I want to offer a huge thanks to The Toasted Owl’s Cecily Maniaci and her team for welcoming Steve & I into her adorable restaurant. Though the meals were provided to us free of charge in exchange for a blog post, this review is my honest opinion of the food and the experience. #Ad
With the help of vegan restaurant app Vanilla Bean, we found some wonderful places to eat once we arrived in Flagstaff. And we both really needed that! Our drive from Barstow to Flagstaff ended up being a really long, sweaty day through some of the most depressing parts of California & Arizona I’ve ever seen. And finding vegan food was pretty much an impossibility. There were many down and out towns along the way with more wind & sand than people. We were stressed from the heat and monotony of the drive. The cats were upset about being loaded up in the van and leaving their home behind! The only one of us who seems to love traveling, no matter how long or how far, is our darling little dog Violet. She has been the easiest being I have ever traveled with!
Needless to say we were really excited to find the all-vegan Thai restaurant Red Curry Thai Kitchen in historic downtown. The space is small and not much thought was given to the decor but the food is good. And the portions are big! The Grand Tempura is a mix of seasonal veggies with soy ginger sauce that fed me for days! They offer 6 different curries – I went with the yellow curry made with potatoes, onion, bell peppers & carrots in mild coconut milk. Steve loved his deep fried tofu wedges served with crunchy peanut & sweet sour sauce. Open every day but Tuesday, this is the perfect spot to stop in if you are passing through on Route 66!
Finding The Toasted Owl south of the tracks was such a treat! This adorable restaurant is decorated from top to bottom with owls and has a huge dog-friendly patio to enjoy. Though the restaurant does serve meat and cheese, there are several delicious vegan options available that include the vegan burrito, veggie wrap and vegan rainbow burger. The breakfast and lunch menus are also both served all day! They offer a delicious vegan protein alternative that I had never heard of before called Tepa®️ Created & produced locally by Local Alternative Foods it can be added to any menu item. Using indigenous Arizona-grown Tepary beans; whole grain blue cornmeal & rolled oats; sunflower kernels; fresh onions, garlic & carrots; Medjool dates; fresh squeezed lemon juice and spices, this healthy protein makes a wonderful addition to the meal! There is an interesting story about how this product came to be that you can read here.
I ordered the Veggie Wrap that was bursting with hummus, brussel sprouts, zucchini, greens, carrots, onion, broccoli, green peppers, Tepa®️ & a side of their incredible tomato jam. The breakfast potatoes and a chai tea latte made it perfect for brunch! Steve dug into the Vegan Burrito packed full of Tepa®️, potatoes, kale, avocado & seasonal veggies. And though I loved the incredible food, huge patio and all of the sweet owls I think my favorite thing about the Toasted Owl is the fact that everything in the restaurant is for sale. Owner, Cecily Maniaci, loves shopping salvage yards. And if she sees something she likes, she buys it. All of these items then make it into the restaurant. So if you decide that you love the chair you are sitting on you can finish your meal, pay the tab and take the chair home. Or the lighting fixture, or the art or…whatever! Who knew you could get a delish vegan meal and do your antique shopping all in one place. The Toasted Owl also has a second location on the East Side of Flagstaff. And for those of you who are in a hurry, you can visit The Hoot Mart & purchase breakfast and lunch burritos, sandwiches & salads all to go! They also sell a wide selection of craft beers and wines. The restaurant also earned extra points by not providing plastic straws though if you are convinced that you need one you can request a paper version. Though I am a big advocate for supporting all vegan businesses, this omni restaurant shouldn’t be missed.
I have to give an honorable mention to vegetarian Macy’s European Coffeehouse & Bakery. Located just a short walk from The Toasted Owl, the line was long and things seemed a bit chaotic but I had heard that they offered a lot of vegan options. After waiting in line for a while, I found that the only vegan “pastry” they offered that day was a no bake cookie. Frankly, after seeing all of the delicious looking ovo-lacto options they offered that just seemed incredibly lazy to me & I was a bit irritated. But, for the sake of my valued readers, I bought that no bake cookie. And guess what? It was awesome!! I had it eaten before we were a block away. And to be fair, their menu does offer quite a few vegan breakfast, lunch & entree options…
Sadly, we meant to visit Whyld Ass, but ran out of time. This all vegan hot spot is located downtown and has an incredible menu that includes everything from Quiche of the Earth to Stuffed French Toast Loaf to The Best Biscuits and Gravy Ever to Braised Beets and Potato Chevre’ to The True Mac and Cheese to Walnut Lentil Loaf and so much more! And wait until you see their juice, elixir and smoothie menu. We were tempted to stay one more night just so we could eat here but with thousands of miles to go, we got on the road again.
Between downtown Flagstaff and the Southside, we were able to find many scrumptious vegan options. When you plan your next trip to the Grand Canyon, be sure to spend some time in this hip little city.
So let’s explore the world together and as always…eat, drink & be vegan!