Arizona: Heating Things Up with Dairy-Free Dining Options

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Last Updated in August 2020! From Chimichangas to Cheese Crisps, some of Arizona’s most popular foods are loaded with dairy. But the Grand Canyon state is also a pioneer in fresh, plant-based cuisine and is known for modern takes on native dishes. This means quite a few restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and ice cream shops in Arizona are friendly to dairy-free diners. And we’re gathering them here for you to discover.

This post contains a collection based on research and reader recommendations (send yours!), that’s divided into local restaurants (first) and chains (second).

Cashew Cow in Tucson, AZ is a Dairy-Free Ice Creamery

Local Arizona Restaurants Recommended for Dairy-Free Eats

Native Arizona cuisine is heavy in Mexican dishes, but with more desert influence than neighboring California. Look for different types of cactus on the menu (nopal cactus is surprisingly high in calcium!), touches of mesquite flavor, and tear-inducing chiltepin peppers, which grow wild in the desert. Local favorites like pozole, tamales, and Navajo tacos (made with a fry bread) are often dairy-free when served without cheese. So be sure to ask if you see them on the menu!

We’ve listed these recommendations alphabetically by city, and then by the restaurant or shop name.

⭐️ = Restaurant is either dairy-free, has a dairy-free menu, has dairy-free labels on their menu(s), or lists top allergens with menu items. (At the time of our last review.)

Flagstaff

  • Cornish Pasty Co. – This local chain (with one location in Flagstaff) serves a huge menu of authentic British pasties, including several vegan options. They even one for dessert! The rest of their menu is also generously dotted with vegan and gluten-free labels.

Mesa

  • Cornish Pasty Co. – This is an Arizona based chain (with one location in Mesa) that serves a huge menu of authentic British pasties, including several vegan options. The rest of their menu is also generously dotted with vegan and gluten-free labels.

Phoenix

  • Cornish Pasty Co. – You can get your vegan pasties in Phoenix, too (they have one location in this city), along with potatoes, baked beans, and salad.
  • Green ⭐️ – I’ve read nothing but rave reviews about this purely plant-based restaurant. They use fresh and organic ingredients, vegan cheeses, and mock meats to create all types of bites, burritos, hearty sandwiches, and burgers for lunch and dinner. And once you’re done, you can go next door to Nami for dessert!
  • Gluten-Free Creations – This is a dedicated gluten-free bakery, and has been since 2003. They aren’t strictly dairy free, but are very upfront about which items don’t contain dairy, and there are quite a few of them. Whether ordering online or heading in store, you can find dairy-free bread, muffins, desserts, and more.
  • Nami ⭐️ – This is a cool little vegan ice cream, coffee, brunch, and pastry shop in a renovated house in downtown Phoenix. It’s located next door to the owner’s vegan bistro, Green. Nami’s claim to fame is their organic tSoynami soft serve ice cream treats that have Blizzard-like appeal. But their menu includes many other enticing treats.
  • The Coronado – This is a vegetarian eatery located in the historic Coronado neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona. Their staff serves breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner, and they also offer a coffee shop and full bar on site. Most of the menu is vegan, but they do offer eggs and dairy for some dishes. The staff seems happy to accommodate almost any dietary restrictions, and they offer specialty items like dairy-free sour cream.

Sedona

Sedona Sweet Arts – This is a traditional “cakery,” but they also offer wedding cakes and birthday cakes for special diet needs, including dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan!  They can even do multi-tiered wedding cakes varying the different tiers.

Scottsdale

  • Cornish Pasty Co. – Trendy Scottsdale has their own British pasty spot, too. The vegan options include the Cubano, Pot Pie, dessert Peanut Butter & Jelly, and more.
  • Gluten-Free Creations – They have two locations! You can read more about this gluten-free bakery in the Phoenix listing above.
  • Simon’s Hot Dogs – We’re not exactly sure what Columbian-style Hot Dogs are, but this is the place in Arizona to get them. They serve beef, chorizo, bratwurst, and two kinds of vegan hot dogs, and offer the biggest and most unique selection of toppings around. They also offer vegan options for most toppings, including vegan chili, vegan cheese, vegenaise, and vegan bacon bites. As an added bonus, they make vegan alfajores.

Tempe

  • 24 Carrots ⭐️ – This hip juice bar and cafe has a relaxed vibe, and exclusively serves vegan eats. Their menu includes organic juices, smoothies, and an eclectic mix of raw and cooked entrees. They also have many gluten-free options. This restaurant focuses on sustainability, sourcing local and organic whenever possible. They are open for late breakfast, lunch, and dinner, most days of the week.
  • Cornish Pasty Co. – Tempe is the home of this British pasty restaurant, so they have two locations in the city limits. The menus are the same for all locations, so expect ample dairy-free and vegan options.
  • Desert Roots Kitchen ⭐️ – A reader names Brian recommended this dairy-free and vegan lunch spot. Their plant-heavy menu changes regularly, but there are always gluten-free options, and every dish is full of flavor. They also offer healthier desserts like oat bars and kale cake (yes, kale).

Tucson

  • Cashew Cow ⭐️ – This is Arizona’s first completely dairy-free ice cream shop. Their decadent scoops are hand-crafted, cashew-based, and can include up to 20 vegan flavors on any given day. They also have all of the usual ice cream pairings, like waffle cones and toppings. And they do pack pints to go.
  • Lovin’ Spoonfuls ⭐️ – This vegan restaurant has received accolades from many of our readers. Aja said, “their hot cocoa is amazing and so are their chix nuggets.” And Laura told us on Facebook, “it has everything you would find in a regular restaurant (burgers, fries, desserts) and lots of gluten-free options plus an allergen menu.” They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with organic beer, wine, and cocktails, and of course, a full bakery of desserts.

Most Popular Chains in Arizona for Dairy-Free Diners

There are many more chains in this state, but these are the ones we recommend most for dairy-free options.

  • We are working on this section – bear with us!

This Guide is Continuously Updated with Recommendations

We welcome you to recommend other dairy-free friendly restaurants. Leave a comment or contact us and tell us why you like a certain restaurant. Restaurant owners and employees are also invited to reach out and let us know how you welcome dairy-free customers.

Please kindly let us know in the comments if any of these restaurants close. We want to keep this list current for you, but aren’t always notified when a restaurant closes. Let us know and we will quickly update!

This Guide is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

For More Dairy-Free Guidance, Get Go Dairy Free!

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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