We're equal opportunity eaters. We'll devour a vegetarian or vegan dish just the same as one with red meat or laden with calories. All that matters is that it tastes delicious. That's the mission of 9-month-old Helio Terra Vegan Cafe in downtown Cleveland. With a menu full of inventive vegan meals, smoothies and cold-pressed juices, it will convince even die-hard carnivores that trying a healthier way of eating can also taste extremely good. Start with the Tropical Breeze smoothie ($7). The concoction of pineapple, mango, banana, dates, orange juice and coconut water is like drinking an amped up Starburst. With the name Awesome Grilled Cheese ($7), the expectations are pretty high for this melty sandwich. Made with dairy-free provolone and cheddar, fig butter, agave, roasted tomatoes, truffle salt and caramelized onions on sourdough bread, this version — vegan or not — is hands-down the best grilled cheese we have ever eaten. And if you need further proof that vegan versions can resemble the original, try the Reuben sandwich ($9) made with mustard-marinated seitan (a sublime stand-in for corned beef), naturally fermented sauerkraut, pickles, tomato aioli and dairy-free Swiss. After a few bites, you'll forget any other version of the deli staple even exists.
When You Go: Helio Terra Vegan Cafe, 619 Prospect Ave.E, Cleveland, 216-664-0929