Foodie 15: Essential & must-try vegan dishes in Tucson

15 delicious and local vegan dishes

Tucson’s vegan food scene is continuously growing at an exciting speed.

With the endless vegan options the city has to offer, it can be challenging to make the big decision of where to enjoy your next meal. Although, it’s a good problem to have.

La Indita

The Veggie Delight at La Indita (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Plus, you’ll find many vegan versions of your old favorites, so if you ever crave a taste of your more traditional choices, you can still indulge without involving animal products.

Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, this ultimate vegan food guide has you covered. Here, we give you a list of 15 delicious vegan options at some of Tucson’s best restaurants (in no particular order).

Substance Diner

1015 S. Park Ave.

Place your order at the Substance Diner food truck and enjoy your meal out on Motosonora Brewing Company’s (dog-friendly) outdoor patio or take it to-go. Don’t forget — Substance Diner’s menu is 100% vegan.

My favorite order: Substance Burger with beer mushrooms, Kale Caesar Salad with beer mushrooms, Diner Fries, and a side of ranch and ketchup to dip.

For more information, visit substancediner.com

Renee’s Tucson

7065 E. Tanque Verde Rd.

Renee’s Vegan Crush Pizza — a savory red sauce mixed with vegan pesto and topped with fresh zucchini, sweet Kalamata olives, crunchy broccoli, tangy artichokes, and crisp peppers.

Add some Daiya for that traditional cheese pull and incorporate garlic knots and your dessert of choice for a perfect combination. Also, ask for their new Vegan Box takeout special and get a little something for everyone.

For more information, visit reneestucson.com

Tumerico

2526 E. Sixth Ave. • 402 E. Fourth St.

With its fresh, locally sourced, organic, and nourishing Latin-inspired take on cuisine, Tumerico offers some of the best vegan tamales in town. Sink your fork into Red Chili Jackfruit Tamales with green olives potatoes and jalapeño.

Foodie Tip: Tumerico changes its menu daily so be sure to call to verify the availability of their menu items.

For more information, visit tumerico.com

Noodies

1730 E. Speedway Blvd.

All of Noodies’ fresh handmade pasta is vegan except for their fettuccine.

Enjoy their fruity soft-serve gelato and don’t leave without trying their house-made creation Pasta Fries — crispy French fries smothered in your choice of sauce. Stick with tomato basil and ask for no cheese to make it all vegan.

For more information, follow Noodies on Instagram

Ensenada Street Food

1602 S. Park Ave.

Among the variety of vegan options at Ensenada Street Food, the vegan pastor tacos and chilaquiles consistently stand out and shine as my top contenders.

For more information, follow Ensenada Street Food on Instagram. 

Tohono Chul Garden Bistro

7366 N. Paseo Del Norte

Surround yourself with a beautiful array of plants at Tohono Chul’s Garden Bistro. The Graze Lunch Bowl is vegan as-is with vegan sausage, spinach, sweet corn, mushrooms, roasted tomato, shallots, I’ltoi onion, smashed spuds, poblano, and a vegan herb aioli.

Order the refreshing Sandia and Rocket Salad and sub balsamic vinaigrette to make it vegan.

For more information, visit tohonochul.org

The 81 Hong Kong Cafe

625 E. Wetmore Rd. #109

From Lemon Pepper Fried Tofu to Brown Sugar Ice Jelly, the vegan options at The 81 Hong Kong Cafe will satisfy any craving.

Look for the many vegan symbols on the menu and while you’re there, check out the Basil Eggplant, one of my current favorites.

For more information, visit the81hongkongcafe.com

Vivace Restaurant

6440 N. Campbell Ave.

Vivace’s Vegan Bolognese features well-seasoned Beyond Meat and mushrooms with penne pasta and vegan parmesan cheese.

Additionally, their open-faced Italian Style Vegetarian Beyond Meat Burger can be made vegan if you request their house-made vegan cheese.

For more information, visit vivacetucson.com. Read our February 2022 article “Vivace named one of OpenTable’s 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America.”

Del Cielo Tamales

3073 N. Campbell Ave.

The vegan Tacos Dorados plate sits high on my list of Del Cielo favorites.

Three crunchy tacos stuffed with vegetable-based meat and beans and topped with fresh vegetables, tangy pickled onions, and vegan cheese. Served with delicious rice and salsa on the side, too.

For more information, visit delcielotamales.com

La Indita

722 N. Stone Ave.

Did you know that La Indita’s delicious creamy beans and soft rice are always made vegan? In fact, any vegetarian items marked with the red asterisk on their menu can be made vegan, except for the green sauce and mole.

My personal recommendation is The Veggie Delight — a special combo plate with a potato taco, spinach enchilada, mushroom spinach tostada, and served with beans and rice (ask for no cheese on the beans).

For more information, follow La Indita on Facebook

Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria

2707 E. Broadway Blvd.

The Fungus Humungous deep dish pizza at Rocco’s Little Chicago is a mouth-watering, grilled mixture of portabello & white mushroom with onions & garlic. Add Spicy Hot Sticks with pizza sauce (NOT marinara) on the side, since it’s vegan.

Foodie Tip: Mention that you want both items served vegan to avoid any cheese or ranch dressing.

For more information, visit roccoslittlechicago.com.

Yoshimatsu Japanese Eatery

2741 N. Campbell Ave.

With pages of so many tasty colorful options, Yoshimatsu makes it easy to locate the many vegan options on their menu.

The Mushroom Ginger Ramen, labeled as an immune system booster with three kinds of mushroom including Maitake and fresh veggie sushi rolls always impress. Plus, try the Tempura Asparagus roll — it’s 10/10 delicious.

For more information, visit yoshimatsuaz.com

Urban Fresh

73 E. Pennington St.

Urban Fresh treats their BLT lovers with TLC.

Crunchy rice paper bacon sandwiched between crisp leaves of lettuce, thick, juicy slices of tomato, and topped with sliced onion, creamy avocado, and rich hummus. The crunch of their rice paper bacon is incredibly satisfying, you won’t regret this healthy take on an American classic.

For more information, visit urbanfreshaz.com

Falora

3000 E. Broadway Blvd.

Find vegan mozzarella and house-made vegan sausage at Falora — an analog neighborhood spot (they’re spinnin’ vinyl records instead of streaming tunes online) that features wood-baked Napoli pizza.

My favorite order: La Cauliflora pizza, with its perfect blend of roasted florets and poblanos and the Hazelnut Gnocchi, warm dumplings swimming in a savory vegetable broth with a ginger glaze.

For more information, visit falora.com

Zayna Mediterranean Restaurant

1138 N. Belvedere Ave.

The combination of fried cauliflower with creamy hummus and buttery tahini, sprinkled with cumin and topped with crunchy pickles, juicy sliced tomatoes, crisp lettuce and onion on a Greek pita is absolute perfection. The only thing left to do after ordering Zayna’s Cauliflower Sandwich is choosing between fries or a salad for your side.

Their falafel sandwich is also vegan.

For more information, visit zaynamediterranean.com

Hannah Hernandez is the creator of Death Free Foodie on Instagram, a local guide dedicated to the many vegan options Tucson has to offer.

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