I won’t lie; visiting the opulent and shimmering shores of the Palm Beaches was never high on my travel bucket list. This exclusive South Florida destination has long been seen as an enclave for the elder elite — over 40 billionaires call the area home, and in my experience, some of the wealthiest areas aren’t always the most vegan-friendly (despite the idea that veganism is only for rich, white folks).
But a change appears to be a foot in this tropical getaway town.
Tucked amongst luxury shops and in colorful mural-covered warehouses, vegan cafes are popping up, and other eateries are taking notice and adding a greener side to their menus.
You might be wondering what’s causing people to put down the lobster tail in favor of something plant-powered.
Well, from journalists to restauranteurs and chefs, the reasons vary. Some credit a shift in the demographics. What was once a place where the median age was 70 is now experiencing a “youthquake,” and research has shown that younger people are more likely to have a more plant-focused diet. While others credit a surprising source, the pandemic. For some, the pandemic highlighted the importance of understanding what we put in our bodies and that our health starts with what’s on our plate.
Whatever the reason for the shift, I am here for it, and I’m guessing, dear reader, you probably are too. So now that your interest is totally piqued, you’re probably wondering where to start. You’re in luck; I’ve done all the work for you and created this vegan foodie’s complete 2-day Palm Beach itinerary (that covers multiple areas of Palm Beach County, aka The Palm Beaches). It includes all of the must-visit spots for vegan eats, along with the best things to see and do.
So, what are you waiting for? Get planning!
This itinerary was created in partnership with The Palm Beaches | Discover America’s First Resort Destination — all opinions and views are my own.
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Day 1 Palm Beach Itinerary
If you’re looking for recommendations on where to stay, check out the modern Canopy by Hilton. The location is conveniently located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, putting you steps from charming cafes and boutiques and less than a 10-minute drive to the beach.
Breakfast of Vegan Champions
Ok, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover in just 48 hours, so there is no time for sleeping in this morning (sorry, not sorry)! We’re kicking off this 2-day Palm Beach itinerary with breakfast at one of the area’s original plant-based hot spots, Meraki Juice Kitchen. The Slawson family opened this spot to inspire people to consider the food choices that they’re putting in their bodies and show them that just because its vegan and gluten-free (yes, everything is gluten-free here, too!) doesn’t mean it will lack one ounce of creativity or flavor.
Their all-day breakfast menu is packed with so many stellar options — you might feel like you’ve died and gone to food heaven (or at least I did)! While I don’t think you can make a bad choice, I really think you can’t skip their golden Belgian waffle topped with fresh strawberries, bananas, and blueberries, which pairs perfectly with their special Meraki Mocha smoothie (espresso, banana, almond mylk, almond butter, cacao, dates, warrior protein, chocolate drizzle).
In addition to this, you’ll also find a never-ending lineup of cold-pressed juices in just about every berry and veggie combo you can think of, along with wellness tonics, handmade chocolates, and tons of options for lunch (in case you find time to come back).
Explore a “Museum in a Garden” at the Norton Museum of Art
After breakfast, take a 15-minute stroll from Meraki to the Norton Museum of Art to explore a diverse collection of art spanning different periods and genres that feature European, American, contemporary, photography, and many special exhibits.
Make sure you also save a little time to check out their beautiful and shady sculpture garden that was once a parking lot (it’s hard to believe when you see it). The sculpture garden has various unique and thought-provoking sculptures that combine brilliantly with the lush tropical gardens. The gardens feature a variety of native trees and plant life, and they’re even responsible for supporting a native butterfly species that has faced population decline.
Before heading out, if you’re looking for a souvenir, check out Norton’s gift shop, which showcases handmade jewelry, textiles, and more, many of which were created by local artists.
Day 1 Palm Beach Afternoon Itinerary
Veggie-Packed Lunch at Ve by Subculture
After exploring all of Norton’s beautiful works of art, it seems fitting to enjoy lunch at a spot that also prides itself on its creativity — at Ve by Subculture, the camera eats first! It’s evident from the moment you step into this plant-based café that everything is created with passion, from the colorful, mural-covered walls to vibrant Poke bowls topped with papaya sushi and comforting mac-n-cheese (the chef’s favorite).
Chef Alvarez, who is responsible for this tantalizing menu, was inspired by the richness of flavors from around the globe and sought to veganize popular dishes using whole food ingredients. It’s her goal to create dishes that nourish the mind, body, and spirit. One interesting fact about this place is that the restauranteur responsible for the concept (along with many other restaurants in the area) isn’t vegan but believes a diet rich in plants is the future — I sure hope more omnivores join his camp of thinking.
Before you hit the road for our afternoon adventure, don’t skip grabbing an itty-bitty sweet treat — they have the cutest baby ice cream cones filled with house-made oat and coconut-based ice cream that is enhanced with their own fresh pressed juices. It’s the chef’s kiss to a perfect meal!
To Bike or Not to Bike, That is The Afternoon Question
I’ve given you two options in case the weather isn’t ideal for biking, or you’re just not into biking! If you choose to explore Mounts Botanical Garden, get ready to be captivated by over 6,000 species of tropical and subtropical fruit trees, native plants, palms, and many more that hail from six continents.
Now, if you are interested in doing both of these activities, you could choose biking now and then leave yourself a little extra time before your flight home, as the gardens are right by the airport. You could go there and then head directly to your flight.
For the biking adventure, make sure you download the Brightbike app before you head out. Once you’ve got the app downloaded, you can use it to find stations throughout Palm Beach County, but since you’re coming from Ve, I’ll cut out a step for you and let you know that the closest bike station is at the West Palm Beach Brightline station on Evernia St. (2-minute walk from the restaurant). Once you get to the station, open the app, and all available bikes will pop up — all you have to do is match the bike number from the app to the bike in front of you and click to unlock it — super easy.
Once you’ve got the bike, you can cruise around downtown West Palm Beach but for more of an adventure, head down Clematis Street towards the water and S. Flager Drive. From S. Flager, you can go left or right and head towards the Royal Park Bridge or Flager Memorial Bridge; both connect West Palm with Palm Beach. For a scenic ride, consider cruising down the South Lake Trail once you get over either bridge. If you’re coming over the Flager Memorial Bridge, you’ll head down Coconut Row to Whitehall Way to access it. It’s easy to see on Google Maps but not marked on the road, so it’s good to look before you head out!
Dinner & Ice Cream
If you decide to go on the biking adventure, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ll be more than ready for dinner, and there’s no better place to cap off your first day than sophisticated PLANTA located at The Square. Since 2016, PLANTA has been popping up all over the US and Canada to show guests that plants have the power to support not only our health but also the health of the community and the planet. Every location focuses on creating its menus with local (their Miami location has its own garden) and seasonal ingredients and operates in a manner that reduces waste.
One thing that sets the West Palm Beach PLANTA apart from its sister locations is that its menu roams the Earth for inspiration and features everything from woodfired pizza to ahi watermelon nigiri sushi. There are no wrong decisions, no matter what you choose; just be sure to pair it with one of their unique cocktails or Free Spirits (a non-alcoholic tonic). For something with a kick, go for the Spicy Na-Rita with Lyre’s Italian orange, Guayusa, guava, Schisandra, and cayenne!
After dinner, head around the corner to the world’s cutest ice cream truck, Angie’s Epicurean. If there were an ice cream competition in South Florida, hands down, Angie’s would win — everything they’re scooping up from this bubblegum pink truck is irresistible and gorgeous! Even if you’re full, don’t skip one of their crunchy and sweet gluten-free waffle cones (my taste buds couldn’t believe it was gluten-free) loaded with a fruity mix of mango lassi, passionfruit and topped with colorful mini mochis and a dash of edible glitter!
Palm Beach Packing Tip!
When visiting the Palm Beaches, don’t forget to pack sunscreen (aim for 50 SPF & up), a hat, and lightweight clothing — the heat and humidity are no joke! I can’t remember the last time that I sweated that much!
Day 2 Palm Beach Morning Itinerary
Fruity Start to The Day at Celis Juice Bar
For an antioxidant-packed start to the day, you’ve got to head to Celis Juice Bar. This vegan-friendly spot originally started as a small stand at local markets in the Palm Beach area, but today has two locations, one in the chic Royal Poinciana Plaza (which is where I think you should go) and also on Dixie Hwy. in West Palm. Their menu features a great lineup of acai bowls (make sure to skip the honey), power toasts, and an endless selection of smoothies! Once you grab your order, enjoy it on the plaza’s beautiful patio set amongst a lush tropical flora garden.
After breakfast, you have two wildly different activities to choose from. For those who love to shop, you’ll want to wander to Florida’s Rodeo Drive, Worth Avenue, but if that’s not your jam, consider trying to catch a glimpse of giant manatees at the Manatee Lagoon.
If you plan to shop till you drop, you can easily walk to Worth Avenue from the Royal Poinciana Plaza, it’s just about a mile, and Worth Avenue leads right to the beautiful Palm Beach — a great place to stop for a break! In addition to high-end boutiques and designer stores, you’ll also find art galleries and beautiful European and Mediterranean-inspired architecture; if you’re looking for a deal, check out the consignment shop, The RealReal.
For manatee seekers, the Manatee Lagoon is only 10 minutes north (by car) from downtown West Palm Beach and is an eco-friendly safe haven that’s meant to educate the public on the importance of protecting these animals and their habitats. The eco-center has created a protected area for manatees to seek refuge year-round, and the public can observe them from special areas — there is no guarantee that you’ll see them because none of them are in captivity they are free to come and go as they please (I wouldn’t have suggested this activity if the manatees were in captivity).
Day 2 Palm Beach Afternoon Itinerary
Lunchtime: Veganized Latin Cuisine
No vegan visit to The Palm Beaches is complete without checking out the first and only Latin-inspired vegan café, La Chia Vegana, but depending on when you visit, they might be in a new location! The flavorful spot has outgrown its little outpost tucked inside the mural-covered City Soccer Complex and is working on making a move to a more prominent location in Lakewood Beach.
No matter which location you end up visiting, you’re in for a treat! The owner, head chef, and creative genius behind this spot didn’t come into the restaurant game with loads of culinary experience but instead with a passion for inspiring and supporting her community through the power of food.
The menu focuses on using whole foods from mushrooms to roots to re-create familiar textures and flavors, from refreshing and tangy ceviche to bright and spicy marinated Cubanitos, both made with Oyster Mushrooms. If you’re starving, start with one of their signature light and flaky empanadas, or my favorite, a giant arepa loaded with cheese, avocado, and house-made garlic cilantro sauce.
Afternoon Activity: Explore More of Palm Beach County
You might not realize, but Palm Beach County is enormous and is not only home to its namesake towns but also Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Jupiter, and others! Although there is plenty to do and see in West Palm Beach (and Palm Beach), you shouldn’t miss out on exploring other towns, especially when the intercity train service, Brightline conveniently connects them.
Currently, Brightline connects West Palm Beach to Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura, and Miami — making exploring South Florida without a car a dream! There are even plans for the service to be expanded to Orlando. You can easily purchase tickets through the Brightline app, online, or at the station.
Once you get to Boca, the train station is only a short walk to the popular Mizner Park, home to an eclectic mix of boutique shops or the Boca Raton Museum of Art. If you’re visiting on a Saturday, consider checking out the Boca Raton Green Market in the Mizner Park Amphitheater, offering fresh produce, artisanal products, and more.
While wandering around town, make sure you don’t miss stopping at the Boca Raton’s only vegan bakery, Parlour. This hip and modern little spot offers a drool-worthy mix of savory and sweet treats and food items, from golden empanadas filled with carne-criollo-style veggie meat to chocolate-dipped churro donuts and cream-stuffed cookie sandwiches.
Dinner Decisions: Stay in Boca or Head Back to West Palm Beach
Your dinnertime decision will come down to when your train leaves Boca, as all the tickets are timed. If you are hungry with more time to explore, consider having dinner or a snack at a vegan-friendly spot like Ramen Lab, Raw Juce, or Indian Harvest Restaurant.
If you’ve run out of time and need to head back to West Palm Beach, no worries; there are plenty more places for your taste buds to explore! For somewhere close by the Brightline station, head to Pura Vida, but if you’re ok with getting a little further outside of downtown, then check out the mouthwatering vegan junk food eats at Dope Vegan Food Truck or for a healthful end-to-the-day check out Christopher’s Kitchen, it’s owned by the same family that operates Meraki Juice.
Palm Beach Itinerary Wrap-Up: More to Do in the Area & South Florida
Now that I’ve planned two jam-packed days for you, you might be thinking that you need more time to explore! In that case, check out some other things to do in Palm Beach County along with other South Florida hot spots (hint, hint, if you have time, hop on the Brightline and go to Miami).
More Things to Check Out in the Palm Beaches
- The Square – This walkable area is home to a mix of boutiques and shops, including The Garden Shoppe, which funds multiple nonprofit initiatives aimed at helping people learn how to produce their own veggies and help homeowners convert their lawns into small farms.
- Clematis St. – Another fun, walkable area filled with a unique mix of shops that goes all the way to the waterfront. If you like resale shops, check out Kismet Vintage, just down the street from Ve.
- Northwood Village – One last walkable area that is home to the woman-owned shop Herbs & Earth.
What to Do, See, & Eat in Miami
If you make it to Miami, don’t miss these helpful guides and articles!
The 12 Best Vegan & Vegan-Friendly Restaurants to Check Out in Miami
Where to Go for Vegan Brunch or Breakfast in Miami
9 Non-Beachy Things to Do & See in Miami
Vegan Festivals & Events Worth Traveling to This Year
Where to Stay in Miami by Neighborhood