Giving Tree Café Nourishes Mind, Body and Soul

by Holly Harmon

Just north of Downtown Phoenix, on a bustling stretch of 7th Street, sits an unassuming green building. Framing the parking lot, a large, life-sized sculpture replicating the iconic “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” photo beckons passersby to pause and give a second glance. Whether it’s to take a closer look at the impressive street art or to peek inside the business that erected such a symbol of hope and prosperity, it’s worth stopping to check out Giving Tree Café.

Once inside, the buzz of the city is left behind, and it’s impossible not to be enveloped by the calming energy. Faint mood music, warm natural light, elements of nature and welcoming smiles set the tone for a dining experience that feels unique. Intoxicating smells and colorful plates of food coming from the open kitchen entice guests to ask, “What’s that?” Upon exploring the menu, it becomes apparent the food coming out of the kitchen is very different.

Founded in 2019 by longtime restaurateur David Warr, Giving Tree Café serves what he describes as “high vibe comfort food.” Warr is on a mission to heal and empower through food. The only restaurant of its kind in the United States, Giving Tree Café’s menu is entirely vegan, organic, soy free and gluten free. If that wasn’t already enough, everything is made in-house from scratch, down to the flour used in the baked goods. 

At Giving Tree Café, the same attention that is put into sourcing quality, whole-food ingredients is also given to making sure each dish or beverage is not only nutrient rich but tasty and satisfying. Warr aims to create a menu that everyone, regardless of their dietary preferences, can enjoy. Giving Tree Café serves a wide variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and its signature Krunch Raps. It also offers a selection of desserts, coffee and tea drinks, blended beverages, and cold-pressed juices and activator shots.

A popular sharable starter, the F.O.M.O. platter has a little bit of everything, including raw crackers, raw onion bread, veggies, hummus, guacamole, spicy vegan cheese and micro greens. It’s hard to choose from the Krunch Rap City section of the menu. A perfect contrast in textures, they’re wrapped in a light and airy lentil and rice pancake as well as a crunchy tortilla shell. The Original is stuffed with a house-made veggie burger, lettuce, guacamole, pico, hot sauce and spicy macadamia nut cheese. Other standouts include the Korean BBQ, Mediterranean and Big Maxx. 

Creative entrées include the Buddha Bowl with roasted maple acorn squash, turmeric cauliflower, shishito peppers, Brussels sprouts and Bangkok sauce, served with wild rice or quinoa. Lion’s Mane Mushroom Tacos feature Warr’s special mole. The BBQ Jackfruit Pancake is a great combo of sweet and savory: BBQ jackfruit and spicy macadamia nut cheese is stuffed into a buckwheat pancake and topped with mashed potatoes, BBQ sauce, sweet mustard and maple syrup. For fans of breakfast, Giving Tree Café serves all-day breakfast items, including a Breakfast Krunch Rap, Vegan Quiche and a Buckwheat Pancake. 

Whether hosting an off-site team meeting, powering through a remote working lunch or taking a midday break, patrons will find Giving Tree Café provides the proper fuel to tackle the day. Additionally, if a group needs lunch brought to the office, the restaurant can cater. According to Warr, “Every choice a company makes reflects their culture. Providing real, natural, healthy food shows they care about their employees and the impact their food choices have on the planet.”  

Giving Tree Café
2024 N. 7th St., Phoenix
(480) 630-0200

The Whole Enchilada

Chili, potatoes, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo and raw vegan cheese crumble

Blueberry Cheesecake

Rich creamy goodness

Chili Cheese Veggie Burger

House-made patty, lettuce, tomato, red onion, sweet mustard, chili and cheese on a house-made bun

Did You Know: The “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” replica stands as a testament to our community’s resourcefulness and resilience. Created by sculptor Blake Emory and produced by Gregory Kirschenbaum, the 24-foot-long, 20-foot-tall sculpture featuring 11 life-sized steelworkers took two years to produce by hand. A larger-than-life World War II icon, Rosie the Riveter was later added.

Food and interior photos courtesy of  Alex Gharfeh, street art photo courtesy of Holly Harmon

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