It was almost 4 years ago when I found out my husband had been picked up by Sporting Kansas City. In all honestly, I was devastated! Out of all the Major League Soccer teams, we were going to the one in the middle of the country, away from everything I knew. Not to mention every person liked to throw in my face how well KC was known for it's BBQ'd food. What was a Vegan like me going to eat?
The city itself had me pleasantly surprised. The people were so friendly and down to earth. The Power and Light district downtown was vibrant and alive. We moved to the Crossroads area in the middle of the art district; minutes from the heart of downtown. I quickly learned there was a Vegan restaurant in my backyard! Cafe Gratitude (a Vegan food chain) was just steps from my loft!
My favorite menu item from Cafe Gratitude KC would have to be the I AM BONITA. It's on the breakfast menu, but they serve it all day! It's basically a taco plate with rice, beans, and guac! When my husband Sal would join me for lunch or dinner he always ordered a sautéed vegetable bowl with rice and garlic tahini sauce called I AM FORTIFIED. We also loved to share the I AM PRESENT which is a delicious bruschetta. The I AM BEAUTIFUL shake is also a favorite because it reminds me of the 50/50 bars from when I was little!
Another great Vegan spot just up the street from Cafe Gratitude is called FuD (pronounced like food). If you're looking for a true vegan/hipster experience with great food, this is it. My absolute favorite menu item is the AVOWICH! Sometimes I would order TWO and take one to go! If you love avocado you have to try it! Another favorite is the MAC 'N' CHEESE! They use a cashew cream sauce that is so delicious! I've tried replicating it myself and can't quite achieve the same flavor. Their TOFU NUGGETS were also a go to of mine. For dessert, I always got their SUNDAY and let me just tell you... you've never had a Sunday like this! It's made with their house cashew ice cream and topped with Organic Goji Berries and all the other goodies that make it melt in your mouth!
Last but not least is Mud Pie Vegan Bakery and Coffee House. This is a great spot to go and hangout while have some sweet baked goods and a cup of coffee. The couple who own it are super nice and always coming up with new desserts and treats to fill the bakery. Then menu often changes, but that is what I liked about this place. You're always sure to find something new to try!
I'm sure there are other Vegan places that have popped up in the KC area, but these were my favorites! If you're traveling to Kansas City and afraid of the BBQ reputation, don't worry! There is plenty of great Vegan food to try!