Wild Roots is a health conscious cafe in Gulf Breeze, a small city located just a short drive from all the action in Pensacola Beach. Wild Roots offers a diverse variety of allergy friendly entrees and treats which will satisfy a multitude of diets including paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
Wild Roots is most well known for their famous homemade Beach Pops, organic and low sugar frozen treats, which are made with various ingredients including fruit, veggie, non-dairy milk, or traditional ice cream.
All food at Wild Roots is made using organic ingredients, and thus, the prices are a bit on the high side. As an example, the wraps range from $8.50-12.50 with extra charges for gluten-free and paleo substitutions.
At Wild Roots, the menu is pretty extensive, so all types of diners can find what they are looking for. It's one of the few places where vegans and paleo dieters can dine side by side, with both leaving satisfied.
The menu includes a diverse selection of offerings including wraps and sandwiches, salads, pizzettas, raw dishes, soups, Mexican entrees, and stir fry Quinoa dishes.
There are substitutions to fit in with every dietary trend. Brown rice or Paleo Spinach/Kale or Coconut wraps can be subbed for the traditional wrap. In addition, grain-free bread is available for the sandwiches. The soup of the day is always vegan and gluten-free, which is a big plus as no one loses out.
Also, both meat heavy sandwiches and salads in addition to veggie loaded selections are available to please both vegans and those who follow the paleo diet. It's a unique opposing menu that works to suit any type of special diet.
If you are craving something a bit sweeter, you can enjoy a guilt free treat from the bakery. Wild Root's sweets are 100% organic, gluten-free, and grain free. The base flour is nut based and evaporated cane juice or honey is used to sweeten the treat as opposed to refined sugar.
Offering allergy friendly, naturally sweetened desserts is a great idea, unfortunately, those we tried were completely tasteless. I was not impressed at all with the quality. In fact, I had to throw half of my Mint Thin away it was so horrible. Just because a treat is grain-free and refined sugar free does not mean it should lack any taste!
Cookies, muffins, brownies, cheesecake, macaroons, scones, and raw treats are just a few of the selections available. The menu is pretty large: now they just need to work on enhancing the flavor!
Espresso drinks, organic wine and beer, lemonade, tea, and smoothies are available to compliment your meal or simply enjoy a quiet drink break before heading off to the beach. I have to say that the Amino Blast Smoothie (Banana, avocado, spinach, kale, meal replacement powder, peanut butter, almond milk, and coconut yogurt) was much better than the treats we tested out. It was the perfect cold, creamy dessert on a warm spring day.
In addition to all these menu options, a variety of soft serve ice cream treats are also available (the 3 different bases are traditional vanilla ice cream, dairy free coconut cream, and dairy free creamed bananas). These are mixed with fruit and or chocolate to create tempting cold treats. Additionally, a variety of sundaes can be found on the ice cream menu.
As you can see, the menu at Wild Roots is pretty extensive, almost overwhelming. The nice aspect of Wild Roots is that it is a health eatery for everyone, rather than the usual specialty restaurant which caters to just one diet, as is the case of a traditional vegan restaurant or steakhouse.
Service was not exceptionally friendly, however, it did not take long to receive our orders.
The dining area at Wild Roots is pretty bland and disappointing. Just because a restaurant serves specialty foods is no reason to completely slack in the design department. Those who eat healthy are not just visiting for the food; they still want a great restaurant experience!
Adding unique decor and a more appealing overall layout is a must. Also, more attractive outdoor seating (including umbrellas for the tables to protect guests from the harsh Florida sun) would be recommended.
Overall, Wild Roots will probably please anyone following a specialty diet. It's one of the only restaurants in the area to cater to those with specific food preferences. An extensive menu of allergy friendly offerings, good kitchen practices to prevent cross contamination, as well as a convenient location near the beach, place Wild Roots at the top of the list for travelers with specific food requests. Just be prepared to spend more for quality ingredients.