Reviewing Giving Tree Cafe: Vegan cuisine in downtown Phoenix
Entering the cool sanctuary of Giving Tree Cafe was a welcome respite from the scorching sun. Summer had arrived early in the Valley of the Sun.
It’s hard to miss Giving Tree Cafe on the streets of downtown Phoenix. The building address on 7th Street is large with bright red numbers. The parking lot includes a Giving Tree Cafe sign and a green “Vitality Lane” street sign. From either direction, the signage on the building is distinct and easy to see on the light olive-green painted building. Arrows point to the way in.
Once inside, the décor and live plants add to the peaceful ambiance. I knew I was in the right place when I saw what was prominently painted on the floor, “Welcome to a Space of Love.” It immediately put me at ease.
Giving Tree Cafe is more than just a Vegan restaurant
Giving Tree Cafe is more than a restaurant that serves vegan food. It is a place to relax, bring the family, join friends for some leisurely board and card games, or enjoy quiet time as a solo traveler. Games, tarot cards, and reading materials are readily available on the tables and sideboards, encouraging lingering over a meal or beverage.
The open kitchen below the Giving Tree Cafe’s mission sign brings the visitor into the vegan dining experience. “Giving Tree Cafe is our expression of an authentic world of sustainable abundance…a reflection of our connection to Spirit. We choose wholesome organic ingredients to honor our Mother Earth, our guests, and ourselves. We respect our place in the web of all life.”
Giving Tree Cafe intentional decor
Every corner of the place has a purpose. For example, little diners have their space in a corner with a tiny table and two chairs. Set apart by a floor mat and two shelf units acting as dividers, green plants, and a chandelier for decoration, a child-sized toy refrigerator, kitchen sink, and cupboard complete the setup. Bins hold colorful, simple toys for the youngest of customers, who might not be old enough for the mini dining room.
The opposite corner displays Shiva Lingams, cryptocrystalline quartz rocks found only in one of seven sacred Indian rivers. These large, polished rocks are symbols of the divine male and female energies in the Hindu culture. Also in the corner is a small gift section with candles and artwork and a large cooler with fresh juices and to-go boxes for a quick grab-and-go of healthy vegan choices.
Prayer flags adorn the overhead pipes in the open ceiling and are reminiscent of base camps in the Himalayas. They present an eclectic mix of décor with chandeliers.
Healthy options galore at Giving Tree Cafe
Everyone receives an immune-boosting wellness shot. The Dragon Detox, a super immune booster, is made from ginger, turmeric, garlic, yellow mustard, onion, jalapeno, black pepper, sage, oregano, thyme, apple cider vinegar, and rosemary.
I chose the Mango Lassi, my favorite vegan beverage, because it’s not overly sweet. The ingredients include rich coconut yogurt, mango, and traditional Ayurvedic spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel, ginger, and black pepper.
For the entree, I chose the Mediterranean Krunch Rap. The lentil and rice pancake was hearty, crunchy, and filling, stuffed with a colorful mix of veggie burger, hummus, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, red onions, red peppers, and vegan feta.
Giving Tree Cafe Final Review
Another visit with a vegan-loving friend is in my plan. I want to shuffle some Tarot cards and see what they say.