A Month in Review: 7 Vegan Openings in February!

February may be the shortest month of the year, but 2016 saw so many new vegan restaurants and shops opening, it's worth giving it a special shout-out! So with the month coming to an end, here are the seven vegan openings to take note of and visit!

If you have been to any of these incredible restaurants and shops, make sure to add your review and photos to our directory!

1. Dottie's Donuts in Philly!

On February 15, vegan doughnut company Dottie's Donuts went from distributing their delicious doughnuts to a variety of cafes and shops to opening their own shop on 4531 Springfield Avenue in West Philadelphia. Some of the doughnut flavors include 'milk'-chocolate strawberry, black sesame matcha, chocolate-salted pistachio, s'mores, thin mint, blueberry coconut cream, toasted marshmallow, chipotle chocolate and more.

Dottie's Donuts shop has 12 rotating doughnut flavors to choose from, and includes bagels, a variety of vegan cream cheeses, and coffee, with plans to offer a vegan lunch menu as well!

2. Mother of Pearl in NYC!

In February, restaurateur Ravi DeRossi announced his plans to expand and transform all 15 of his restaurants and bars into vegan ones!

DeRossi had given a basic timeline for most of his transformations, and the first of his many makeovers would be Mother of Peal, a popular tiki bar located at 95 Avenue A, set to be completely vegan by mid-February. The new plant-based menu created by Daphne Cheng includes Polynesian-inspired items, such as fried coconut tofu, oyster mushroom skewers, rum fried rice, green mango with jicama, and a lot more!

3. Herbivore in Atlanta!

The story of Herbivore shows how sometimes a door closing can lead to an even better opportunity. After American Food & Beverage in Atlanta closed down, former executive chef (and vegan) Jeremy Miller decided to focus on a new project that aligned his ethics with his work.

On February 21, Miller launched his vegan pop-up restaurant Herbivore, at Cafe Sunflower on 2140 Peachtree Street NW. The pop-up takes place every other Sunday, and features an a la carte menu of 12 to 15 small plates, with three to four dessert options. As Miller is not interested in mimicking meat, some options guests can expect to see on his Southeast Asian-influenced menu include kimchi dumplings with garlic pepper, roasted broccoli in a Thai curry with purple rice, celery root pasta with red wine and truffles, with desserts such as chocolate cake with vanilla mousse and red currants and coconut ice cream with tapioca and winter fruit!

4. No Bones Beach Club in Ballard, Seattle!

Those who loved No Bones About It food truck were absolutely thrilled to know that in February No Bones Beach Club, the first vegan tiki bar in the world, officially opened its doors!

Located on 5410 17th Ave NW in Ballard, the menu offers most of what customers knew and loved with the food truck (such as beer battered avocado tacos, eggplant fries, and crispy cauliflower wings), only now in addition to the "coastal-inspired" menu, it includes cocktails made from local spirits, as well as local beers and wine. The restaurant will continue to donate a percentage of their proceeds to a different animal rescue organization every month.

5. Pepples Donut Farm in Los Angeles!

You can never have too many vegan doughnut shops! Pepples Donut Farm, or Donut Farm, opened their latest location in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles at 2609 W Sunset Blvd., where they sell their organic vegan doughnuts, which include flavors such as persimmon with vanilla, salted caramel, double blueberry, Mexican hot chocolate, whiskey tangerine with fig, and much more!

The shop is the first of its kind in LA, and operates as a full-vegan coffee bar, and promises to offer even more new and exciting flavors!

6. The Butcher's Son in Berkeley!

Siblings Peter Fikaris and Christina Stobing opened vegan deli The Butcher's Son on 1941 University Avenue in Berkeley, California on February 22, which sells meals as well as prepared vegan meats and cheeses for customers!

A "new generation butcher shop", some of the delicious options that the menu offers includes the Philly cheesesteak, the pulled pork sandwich with spicy coleslaw, and the fried mozzarella and meatball sandwich on garlic bread. Customers can also buy lemon-rosemary chicken, cracked pepper turkey, fresh dill havarti and oil cured feta from the restaurant as well!

7. Plant Food + Wine in Miami!

Last but definitely not least, is Matthew Kenney's "most beautiful restaurant" Plant Food + Wine, which is set to open today in Miami at 105 NE 24th St.! With his first Plant Food + Wine in Venice being a huge success, the celebrity chef brought a second one to life right by his raw culinary school!

The menu will include black pepper kelp noodles with sunflower cream, spicy greens, green olive purée, and sun-dried olives, and coconut ceviche tacos made with sunflower chorizo, avocado, pico de gallo, and lime crema. Dessert options includes a coconut-based sorbet with candied macadamia and a basil consommé, and the restaurant will also offer juices, detox drinks, organic wines and sake, as well as seasonal cocktails!

So in just 29 days, seven new and exciting vegan restaurants and shops have opened up! Let's hope February is just a sample of what is to come for 2016!

Photo Credit: www.tampabay.com

Lena Tachdjian is a certified nutritionist and a writer, who splits her time between Canada and Armenia. She writes about nutrition, health, food, recipes, culture, travel, animal rights, and more. You can follow her on her nutrition and travel blog http://thetravelingchamelian.blogspot.ca/

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