No need to "just eat a salad" on vacation when you can have a juicy burger, a savory slice of deep-dish pizza or a meltingly delicious ice cream cone. Besides their excellent fare, each of these restaurants are local institutions and have been voted some of the best restaurants in the city by locals, reviewers and tourists alike. Grab your fork and take a bite of one of these incredible vegan and gluten-free establishments in Chicago, Vegas and Miami.
Chicago may be known for the deep-dish pizza and the "Chicago dog," but this Midwestern city has much more to offer that a great pie or a hotdog. Chicago is a restaurant mecca and is home to some of the best restaurants in the entire country. Before you catch a game at Wrigley or max out your credit cards on the Magnificent Mile, check out one of these top-rated vegan or gluten-free joints for an outstanding meal.
The Chicago Diner: 3411 N. Halsted St.; 773-935-6696. This Windy City institution is not only a favorite among vegans, it's a favorite among Chicagoans in general. Known for "the best Reuben sandwich in the Midwest," this diner also boasts a full menu of meat- and dairy-free comfort food, like the "steak" and eggs, the vegan cinnamon roll or the BBQ bacon cheezeburger. And their meals are reasonably priced, with most dishes on the menu costing less than $10!
Naha: 500 N. Clark St; 312-321-6242. According to the Gluten-Free Guide, a popular online food guide, the author's best meal in Chicago was at Naha. This California fusion restaurant has a great gluten-free selection and almost everything on the menu can be subbed with gluten-free ingredients. They also have incredibly fluffy, rich gluten-free bread that rivals most wheat-filled breads in the city. This restaurant is a bit pricey (dishes run $30 - $50) and a reservation is required.
When you think of Vegas, you probably think of casinos, sub-par buffets and outlandish shows -- which is a fairly accurate depiction. However, Sin City is home to more than just showgirls and overpriced scrambled eggs -- it's full of top-notch restaurants and chefs who specialize in creating one-of-a-kind meals for vegans and people with gluten sensitivities.
Komol: 953 E. Sahara Ave. E-10; 702-731-6542. If there's one thing to be learned from Anthony Bourdain, it's this: Eat where the locals eat. For the vegan (and non-vegan) residents of Las Vegas, this means Komol Thai restaurant. Located about 10 minutes north of the Strip, the food is more than worth the extra cab fare. The menu, which was created especially for vegans and vegetarians, is full of traditional Asian cuisine like chow mein and pad thai but also has flavorful curry dishes, like green curry and soy duck curry. Meals vary from $5 to $30.
Nine Fine Irishmen: 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (inside New York New York casino); 702-740-6463. When you think of gluten-free food, Irish pub food is probably not at the top of your list. However, this very popular pub inside the New York New York casino has an incredible gluten-free menu, including Irish favorites like shepherd's pie, Irish stew, colcannon soup and corn beef and cabbage. Half the menu is gluten-free, and they even have gluten-free cider available! Prices vary from $15 to $20 per entree.
The beach-lined southern coast of Florida is one of the most popular vacation spots in the country for a few key reasons. The weather (and people) are always beautiful, it offers an endless supply of beautiful sandy beaches and the nightlife gives Vegas a run for its money. In addition to gorgeous bodies, South Beach and lots of sun, the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area has some excellent vegan and gluten-free establishments that offer outstanding food choices to check out when your skin is fried.
Mi Vida Cafe: 7244 Biscayne Blvd; 305-759-6020. Located just 15 minutes from the bustling streets of South Beach, this local favorite is a perfect post-beach lunch option. This cafe has a full menu of fresh-pressed juices and smoothies, and a full bakery shelf of vegan sweets, as well as appetizers and salads. The cafe never uses any animal products in its cooking. Almost all of their dishes are made with tempeh, seitan and tofu. Prices vary from $3 to $15.
Falafel Bistro and Wine Bar: 5677 Coral Ridge Drive; 954-346-3434. Although this eatery is a bit of a hike from Miami (about 45 minutes) the food is well worth the commute. The falafel bistro is full of fresh, homemade Mediterranean cuisine. The bistro's biggest hit, the falafel, is completely gluten-free. In addition to falafel, the menu has other delicious gluten-free options like sun-dried tomato hummus, fresh tilapia salad and chicken or beef kabobs. Prices run in the $10 - $15 range.
With amazing options like this, what's stopping you? Book your ticket to one of these vacation hot spots and get ready to eat!
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