FireFly Fare Serves It Up Vegan In Roanoke, VA

FireFly Fare
32 Market Square SE
Roanoke, VA 24011
FireFly Fare
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540.206.2630

by Danielle Bussone

 

Our first stop on our sojourn to the Big Apple is a restaurant we’ve shamefully overlooked for far too long. Firefly Fare is located in downtown Roanoke in the busy Market Square and is the very best place in the area to get good plant-based cuisine. We’ve stopped there many times to and from other parts of the country and it is high time we paid them their due.

 

Firefly Fare, inside the Market Square

Danielle at Firefly Fare, inside the City Market Building

 

Located in the historic City Market Building, smack dab in the heart of downtown Roanoke, it is less than 10 minutes from I-81. Parking is not always a given and you may have to circle the block a few times before something opens up.  But it is worth that minor inconvenience to experience the fresh and flavorful cuisine served up at Firefly Fare.

Over time we’ve tried just about everything on the menu and I can honestly say there wasn’t a single thing we didn’t enjoy. Firefly Fare also offers a fresh juice bar with concoctions such as Gingered Grasshopper, a refreshing blend of  spinach, celery, cucumber, kale, apple, lemon and ginger.

 

Firefly Fare Green Juice

Firefly Fare Green Juice – Gingered Grasshopper – $5.68

 

Firefly Fare offers a set menu with daily specials. Their ingredients are sourced from local farmers, which also means the menu is likely to change according to what produce is currently available. From Farm To Table is the watchword for Firefly Fare. Good food comes from fresh ingredients and you can’t get much fresher than this, not unless your grow your own vegetables.

 

FireFly-Fare-Wrap

Black Bean Burrito  with a  side of Black Beans on Quinoa-Rice – Daily Special

 

Outdoors Pet-Friendly Environment

Outdoors Pet-Friendly Environment: Danielle and friend, Dave, with beloved monsters, Phoenix and Coal

 

There is outdoor seating for people-watching in excellent weather and also a small interior dining room where Kristen, our favorite waitress, will take good care of you. It is an animal and children friendly establishment and Kristen will happily bring water for your critters in the patio area. For those wanting a grab and go meal, the restaurant can be accessed from within the City Market Building where permanent tables are available to service numerous restaurants in a food court environment.

 

Firefly Fare Open Kitchen with Owner and Chef hard at work.

Firefly Fare Open Kitchen with Owner and Chef Chris Parkhurst busily creating our meal.

 

Now to the most important part, the food! For plant-based diners Firefly Fare offers a delightful fresh salad of  baby greens, tomatoes, black bean & corn salsa, roasted red peppers, red onion and  fresh herbs, which can be ordered in small ($6.25) or large ($10) portions.

One of our favorite entrees is the Indonesian BBQ Tofu Bowl, a sweet and spicy concoction of seasonal sautéed vegetables and tofu over Firefly’s signature rice and quinoa.

 

Indonesian BBQ Tofu Bowl

Indonesian BBQ Tofu Bowl – $11

 

If you are not a fan of tofu, another excellent choice is the Incan Bowl, a sweet and savory mixture of black beans, sweet potatoes, grilled corn, quinoa and jasmine rice. The quinoa and rice are a brilliant paring of flavors and textures as well as nutrients. I’ve not see this pairing before and I plan to try this one at home!

 

Incan Bowl

Incan Bowl – $10.50

 

For sandwich lovers, Firefly Fare offers several vegan options. If fried food is your thing, you can’t beat the falafel pita, a fat, garlicy pita stuffed with three garlic falafels resting on a bed of baby greens with a cucumber-mint sauce, then topped with fresh tomato slices. If you are vegan, ask for it without the feta cheese. I neglected to ask if the pita wrap is house made but it certainly tastes like it is. I make pita myself and I can assure there is a world of difference between store bought pita bread and homemade. The texture is soft and chewy and the flavor of freshly baked yeast bread is unmistakable.

All the sandwich dishes are served with your choice of sides, which can also be purchased individually with other dishes or on their own for $3.75 each.

Black Bean & Corn Salad
Hoppin’ John
Herbed Potato Salad
Asian Almond Slaw
Sweet Potato Fries

 

Falafel Pita With Sweet Potato Fries

Falafel Pita ($10)  With Sweet Potato Fries

The California is a hearty burrito filled with black bean and roasted corn salsa, baby greens, tomatoes, onions and avocado slices.

California Wrap With Sweet Potato Fries

California Wrap ($10) With Sweet Potato Fries ($3.50)

 

A dish we’ve not photographed, but which certainly should be mentioned because it is absolutely delicious, is the grilled veggie pita. Stuffed with seasonal veggies, fresh herbs, tomato and mixed baby greens with a remoulade sauce, it is to live for! Ask them to exclude the mozzarella and add extra veggies in its place.

 

Firefly Fare is a mecca for plant-based cuisine at a reasonable price. There are also plenty of options for your carnivorous companions who have yet to see the light. Let them try a bite of yours and you just might create a few converts!

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health.”

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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