Thanks to a boom in health-focused chefs, eateries, and meal prep companies, it’s easier than ever to consistently eat healthy around downtown and the urban core. Here are some of the local spots helping you do just that around the neighborhood.
Farmacy Vegan Kitchen Channel District
Now with a location in each of the Duckweed Urban Grocery stores, Farmacy Vegan Kitchen dishes up exclusively plant-based burgers, sandwiches, sides and pastries. Yep: those drool-worthy donuts, cakes, buns and waffles all over Farmacy’s Instagram are totally vegan. As is the cashew mac and cheese, Frisco melt, Philly “cheesesteak,” and all kinds of delicious things made without meat, dairy or eggs.
803 N. Tampa St. | 117 N. 12th St.
Vale Food Co.
This build-your-own-bowl spot has tons of options to create your own healthy meal. Choose from a variety of proteins, veggies and bases that change seasonally (and, in some cases, daily) for the standard bowls, or move to the superfood station for acai bowls, poke bowls, avocado or nut butter toasts, dragon fruit bowls and chia puddings — all customizable with your choice of toppings. Vale Food Co. even has a convenient online ordering platform, so your excuse for skipping a healthy lunch is hereby invalid.
501 N. Franklin St.
Gut-friendly probiotics typically come in two forms: pill-like capsules, or thick, milk-based kefir smoothies. The team at Sunny Culture has found another way, creating a sparkling water kefir that contains the same probiotics as a traditional kefir beverage without the dairy. Sunny Life is lightly bubbly, like kombucha (without the “bite” some people dislike about that drink), with no added sugar. Flavors including ginger, blueberry, hibiscus and elderberry are available at locations around Tampa, including Duckweed, Vale Food Co. and the Barrymore Hotel.
Whole Body Fuel
It’s easier than ever to leave the weekly meal prep to someone else thanks to local companies like Whole Body Fuel. Chef-owner Brian Adamo is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has designed seven different meal plans (including keto, paleo and vegetarian) for people looking to eat real, healthy food, with five to 15 fully cooked meals arriving at your doorstep each week ready to be heated and eaten. The menus for each plan change every week and can include breakfast and Whole Body Fuel’s signature protein donuts.
Fill up on fruits and veggies at this Channel District daytime cafe. All of Greenroots Cafe’s acai bowls and smoothies are gluten free and vegan, made with almond milk, coconut water or fruit juice instead of milk. On the salad side, choose from one of three signature bowls or create your own with chicken, beef or salmon. For breakfast, an ultimate avocado toast adds cream cheese, onion and tomato to the healthy favorite.
1000 Channelside Drive
One to Watch
Chef Tiffany Benson
With the belief that good, quality food is worth the investment in your health, Wholistic Chefs owner Tiffany Benson specializes in exclusively plant-based meal prep, cooking classes and private parties. She creates a new menu for her clients each week with dishes like a vegan calzone, stuffed peppers, Spanish-style tofu and veggie kabobs, made with organic and GMO-free ingredients. Benson also gives people hands-on experience making healthy veggie and vegan fare through classes and cooking demos.
Wholistic Chefs | wholisticchefs.com
Eat Fresco is taking a 2019 approach to the microwaveable dinner concept, keeping the good parts (the convenience of picking up a meal from the store and having it on the table in minutes) while improving on the rest (the whole idea of processed food in general). The Tampa-based company uses natural and organic ingredients to create restaurant-quality meals in a vacuum-sealed package that uses steam technology to evenly heat the food in the microwave in two minutes. Fresco’s signature meals include Cuban-inspired pork loin with yellow rice and plantains, Caribbean-style jerk chicken, and a grilled beef fajita bowl (above), with vegetarian and gluten-free options available.
Eat Fresco meals available at Publix, Greenwise and Duckweed