Welcome February with delicious food from these Southern icons.
Orlando has continued to prove itself as a center of plant-based innovation from vegan mac pies to Southern fried chick’n. Many of The City Beautiful’s leading vegan-friendly pop-ups, food trucks, and restaurants are the brainchildren of trailblazing Black business owners. This Black History Month, enjoy a taste of the South from these eight Black-owned vegan restaurants and pop-ups in Orlando.
Brooklyn native Chef Shalom is creating delicious donuts using clean, plant-based ingredients with an emphasis on celebrating fresh herbs and spices. It’s not uncommon to find yourself in a long line awaiting your chance to purchase their signature crunchy, creamy Creme Brulee Doughnut or Red Velvet Cinnamon Roll to find out they’ve sold out hours ahead of schedule! So get there early, and be sure to indulge in Donutste Doughnuts’ limited-edition pastries including Mojito, Pink Lemonade, and Banana Pudding, which are rotating weekly and can be picked up at the Lake Mary Farmers Market in North Orlando.
Corn Soup King
Guyanese pop-up Corn Soup King was started by Kurt Davson as an attempt to leave Guyana to travel the world, sharing his beloved Grandma’s soup recipe with him as he went. No stop by Corn Soup King would be complete without a hearty serving of The World Famous Corn Soup, made with the best and freshest vegetables, like split peas, carrots, spinach, and of course, corn. Beyond the soup that made Davson king, he also sells out-of-this-world Vegan Mac Pies (yes, we said mac pies!) with cashew-nut cheese and macaroni that will leave you wanting more. Wash it all down with a freshly cut coconut to quench your thirst. All items are vegan and gluten-free.
Burgers and Booch
Starting in 2008, Burgers and Booch was an early innovator in Orlando’s plant-based food scene. Run by a husband-and-wife duo, this Black-owned food truck slings comforting Soul Food, including fried Mac n’ Cheese Donuts and Southern Fried Chick’n. Embrace nostalgia with a twist with their Classic Good Burger, which comes with a signature no-beef patty (made with oats), signature sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and sprouts on a freshly baked bun. It’s a cult favorite! Pair with locally brewed kombucha sourced from Orlando City Kombucha.
Award-winning DaJen Eats is a vegan Jamaican-inspired eatery located in historic Eatonville, the United States’ first Black-incorporated city. Build your bowl with vegan hoax tail, jerk chick-n, or brown-stew cauliflower on a bed of rainbow broccoli slaw and pineapple. Or enjoy a sweet treat at their in-house ice cream parlor, Irie Creamery. Choose between Rum Raisin’ the Roof or Lime in da Coconut in scoop or milkshake form!
Ain’t Got No Beef
This virtual kitchen has amassed quite a following in Orlando. Get the full Ain’t Got No Beef experience with their “No Beef” Ribs plate (smoky, mouthwatering BBQ seitan riblets made from scratch) or their Soul Rolls (two crispy, savory rolls stuffed with “Bangin’ Mac” macaroni ‘n’ cheese, Soulful Collards, and BBQ jackfruit). Quench your thirst with their house-made Remonade, Ain’t Got No Beef’s homemade raspberry lemonade highlighting the sweet and tart flavor of fresh raspberries bursting with the tanginess of lemons!
Beloved Soul Food vegan pop-up, Karelyn’s Vegan amassed national attention by being voted #1 Plant-Based Burger at this year’s Seed Food & Wine Festival in Miami. Beyond their in-person pop-ups, Karelyn knows that cooking vegan for yourself at home isn’t always easy, so she has developed at-home meal kits for easy home preparation. Order her easy heat-and-enjoy OG Crispy Fried Chick’n, juicy and perfectly seasoned, served on a pretzel bun with house-made OG BBQ Sauce, vegan mayo, and sweet pickles! Or keep a few packets of her Philly CheezeStayk mix on deck—easily heated and plated in under ten minutes!
For vegan pop-up FlavaTribe, plant-based eating isn’t about giving up food favorites. They’re passionate about cooking up delicious renditions of favorite familiar dishes that will impress even non-vegans. Try their mouthwatering cheesy lasagna with lentil “meat.” Or go for their lentil cheese empanadas. FlavaTribe is strictly soy-free with many gluten-free options available as well, making it an incredibly inclusive pop-up for you and your plant-loving friends. All dishes are “Seasoned by the Ancestors” (their tagline), and it shows!
Carrot cake jars. Challah French toast. Biscoff cheesecake. You’ll find these and more on Buku Vegan’s Afro-Caribbean-inspired rotating pop-up menu that offers can’t-believe-it’s-vegan sweets using only the best ingredients. Their bestselling Carrot Cake, for example, is made with organic cane sugar, Saigon cinnamon, ground nutmeg, homemade oat milk, shredded carrot, and crushed walnuts.