PlantEaters App Helps You Find Veg-Friendly Restaurants in Miami

It's no secret that veg-friendly restaurants are few and far between in Miami. The Magic City is more about pork than produce.

But with the (free!)PlantEaters app, vegans and vegetarians can find meat-free options at restaurants of all kinds, from juice bars to steak houses. This makes eating out a helluva lot easier for the meatless masses.

Short Order recently spoke to founder David Hersh for the skinny on his app.

See also: Vegan Fast Food: A Meatless Guide to Chipotle, Taco Bell, Subway, and Others

Hersh -- entrepreneur, internet start-up veteran, and South Florida native -- started the app as a side project.

"The best ideas are born from scratching your own itch," he says. "My wife and I have been vegetarian and vegan for a little over four years ."

And while the duo is lucky enough to have lots of restaurant options in their current city of residence, New York, not every city is as rich with establishments that cater strictly to the meatless eater. (Cough, cough, Miami).

"There are all these amazing vegetarian and vegan meals at other restaurants and really no good way to find out about them," Hersh explains.

The app has been around for a few months, and so far it has more than 10,000 meals in its database. The premise of the app is such: Eaters can pin their favorite vegetarian and vegan meals and share the location, an image, and other details with fellow users. That way, meatless eaters can search in any given city and find a lot more options than they might otherwise assume.

"I wanted to build something focused on meals rather than restaurants. You can have a wonderful meal at a vegan or vegetarian restaurant -- or at the steak house down the block," he says. "As long as the meal is vegetarian or vegan, that's all that matters."

"For instance, my favorite veggie burger in the city is at a place called 5 Napkin Burger," he explains. Not a place you'd generally think of as an herbivorous hot spot.

The app is available on iTunes, but they're planning to offer desktop and Android versions.

In the long run, Hersh has big dreams.

"We have some grand plans. Once we launch the web version of the service, we'll be adding more social features," he says. "You'll be able to follow other people, get updates when they add new meals, follow restaurants, and get updates when they add menu items. We'll be moving it slowly towards more of a community, not just a utility."

Look out, Yelp. PlantEaters might steal some of your meatless-market share.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.

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