Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Vegan, vegetarian and raw. Alternative diets -- those that eliminate animal products and are largely plant-based -- are gaining popularity nationwide, urging people to put down the knife and start eating healthier.
The growing trend toward veggie-inspired restaurants is already popular in California, where all the health nuts flock to dine out at high-end restaurants in West LA and vegan lunch spots in Beverly Hills. There's even a new vegetarian-vegan restaurant chain serving only plant-based food. Known as Veggie Grill is slowly taking over the West Coast.
Here in South Florida, the trend hasn't caught on quite so feverishly. We're more about fried seafood, cheese plates and charcuterie, farm-fresh meats and have enough burger spots to keep us in a purpetual meat hangover -- at least until the cows come home.
But veganism is beginning to take root here, specifically with a number of restaurants offering menus that court omnivores, vegans and vegetarians alike and preparing "meaty" and meatless dishes that surpass the bland and boring foods so many people associate with the vegetable-focused fare.
Here, Clean Plate Charlie has compiled this list of the Palm Beach and Broward County area's best vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Even if your not 100% vegan, and don't love the idea of eating only living plants for the rest of your life, surely a meatless Monday now and then couldn't hurt, right?