CLOSED: Aside of Heart

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 24 reviews )



901 N 5th St, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 85004

Vegan cafe inside an art gallery and live music venue. Serves breakfast, meals, desserts, tea, coffee, and smoothies. Takes custom orders for allergen-sensitivity and large orders of desserts. Reported closed to HappyCow, Dec 2014.

Categories: Vegan, American, International, Delivery, Take-out, Catering

24 Reviews

First Review by Nagev11

Would not recommend - Edit

I was very excited to try out this new (to me) vegan restaurant. At first glance you can tell that the experience there was going to be something unique. Which mine definitely was but not in a good way.

I got there a little before 5pm so I waited in my car for the house to open. When I did finally head up to the house, the front door was locked. I wasn't sure I was using the right entrance. Soon after an employee/someone recognized by the employees knocked on the door and they unlocked it. Inside, I was informed that I was a little early (4:55). I realized I was so I sat down in the front of the house to wait til serving hours. At 5pm I wasn't sure if they were ready so I continued to sit there until they decided to seat me. The whole thing felt really awkward.

While I was waiting I noticed one of the girls preparing the food wasn't wearing gloves.

When they were ready to serve they brought me a menu and I asked them where I was suppose to sit. They told me in the front room. The same room I had been waiting....which consisted of 6 small tables side by side pushed up against the wall and chairs lined up across. People from the gallery were taking chairs from the tables as I waited for food.

It just seemed like being a restaurant was a side thought.

The food tasted off to me.

I felt like I was an inconvenience the entire time. Only saving grace was an employee who was working on a sign nearby. She was very welcoming and made me feel less out of place.

Maybe I came in on a really off day or getting in the house early erked the employees but I do not plan on going again.

Pros: Concept

Cons: Restaurant set up , Hospitality

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Great place! - Edit

The people were friendly, service was excellent and honestly, the food was great! I had the Carnival Torta... Awesome!

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Mixed feelings... - Edit

Visited in April 2014...

As others have said, I also have mixed feelings about this place...
Firstly, as a vegan, I was very disappointed and angry to see a fish stuck in a TINY fishbowl in a dark part of the room, with nothing but some colourful rocks, all on it's own....WHY????? The last thing I expect to see.

We visited on Three Occasions during our short trip in town.
The first time we visited we were very happy with the food, I got a curry and it was lovely, very happy. The second time we returned, I got the same thing...this time, I genuinely kid you not, I got a curry that had half a potato and a cauliflower STALK in it....and that was honestly it. I had no idea what was going on. Disappointing.

The third time I got a jack-fruit sandwich. In terms of the meal, it was lovely- great bread, filling, flavours....
I realised I don't actually *like* jackfruit, but that's a personal taste thing.

I can't remember everything my partner chose, but on our final visit when I got the sandwich, he got the raw tacos which were really really great.

The place itself is interesting and quirky. Sure, they've just converted an old house, so there isn't much seating, but hopefully they may upgrade the place soon and deal with this. there were plenty of tables outside, but even in April it was just too hot to be out there!

SO, we had two great visits, and one bad one....The fish in the bowl really hacked me off though.
The manager and staff seem friendly enough, so I do wish this place luck and hope it gets its act together.

Cons: inconsistent food, hit and miss

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E, for Effort - Edit

I took advantage of the Groupon offer and revisited.

2nd trip:
I got the California Club, which came w/ tortilla chips. Very tasty sandwich, but the avocado was old/bitter tasting. I removed the avocado and enjoyed the rest of my sandwich.

I got more of those chocolate chip cookies that I previously raved about. They were very hard this time; I could barely bite down on it. I couldn't believe this was the same cookie! So sad. :(

3rd trip:
I got the Chickpea Chick'un Salad Sammie, which came w/ chips. I didn't know what to expect, and frankly, I was quite hesitant. However, it was very good! It was flavorful, delicious & filling.

I tried the "frown-erasing" brownies & OMG! Amazing! Moist, chocolatey & perfect! A must try for brownie &/or chocolate lovers!

So again, it's hit or miss here.

------------ updated from previous review

To be honest, I had avoided this place for the longest due to the bad reviews. But I decided to have an open mind and give it a try.

I ordered the Fuerza Locale street tacos, which are made with jackfruit. These were very tasty and did not disappoint! I ordered my street tacos with a side of beans and rice. Another member made a comment about the burrito having a bad smell. I believe I encountered that smell, which came from either the beans or the rice. It was quite off-putting and disturbing. I honestly have no explanation...

I also ordered a piece of cookies n' cream cake and a chocolate chip cookie to go. The cake was alright. That cookie was amazing though! The cookie had the perfect crisp + chewy combination and it had that fresh out of the oven homemade taste. I may order a few dozen of these for my next party.

The main dessert display case is partially open and flies were flying around and into that case. I did not like this.

There are a few other things that I'd like to try, so I will go back. However, I will stay away from all things rice & beans, and I will always request my desserts from the other (closed) dessert case.

The people were nice and friendly. Prices are moderate. They accept credit cards. Street parking.

This location is actually a small house. Very limited indoor seating. There was some outdoor seating as well (also limited). It's covered with bright and colorful graffiti, making it easy to find. There's also a sign on the SE corner of Roosevelt and 5th, pointing you towards its location.

Keep an eye out for Groupon offers

Updated from previous review on May 13, 2014

Pros: 100% vegan, lots of options, delicious brownies & cookies!

Cons: open food case with flies!, food is hit or miss

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Kind And Loving Staff - Edit

Small, but delicious menu! The smiles for miles breakfast was the perfect size and goes great with their shakes and juices!

Pros: Friendly Staff, Good Portions, Fast Service

Cons: Small Menu

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Great little hole in the wall place - Edit

This place is a small, quaint 4 table place. She also displays and has for sale art, which I assume is all local works. So while you're waiting for your food, have a look around at the displays. The owner is very friendly and knows everything that goes into her food, which is great for those with food allergies. I had the pizza, which was pretty average. The table next to me got various jackfruit based dishes and they seemed to really enjoy them; made me regret my pizza decision a little bit. haha. The desserts looked very good, but were mostly nut based, however she said she always has at least one nut free dessert at all times; I just wasn't in the mood for the one for that day (it was a spicy chocolate cinnamon snicker doodle)

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Delicious, fun and friendly! - Edit

A friend and I tried Aside of Heart for the first time last Friday and had a very pleasant meal with excellent service and fresh, delicious food cooked to order. We will definitely be back!

Pros: easy and free street parking, good variety of fresh vegan options, delicious breakfast

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cute, personal, individual & yummie - Edit

very nice/cute staff.
Everything was very fresh.
They took a bit long to serve the dishes (and the appetizer came when we were almost done with the maindishes xD), BUT because it tasted that good and the atmosphere was so nice and personal, I give 4 Stars.
Prices were definetely all right (could be higher for what we got!)

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Poor Service, Long Wait, Mediocre Food - Edit

It pains me to write this kind of review about a vegan establishment, but I feel like I need to be honest about my experience here.

My partner and I were excited to try this cute-seeming vegan cafe. We were given menus, and ordered two things, both of which, it turned out, were not available. That's ok, that happens, no problem, so we ordered two more items. Also not available. At this point we asked, "What IS available?"

The man behind the counter said they had lentil soup and nachos. Why didn't they just tell us that when we came in instead of giving us menus? My partner asked to see the soup, and the man lifted the lid of a pot and showed us a the crusty last two spoonfuls of a soup that did not look appetizing at all.

We should have probably left at this point, but instead we ordered the nachos. We waited nearly an hour for them. When they came out, they were edible, but nothing to write home about. The cashew "cheese" sauce was the only saving grace, but they had no vegetables, and were served over Tostitos "Scoops" chips. Really?

We were upset but decided to just eat and leave; however, when we went up to pay, a woman cheerfully came out of the back to run our card and said, "How was your meal today?" My partner and I looked at each other and then I said, "Honestly, it was pretty bad. We waited an hour for just sauce over cheap store-bought chips." She replied, "Oh, sorry about that, we were out of chips so [the guy's name] had to run to the store and buy some."

WHAT?! They should have just told us they were out of everything and closed the cafe for the day. Instead we were left feeling cheated by people we went in wanting to support. We felt like our time, money, and patronage was disrespected.

Hopefully our experience was a one time occurrence, based on these other reviews, but we will certainly NEVER be going back there.

Pros: Vegan

Cons: Poor Service, Extremely Long Wait, Mediocre Food

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Very Friendly Atmosphere! - Edit

There are definitely some good and some not-so-good things to Aside of Heart. For the good, the food is delicious and the staff take people's special needs into consideration (for example, they will go out of their way to make something gluten free). It is a very personable atmosphere - the people are friendly and get to know their customers. For the less desirable attributes, the place is quite small so it gets very crowded. And while the prices aren't too bad, the portion sizes are very small. Overall, I think they are worth supporting!
Updated from previous review on Tuesday November 12, 2013

Pros: Friendly people, Good food

Cons: Small portions, Can get very crowded

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Nice Little Cafe And Art Gallery Near Roosevelt - Edit

A great place to go get a meal and a smoothie, look at some art, there's also live music some evenings. I am always excited every time I go there to see what new goodies the chef has created.

Pros: Delicious Food, Arts/Entertainment, Staff Enjoys What They Do

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Too many changes - Edit

I have gone to this location at different times over the years and I liked it best when it was a member owned collective with people that seemed to really have a vested interest and care for not only the food but also the community in which the cafe/gallery was located.

I did not boycott the place with the other patrons faithful to the old place when the ownership/management changed, but the few times I have bothered to go in have not been great. Most of the time the food was super bland and flavorless or tasted bad and the place smelled like hot garbage.

There were people living in the back room and later what used to be the gallery. I really think they were exploiting homeless people by having them work there for food. I have heard since then that none of the employees were vegan.

The ONE time it was OK was when they had a vegan Rasta cooking there. It was a good thing too because an out of towner from NYC was hungry and it was around 11:30pm and at the time they were open 24hrs so I could suggest the place to him. We walked in and it actually smelled DELICIOUS in the small cramped one table having lobby/gallery area.

Once I heard the Rasta was no longer working there, I have not been back since (about 5 months at the time of this posting).

Pros: arts district location, concept

Cons: no interior seating, concept poorly excecuted, shabby looking exterior

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If you walk in and don't feel good about the place - turn around and walk right out. I waited an hour for some hummus and veggie sticks. And then the hummus had so much pepper I couldn't breathe after one bite. My partner's burrito had good base ingredients - quinoa and beans. But....that's all that was in it! No salsa, no lettuce, no anything to give it flavor. The whole place felt dark and dirty. What furniture therer was looked like it was retrieved from a dump. The people who run it should not be in charge of a restaurant. They need to be employees. NEVER GO HERE. You can get some very good veggie dishes at Carley's Bistro at 128 Roosevelt, a few minutes away. Carley's has an absolutely delicous Greek Salad. They also have a hummus dip, Feta Rosa, an Artichoke Dip, and Mediterranean Bruschetta.

Pros: the people mean well

Cons: everything else

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If you love yourself you won't eat here! - Edit

How is this place even open?!? There are quite a few things that were very concerning/confusing about this place. Is it a restaurant? Any place that serves food should have tables for there patrons, right? Inside was one table in what seemed to be the front room of this house that was absolutely filthy, so we thought lets eat outside! Ummm bad idea. Outside was an open yard full of wood chips. There were broken tables all over and not one chair in sight. My mother in law later mentioned jokingly that it looked like a crack dealers backyard and we should have watched our steps for needles! We should have taken this as our que to run, however, we had already put in our order for the brunch (that was the only option on a Saturday afternoon) so back inside we went. After about 30 minutes we finally got two of our three orders. Our food was brought out to us by a young girl who looked like she had just rolled out of bed (still wearing slippers), as she shuffle stepped into the room with two plates, she said the third would be out shortly. As she shuffled away I asked for silverware, she threw her arms up in the air and said she was working on it. The food was freaking COLD!! About 10 minutes later my husband finally got his food which was also cold. Brunch consisted of about a 1/4 cup of tofu scramble, potatoes, some type of stale biscuit like thing, with white flour "gravy", and two terribly burnt pancakes. All of these items fit onto a normal size plate just to give you an idea of how small the portions were. Grand total after all of this $36!!! Never again!

Cons: Hours of operation, changes with mood. , Clean facility I think not! , Must not be able to pass drug for employment.

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Aside of Heart - Edit

I wanted to like this place, but the fact of the matter is my stomach just didn't.

The employees are friendly and the restaurant has a nice concept. But the food just didn't taste good - plus my friend's burrito smelled really bad...and it wasn't burrito smell. I would never return.

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Very good asset for Phoenix - Edit

Nice neighbourhood cafe. I was suffering from jet lag so was delighted to find somewhere open at 3am that served good vegan food. Aside of Heart doesn't have much in the way of typical breakfast items (although I was told that they have a brunch menu on the weekends) but their quesadillas and pizzas did the job nicely.

Juices and smoothies are made fresh. Large range of sweet treats such as cookies and brownies - all 100% vegan.

It's a shame that I didn't manage to visit during the day because I've been told that they have a really good range of food night the options are more limited, but you'll definitely find something tasty.

The manager (I think he was the manager, anyway) was friendly and passionate about the vegan lifestyle.

Very good asset for Phoenix in a fairly central location.

Pros: Open 24/7, Friendly and welcoming, Good food at very reasonable price

Cons: Limited menu available at night

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fantastic - Edit

24x7 vegan restaurant in the middle of downtown Phoenix... Is it possible? You bet. A home cooked meal awaits you.

Pros: friendly people, good food, it comes from the heart

Cons: location will throw you for a curve

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Food for Life - Edit

A side of Heart is THE place to eat if you are vegan, vegetarian or are just looking to broaden your horizons. From pizza, to burgers and hot dogs, Aside offers many vegan alternative to the meat eaters classics. With a diverse menu, as well as staff, Aside of heart is the place to indulge in the pleasures of 5 star vegan cuisine from around the world. As a 'Rasta' i only eat what is vital, and that is what rasta call 'Ital'. Ital is Vegan. I was drawn to the cafe by the amazing variety of vegan food, but was held by the ambient atmosphere and uplifting community. A side of Heart is a popular stop for Vegans from all over world in Phoenix on business and vacation as well as many locals. A side of Heart should not be passed up on your search for great food, for there is none greater. A side of Heart serves, food for thought, food for life and food for the soul! Peace!

Pros: wide variety, great atmosphere, educated vegans

Cons: still growing, some options not available at all times, free music venue

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Yummay! - Edit

Love this place. The food is fresh and excellent, lots of good beverage options. Like the furniture and is open 24/7 there should be more places like this! Thanks!! A must go!

Pros: Vegan, Raw, Good portions

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The best vegan food - Edit

This place is really great! The food was awesome, the atmosphere was very chill, and the service was outstanding. It's very intimate with a family feeling, everyone welcomes you with open arms and a smile and the servers are so friendly that they seem like old friends. The food was just sublime and cheap! Not only that, but they also have a theatre on the side, which apparently does plays every month that are free. Dinner AND a free show! This will definitely be a place that I will return to in the future.

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Great food, wonderful atmosphere - Edit

I don't always eat vegan, but when I do, I eat aside of heart. But seriously, I'm new to vegan ism, but to be honest I've ate at all the places in the area and none compare. I think the biggest thing other than the taste, is the personality, evryone is down to earth and real, not like a robot or a teddy bear. Not to mention 24 hr karaoke, they know how to show their patrons a great experience.

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cool hang - Edit

Aside of Heart is a funky, artsy, hang out. Seems to be a converted house, and in many other cities this one might be passed for condemning. The owners are friendly and the space very chill. I tried the raw tacos and while the portion size and and price was awesome, the overload of nuts didn't sit too well with me. Probably best to share with someone. They hold events and live music so good to call ahead before you visit.

Pros: inexpensive, good size portions, earthy

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  Contributions +16

Awesome food & service! - Edit

Great Raw Almond Tacos... the best! People are super friendly. Location is in Roosevelt Row, in quaint art shop setting. The Thai tea was the best I've ever tasted. Must have! Definitely going back soon!

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High quality vegan food. - Edit

This place has good vegan food and an open free environment to hang out in. Good people, good food.

Pros: friendly staff, healthy food, art space

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