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My Kansas City: Raw cookbook author Amber Shea Crawley

My KC Amber Shea Crawley, upstairs at Mud Pie


Amber Crawley is queen of the alternative diet. A vegan since her college days at KU, the 26-year-old author of “Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make” is also gluten-free because of Hashimoto’s disease, which is a disorder that affects the thyroid. That doesn’t bother Crawley, who knows where to go for fresh, nutritious food. We caught up with Crawley to get her top picks for raw and vegan meals out.


813 W. 17th St.

Crawley calls the place tiny but cozy. “The menu is written on a chalkboard, so it looks sort of DIY in a fun way,” she says. She opts for the cashew ice cream.

Café Gratitude

333 Southwest Blvd.

Kansas City got a taste of this San Francisco Bay area franchise when a location opened in April in the Crossroads Arts District. Crawley recommends the fresh coconut smoothies or raw pizza with sun-dried tomato marinara and onion sunflower pizza crust.### Eden Alley Vegetarian Café 707 W. 47th St.

Located in the basement of Unity Temple on the Plaza, this underground veggie joint serves up food for the soul. For Crawley, it’s “comfort food” — falafel, black bean and sweet potato burritos and fresh tomato salsa.

Mud Pie Vegan Bakery

1615 W. 39th St.

The bakery/coffee shop has plenty of indoor seating for guests to escape the summer heat. Crawley likes the almond milk latte. “And they have really good gluten-free brownies,” she says.

Jerusalem Café

431 Westport Road

Known for being a hookah hangout, Jerusalem Café operates a late-night food truck for bar-bound pedestrians. Before she went gluten-free, Crawley loved the hummus and pita bread. Now she substitutes with falafel.

For more about Amber, check out her blog, almostveganchef.com.


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