Vegan food Cleveland
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I was in Ohio about four months ago – yes it’s taking me a while to get caught up – and on my way out of the state I hit up a few vegan eateries in Oberlin, Avon, Lakewood, and Cleveland. First up is Cafe Sprouts, set in a brisk, college town.
55 E College St.
Oberlin, OH 44074
If I remember correctly this quaint restaurant is mostly raw, does have some cooked items, and some things contain eggs – so just keep an eye out for what you order. This place also has excellent customer service, and delicious noms.
I ordered the SkinGlow juice (apples, cucumber, celery, lemon, aloe, leafy greens), and the Mock Egg Salad Wrap (cashew-based “egg” salad wrapped in collard leaves, with a side of chips and pickles). Everything was delicious!
My next stop was in Avon where The Green Kitchen provided a healthy yet hearty snack, insightful conversation, and an unexpected connection.
38125 Colorado Ave.
Avon, OH 44011
I’ll be straight with you, The Green Kitchen is a bit hard to find. It’s tucked behind a series of buildings, there’s a teeny tiny sign on the side of the road and if you miss it, you’ll fly right by. There is no website or social media pages (specifically for the restaurant), and when you walk in you’ll wonder if you’ve made it to the right place. But by golly if you can find it – and you should totally check it out – it’s worth taking your time, enjoying your delicious raw meal, and chatting with the lovely woman who volunteers to make all of the food in this unique facility.
The restaurant is set up like a school dining hall, with large round tables for eight or so people. When I arrived there was just one other customer and the woman who runs the show.
I didn’t realize this until I got there but it turns out that while The Green Kitchen is open to the public it’s first and foremost where the residents of Our Lady of The Wayside, a non-denominational, non-profit, residential service provider for children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities, go to eat during the day. How awesome is that? The Wayside has residents who live within the area of the restaurant, but also in other parts of Avon. They care for those in need and prepare them raw, healthy, healing foods. Incredible! Here is their mission statement:
Our Lady of The Wayside enriches the lives of individuals who have developmental disabilities. We provide pathways to healthy and productive personal growth to individuals and their families through profesional care and guidance.
When I walked in I joined a young man and older woman who were sitting together, chatting. After some conversation I came to learn of this woman’s role within the facility. She has a long history of helping others. When she was a young business woman she founded a large residential facility that houses elderly people. This was her life’s work and she now lives within the facility that she started decades ago, and her daughter now runs it. Despite being retired, and I believe in her 70s or 80s, this woman continues to give as much as she can. She volunteers everyday to prepare whole, raw, vegan food for the residents of Wayside and for any outside patrons that should come in. Within ten minutes I had a plate full of healthy greens in front of me. And my was it tasty!
I also chatted with the delightful, Don Tyler. All three of us got to talking and as I was explaining away my dream of being on The Ellen Show, Don revealed that he’s the director of videography at Additive. Hello! He might have mentioned having a few high profile connections but I have yet to hear how that’s going. So uhh, Don. How’s that going? Uhhmm.. any word from Ellen? :D
As I was getting ready to leave, the inspiring woman behind the food not only packed me a cooler full of treats for the road, but she also donated money to my trip. Here she is working for no money, and at a facility that takes donations for their restaurant meals to the public, and she still donated. I just can’t get over the kindness from strangers that I’ve experienced while on this trip. Simply incredible.
Thank you to this mystery woman and to Don for the engaging conversation and for all of your support and kindness. It was lovely to meet you both. :)
My next stop in Ohio was at Good ‘N’ Raw in Lakewood. It turned out to be less restaurant and more pick-what-you’d-like out of a cooler and/or off the self.
11860 Clifton Blvd
Lakewood, OH 44107
I selected the Tuna Salad and a raw nacho dish. Both were delicious, though the nacho plate really blew me away. It truly was packed with flavor and very filling. The nut-based taco “meat” and “cheese” were incredibly delicious.
After Good ‘n’ Raw I headed to The Root Cafe to grab a mocha, do some writing, and meet up with my new friend Vanessa. I got a bit of work done and decided to check out Roots’ menu. They offer a handful of vegan items, and I had one of their stir fry bowls.
Sort of a side note here – a while after visiting Roots I received a lovely guest blog post from Julia Toke, about The Roots Cafe. Unfortunately the email had gone into the spam folder and I didn’t discover it until some time had passed – and a deadline for an event of theirs had passed as well. Therefore, I wanted to share a couple of morsels from Julia’s submission.
The Root Cafe’s raw food chef, Nicole Tuzzio, sees [the food we serve] this way: “The connection between humans and the garden is sacred. This is a beautiful thing to celebrate. Our food is alive and full of water that is vibrating with energy. This energy can change and resonate with the energy we send out. I enjoy working on mindful preparation of the harvest starting with a zen, clean kitchen, creating meals with the highest intention of love, health and wellness for the recipient. Our local farmers make the foundation for mindful, healthy consumption and their nurturing presence is alive on our plates.”
Quarterly, the Root cafe holds a 5 course dinner to help educate and promote local seasonal raw and whole foods. We took the challenge as a restaurant to provide this 5 course meal and beverages with 98% local sources. Our debut event Hot Fun in the Summertime: an urban vegetable revival, was a culinary success. With pizzas being hand created and fired in front of the guests in our clay, wood fired oven, big beautiful fresh salads, raw zucchini pasta tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs, roasted beets with our signature root tang dressing and basil, beet goat cheese to spread on freshly baked baguettes, all topped off with a fresh, organic ‘make your own berry shortcake bar’. All of the vegetables were locally sourced through Cleveland Crops. The flour for bread and pizza came from Risley Acres in Litchfield. Local craft beer by Buckeye Brewery flowed freely. The event featured jazz musicians Xe La and the Root tones, the violin stylings of Nate & Ariel topped off with an after dinner treat by dj Eso spinning funk, soul & hip hop records . Patrons were invited to create a god’s eye craft at the table. All senses and expressions of the human spirit are being engaged: body, mind and soul.
Julie, thank you for taking the time to share more of The Roots Cafe happenings. And thanks so much to Vanessa for letting me shower at and park in front of your place that night. :)