The City Beautiful’s got your lunch hour covered.
From Winter Garden to Downtown Orlando, the Central Florida area has a multitude of delicious vegan sandwich options. Indulge in seitan corned beef, pesto cauliflower grilled cheese, kimchi vegan hot dogs, and more on our journey through Orlando’s vegan food scene! Here are Orlando’s top 9 vegan handhelds.
Main House Market’s vegan food pop-up, The Kind Cleaver, is a plant-based butchery and sandwich shop playing to the nostalgia of those who have given up meat. Owner Justin Rodriguez created The Kind Cleaver after being diagnosed with diverticulitis and turning toward a plant-based diet. His mission is to make people happy through veganized versions of his favorite comfort food—sandwiches. Winter Garden locals have elected The Kind Cleaver’s Reuben as the best vegan sandwich Winter Garden has to offer. Bulk up with their house-made seitan-based corned beef, along with vegan cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut on a freshly toasted rye roll.
Open as late as 2am on the weekends, vegan burger joint Planters is committed to serving Orlando’s night-owl, plant-based populace. Since their opening in May 2022, their bestselling item continues to be the Signature Double Burger with Plant Style Fries. Reminiscent of the fast-food fare of our youth, Plantees’ burgers come with a plant-based patty, vegan cheese, grilled onions, plant sauce, lettuce, onion, and pickles. Chow down at their hip outdoor seating area, while enjoying their Plant Style Fries (shoestring fries loaded with vegan cheese sauce, grilled onions, and plant-sauce).
Winter Park Biscuit Co. has amassed major attention for its cult-favorite vegan chicken sandwiches. Their Crispy Chik Sandwich comes with their signature Crispy Chik Cutlet with lettuce, tomato, pickles & mayo on a toasted brioche bun. Take it up a notch with their signature Gator hot sauce–you can’t get more Florida than that! Get to Winter Park Biscuit Co. early, the line quickly forms around the block!
Orlando’s OG eclectic vegan restaurant, Ethos Vegan Kitchen, does not make choosing between handhelds easy. Order some of their cast-iron skillet-roasted garlic knots while contemplating–it’ll be a minute. Land on their Coconut Curry Wrap, which comes stuffed with grilled tofu coated in curried Vegenaise and tossed with celery, raisins, raw walnuts, coconut, and mixed greens, wrapped in a spinach tortilla. Upgrade your side to their homemade mashed potatoes & gravy for the full Ethos experience.
Black woman-owned business DaJen Eats serves vegan food with a Caribbean flair in the country’s oldest Black-incorporated township, Eatonville. Chef Jen’s iconic Identity Crisis “sammich” provides you with the best of both worlds, with half of the protein being her signature Jerk Chick’n and half being her Buffalo Chick’n. Made using freshly baked Jamaican hard-dough bread, this handheld includes remy sauce, lettuce, tomato, grilled pineapple, jerk seitan chick’n, sweet & spicy sauce, crispy “House of Chick’n” seitan chick’n dipped in buffalo sauce, rainbow broccoli slaw, green onions, and pesto cream sauce. It’s a party for your taste buds!
Veteran vegetarian cafe InfusionTea is known for its wide loose-leaf tea selection, salads, acai bowls, novelty store, and some of Orlando’s best vegan grilled cheeses. InfusionTea serves five different takes on a vegan grilled cheese, the staff’s pick being their Pesto Cauliflower Grilled Cheese. Tantalize your taste buds with Semilla Nativa allergy-friendly pesto, Buffalo cauliflower bites, vegan Havarti cheese, and a pesto cream cheese to tie it together. Pair with an organic Yerba Maté.
Is it blasphemous to consider a hot dog a sandwich? Find yourself a supporter of the cause after enjoying Poké & Vegan Dogs’ splendidly spicy Kimchi Heat Hot Dog. This plant-based dog is furnished with vegan kimchi, jalapeno, vegan spicy mayo, and onion crisps, served on a Hawaiian roll bun. Poké & Vegan Dogs is located in the Brew Theory Marketplace food hall, which means you can quench the heat with their house-made beers right at the next counter.
Fuhgeddaboudit! North Orlando’s premier Brooklyn-style Italian restaurant is the spot to grab an out-of-this-world vegan meatball parm sub. Dig into a toasted bun loaded with vegan meatballs, plant-based marinara, and vegan mozzarella cheese. Pair with Filomena’s’ toasty, gooey, and crowd-pleasing vegan mozzarella sticks with marinara dipping sauce.
Documented among Yelp 100’s Top 2023 Restaurants list, Hungry Pants has made quite a splash for its plant-curious menu and colorful dining space. Under the “Famished” section of their menu, you’ll find their classic CLT Sandwich, which comes adorned with curry lime-marinated tempeh, arugula, avocado, and cilantro aioli on grilled wheat bread. The food at Hungry Pants is described as “whole and balanced for your pleasure,” meaning that all dishes are crafted with health in mind. Support LGBTQ+ businesses by dining at Hungry Pants!