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Healthy Eats

A good life is all about balance. So is the food scene in Pensacola. When you’ve had your fill of all the delicious fried seafood and cheese-laden pizza you can eat – hey, you’re on vacation, after all – maybe it’s time for some equally yummy yet deceptively healthy meals. From plant-based vegan dishes, to gluten-free/soy-free/wheat free to organic farm-to-table meals, these restaurants whip up dishes that are anything but boring. Most feature daily specials on their Facebook pages, so you can see what’s up and what’s fresh every day of your stay.

End of the Line Café

Since 2002, End of the Line Café has been 100% vegan, organic, and gluten-sensitive before it was trendy. Located in the Old East Hill area just a block from downtown Pensacola, serving healthy, delicious and affordable fare. Try the Grilled Portabello Panini with grilled veggies, feta, roasted garlic mozzarella, roma tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic oil on sourdough. Or the Surfer Burrito with coconut black beans, cheddar, sour cream, and pico de gallo in a spinach tortilla. Sunday Brunch and Thursday Dinner feature fresh menus every week. There’s also a full-service coffee bar if you need a little caffeine kick. Vegan cooking classes happen monthly – sign up if one’s happening while you’re in town.

Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Café

Hit two birds with one stone by stopping by Ever’man’s to grab your groceries for the week and to sit down for a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner. Ever’man’s grocery store has been the choice of health-conscious Pensacola shoppers since 1973, and in 2014 they expanded to include a hot bar and café. Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Café specializes in natural, organic and locally raised foods. Fresh-pressed organic juices, smoothies, wraps and sandwiches are served all day at the café, and the hot bar has a huge variety of pay-by-the-pound entrees, sides and soups. Sample flavors from around the world with choices such as Docs Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Sesame  Noodles, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Vegan Mushroom Walnut Loaf with gravy.

Wild Roots

Wild Roots is a triple threat: breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; artisan popsicles and cool treats, and a 100% organic, gluten-free, grain-free bakery. No scanning the menu for the healthiest choice here – everything served at Wild Roots is organic and made with fresh, simple ingredients. Located just over the three-mile bridge in Gulf Breeze, Wild Roots takes pride in their simple, innovative creations. Get a little bit adventurous and give the Modena Pizzetta a try: gala apple, medjool date, goat cheese, mushroom, and balsamic onion with an olive oil drizzle, then beat the heat with a BeachPop, house-made in 32 flavors. Carnivores can get their meat fix with chicken, beef and deli meat menu items. Even the sides have fit folks in mind: Paleo Slaw, Gluten-Free Chips. The kids menu offers to cut the crusts of the gluten-free or Ezekiel bread.

So Chopped Salad Bar & Bistro

The bubbly girls behind the counter at So Chopped Salad Bar and Bistro will tell you that it’s all in the mix – the salad mix, that is. This healthy lunch spot on the corner of Palafox and Main Street lets you build your own salad with fresh array of dozens of ingredients and delicious house-made dressings. Start at top by choosing your greens, then layering on a few hearty toppings like blueberries, shaved parmesan, glazed pecans or any of five proteins. Top it off with an 18-year-old balsamic or a basil oil and strawberry vinaigrette. If you’re not feeling creative, choose a signature concoction – the Chef Salad with a creamy Gorgonzola dressing is a favorite of the downtown lunch crowd. Grab a hot or cold wraps if you want to take lunch by the hand and go exploring.


Where else can you get a BBQ Tofu Sub with a side of rock-and-roll? Only at Sluggo’s, Pensacola’s long-standing punk-rock music venue and vegetarian restaurant. While there isn’t always a musical act shaking the walls here, upbeat vegetarian/vegan cuisine is a constant. Sit outside on historic Jefferson Street in downtown Pensacola and order the Cajun Carrot Cakes appetizer with a soy remoulade, then dive into a vegan Sweet Chili Thai Bowl: breaded and grilled tofu over brown rice in a sweet chili sauce with red cabbage, peanuts and scallions. Something special is always being whipped up in the kitchen, so call to see what’s on the menu du jour. Stop by on Sundays for a tasty vegan brunch, including bottomless coffee and mimosas.

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