OpenTable's 50 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America

Restaurants in New York, California and Washington, D.C.: Most Honorees

 

With interest in vegetarian and plant-based diets skyrocketing, more diners are searching for restaurants that satisfy their health needs. OpenTable recently released its 50 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America. Featuring restaurants coast-to-coast across 15 states and Washington, D.C., the list includes a variety of cuisines ranging from American to Indian to Mediterranean -- perfect for vegetarians everywhere and even omnivores accompanying their veggie-loving friends.


From vegetable-heavy offerings at Nix in New York City to gourmet, plant-based CafeGratitude in San Diego to vegetarian-friendly Mediterranean cuisine at Zaytinyain Washington, D.C., the Best Restaurants for Vegetarians list has it all. With 11 restaurants on the list, New York is the most recognized state, followed by California with nine and Washington, D.C., with seven. Additional states represented include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington.


The 50 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America, according to OpenTable diners, are as follows (in alphabetical order):


ABC Kitchen - New York, New York
Andina - Portland, Oregon
Âu Lạc Plant-Based Food & Drink - Los Angeles, California
Bar Bombon - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Beatrix - River North - Chicago, Illinois
Bistro Aracosia - Washington, D.C.
BLACKOUT - Dining in the Dark - Las Vegas, Nevada
Blind Faith Cafe - Evanston, Illinois
Blossom - New York, New York - Multiple Locations
Brewery Bhavana - Raleigh, North Carolina
Cafe Gratitude - San Diego - San Diego, California
Candle 79 - New York, New York
Catch LA - West Hollywood, California
Charlie was a sinner. - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chauhan Ale & Masala House - Nashville, Tennessee
Delice & Sarrasin - New York, New York
Departure Restaurant and Lounge - Portland, Oregon
Dirt Candy - New York, New York
Divya's Kitchen - New York, New York
Double Zero - New York, New York
Ema - Chicago, Illinois
Equinox - DC - Washington, D.C.
Farmer's Table - Boca Raton, Florida
Farmers & Distillers - Washington, D.C.
Farmers Fishers Bakers - Washington, D.C.
Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens - Corona Del Mar, California
Founding Farmers - Multiple Locations
Gracias Madre - SF - San Francisco, California
Greens Restaurant - San Francisco, California
Harvest Beat - Seattle, Washington
The Helmand Restaurant - Baltimore, Maryland
Irregardless Cafe - Raleigh, North Carolina
Lila - Sarasota, Florida
Linger - Denver, Colorado
The Little Beet Table - New York, New York
Modern Love - Multiple Locations
Nix - New York, New York
Oliver's- Santa Barbara, California
Plant Food + Wine Venice - Venice, California
Planta - Miami Beach, Florida
Rasika - Washington, D.C. - Multiple Locations         
Root Down - Denver, Colorado
Sage - A Plant Based Bistro - Culver City, California
Shaya - New Orleans, Louisiana
True Food Kitchen - Multiple Locations         
Ulele - Tampa, Florida
Urban Vegan Kitchen (a.k.a. Blossom on Carmine) - New York, New York
XYST NYC - New York, New York
Zahav - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Zaytinya - Washington, D.C. 


The complete list may also be viewed at https://www.opentable.com/lists/best-vegetarian-friendly-restaurants-2018.

Best Cities for Ice Cream Lovers in 2018

San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego

Do you think that your city is the best one for ice cream lovers? A new report by Redfin analyzed 100 major U.S cities by combining Yelp and Walk Score data.


According to this analysis, San Francisco is #1 for ice cream lovers, with a Walk Score® of 86 and 61 locations to eat ice cream that collectively have an average Yelp ranking of 4.26. To account for quality over quantity of ice cream shops, the average rating for shops was factored to be twice as valuable as the Walk Score and number of shops. 


Top Five Cities for Ice Cream Lovers


1. San Francisco, CA

Number of ice cream shops: 61

Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.26

Walk Score: 86

Notable ice cream shops: Mitchell's Ice Cream, The Baked Bear, Smitten Ice Cream, Swensons, Bi-Rite Creamery, Humphry Slocombe, Fentons Creamery


2. Seattle, WA

Number of ice cream shops: 50

Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.26

Walk Score: 73

Notable ice cream shops: Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream, Kurt Farm Shop, Old School Frozen Custard, Frankie & Jo's, Bluebird Ice Cream, Shug's Soda Fountain and Ice Cream


3. Los Angeles, CA (tied)

Number of ice cream shops: 50

Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.28

Walk Score: 67

Notable ice cream shops: Magpies Softserve, Merci Clement, Fosselman's Ice Cream Co., Afters Ice Cream, Coolhaus, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams


3. San Diego, CA (tied)

Number of ice cream shops: 72

Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.31

Walk Score: 51

Notable ice cream shops: Mariposa Ice Cream, JoJo's Creamery, Creme & Sugar, ICMonster, TREET Ice Cream Sandwich Company


4. Denver, CO

Number of ice cream shops: 54

Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.3

Walk Score: 61

Notable ice cream shops: Little Man Ice Cream, Sweet Action Ice Cream, Bonnie Brae Ice Cream, Milkroll Creamery, High Point Creamery


5. Miami, FL

Number of ice cream shops: 42

Average rating of all ice cream shops: 4.34

Walk Score: 79

Notable ice cream shops: Dasher and Crank, Mad Lab Creamery, Morelia Gourmet Paletas, Taiyaki, Sweet Melody, Serendipity Creamery


To read the full report, complete with all 15 cities, visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2018/08/best-cities-ice-cream-united-states.html.

10 Food, Wine & Beer Festivals This Fall

Orlando's Delicious Food Festivities

This fall, Orlando has a buffet of flavorful events for visitors and locals. Numerous food and wine festivals offer culinary delights and celebrate the incoming cooler weather, with more than 11 weeks of events for wine and beer lovers, vegetarians and adventurous eaters.


Here are some highlights of Orlando's most popular food events:


  • Guests can dine on haute cuisine without burning through their budget during the 13th year of Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, Sponsored by American Express (Aug. 24 – Sept. 30), when more than 100 of Central Florida's top restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinner menus for $35. This year, it's easier than ever for guests to find vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, specially marked on the Magical Dining website.
  • At the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Aug. 30 – Nov. 12), taking place at the Walt Disney World Resort, guests can sip, sample and savor treasures from some of the world's most famous wineries and celebrated chefs as they circle World Showcase. New this year, visitors can enjoy Sunday Brunch with celebrity chefs, new artists at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, a mimosa bar, and innovative dishes at Global Marketplaces throughout the Park.
  • Food and Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek (Sept. 7 – Nov. 11) returns with a macaron bar, traditional Royal Tea and the Bar du Chocolat with champagne. Tasting dinners at the hotels' restaurants – Bull & Bear, La Luce and Zeta Asia – will offer the chance to experience authentic dishes inspired by American, Italian and Asian cuisine.
  • At Universal Orlando Resort, Jake's Beer Festival is held at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort (Oct. 5), featuring 50 or so craft and specialty beers, creative foods expertly prepared and live entertainment.
  • The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (Oct. 26 – 27) features wines from around the world and a variety of culinary dishes prepared by award-winning chefs. Educational seminars range from wine-blending to pasta-making from scratch. A special Sunday Bubbles Brunch returns this year on Oct. 28, featuring a variety of cured meats, imported cheeses, an array of sushi and of course, champagne.
  • The 7th Annual Winter Park Wine and Dine (Oct. 10) invites the community to sample flavors from over 30 restaurants. Tickets include unlimited tastings of food, deserts, wine, specialty cocktails and craft beer plus live music throughout the Winter Park Farmer's Market.
  • As the No.1 vegan-friendly destination in the U.S., according to an article in Livability, Orlando's vegetarian community continues to grow with special events like the Central Florida Veg Fest(Oct. 27). Now in its 13th year, Veg Fest is one of the biggest and best vegetarian festivals in the country. Held at Orlando Festival Park near downtown Orlando, this colorful and educational event offers over 200 vendors and 100 contributors, for a wide variety of presentations and food preparation demos, all featuring vegetarian cuisines.
  • New to the fall event lineup this year is Lakeridge Winery's first ever Wine & Cheese Festival (Sept. 8 - 9), featuring complimentary tastings of bestselling wines carefully paired with artisan cheeses. Guests can also enjoy live music, Lakeridge wine by the glass, beer and a variety of food available for purchase.
  • Another brand-new event for 2018 is SeaWorld's Craft Beer Festival (Weekends Nov. 3 – 11), featuring 100+ brews on draft from breweries across the state of Florida, plus a few domestic and international craft favorites. The festival will offer more than 20 unique food items designed to perfectly pair with the selection of brews.
  • The 4th Annual Orlando Beer Festival (Nov. 10), held in the Milk District of downtown Orlando, hosts a night of fun for a good cause, as proceeds benefit the Coalition for the Homeless. Guests will enjoy samples of craft and premium beers from local and international breweries, wine tastings, interactive games, tasty eats and live music.

For a full schedule of fall happenings, year-round events, insider attraction tips and vacation planning guides, go to VisitOrlando.com

Food News

Comedian Tom Papa Breaks Bread Across The Country In Brand-new Food Network Series Baked

What are the ingredients for mixing comedy and bread? 


When carb-loving comedian Tom Papa isn't doing stand-up, he is probably eating, thinking about or making bread. Along with his sourdough specialty, he takes his passion for baked goods to the next level in the new Food Network series Baked.  


In his mission to find the country's best breads and pastries, Tom hits cities from coast to coast to shine a light on how local bakeries make life a little sweeter. He kicks the series off in New York City, where he devours glazed donuts covered in everything bagel topping, takes a master class in old world baking and discovers the bready, eggy, cheesy dish khachapuri.  Tom then heads to Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Orleans, New Jersey and Cleveland in subsequent episodes.  Baked premieres Monday, September 3, 2018, with back-to-back episodes at 10 p.m. (all times ET/PT) and 10:30 p.m.


In the 10 p.m. premiere episode, Tom heads to New York City and meets up with his friend Jim Gaffiganat at The Doughnut Project for the ultimate New York mash-up: a glazed donut covered in everything bagel topping.  Tom then visits Gian Piero Bakery to make classic Italian American rainbow cookies and at Oda House he falls in love with khachapuri, a boatload of bread brimming with cheese, eggs and tons of butter.  Finally, Bien Cuit's Chef Zachary Golper gives Tom a master class in baking old world bread and croissants. 


Immediately following at 10:30 p.m., he visits Detroit and hits Kuzzo's, where a former NFL player serves up decadent red velvet waffles with spicy fried chicken, and corner bakery Sister Pie for their roasted banana chess pie.  Tom then heads to Dearborn for a lesson in Middle Eastern food, including fresh-baked pita filled with roasted lamb and fine-spun pastry with melted sweet cheese. At Chene Modern Bakery, he learns to make paczki, a Polish take on a rich, filled donut. 


With more than 20 years as a stand-up comedian, Tom Papa is one of the top comedic voices in the country finding success in film, television, radio and podcasts as well as on the live stage.  He is the head writer and a regular performer on the nationally syndicated radio show Live From Here, the newest incarnation of the legendary radio show A Prairie Home Companion, and hosts the weekly podcast and Sirius XM show Come to Papa.  His first book "Your Dad Stole My Rake: And Other Family Dilemmas" was released in June.


Viewers can find out where to taste Tom's favorite bites at FoodNetwork.com/Baked, plus watch video highlights of some of the most Instagram-worthy dishes you've ever seen.  Share your food beauty shots using the hashtag #Baked on social media.

Tom Papa on Food Network's Baked (Courtesy of the Food Network)

Tom Papa on Food Network's Baked (Courtesy of the Food Network)

Feeding America® Receives $2 Million Donation: The Darden Foundation to Help Fight Against Hunger

Forty-one million Americans are forced to make choices between food or other basic necessities. Feeding America®, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, and The Darden Foundation have partnered to provide more meals to people in need. Darden's most recent donation of $2 million will help Feeding America and 192 member food banks reach people facing hunger in communities across the country where Darden restaurants are located.


Darden is a restaurant company with brands that include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V's.


Darden's $2 million donation will allow Feeding America to help provide 20 million meals* for people facing hunger. Thanks to their ongoing support over the past six years, the Feeding America network has been able to help provide even more nutritious meals to families in need. This donation will mark a total of $5.6 million that The Darden Foundation has contributed to the Feeding America network.


According to Matt Knott, president of Feeding America, 13 million children and 5.4 million seniors across the country face hunger. To learn more about Feeding America or to find your local food bank, visit www.feedingamerica.org.


*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.

 

Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, Feeding America provides meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people served; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry.   

Oprah Winfrey Makes Equity Investment In True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen, the award-winning restaurant brand that has pioneered health-driven dining, recently announced  that Oprah Winfrey has made an equity investment in the company and will extend her strategic insight to support the brand's national expansion. In addition, Winfrey joins the restaurant brand's board of directors and will collaborate and consult with True Food Kitchen's leadership team to advance the company's business and marketing objectives.


Founded in 2008, True Food Kitchen has received national recognition as a culinary leader, with a health-driven menu of seasonal dishes and natural beverages guided by the principles of founder Dr. Andrew Weil's anti-inflammatory food pyramid. Today, True Food Kitchen operates 23 restaurants in 10 states, with plans to double its store count in the next three years. Key focus areas include new markets on the east coast in New York, New Jersey and North Carolina, in addition to expanding its existing presence throughout Florida, Maryland and more. Still to come in 2018 will be the addition of two new locations in Nashville, Tennessee, and Jacksonville, Florida. The restaurant brand currently has 3,000 employees nationwide.


Winfrey was first introduced to True Food Kitchen by friend and health expert Bob Greene, who shares True Food Kitchen's belief that food should make you feel better, not worse. In addition to being inspired by the restaurant's healthful food, Winfrey was struck by the brand's commitment to its mission of bringing people together to eat better, feel better and celebrate a passion for better living.


"I love bringing people together over a good meal," Winfrey said. "When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team's passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food, that I knew I wanted to be part of the company's future."  


"When Ms. Winfrey and I first sat down to discuss her potential investment, I was impressed by her genuine passion for the intention behind True Food," said Christine Barone, chief executive officer, True Food Kitchen. "My hope is that her passion and investment will continue to develop our growing brand to allow even more guests to experience a better way of eating."


True Food Kitchen believes that delicious dining and conscious nutrition can go hand in hand without sacrificing flavor, creativity or indulgence. Its healthful, flavor-forward menu rotates regularly to showcase the freshest, in-season produce and nutrient-dense ingredients. From thoughtfully crafted cocktails, such as the Citrus Skinny Margarita, made with fresh-pressed citrus and organic tequila, to signature dishes such as Edamame Dumplings, Ancient Grains with miso-glazed sweet potatoes and Dr. Weil's original Organic Tuscan Kale Salad, True Food Kitchen's menu celebrates variety and caters to every food preference with an assortment of delicious vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.


For more information and to find a True Food Kitchen location, visit www.truefoodkitchen.com.

First of 23 True Food Kitchens: Biltmore Fashion Park, Phoenix, Ariz. (PRNewsfoto/True Food Kitchen)

First of 23 True Food Kitchens: Biltmore Fashion Park, Phoenix, Ariz. (PRNewsfoto/True Food Kitchen)

Nutritionist & Author Challenges CEOs to Improve Employee Health & Save Planet With One Solution

My True Self, PLLC / nutritionist and author Gigi Carter is challenging CEOs to improve employee health while leaving a lighter carbon footprint by implementing a plant-based workplace. To emphasize the community-oriented spirit of this challenge, Ms. Carter will donate half of her book royalties to a non-profit charity of participating CEOs' choosing. Below are the specific steps of the challenge: 


  1. CEOs commit to reading or listening to the audiobook The Plant-Based Workplace: Add Profits, Engage Employees and Save the Planet
  2. CEOs ask employees, managers, and leaders in their company this question: "Would you be interested in a solution that would both improve the health of our coworkers and reduce our environmental footprint?" 
  3. For those who respond "yes," CEOs then ask: "Would you be interested in being a part of a group that will read The Plant-Based Workplace and come up with a recommendation that could work for our company?" For any paperback books purchased for employees, the author will donate 50% of royalty profits to the charity of the CEOs' choosing.

Each section in The Plant-Based Workplace covers a key component of the plant-based food environment philosophy.  Carter first takes readers through the science of chronic diseases and environmental impacts of food choices.  She then makes the business case for the plant-based workplace and concludes with guidelines for on-site application.  By demonstrating not only her success in overcoming health barriers but also her wisdom concerning fiscal issues companies face, Carter challenges readers "to make it personal" and take the initiative to implement an ambitious change model, step-by-step.   


For more information about food and nutrition, visit My True Self, a wellness coaching and consulting practice.