By Barbara Ann Kelley,

The Tampa Bay area has many restaurants that specialize  in the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. Here is our list of some of the best in Tampa.

Grass Root Organic Restaurant
4334 South Manhattan Avenue
Tampa, 33611
813-839-ROOT (7668)

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If you’re into eating vegan, organic, raw or just plain incredible food, you’ve got it all at Grass Root  in Tampa. Local farms’ supply the restaurant with their organic produce that help in the making of their thick smoothies and veggie based dishes. Grass Root is a diamond in the rough for those around Tampa wanting healthy organic food. The ambiance is calm and friendly, the owners are more than willing to discuss their food, as is evident in their raw food cooking classes.  For more details and dates on the next raw food cooking class check out their website.

Try their healthy edamame steamed in the pod or warm kale salad with lacenato kale, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, avocado tossed in house summer salad dressing. Their specialty is raw food, like spinach basil pesto served with high mineral kelp noodles on a bed of baby spinach. For perfect hydration, try one of their smoothies or the sweet iced hibiscus tea.

Open Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 9pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Loving Hut
1905 E. Fletcher Ave
Tampa, 33613
(813) 977-7888

Loving Hut is the fastest growing international vegan chain of restaurants with over 120 branches worldwide. Try their plump summer rolls with fresh salad, tofu, carrot, jicama, and fresh chips. Veggie burger lovers will go crazy over the Loving Hut Burger made with homemade vegan burger patty and all the veggie toppings you can pile on. Pasta lovers will delight in their Vegan Ball Spaghetti or Tahini Summer pasta.They even have vegan desserts like Carrot Cake made with organic cane sugar and vanilla extract.

Open 11am to 3pm for lunch and 5 to 9pm Monday through Saturday for dinner. Sunday’s 3:30 to 9pm only.

Rouen Thai
3324 Gandy Blvd.
Tampa, 33611
813- 837- 9100

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Rouen Thai is a South Tampa vegan/vegetarian/macrobiotic friendly restaurant. They have a large and diverse menu. Kid Friendly, Quiet,and Romantic. Try their Sauteed Tofu with bean thread and mixed vegetables, Amazing Egg plant with peanut sauce, or Mixed Vegetables Panang Curry. They even have Siam Tofu with thai chili sauce. Lunch specials include an appetizer, soup of the day, and steamed rice.  Make sure you try the Thai Sweet Iced Tea.

Open for lunch M-F 11:30 – 2:30 and daily for dinner 5-10p.

Viitals Specialty Bakery and Lifestyle Café
6605 N. Florida Ave.
Tampa, 33604
(813) 443-4567

Viitals specializes in healthy items that are gluten-free, vegan and hypoallergenic, which is free of all eight major food allergens: gluten, milk, wheat, egg, soy, nut & tree nut, fish & shellfish. They offer all kinds of foods, ranging from breads, cakes and other baked goods to salads, soups and dips. Viitals also has a variety of teas, coffees and smoothies.They also cater.

Viitals is open every day from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. Closed on Mondays.

Gourmet Pizza Company
610 S. Armenia Ave
Tampa, 33609
(813) 258-1999

Serving Hyde Park since 1999, Gourmet Pizza Company offers an American staple, in a healthy but delicious way. Everything is made from scratch, from their dough to their rich sauces and marinades. They carry gluten-free pizza crusts made by Viitals and Daiya vegan cheese. They have 8 meatless and vegan pizzas and use close to 20 different fresh vegetable toppings that are sliced daily. They serve beer and wine. Dine in or take out.

Open Daily 11am-10pm

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If I missed your favorite, please feel free to add a post listing your suggestions.