One thing that a tourist doesn’t see in Orlando is the real life we Orlandoians live- our lives outside of the theme parks and touristy strip malls and all those neon lights. We have a real culture here. We have professional sport teams, live theatre, a ballet company, an orchestra and tons of art galleries. We also have a restaurant to cater to every palate on the planet.
One thing I do when I travel is try to look up places that are vegan or vegetarian friendly. I am surprised that sometimes, depending on the city, I can only find one or maybe two places that cater to a veggie crowd. As a matter of fact, I am getting ready to go to Jacksonville, the largest city in Florida and I have yet to find a place that serves mostly vegetarian or vegan fare. Here in Orlando, we have quite a few. Sometimes you have to really go off the beaten path to find these places though. I found one that is worth raving about. If you ever find yourself in O-Town, look up the Green Day Cafe – located in North Orlando- far away from the touristy Disney and International Drive areas.
At first glance, this place is a hole in the wall. It has taken the space over from an old Taco Bell restaurant. However, step inside and be awed my friend, be awed.
The menu is extensive, and yes, they serve meat, but not a lot – the menu is filled mostly with healthy vegetarian and vegan options. One of the specialties they serve is a mushroom-brie soup. They now have a gluten-free version and it is unbelievable. Mushrooms and brie cheese are two of my favorite foods so I had high expectations for this soup from the Green Day Cafe. And they did not disappoint. Wow!
I ordered the soup and sandwich combo ($8) – along with the soup I got half of a hummus and veggie wrap. The soup is worth the trip alone and the healthy fresh sandwich was a perfect accompaniment. Chad had the 7-layer rice bowl with vegetarian black beans, guacamole, hummus and a spicy buffalo sauce ($7.50).
He loved what he got. I loved what I got. We also ordered the Mediterranean Platter ($6) which was a serving of salsa, hummus, guacamole and tabouli with grilled pita bread.
I have no complaints on the food at all. Everything was delicious. We had a lot of food.
And to top it all off, they had a few varieties of iced tea.
I combined the blackberry and mango tea and it was delicious!!
We have quite a few healthy option restaurants in Orlando and this is one of the few on the top of my list. They also serve quesadillas, loaded potatoes and a vegetarian stuffed pepper platter. I can’t wait to go back and try more…it is nice to have a place you can go and have a large number of vegetarian options as opposed to having only one option- and usually it is a sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and onions thrown onto a roll. Ugh! I could go to Green Day Cafe and never eat the same thing twice. Don’t let the outside appearance or location steer you away- it is well worth the adventure.