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss