Tucson’s Vegan and Vegetarian Scene Offers More Than Salads 

Maybe you’ve rebelled against childhood instructions from your parents about eating more vegetables for far too long and have made a resolution to start eating more greens. Or maybe, you’re just looking for some good eats, bursting with flavor and natural ingredients to help nourish the body and feed the soul. Regardless of your food quest, Tucson’s culinary scene delivers delicious plant-based options that will leave even the most devoted carnivores wanting more.

 

Tumerico

Tumerico offers classic Mexican dishes like tamales and tostadas, vegan style.

 

Tumerico offers classic Mexican dishes like tamales and tostadas, vegan style.

 

The aroma of sautéed goodness. The clanging of pots and pans coming from a bustling kitchen. The warm sensation from a fresh brewed cup of cafecito. You’ll feel like you’ve walked into a home you’ve known all your life when you visit Tumerico. Everything on the menu is vegan, locally-sourced and made from scratch, offering a healthier take on some traditional Mexican dishes.

From “carne” asada made from fried jackfruit to nopalitos tacos served on fresh corn tortillas, there’s plenty of delectable options to explore. Tumerico also gives you the opportunity to skip the gym and combine your lunch with some exercise, offering community yoga sessions every month. 

 

Lovin' Spoonfuls

There are days that just call for some good ol’ fashioned comfort food. Chili cheese fries. Hamburgers. Cake. Pie. And if today is that day, a trip to Lovin’ Spoonfuls might just be what the doctor ordered. Lovin’ Spoonfuls takes all of the tasty flavors of classic favorites like meatloaf and fried chicken and transforms them to healthier versions for a nutritious win. 

Craving a side of wings for your sports game? Try their Buffalo Cauliflower Wings and give them a dip in their housemade ranch, BBQ or sweet-and-sour sauce. Florets so good, you won’t even remember what a chicken is or why it tried to cross the road. 

 

Charrovida

The Bandera Enchiladas at Charro Vida are a vegan must try!

 

The Bandera Enchiladas at Charro Vida are a vegan must try!

 

Comida por vida. Food for life. It’s not just a tagline but words that Chef Carlotta Flores and Executive Chef Gary Hickey use as inspiration to create appetizing plant-based dishes at the newest Charro restaurant concept, Charrovida. Paying homage to the Flores family’s Mediterranean and Sonoran Desert heritage, Charrovida cooks with fresh local produce and healthy fats like olive and seed oils, sustainable proteins and natural ingredients. While the restaurant offers both plant-based and animal proteins, Charrovida operates with two kitchens to help eliminate any cross-contamination. 

If you’ve got a serious appetite, order the Bandera Enchiladas, a vegan take on Charro’s classic enchilada dish whose sauces resemble the colors of the Mexican flag; instead of carnitas, chicken and carne seca, this vegan version includes squash and beets in a tomatillo sauce, vegan chorizo in a creamy white plant-based sauce and potatoes with poblano covered in red chile sauce. 

 

Govinda's Natural Foods Buffet

Whoever said you have to sacrifice flavor for quantity and low prices clearly never experienced Govinda's Natural Foods Buffet. More than just a healthy-style buffet, Govinda's provides a serene atmosphere that pairs perfectly with their gourmet Indian-inspired vegetarian cuisine. 

Because the property’s primary purpose is to serve as a temple for Hare Krishnas, a visit to Govinda’s means you’ll be immersed in a tranquil setting perfect for a meditative experience, featuring a water fountain, two aviaries, a library and a mediation center. While the meat is missing, the flavors are not. The savory dishes on their menu, which changes regularly, are jam-packed with spices that provide numerous health benefits while also treating the taste buds. If you’re strictly plant-based only, be sure to check out Govinda's on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for their 100% vegan menu. 

 

Tanias 33

It’s a place that’s known for its authentic and traditional Mexican food but Tanias 33 also serves up some vegan options that really bring home the sabor straight from abuela’s kitchen! Made for both meat- and plant-based diets, Tanias 33’s menu offers all of the classics: burritos, enchiladas, flautas, tortilla soup, fideo and even a plate of machaca, and yes, you can get it all vegan-style.

You’ll need to use the panoramic photo option on your phone if you want to snap a pic of the menu. It’s extensive. You can treat yourself to a breakfast burrito with soy chorizo in the morning and come back for lunch and fill up on a nice bowl of vegan tortilla soup while you sip on some agua fresca, a refreshing fruit drink. It’s what mom would want.