Black-Owned Vegan-Vegetarian Restaurant Is Delicious
While vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise in the African-American/Black community, it’s still a relatively new frontier for our people.
Vegetarianism was relatively low in West Africa, home to our ancestors, so changing our entire diet to a plant-based one can be challenging.
Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin, located at 73 NE 167th St., in North Miami Beach is continuing the delicious tradition of vegan and vegetarian soulful innovation. Just steps away from all three major highways and Jackson North Medical Center, the restaurant sits right off 163rd Street in an unassuming strip mall with a gigantic sign outside that reads Vegetarian Restaurant. To be honest, I have driven by this place a trillion times and never stopped. I just wasn’t interested in vegetarian food in my 20s; but now, I want to live so I made that stop out of curiosity and have been a customer since!
Various organic and natural products are on display near the entrance; to the right, there is a full-fledged mini health food store. I was even able to pick up some Shea butter and organic oils for my dreads!
The restaurant has been in continuous operation for more than seven years in the same location. A recent expansion will allow for larger dine-in parties in a semi-private dining space. Owner and operator Hakin Hill plans to make his restaurant not only the largest Black owned, but largest vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Miami-Dade period.
I started my experience with the Latte Chimp ($8.50), a delicious cold coffee smoothie made with nut or cashew butter, dates and non-dairy milk of choice. I chose almond milk and asked for extra cashews and dates on the top. This smoothie could put Starbucks completely out of business. I absolutely loved the flavor, texture and the amazing energy I received minutes after drinking it. The coffee flavor had a nice chocolaty taste, obviously without any chocolate having been added. The extraordinary sweetness from the dates balanced the natural bitterness of the coffee for a well-rounded flavor.