Manna Life Food Serves Superfoods to Fuel Your Busy Day

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It's easy to find French fries, cafecito, and sandwiches at downtown Miami's many eateries, but superfood arepas and matcha cappuccinos are something new. And those innovative items are what make Manna Life Food a unique addition to the bustling neighborhood.

The airy, spacious spot, located at 80 NE Second Ave. inside the Alfred I. DuPont Building, is the culmination of a lifelong dream for owner Sabra Seligman. The energetic, enthusiastic owner has a background in the health and wellness field. "My career hasn't been in a kitchen," she explains. "I studied with vegan author and chef Mark Reinfeld here in Miami. I've always been in wellness. I'm a nutritionist and a health coach as well."

To concoct a nutrient-dense, superfood-strong menu for Manna, she worked with a close friend who goes by the simple moniker of Chef D. "It was a labor of love and passion," Seligman says of their effort. "[Chef D] studied in Argentina, and she has opened many kinds of concepts of restaurants, and this was the first all-plant-based concept."

Though Chef D wasn't vegan to begin with, she made the transition after about six months of working toward Manna's vision, Seligman says.
Manna's massive menu reflects a creative eye. There are life bowls, baked treats, raw desserts, hot soups, nori wraps, nut mylks, and other items packed with superfoods, from chia seeds and goji berries to kale and spirulina.

Aside from the occasional use of raw honey, the entire menu is vegan and gluten-free, and many of the options are raw. Highlights include superfood arepas such as the avocado with spirulina chimichurri and hemp hearts ($8); PB&J with natural peanut butter and raspberry-strawberry chia jam ($7); "noritos" nori wraps, including raw falafel with red quinoa, cucumber, red pepper, and tzatziki ($9); sweet bowls like the white soursop with banana, coconut meat, vanilla, agave, berries, passionfruit, and Manna granola ($12); and the raw passionfruit cheesecake, made with raw honey, pecans, raw cacao, and coconut flakes ($10). 
The food is all made in-house, and some of the items require extensive preparation. "When you make your own coconut yogurt, it's a very long process. When we make our granola, we have to dehydrate it for seven hours," Seligman explains.

Smoothies, cold-pressed juices, nut mylks, and superfood-infused coffee options serve as the drinks du jour. For rushed lunchgoers, there are grab-and-go items like coconut meat ceviche, with Thai coconut meat, tomato, onion, peppers, lime, and passionfruit ($10); raw pad thai with kelp noodles, peanuts, zucchini, and cilantro ($10); and coffee chia pudding with house-made Brazil nut mylk, coconut sugar, cacao nibs, and cacao maca fudge ($7). 

Every menu item at Manna is impossibly colorful and aesthetically appealing, making it easier than ever to eat the rainbow and bulk up on the nutrient-dense edibles that our standard American diet lacks. This is fresh food that's fast, and who couldn't use a superfood boost? 

Manna Life Food is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. 

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