Eating vegan while traveling // Weekend in Tampa

This past weekend we took a trip to our beloved Tampa, where I not so secretly wish I still lived. I’ve been eating high carb, low fat, salt/ oil/ sugar free for about a month now so I was dreading eating out all weekend. Knowing that I have to eat unhealthily is only one part of the problem- its also not usually too easy to find vegan food while on the road. Most people while traveling eat at fast food restaurants like McDonalds (barf) but it is impossible to find something vegan that is decent. Luckily its becoming easier and easier to find vegan options while away from the kitchen! Yay for progress! So this post will be a review of what I ate while traveling 🙂

ON THE ROAD:  The ride from Jacksonville to Tampa is only 3 hours, but we did still get hungry along the way. Luckily Taco Bell has vegan options! Woot woot. I had to do some research to make this option as yummy as possible. I got: 1 seven layer burrito- no sour cream, no cheese, add potato, add pico; and a crunch wrap supreme sub beans for beef, no sour cream, no cheese, add guac, add pico, and lots of hot sauce. It was pretty good and very filling! In general, I love to bring the original fast food with me on trips: fruits and veggies! Especially dates, apples, bananas, anything that doesn’t require a knife. Some other fast food places that have great options are Dunkin Donuts, Chick- Fil- A, Moe’s, Pollo Tropical, and Papa John’s.


Dinner: The first night we went to dinner for my brother- in- law’s birthday at PF Chang’s which actually has some great vegan options! For an appetizer we had vegetarian lettuce wraps. I wanted to try the tempura cauliflower but they couldn’t tell me for sure if it was vegan. For an entree I had Buddha’s feast. I got it steamed because I knew fried would be a big mistake. I’d definitely get it again. I also got a long island iced tea- its important to note that 9 months of not drinking completely resets your tolerance so you can get tipsy after 1 drink again! #blessed.

Breakfast: I mostly ate fruit for breakfast but we went to Einstein’s to also pick up some bagels because they’re delicious! Some places say their bagels are vegan and some say they are not so if that worries you than I wouldn’t bother. I got a bagel with peanut butter spread and just had that with water and fruit. Dunkin’ doesn’t have PB (sob) and no longer carries almond milk for their coffee, but their bagels are still good and their hashbrowns are vegan!

Then we headed to the Salvador Dali museum to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit! I was a Spanish major so of course I was psyched to see it. See below for some super cute pics of my little one:

Lunch: We met with my sorority Big and Little for lunch at Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen. They have quite a few yummy vegan options there, but I got the grilled chicken salad but subbed tofu for chicken. SO GOOD. I’d definitely recommend it! Also their guac and sweet potato chips are super tasty.

Dinner: I’ve been obsessed with Kaleisia Tea Lounge since my Big Nadia took me there for our big/ little reveal almost 2 years ago and insisted on going there instead of Papa John’s for dinner. I got the pumpkin soup that comes with jasmine rice and Nadia knows how much I love their (vegan) cupcakes so she brought me one at lunch, which I then had for desert! (ILY Big)

Day 2 breakfast: O.M.G. Vegan or not you MUST go to the Thai Temple market if you go to Tampa! I will never not go when we are in Tampa on a Sunday. It is amazing and I never got to go while I was living there. Carlos and I split vegetable noodle soup which I put WAY too much red pepper flakes in. I also put too many in my best friend’s (sorry Katie). I’m still sad about it because it was a bit too spicy for me, but Carlos didn’t seem to mind because he even drank the broth! I got thai coconut juice, then we had desert which was fried sweet potatoes and plantains. This was actually a really bad idea because my body HATES fried food. But oh well. We went to get spring rolls but they were out, but we did get some sweet sticky rice with taro and a sweet syrup for the road, as well as some patties with black beans wrapped in banana leaves. It was all delicious and we spent less than $20! Not to mention its such a beautiful area by the water. It was a perfect way to end our trip.

My grandmother was visiting in Jacksonville this weekend so when we got home we had dinner at my dad’s where she cooked us an ah-mazing feast of Costa Rican food. She set aside some food for me without meat so I could feast with everyone else. It was so yummy. Everyone needs a Costa Rican grandma.

Rice and veggies (she made this into arroz con pollo), a plantain dish, and a potato dish.

After eating junk food all weekend, I wasn’t feeling so great and was soooo ready to get back to eating clean which is just what I did. Going to Tampa and visiting with friends always does my soul so much good. I wish I could do it every weekend! Here are some of my favorite places with Vegan options in Tampa, but thats pretty much all I have for this post!

  • Loving Hut
  • Kaleisia Tea Lounge
  • Koizi Sushi and Endless Hibachi (Must go! Especially for lunch)
  • Are-pitas
  • Royal Sweets
  • Wat Mongkolratanaram (Thai temple)
  • Tijuana Flats
  • Chipotle
  • Udipi Cafe
  • Ella’s American Folk Art Cafe
  • The Independent (a bar but they have a great VLT)
  • Mellow Mushroom
  • The Refinery

❤ Kailey

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