In Sin City, what could more decadent than a sizzling steak and a lobster tail? It may seem like Las Vegas vegetarians have few or no options for healthy eating, but we have rounded up some great places to satisfy even the most die-hard veggie lover, including farmer’s markets, community-supported agriculture, local restaurants, and even juice bars.
Voted “Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and “Best Place to Take Kids in Southern Nevada” by Nevada Magazine, Springs Preserve is a botanical garden that offers much more than pretty plants to look at. In addition to attractions like a butterfly habitat (opening in the spring) and an exhibit on chocolate (through May 3, 2015), Springs Preserve hosts a weekly farmer’s market on Thursdays from 10 to 3 p.m. Admission to the market is free and products are cash only. The Green Chefs Farmers Market focuses on local farmers and co-ops and partners with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Southern Nevada. When you shop at this market, you are supporting your local economy and small farmers while getting your recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables. It’s a win-win for Las Vegas vegetarians.
Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Have you ever considered owning a farm? Maybe your dream is a small plot in the backyard, or maybe it’s acres of crops. Or maybe you just want to support local farmers to ensure they keep producing fresh vegetables, eggs, and, in some cases, meats that are raised humanely and sustainably.
If digging in the dirt is not your thing but you still want the experience of farm ownership, consider buying a share in a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. CSAs sell shares to consumers in the fall and then deliver a weekly bounty of fruits and vegetables all spring and summer. This partnership between farmer and community member helps farmers plan their crops for the coming year and gives them vital financial stability so that they can keep farming. Here are two CSAs that can be a veggie boon for Las Vegas vegetarians.
Quail Hollow Farms offers year-round CSAs in full or half shares that include produce, meat, and eggs. They keep their own bees and include honey in their shares, too. Monte and Laura Bledsoe are the farmers of Quail Hollow, and they work their farm under the following principles:
- To be good stewards of their land
- To provide fresh, nutritious, local produce
- To be self-sufficient for themselves and to help their community be self-sufficient
- To be grounded in working with their hands in the dirt
Their CSA baskets are available for weekly pick-up at multiple locations, including the Vegas Food Co-op, making it easy for Las Vegas vegetarians. Quail Hollow also offers classes on gardening and preserving the harvest and an occasional “farm-to-fork dinner.” Visit their website for info on classes, CSA shares, farm tours, and information on interning on the farm.
A relative newcomer to the practice of community-supported agriculture, Meadow Valley is jumping in with both feet, offering winter and spring full and half shares of fresh produce and eggs. They also operate a farm stand on site, Monday through Saturday. Unlike other CSAs, Meadow Valley will deliver your weekly share directly to your home or office. They also produce a weekly newsletter with cooking tips and recipes for the vegetables they harvest each week.
Meadow Valley is a small producer, farming just two acres, but the support of an active CSA membership will help them grow. They are also weekly attendees at the farmer’s market in The District at Green Valley Ranch, along with Quail Hollow Farm and 11 other local farms. This market is open on Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m. weekly.
Local Restaurants for Las Vegas Vegetarians
Vegan Bites is Las Vegas’s only all-vegan bakery. In addition to using no animal products at all, Vegan Bites also has plenty of gluten-free options and uses no refined cane sugar or artificial ingredients. Their pastries and candies are not to be missed, and their quinoa blueberry granola draws raves from everyone. They are open Tuesday through Sunday and plan to launch online ordering soon.
Go Raw Café
In the land of surf and turf, a raw vegan café may seem out of place, but the Go Raw Café offers a full menu of alternatives to red meat and seafood. Menu items include the “Gimme the Beet ‘Cheese’ burger,” served on living bread with house-made ketchup and jicama “fries” and a purple burrito featuring a purple cabbage leaf filled with “mexi pate,” salsa, guacamole, and organic veggies. If you can’t decide which to taste first, their sampler platters allow you to try several of their featured favorites at once.
The Go Raw Café has two locations, one near Sahara and Durango, and the other near Windmill and the 215. They are open seven days a week, but if you can’t make it in, check out their online shopping page.
Juice Bars and Breakfast Options
Las Vegas vegetarians have multiple delicious breakfast and juice options. The Juice Standard in Spring Valley offers juices (a bottle at a time or a pack for a cleanse), fresh nut milks, and superfood smoothies. Looking for a more substantial breakfast to go with your fresh, cold-pressed juice or smoothie? Try Juice ‘N’ Go on the Westside (where kids eat free!) or Grassroots Juice Bar downtown. Grassroots Juice Bar sources as much local produce as they can for their juices and smoothies and also offers daily soup specials and ice cream.
Las Vegas can be a playground for vegetarians if you know where to look; what are your favorite Las Vegas vegetarian restaurants?
Image by Cory Doctorow via Flickr