As a city known for oil, cattle and most recently, baseball, Houston is not exactly recognized for its vegan culture. However, due to our urban core and ever-growing, diverse population, we have a surprisingly good number of vegan grocery stores to shop and choose from.
If you have a vegan lifestyle, or are simply trying to eat a few meat-free meals each week and need to find a wide range of ingredients, here are the best places to shop for groceries in Houston.
Superfood Village Ingredients Market
This grocery store targets customers seeking more alternatives than the typical vitamin and mineral supplement storefront. They specialize in grains, nuts, flours, spices and other natural ingredients that are all sourced by their indigenous geographical region. Additionally, all products are organized by harvest dates and are processed specifically to positively affect the nutritive value.
Phoenicia Specialty Foods
Phoenicia specializes in fresh-baked breads, pastries from Europe, craft wines and beers, specialty cheeses and fresh produce. This specialty grocer was founded in 2006 by Bob and Arpi Tcholakian, who also founded Phoenicia Deli, a 2,500–square-foot Mediterranean-style deli and grocery store, in 1983. The bigger store carries over 15,000 products from more than 50 countries. Additional amenities Phoenicia offers are hot, vegan grill items, prepared foods and catering services.
Sunshine’s Health Food Store and Vegetarian Deli
This socially responsible restaurant and store advocates to promote a healthy life style through food. The restaurant offers cooked vegetarian alternatives, and they also offer a raw, vegan deli. The store stocks wholesome vegetarian and vegan grocery items, dietary supplements and natural detox products. Sunshine also hosts educational services free of charge, which include special health classes and events to inform the community about sustainable, healthy food options.
This chain of stores specializes in fresh, quality food from around the world at great prices. They have rounded up a plethora of vegan options throughout their store. Animal-free products are marked, and all other products are described to show if they contain eggs, dairy, meat and/or honey. Trader Joe’s also has a vegan website showcasing numerous drinks, candies, deli products and Kombucha. Other specialty items include hummus, vegan mozzarella style shreds, sriracha baked tofu, organic baked tofu and tofurky, to just name a few.
Whole Foods Market
If all other grocery stores fail, you can always rely on the chain that started it all. Whole Foods exclusively features foods free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats. And the staff prides themselves on always being there to aid with advice, support and information on all things vegan. You can find everything you need for a delicious and nutritionally-sound vegan diet in Whole Food’s produce section, or their bulk and frozen aisles.