The Cafe in Key West serves up lots of great Vegan and Vegetarian options like this Portabella sandwich with a chickpea salad

Times can be tough for traveling vegans and vegetarians. My vegetarian friends complain that there’s only so many veggie burgers and plates of mac n’cheese they can stomach and my vegan friends often are relegated to munching on tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole for their meal. I love guacamole as much as the next girl, but not for every meal out. Not to fear! Diana O’Gilvie, Zest’s first guestblogger, is to the rescue to share her recommendation for a buzzworthy vegan/vegetarian Key West Restaurant:

While many restaurants in Key West offer a perfunctory veggie burger on their menu to appease their vegetarian contingency, much to the delight of their patrons, The Café on Southard Street serves up innovative vegetarian and vegan dishes.

After walking through the madness that is Duval Street, The Café was a welcome oasis of tranquility. The funky décor echoes Floribbean chic. The walls are decorated with photographs and original paintings from local artists depicting slices of Key West life. (All of these items are available for purchase.) Colorful chalk writing tells diners the daily special and the extensive organic and beer wine collection.

The eclectic counter at The Cafe in Key West

I sat down for lunch with my travel buddy and was quite impressed with the offerings. Flavorful soups, spring rolls, pizzas, sandwiches and inventive tofu and soy dishes made it hard to make a decision. Finally, I chose the quiche made with feta cheese and spinach with an orange mango salad. My dining partner had the grilled portabella mushroom sandwich with roasted peppers and chickpeas. Our grilled asparagus appetizer was seasoned simply with sea salt, black pepper and olive oil, allowing the natural flavor of the vegetable to shine. The salad was the star on my plate. The zesty citrus juice and chunks of sweet mango paired well with the savory quiche. And the sandwich’s smokiness didn’t overpower the taste of the roasted peppers and tender grilled mushroom.

Quiche with Mango Salad

Our desert options were pumpkin flan, dark flourless chocolate tart or a vegan peanut chocolate pie. Our pumpkin flan selection had a rich and creamy texture that made it hard to believe that there was no cow’s milk involved in the making of this superb flan.

I am not a vegetarian, and I highly recommend The Café for carnivores and vegetarian alike. 509 Southard Street, Key West, FL. Tel: (305) 296-5515.

Thank you Diana for providing Zest readers with a vegan/vegetarian option in Key West!

Diana is a travel writer based in Orlando, Florida. Her work has appeared on World 66, Suite 101, and eHow. She is also a flight attendant with a major airline and the author of the Love2TravelWrite blog that showcases her biting humor and sharp observations of the general public in air travel. Her latest adventure took her to Bali, Indonesia where she took hundreds of pictures and filmed the daily life and interaction with the Balinese people. Please check out her website!

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  1. Tee on Friday 4, 2011

    Thanks for the review, great to know there ore meatless options in Key west! Ill make sure to check it out when next I am there. Writers Bali blog is great .

  2. Zest Foodie on Friday 4, 2011

    HI Tee! Thanks for reading. Diana’s blog is great!