North Florida is pretty awesome. People who dismiss anywhere above Boca as a no-man's-land are missing out on some of the Sunshine State's best assets, from gorgeous green forests to super-friendly folks, to totally unique eateries. Our state's capital, for example, has lots of amazing vegan options -- probably thanks to those progressive college kids. Gotta love the young'uns.
After lots of trips to Tallahassee to visit my mom (and hang with wildlife), I've gotten the lay of the land as far as vegan eats. So here's my quick guide to meatless eating in the city where Rick Scott lives (shudder). Enjoy.
Pop into the Lake Ella-adjacent Black Dog Cafe for an almond milk latte and a vegan chocolate chip cookie. Steal a seat on the patio and get a gander at the many Muscovy ducks, squirrels, Canadian geese, and turtles that call the lake their abode. Oh, and in springtime: Ducklings. THE CUTENESS. 229 Lake Ella Dr. 850-224-2518
Try a vegan version of the grits bowl at Uptown Cafe. This adorable little spot has the best patio ever, and the uber-friendly staffers will bend over backwards to accommodate you -- vegan or otherwise. Pooches welcome on the patio, too. 1325 Miccosukee Rd. 850-219-9800
Visit the co-ed favorite All Saints Cafe for immersion in beards, tattoos and beatnik culture. Oh yeah, and coffee. Conveniently located between FSU and FAMU, the 24-hour outpost serves up a host of vegan edibles, from almond joy cookies to mac and pesto pasta. 903 Railroad Ave. 850-224-0805
Sweet Pea is everything. This vegan eatery offers up lots of lunch food favorites with a vegan twist. Try the tempeh reuben, packed with violet-hued sauerkraut or the falawesome, crunchy falafel topped with lemon-tahini dressing. Don't miss the hand-cut fries, regular or sweet potato. 831 West Tharpe St. 850-692-3476
A newer addition to Tallahassee in the hip, Railroad Ave area, this African-inspired eatery is ostentatious in the best way. From floor to ceiling in Nefertari's, you'll find rhinestones, African art, rich colors, and animal prints. Their menu is a creative feast of options that'll appeal to herbivores and omnivores alike, from a vegan pad thai and an Ethiopian stew to spaghetti and honey eggplant. The homemade desserts are delish. 812 S. Macomb St. 850-210-0548
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Lofty Pursuits is a jaw-dropping dessert experience. This toy store slash old-fashioned ice cream parlor and Victorian candy emporium has, um, everything. Egg creams, French sodas, ice cream sodas, floats, freezes, sundaes and ridiculous ice cream creations like the kitchen sink (26 scoops in a stainless steel sink). Oh, and almost anything can be veg-friendly, thanks to their rotating menu of vegan ice cream options. Try The King Is Alive Sundae made vegan -- sweet kreme vegan ice cream, vegan marshmallow topping, vegan peanut butter topping, bananas and vegan whipped cream. Even Elvis would have been fooled. 1415 Timberlane Road #410. 850-521-0091
Enjoy eating your way across Tallahassee, y'all. I know I did.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.