The Hungry Monkey

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Don’t you love cute downtown cafes? I do, especially those that offer fresh, delicious meals AND have vegan options.

In Downtown Joplin MO, a new restaurant is getting rave reviews and repeat diners who are enjoying the fun laid back atmosphere and the scrumptious food.

I got to try The Hungry Monkey over the weekend for the first time and I was not disappointed!

The Hungry Monkey title

The Hungry Monkey

This island inspired eatery, located at 905 S Main Street, offers freshly prepared tacos, sandwich melts, wraps and poke bowls along with Hawaiian shaved ice, cocktails and mocktails.

Owner Daniel Campbell worked in the food industry in Maui for more than a decade and also worked with Ritz Carlton before specializing in small restaurants and food trucks. He recently moved to Joplin with the desire to create a fun place to eat.

There are tables for dining in the cute, island themed interior and a counter with barstools. The restaurant is clean and filled with light from the large front windows. Help yourself to ice water near the order counter or choose from an assortment of drink options.

Poke bowls, a staple of the restaurant, are a popular rice and fish dish in Hawaii. Seasoned with onions and soy sauce, poke bowls feature an assortment of veggies along with a protein of choice and often seaweed.

At The Hungry Monkey you can order a particular poke bowl or create your own.

The Hungry Monkey interior
Order counter at The Hungry Monkey

What I Ordered at The Hungry Monkey

I love a good poke bowl because I can eliminate the fish or other meat proteins and substitute tofu or omit protein completely.

For my first Hungry Monkey meal I ordered a poke bowl with rice, veggies, avocado, seaweed, onion, jalapenos and grilled tofu. It was SO fresh and delicious. And even though I ordered a small bowl, I took home leftovers to enjoy the next day.

I added an unsweet tea to my meal as well.

The Hungry Monkey poke bowl and unsweet tea
Poke bowl with grilled tofu, rice and veggies and an unsweet tea.

I’ll Be Back!

I enjoyed this fun restaurant. There are so many options for meals and choices for what you want in those meals. I’m looking forward to going back and trying the veggie wrap and the Hawaiian shaved ice.

If you are in the Joplin Missouri area, stop by The Hungry Monkey. They are open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00 – 6:00, Friday and Saturday 11:00 – 8:00 and closed on Sunday and Tuesday.

You can dine in, order for curbside pickup or receive no contact deliveries.

Have you had a poke bowl? What was in your bowl?

The Hungry Monkey poke bowl
The Hungry Monkey – poke bowl


Check out more fun things to do in Joplin MO HERE!

Interested in making your own poke bowls? Order this book.

Or make this easy Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl!

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Vegan Eats at Café Cusco

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

On a recent solo getaway weekend, I enjoyed lunch at a new to me restaurant.

I stayed on historic C Street in Springfield, Missouri. This six block area is home to cute boutique shops, art galleries, an incredibly unique hotel and restaurants featuring foods from around the world. It was a weekend full of new experiences that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Because of my plant based lifestyle, I carefully consider where to eat while traveling. Thankfully, this Peruvian inspired restaurant offers a wide selection of vegan options.

Check out the vegan eats at Café Cusco, in Springfield, Missouri.

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco title meme 2

A Dream Becomes Reality

Joseph Gidman, owner of Café Cusco, had a dream. On the restaurant website, he shares that he fell in love with Peru after hiking trails to Machu Picchu with his best friend.

Sitting in a café in Cusco, the friend asked Joe, “What will you do in 10 years?”

Joe immediately answered “I am going to open a restaurant and call it Café Cusco.”

He made that dream a reality, opening his restaurant with his mother in an 1883 building at 234 East Commercial Street in Springfield. Two brothers, a doctor and a pharmacist, built the building for use when C Street was the headquarters for the Frisco Railroad. The building was abandoned for years and in need of restoration when Joe bought it.

Artist Erik Kinkade oversaw the renovation and Café Cusco opened July 2013.

The Peruvian inspired restaurant offers healthy dining options including meals for vegetarians, vegans and those with gluten sensitivities.

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco outdoor seating
Vegan Eats at Café Cusco – outdoor seating area

Vegan Eats at Café Cusco

Reservations must be made at least two hours in advance, to dine in this attractive café. It’s a popular, busy restaurant with limited seating. Reservations may be made online by clicking HERE or calling 417-868-8088.

I made my reservation online the day before my visit. It was so easy to do. On the online form, I stated that I was vegan.

When I arrived for lunch, my table was ready and a vegan menu awaited my perusal. Café Curoso offers a variety of vegan starters, soups & salads, sandwiches, entrées and desserts.

EVERYTHING looked good to me! Dining at this restaurant was part of an Adventure Challenge for me, along with one of my birthday activities. My Adventure Challenge (purchase the solo edition HERE) instructed me to eat at a new to me restaurant, ask the server for recommendations and then go with that meal.

My attentive server recommended the Vegan Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry…which is the exact menu item I wanted. And for a starter, she recommended the Fried Guacamole, served with mango sauce and pico de gallo and white corn chips.

Both were delicious and very filling! The server suggested I add a few drops of their house hot sauce to the stir fry. It provided the perfect amount of spiciness.

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco fried guacamole
Vegan Eats at Café Cusco – fried guacamole with mango sauce
Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco sweet potato noodle stir fry
Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry

Table for One

I so enjoyed my solo lunch at Café Cusco. Years ago, I shied away from eating alone in public places. I didn’t want to appear lonely or unlikable or pitiful for eating by myself.

You know what? I’m way past caring what anyone else thinks about what I do!

The truth is, I enjoy solitude and going on adventures on my own. I savored this lunch for one. The restaurant is beautiful, with dark wooden booths lining one wall and a few tables and chairs filling in other areas. The ambience is cozy and inviting.

I fully occupied my small booth, perfectly sized for one or two people. And by that I mean, I fully occupied my space, my sense of who I am and what I love to do. If anyone spared me a glance at all, they surely recognized a woman who loves life and enjoys herself, no matter what she is doing.

I’ll return to Café Cusco soon, to try another of their tantalizing vegan dishes. I highly recommend the café to anyone in or passing through the Springfield, Missouri area.

Have you ever tried Peruvian food? And do you hesitate to eat alone in restaurants…or do you go for it?

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco Springfield MO
Café Cusco, 234 East Commercial Street, Springfield MO


Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.