Go Vegan (For Now or Forever) in the RGV

It seems while time passes and our world becomes more progressive, the RGV is following suit. From being more conscious of our impact on the environment to reading the labels on the back of those potato chips we love so much, it’s safe to say that in 2016, we just seem to care more.

For most of us, we’ve started to concentrate a little more on exactly what we’re putting into our bodies. With fast-food chains and frozen meals dominating our culinary landscape, it’s no surprise that we’ve started to wise up.

For some of us, this means opting to eat local, fresh produce instead of ordering our guilty pleasures (Whataburger lovers—I’m talking about you). For others, they’ve decided to take things one step further and embrace a different lifestyle. There is also a growing trend of part time veganism as we embrace plant based foods and push the meat to the side more often.

More Than A Trend

There’s so much more than meets the eye with the Vegan lifestyle and clearly it’s more than a trend. Besides being a healthier way of life, going vegan is a powerful, sustainable and impactful choice that has the potential to make a vast difference in the current state of our environment and the injustice that is factory farming.

Billy Roberts from the market research company Mintel said “Almost a third of Millennials (30%) indicate they consume any meat alternative product every day, with 70% consuming them at least a few times a week, notably more than any other generation” (1)

So, whether you’re ready to take the plunge and become vegan or you’re simply interested in eating more kale and less pepperoni pizza, you are in good company and the RGV is the perfect place to start your journey. While it’s easy to think, “There’s no way I can go vegan! There’s nothing but meat in the Valley!” I can assure you that this is not the case. A lifestyle change makes eating out more challenging but we are lucky to have many local choices so there’s no need to worry!

Vegan Friendly in the RGV

If you’re ready to get your vegan on or you want to see what it’s all about, check out the following local hot spots. I promise you won’t miss those pork ribs as much as you’d think.

1. Khan’s Grill– Harlingen
610 Maco Dr. (956) 423-8881

If you’re a fan of Mongolian grills, this is the place for you. Going vegan doesn’t mean you necessarily have to give up the foods you love; it’s more about substitutions! At Khan’s you have creative freedom regarding the contents of your plate. Whether it’s a stir fry filled with your favorite asian veggies or a bowl of delicious gluten-free rice noodles, they’ve got you covered. After mouthfuls of fresh flavors and tantalizing seasonings, you won’t even think twice about the lack of meat on your plate. Khan’s is located in McAllen, Brownsville, Edinburg and Weslaco as well.

2. Green Owl Deli– McAllengreen-owl-tamales
2901 N. 10th St., Ste. G (956) 800-4616

At this quaint little spot, their motto is, “Let your food be your medicine.” Whether you’re opting for a vegan lifestyle to lead a healthier life or you’re just interested in cleaning up your eating habits, Green Owl is the perfect destination. From fresh cold pressed juices to vegan desserts (yes, they exist!) and Mexican favorites like vegan tostadas and aguacate relleno, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t cut animal products out of your life sooner.

3. Nectar Avenue– McAllen
6201 N. 10th St. (956) 862-5732

In the RGV, we’re all about food trucks. While they may be notorious for crazy good fried foods and yummy treats, there’s also a truck that caters to vegans and the health-conscious. At Nectar Avenue, this mobile juice bar means business! From smoothies made with vegan-friendly ingredients like almond milk to their nutritious veggie bowl and healthy garden wraps, making the right choices for your body is all too easy!

4. Greens & Lemons– Mission
2707 E. Griffin Pkwy (956) 800-1327

Got going vegan on the mind? Or are you thinking about eating vegan once a week? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’ll want to hightail it to Greens & Lemons in Mission immediately. With vegan chia pudding, an “amazing” vegan sandwich, bowls and vegan ceviches on the menu, this is the perfect place to head to if you’re a little hesitant about the vegan way of life.

5. Azure Bistro– San Juan
711 Alameda St. (956) 781-2987

If you’ve got veganism on the brain, you’re probably a firm believer in this motto: “Eat. Taste. Love.” Luckily, that’s the inspiration behind Azure Bistro in San Juan. From tasty classics like hearty oatmeal and their “LA Scramble,” this place offers up some extremely tasty choices and is more than open to any substitutions you might need. If delis are the thing that makes you weak in the knees, you can still have your cake (dairy-free, of course) and eat it too as a vegan at Azure Bistro.

Even if you consider yourself a diehard meat lover, don’t dismiss being a part time vegan. Your body and the environment will thank you. Whether it’s a complete lifestyle shift you’re after or you’re ready to test out those oh so popular ‘Meatless Mondays,” look around you! In the RGV, going vegan is a simple as a stuffed portobello mushroom burger. Sound tasty? Then head on over to one of these hotspots and prepare to be amazed (you’re welcome).