I just spent a blissed couple of days in Arizona, between mainly Phoenix and Scottsdale, and was so impressed by the healthy vegan and gluten free options. First of all, I have to thank Y O U for all your wonderful recommendations when you heard I was in Arizona!
It seems that most of the main cities are fairly close to each other and reachable by car (most people drive) so I’m including recommendations from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and a few in Gilbert. There were a few spots that had locations in multiple cities, so I listed them with a littlenote “multiple locations”. I didn’t have the opportunity to try everything on the list, but I’m already wanting to plan a trip back to spend more time in Tempe and Gilbert area to check out some of the spots in those towns! I’m also including some fitness recs along with crystal shops.
Stay tuned for the Arizona vlog coming soon, which explains more about why I was visiting too! Until then, here’s an Instagram post with a sneak peek.
E A T
/ r e s t a u r a n t s
Flowerchild, multiple locations – Flowerchild is one of my favourite restaurants in LA, and I was so excited to find they had multiple locations in Arizona. It’s healthy, fresh, plant heavy food with plenty of vegan and gluten free options and organic tofu that can be added to most bowls. I love the Mother Earth bowl, but they also have salads, pasta, soups and baked goods. I’ve only been to one location in Arizona but it was spacious and bright, just like the LA location.
True Food Kitchen, multiple locations – As seen in my Chicago guide! This is another wonderful vegan friendly chain. Slightly more formal (think proper sit down dinner) and you can watch the food being prepared from your table. True Food focuses on fresh, seasonal food and has really delicious vegan and gluten free options. I had the Teriyaki Quinoa bowl two nights in a row and the brussels sprouts with chili threads are a must, too!
ChopShop, multiple locations – This quick casual salad spot has locations all over Arizona, including at the Phoenix airport! They do have great options to accommodate most diets and allergies, and the prices were pretty fair (if you get tofu, they give you a great portion!). I’ll be honest and tell you it’s no Sweetgreen, but it’s a healthy option to keep in mind if you need something healthy in a pinch. Don’t put this on your “must eat” list but keep it in your back pocket, or grab a salad to go for your flight home.
Verdura, Phoenix – Highly recommended by you all! I unfortunately didn’t have a chance to stop by this spot because they didn’t have too many GF options. That being said, the menu items sounded so delicious and they do offer gluten-free bread! According to the locals, it’s a must try, and yelp reviews are high up there too.
Pomegranate Cafe, Phoenix – Vibrant vegan + vegetarian food and almost everything can be made vegan. Colourful, healthy and lots of desserts too! This one was highly recommended by all you Phoenix locals 🙂
Vegan House, Phoenix – Asian inspired menu, completely vegan (as the name suggests) but also, lots of gluten-free options despite Asian food usually containing gluten due to soy sauce use. Comforting dishes and everything from noodles to mock meats.
Kale and Clover, Scottsdale – Fresh, delicious and mindful menu items. Lots of vegan and gluten free dishes and great for mixed groups. This spot was a little far North from the central Scottsdale area in which we were staying, but will be making it a point to visit next time I’m in town.
Herb Box, Scottsdale – This was the first restaurant that Minna and I ate at upon landing in Arizona and we were not disappointed. We shared the vegan and gluten free platter, which had a combo of gochujang cauliflower, a corn jalapeño fritter, a mixed veg warm salad and roasted sweet potatoes. I know it sounds simple but oh my gooodness, every single side was delicious and so well seasoned. I also had the cauliflower lentil bowl which was just OK, but don’t sleep on the platter! Next door, they also have a vegan and gluten free friendly bakery with desserts galore.
Spirit Bar Wellness, Gilbert – This spot offers mostly whole plant food based, ayurveda inspired and superfood heavy food! I didn’t have a chance to stop by, but bookmarked because of the healthy menu items.
Karma Apple, Gilbert – This raw vegan juice spot sells cold pressed juice, wellness shots, nut/seed mylks, adaptogenic lattes, superfood smoothies and raw vegan desserts. They are absolutely gorgeous and very Instagram friendly and this spot was at the absolute top of my to-try list! Highly recommend, and they offer a discount when you bring your own cups/utensils to use. Bonus tip: get a raw vegan donut on TOP of your smoothie. You’re welcome.
The Uprooted Kitchen, Gilbert – Recommended to me by the locals, this will be one of the first spots on my list next time I’m in town! Menu items like warm quinoa breakfast bowls, gluten free crepes, chickpea stew and the ingredients used are all organic. The restaurant cooks with no refined sugars and also cooks with minimal oils. Health conscious + delicious!
Spirit Organic Cafe, Gilbert – Their superfood smoothie menu caught my eye, offering lots of add ins like adaptogens, spirulina, chia seeds, curcumin extract etc. I love customizing functional smoothies with all the goods added in, especially when I travel!
Seed Shack, Gilbert – Light bites and lots of gluten free options including vegan burgers, tofu scramble and buddha bowls.
24 Carrots, Tempe – 100% vegan, mostly gluten-free brunch, lunch and dinner. The menu is extensive and offers smoothies, raw dishes, but also sandwiches, wraps, salads and soups! Casual, healthy and vibrant vegan dishes.
The Bodhi, Tempe – Build your own bowl or choose from their menu items. Not all vegan but a great fast casual option. Keep an eye out for honey and yogurt on the menu.
Kind Bean, Chandler – This cute cafe carries botanical infusions, chai and matcha, gluten free baked good options and light bites like chia pudding. Had to put it on the list!
/ c a f e s & b a k e r y
Nami, Phoenix – Nami is well known for its McFlurry style soft serve + mix in ice cream sundaes and they are H U G E ! I stopped by right after having lunch so I didn’t have the appetite for one of the famous sundaes but had a mini sized soft serve and it was delicious. It’s soy based, and nut free and the baked good offerings are vegan and gluten-free friendly too.
Teaspressa, Phoenix – This spot has Instagram friendly written allllll over it. The ceiling is covered in hanging flowers, the interior is bright white and there’s a flower covered mural too. There’s a variety of colourful tea drinks and matcha lattes with almond and coconut vegan milk alternatives. You can also get a hibiscus flower on top of your drink, but tip: ask for a to-stay cup because they’ll give you a to-go cup by default! Also, opt for the almond milk if you can–the coconut milk matcha latte wasn’t great. Come more for the decor and photos than the drinks.
Urban Cookies, Phoenix – Baked. Vegan. Gluten-Free. Donuts. Y U P ! This bakery has vegan and gluten free cupcakes, cookies and baked donuts in multiple flavours. We tried the vanilla sprinkle, blackberry and meyer lemon blackberry jam donuts and thoroughly enjoyed them all. Highly recommend!
Berdena’s, Scottsdale – Now this is good matcha (and coffee, according to my friend Minna). Come for the drinks, stay and enjoy the cute interior and chat with the friendly baristas! Trust me when I say this matcha was legit. I’m rarely impressed by matcha at cafés but I was pleasantly surprised by this sweet spot.
Press Coffee, multiple locations – We stopped by multiple Press Coffee locations and they offer matcha lattes with vegan milk alternatives *including oat milk* ! Some locations also have light bites on the menu but it varies by location.
Kaleidoscope Juice, multiple locations – I came by this juice spot 3 days out of 5! The only thing I wish they had were reusable cups because I unfortunately didn’t have space in my suitcase to bring my own jar. They use SunWarrior protein and have superfood smoothies, smoothie bowls, baked vegan and gluten free treats and some locations also offer light bites like sandwiches. Reliably good and great for juicers too.
E X P L O R E & D O
Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden – My friend Claire recommended I visit this botanical garden. I’m a sucker for botanical gardens to begin with and I have to tell you that the nature in Arizona is absolutely out of this world. It’s amazing to see how climate shapes what the flora and fauna look like, and I highly recommend paying the garden a visit.
Scottsdale Saturday Farmer’s Market – The Scottsdale farmer’s market is open Saturday mornings and has a beautiful selection of produce and bites. If you find yourself in town on a weekend morning, consider spending your morning browsing the market.
Camelback Mountain, Echo Trail – This was a challenging but rewarding trail. Expect to climb, like really C L I M B on you hands and knees and wear proper shoes if you can. It takes anywhere between 1-2 hours to reach the top, and it’s a steep hike. Breathtaking views, but make sure you don’t start too close to sunset, as you need to be back down before sunset in order to avoid being fined. The trail is rated extremely challenging.
Fantasia Crystals, Phoenix – A crystal shop with lots of smaller pieces, and a display of larger pieces like apophyllite and stillbite. You can also find tarot card decks and other alternative healing products.
Phoenix Rising Now – This metaphysical shop offers alternative healing products like essential oils, crystals and even offers aura photography.
Black Market Minerals, Tempe – I didn’t check this spot out, but one of you recommended it to me for crystal shopping!
S W E A T
Orange Theory Fitness, multiple locations – If you’re never tried OTF, it’s similar in format to Barry’s Bootcamp, alternating between cardio and resistance stations for a HIIT workout but the special feature is heart rate monitoring! You wear a heart rate monitor and your heart rate activity is displayed on screen so you can track how hard you’re working. I love this workout studio and it’s great if you’re motivated by numbers (and a little competition, with yourself and others).
Core Power Yoga, multiple locations – One of my favourite studios nationwide for hot sculpt yoga. A fusion between hot yoga and high rep, lightweight resistance. Expect burpees in between flows, and bicep curls in between your chaturangas. A full body, sweaty and strength building workout. MIGHT be a little rough to do in the Arizona heat though. Just saying.
Zen Soul Yoga, Scottsdale – Amazing variety of styles in their class schedule. Most notably, 11:11 flows, new moon flows, sculpt classes and power flows.
Urban Yoga, Phoenix – This studio has an impressive offering of class styles, and lots of flows. Thank you to lovely Anna who recommended this studio to me!
Elevate Aerial Yoga, Phoenix – A great spot for Aerial yoga classes between yoga nidra to candlelit flows!
S T A Y
The Saguaro Hotel, Scottsdale – Friendly staff, colourful walls and flower draped walls all over the place. 2 pools, fitness center and bikes to rent to get around the area. I loved my stay here and would highly recommend it!
Bright Sun-Drenched Phoenix Airbnb – This is the Airbnb Minna and I stayed in. It was absolutely adorable, spotless, well decorated and close to downtown by car ride. We loved our stay and I would move in if I could! Here’s a full list of other spots we looked at in Phoenix. P.S. If you’re new to Airbnb, I use it ALL the time (and on most of my trips!), click here to try it for the first time.
I hope you find these recs helpful and enjoy Arizona as much as I did!
Love & light,
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BY Remy • April 5, 2019
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Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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