Vegan Phoenix: Pomegranate Cafe – Indulgent Organic Eatery
Is it me, or has the Valley of the Sun has experienced an explosion of vegan growth!? It is amazing to see so many new places pop up, but it leaves the vegan Phoenix population confused;
- What’s vegan?
- What’s just vegetarian?
- Is it gonna break the bank?
- What kind of food does the restaurant serve?
- Will my omni friends enjoy it as much as the vegans?
Never fear! I frequent all the local spots (when I’m too lazy to cook), so no more guessing!
Vegan Phoenix Eating, Ahwatukee Style!
Our next stop on my Vegan Arizona eating adventure is Pomegranate Cafe in Ahwatukee, Arizona!
Now, this place is definitely not a new addition to the scene. Mother and daughter duo Marlene and Cassie Tolman opened this cafe in 2010, almost 7 years ago! It is located next to a Trader Joe’s in a hidden neighborhood pocket, a literal diamond in the rough!
Although they’ve been open a while, I’ve only been eating there for the past 4 years. My mother was actually the one to introduce me to the place! I was blown away.. The first menu page makes it loud and clear that they believe in serving:
- House Made,
- Delicious Foods
In fact, this includes a huge selection of raw, gluten-free, and allergen-friendly foods! Whether you’re in the mood for pancakes, a burger, or even just coffee; Pom has got you covered!
Vibe: An Incredible Range!
One step inside this amazing restaurant, and you feel a world away. Even their patio feels like a distant tropical jungle!
Needless to say, Pomegranate is one of the coolest places I have ever eaten. The Cafe boasts a friendly, artistic, coffee-shop vibe, but they serve a full food menu. Talk about win-win!
However, Pom is definitely a brunch spot (especially during their ever-changing weekend brunch menu!). It does get pretty packed, depending on the time you arrive. Fortunately, the incredible staff is able to maintain the laid-back atmosphere!
Once it starts to slow down, usually afternoon, things really get interesting. More people work on laptops, munch on some Happy Hour foods, or just sip on coffee and juice! It remains fairly quiet until dinner rolls around, actually. That’s when they crank the mood lighting (those damn mason jar lights are so dreamy 😉 ), turn the music up, and push their impressive alcohol menu.
Not many coffee shops boast a huge organic/vegan alcohol menu (including handcrafted cocktails)!
It all depends on what you’re feeling!
Romantic date-night? Go for dinner!
Need a good brunch spot for your weekly-mimosa-get-together? Go for brunch!
Vegan/Vegetarian Status: Vegan with Vegetarian Options
This Cafe’s entire menu (all 5 pages!) is vegan by default! YAY!
They do, however, offer organic dairy cheese and eggs. I’m not a fan (for obvious reasons), but it’s one of the few places my omni mom will eat because of these options.
On the other hand, their pastries are 100% vegan. I’m talkin’ raw cheesecake, lemon bars, layer cakes, cupcakes, s’mores, and more! Also, some treats are raw, sugar-free (xylitol based), and gluten-free!
You know how much I love sweets, and Pomegranate fills that void like no other! Their dessert selection does change everyday.. I’ve seen customers stop in just to see what they made that morning!
Best Options for First Timers: Wraps, Nachos, and Bowls.. Oh My!
Considering their menu is freakin’ huge (seriously like 5 pages), it’s hard to narrow it down! My personal suggestions for first timers are the;
- Gila Monster Nachos
- Athena’s Favorite Wrap/Salad
- BBQ Buffalo Wrap/Salad
- Grilled Cheese Napoleon Sandwich
- Raw Tacos Vivos
The Gila Monster Nachos have been a favorite since the beginning of my love-affair with Pom. First of all, it’s a huge plate of food! They come smothered in walnut “taco meat”, beans, chile con queso, guac, chimi, jalapenos, pico, and cashew sour cream! It’s a plate from heaven (or hell, depending on your heat-tolerance!)
Next on my list are the wraps/salads! I prefer the idea of a wrap (eating with your hands, for the win!), but all are equally amazing as salads.
The Athena’s Favorite is a falafel wrap with power greens, raw hummus, pesto, falafel, tomato, bell peppers, and flax crackers! The BBQ Buffalo has a similar idea going with power greens, mock buffalo chicken, pico, carrot, purple cabbage, avocado, and sunflower sprouts.
Both of these wraps are served with their house-made sunflower vegan ranch! (Which, by the way, is the best vegan ranch I have ever tasted!)
Next, you know I’m a big fan of vegan grilled cheeses. I’m here to tell you that the Grilled Cheese Napoleon is like no other! First of all; it’s three layers. You heard that right! A three-layer vegan grilled cheese with pesto and seasonal veggies.
The Raw Tacos Vivos are another classic with a Pomegranate twist! They are served in a purple cabbage shell with walnut taco “meat”, pico, power greens, baja sauce, guac, sour cream, and sunflower sprouts. This is a fantastic raw, soy and gluten-free option for people with allergies. (Or anyone that loves beautiful and delicious food!)
What About Vegan Drinks to Go With?
Even after all that, it’s only the tip of the iceberg! To sip on, you can’t go wrong with their dozens of freshly made juices, smoothies, teas, or coffee drinks!
Even better, none of their smoothies have added sugar, ice, or fillers!
They even house-make a nondairy milk every morning! Their POMilk is a blend of almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, and dates.
I love trying a new, exciting drink every time I visit!
Known For: Best Vegan Restaurant in Phoenix Awards
That’s right: awards. This vegan spot has a good number of awards under its (figurative) belt! From “Best Phoenix Heart-Healthy Restaurant” to “Best Vegan Restaurant”, this place has won several prestigious awards through the years.
Free WiFi? Yup!
Like I said, afternoons are the best time to get some work done at Pom. Especially with their free Wifi! Order a couple of cocktails, relax with some chill music, and get your focus on.
How are the Prices?
I love Pomegranate because it’s the way I eat at home. Healthy, organic, seasonal, local, you name it! Pomegranate specializes in making healthy food feel like a cheat day, and it’s so worth it!
That being said, Pomegranate is priced accordingly. As the phrase goes; you get what you pay for. At Pom, your money goes to supporting local farms, communities, and vegan organizations. A percentage of their profits also go to;
In other words, Pomegranate not only cares about your health, but they take it a step further. Your dollar goes to promoting the health of our planet, wildlife, and environment.. Talk about eating for a good cause!
Ultimately, Pomegranate Cafe has something for everyone!
- Laid-back Cafe vibes (all while serving a full food menu)
- Laptop-friendly day, with a romantic-esque atmosphere at night
- Completely non-GMO
- 98% organic foods
- A focus on supporting local farms, artists, and organizations
- House-made breads, syrups, and POMilk!
- Delectable 100% vegan pastries, changing everyday!
- Plenty of allergen-friendly, raw, and gluten-free options!
To summarize, I urge you to experience the magic that is Pomegranate Cafe. Cassie and Marlene have done a marvelous job building an organic vegan cafe, in one of the most unexpected places. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think it was a company out of San Francisco, Portland, or Austin. We are extremely lucky to have such a fresh and delicious vegan restaurant right here in Arizona.