This week we asked food critic Lisa Martinez, known for her blog, El Paso Veg Snob to lend her expertise and be a contributor for our top ten vegetarian dishes in downtown. For a list of delicious vegetarian food options, read on!
1.) Small Plates/Tapas at Tabla (115 Durango St, Ste. D)
Be sure to bring a group to share one of the many veg-friendly cold plates and tapas, but do not miss out on the Morrocan-spiced chickpea fries served with chipotle curry ketchup.
2.) Mexican Eats at Zona Centro Mexican Eatery (218 E. Mills)
Vegan friendly Mexican fare that’s authentic and ranges from bowls to burritos and tacos. It’s tough choosing between the jackfruit verde and the jackfruit al pastor. Visit during their monthly vegan takeover nights, where the entire restaurant goes vegan for one night with special features like flautas and chile rellenos.
3.) Tacos & Drinks at Elemi (313 N. Kansas St.)
Even more veg-friendly Mexican food is available downtown at this new spot that serves freshly made blue corn tortillas among the many other house made concoctions. Taco options occasionally change, but there are always at least two vegan or vegetarian options. The brussel sprouts served with goat cheese crema are just as “wow-ing” as their presentation. Wash it down with a jamaica margarita.
4.) Sandwiches & Juices at Healthy Bite (205 E. Mills)
One of the first downtown spots that offered more than one vegetarian option is still serving up favorites like their roasted veggie panini on whole wheat ciabatta bread. Don’t forget to order one of their freshly pressed juices for a morning or midday pick-me-up.
5.) Breakfast/Lunch at Juicery Plus (201 E. Main)
Not many places offer vegan breakfast in El Paso, so this newish downtown eatery truly stands out. What’s even more unique, is that the entire menu is vegan, but meat can be added for an additional charge. Breakfast favorites include a benedict (sans the eggs of course), migas, and chilaquiles.
6.) Falafel at Delight (502 N. Oregon St., Ste. A)
This spot, across from the library is known for some decadent burgers and sandwiches, but what most don’t know is that some of El Paso’s best falafel can be found here. You can’t go wrong whether you order it as an appetizer, salad, pita wrap, or cabbage tacos. Be sure to try the Salvadoran pupusas as well.
7.) Ramen at Ramen Ichiban (210 N. Stanton St., Ste. #1)
One of the newest restaurants to hit downtown just happens to offer vegan miso ramen that’s pure comfort food. The chiles toreado-like garnish completes the bowl.
8.) Pizza at The Pizza Joint (500 N. Stanton)
Not only can you opt for vegan cheese at this El Paso favorite, but vegan, locally made soy chorizo is also available as a topping. Be sure to try the build-your-own pizza joints while you’re there.
9.) Grilled Cheese at Craft & Social (305 E. Franklin Ave.)
It’s always a sad day for vegetarians when a grilled cheese is the only vegetarian option on the menu, but that’s not the case here. The Cheeser is pure decadence with arugula, green apple, and seasonal fruit jam packed in with a bunch of fancy cheeses on bread from Bella Cora Bakery.
10.) Fare at Desert Moon Café (310 S. Florence St.)
This is one of those downtown spots that’s easily forgotten due to its location. While not near all the action, it is close to the county courthouse. You’ll want to visit often because the menu changes with each season, and a vegetarian or vegan option is always offered, like guajillo chile risotto served with a vegetable of your choice.
Librarian by day, food critic by night- my blog and Instagram combine my profession and passion for all things culinary. My gastronomical knowledge comes from Bon Appetit, television, and a stint in a high school Culinary Arts program. This in turn created a food snob that happens to be vegetarian. Follow along on IG: @epvegsnob or on the blog at epvegsnob.wordpress.com.