Try Plant Theory's Kombucha Ice-Cream Float

Sheryn Abalos has been a vegan for three decades. She stopped eating animal products when she was 13, ages before Beyoncé, Miley, or Ariana helped push the term into the mainstream. In those days, meat substitutes were few and far between, and vegan cheese options were rubbery and gray at best. 

So Abalos learned to make delicious, healthy whole foods sans analogues or other imitations. She used this expertise to open her first vegan eatery, Naked Earth, in the '90s. After closing it to become a flight attendant, she later opened a juice bar on Alton Road in Miami Beach. When the construction madness ensued, she didn't renew her lease.
Fast-forward to now, and Plant Theory is her newest culinary labor of love. The recently opened eatery and vegan boutique, located at 744 Sixth St. in South Beach, is an oasis for conscious consumers. 

"It's a café and an artisan market. We have so many different small vendors. You wouldn’t be able to buy this stuff at Whole Foods or Publix. I searched for those all-vegan, organic companies," she explains.

Abalos developed the entire menu herself. The selections run about 50/50 raw versus cooked. Cooked items include a tempeh Reuben ($14), with melted vegan "cheeze," caraway cabbage salad, and tangy sauce; the CBLT ($13), with smoked coconut "bacun," baby lettuce, tomato, melted vegan "cheeze," and vegan mayo; and the barbecue guava pulled jackfruit sandwich ($14), with chipotle pepper guava sauce and coleslaw. Raw items include the sun burger ($14), with sprouted nuts and veggies on flax bread; pad thai kelp noodles with almond butter ginger sauce; and spaghetti and "neatballs" — squash noodles with dehydrated, sprouted nut-based meatballs. 
The spot also serves breakfast. Items include the missing egg melt ($8), with tofu and cheddar "cheeze"; gluten-free Belgian waffles with fruit ($11); and vegan empanadas with spinach, kale, quinoa, and mushrooms ($3) — the only items on the menu that include gluten. All produce, nuts, and sprouts are also organic.

Don't miss Plant Theory's cold-pressed juices and local kombucha — on tap. Kombucha ice-cream floats ($10) are also an option. "We use two local Florida organic microbrewers. The exciting thing is that the flavors are always changing depending on what is in season. Also the same thing with the ice "kream," flavors change." The ice "kream," along with vegan popsicles, is created by a local artisan.
The spot also has a lounge-style area where customers can hang out and talk. It's stocked with games (Twister, Scrabble, Monopoly); card decks (tarot and animal cards); and even instruments. "Sometimes we have impromptu musical jam session by customers," Abalos says. "We're really focused on community."

For South Beach residents — particularly those who are causeway-averse — Abalos wanted to create something with neighborhood appeal. After all, most of the 305's vegan eateries are in other parts of the county. 

Abalos is already looking at a franchise model and considering expanding to other areas. With the rise in popularity of plant-based foods, it's no wonder. 
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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of
Contact: Hannah Sentenac