If you've been inspired to cut back on animal products and you call Gainesville home, you're in luck. Gainesville city boasts a number of excellent vegan and vegetarian restaurants. And, as a non-GMO cherry on top, most of these are a short distance from Gainesville's top apartments. Because let's face it, nothing is worse than finding out the "veg options" at your favorite pre-veganism spot are French fries and the side salad.
1. Karma Cream
This Gainesville coffee shop caters to a vegan crowd with baked goods and sandwiches sure to make your mouth water. They do have dairy milk on hand, but everything else on the menu is vegan-friendly. My personal favorite is the grilled "cheese" with tempeh, bacon and tomatoes. But be sure to try out some of their fresh-baked donuts, cookies and infamous cupcakes with your latte. Give your furry friend a break from your pet-friendly apartment and sit at one of the tables outside to enjoy a crisp Florida winter afternoon.
2. Reggae Shack
Right next door to Karma Cream is another veg gem. While this Jamaican restaurant serves up a variety of meat products, Reggae Shack's vegetarian menu is quite impressive. Most notable are the curry tempeh and jerk tofu, both served with beans, rice and a side of sweet plantains. Wash it all down with a slice of vegan coconut cake and a non-dairy smoothie. If you're in the middle of a study session, you can order online and have your food delivered straight to your Gainesville apartment to enjoy the flavors of Jamaica from the comfort of your own patio or balcony.
When you decided to give up meat and dairy products you may have feared that you were saying farewell to pizza too. Fear not! Satchel's has a number of vegan pizza options such as vegan cheese, tofu, tempeh, and more. They even have a gluten-free pizza crust to suit all dietary needs.
4. Daily Green
Daily Green is the "gourmet hippie" option of Gainesville with primarily plant-based fare packed with flavor. Located within walking distance to a number of fully furnished Gainesville apartments downtown, this spot is worth considering for your next meal.
5. The Top
The Top is a Gainesville cult favorite with plenty of vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options. This hip yet casual spot always has a bit of a line on the weekends so try to be there when they open to make sure you get a slice of their infamous vegan chocolate cake before it runs out. This is the perfect place to try out meat alternatives you're afraid to cook yourself such as tempeh and tofu. I've yet to be disappointed with a single item on the menu.
Whether you're cutting down on animal products for your personal health, the health of the environment or just to try something new, there are tons of restaurant options near your apartment in Gainesville to help you navigate the diet change.