The Las Vegas Strip is about to get its first vegan restaurant. Yes, you read that right. The famous swath of resorts on Las Vegas Blvd. is getting more vegan-friendly at the end of January thanks to Chef Pete Ghione and his dedication to plant-based cuisine and wellness.
He’s overhauling Truth & Tonic, Canyon Ranch Spa + Fitness’ wellness cafe at the Venetian Resort and ditching all the non-vegan items, delivering what many (ok, us) believe is long overdue: the first vegan restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip.
And, it’s going to be a healthy one.
“I truly feel this decision is based on what our guests not only need to be inspired to improve their health, but also because they deserve it and they are truly worth it,” says Ghione, who is the director of food and beverage and executive chef for Canyon Ranch Spa + Fitness. “Canyon Ranch Spa + Fitness, as a whole company, strives every day to improve the quality of life of each and everyone of our guests. Food is just one of many vehicles that we use to improve mind, body and spiritual health.”
Ghione, who is vegan, has spent the better part of the past two decades researching and creating plant-based cuisine to help fight diseases. Over the years, he’s worked with a number of people to help them overcome cancer, diabetes, obesity, and more … using healthy, fresh, organic ingredients.
Expect much of the same at the vegan Truth & Tonic.
“Food is just one of many vehicles that we use to improve mind, body and spiritual health,” he says. “Even though we may only see a diner for three days during their stay, I aim to make a statement that eating to improve your health or even just to maintain your health can be exciting, delicious, artistic and speak paragraphs of passion all within one meal.”
Truth & Tonic (which previously was the Canyon Ranch Cafe), opened in June 2019 and it took very little time for Ghione to decide to nix animal products and byproducts, something he considers to be a bold statement … but one that can be impactful and reach beyond those who are plant-based or vegan.
His goal is to break down barriers that typically divide diners and instead position the plant-based menu as “seriously delicious food that is motivated by wellness.”
With this Las Vegas vegan restaurant the chef aims to inspire and educate people to eat and enjoy ingredients that can improve their health. The casual 65-seat restaurant open for breakfast and lunch daily. According to Ghione, it is designed to offer “countless wellness infusions that create a seamless and cohesive, flavorful and fresh dining experience … leaving guests satisfied, nourished and appropriately craving more.”
He’s done the research, too. Ghione is quick to site the eye-opening national statistics that show one in two men and one in three women are diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and that every 38 seconds someone dies from cardiovascular disease.
“Food may not be the only cause of these numbers, but it can be a solution,” says Ghione.
Thanks to the growing vegan dining scene in Las Vegas and more restaurants offering vegan menus, there’s an ever-expanding demand for plant-based dining and Ghione thinks now is the time for restaurateurs to see validation of this demand.
The transition of Truth & Tonic to a plant-based menu provides the opportunity for validation and is key for the continuing opening of vegan restaurants on The Strip.
In fact, Ghione thinks the future of vegan dining within the resorts is promising.
“I think celebrity chef’s will soon endorse this demand,” he says. “At some point the awareness will be so strong as to what vegan dining is all about that we won’t need to stamp ‘vegan’ and ‘plant-based’ on every ingredient that is currently commonly known to come from an animal.”
Truth & Tonic, located next to the fitness center on the fourth floor of The Venetian Resort, is expected to become fully plant-based by the end of January. The restaurant will offer all day breakfast with an additional lunch menu at 11 a.m. daily and will be open 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Find out more about Truth & Tonic
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby. She previously lived and worked in Thailand working for an elephant sanctuary and has traveled around the world speaking about the realities of elephant tourism, being a positive activist and entrepreneur at events including TBEX, SEED Food + Wine, VegFest Puerto Rico, VegFest Toronto and more. Diana is a proud partner with the James Beard Foundation and curates their Vegas Vegan Dinner series at the famous James Beard House, as well as the vegan activation, The Farm Stand, at Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful festival.