Vegetarian Journal's Guide to Natural Foods Restaurants in the U.S. and Canada
§ Reviewer's choice
(For restaurant listings in the surrounding areas, see Black Mountain and Hendersonville.)
48 Commerce St., Asheville, NC 28801
Vegetarian/natural foods/organic. Firestorm Café & Books is a worker-owned and self-managed community event space located in downtown Asheville. The café is 99.9% vegan; the only exception is dairy milk as an option for coffee. Try the Tempeh Gyro, TLT (Tempeh, Lettuce & Tomato), Maple BBQ Panini (maple-baked tofu), or the Soup of the Day. Desserts such as their "World-Conquering Cupcakes" are baked on-site. Firestorm strives to maximize their use of local, organic, and fair trade ingredients. Stop by for a bite to eat, a cup of Joe, and browse their unique book selection.
40 Wall St., Asheville, NC 28801
Vegetarian/international. Enjoy a wide variety of international vegetarian dishes, including a Carribean Quesadilla, Mid-Eastern Pita Sandwich, Greek Salad, Kung Pao Tofu, tempeh fajitas, and more. Indoor and outdoor seating available.
165 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
Vegan/natural foods/organic. Plant offers innovative vegan cuisine that is organic, local, and seasonal. Enjoy such dishes as Peppercorn Crusted Seitan, Smoked Portobello Steak, or Grilled Chili Glazed Tofu. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends. Plant is closed on weekends between brunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours.
116 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
Vegetarian/soul food. Rosetta's Kitchen has a wholesome atmosphere that is the perfect setting for its homestyle cooking. More than just a restaurant, Rosetta's has become a local gathering spot, with friendly staff, local art, downtown bicycle deliveries, and dedicated, environmentally conscious policies.
705 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, NC 28804
Vegetarian/fast food. VegHeads Drive-Thru specializes in fresh, great-tasting fast food with no preservatives. Don't miss the delicious vegan Mountain Burger (a lentil veggie patty) or the Avocado Hummus Wrap. VegHeads has a small patio for customers who want to eat on-site. The drive-thru is next to the Brew 'N View, near the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
740 E. Chatham St., Cary, NC 27511
Vegetarian/Indian. For delicious and inexpensive vegetarian Indian food, you can't beat Cool Breeze. They serve various types of paratha (wheat dough filled with spices & potato, carrot, or cauliflower) and plenty of chaat (flat crisps served with potato, onions, chutney, etc). They offer delicious toasted sandwiches made with potato & chutney, as well as brightly-colored falooda (drinks made with syrup and ice cream). Save room for dessert!
Ashworth Village, 115-G W. Chatham St., Cary, NC 27511
Café/bakery. Once in a Blue Moon features many vegetarian and vegan lunch options. Some to try include a spicy black bean burger, a grilled portabella mushroom sandwich, and even a vegetarian hot dog! Also a bakery, Blue Moon offers delicious cakes and pastries. They can make a vegan wedding cake, too.
590 E. Chatham St., Cary, NC 27511
Vegetarian/Indian. Udupi Café serves appetizers, soups, Dosai, curries, breads, and much more on its large lunch buffet and for dinner. Unique dishes include Shredded Coconut Uthappam and Chana Batura. Within walking distance of the Madstone Theatre, Udupi Café serves genuine Indian food at very reasonable prices. While you are dining, enjoy the abstract art on display. They are closed between lunch and dinner so please call ahead for hours.
1129 Weaver Dairy Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Southwestern. Margaret's veggie options include Very Vegetarian Nachos, hummus, vegetarian black bean chili, and a tempeh pita sandwich.
1129 Weaver Dairy Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Vegetarian/Middle Eastern. Sage Vegetarian Café offers a varied menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps, entrées, and side dishes. Entrées include delicious black beans and rice, Persian Eggplant Paradise (made with split peas, saffron basmati rice, and fragrant spices), vegetable kabobs, and Persian pomegranate stew. Daily specials also available. Though there are many vegan options, eggs and cheese are used frequently. However, the friendly staff will happily answer questions about the ingredients. Outdoor seating is available.
3001 E. Independence Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28205
Vegan/American. Bean Vegan Cuisine is an excellent place to go for vegan comfort food. Don't miss delicious sandwiches like their BBQ Jackfruit, Reuben, and Crabbie Patty. Ask about their daily specials and dessert selection. For classic American favorites made vegan, Bean can't be beat!
1257 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203
Natural foods. Homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches are made fresh daily at this natural food grocery and deli. The menu at Berrybrook changes daily and is primarily vegetarian.
1323 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205
Vegetarian/café. Fern features flavors from the garden in their all-vegetarian menu. Try the Arugula Harvest Salad, Laughing Buddha Bowl, or Sweet Potato Gnocchi. The numerous vegan items are noted on the menu. Their Chakra Juice Menu includes such tempting selections as Violet Bliss and Indigo Intuition. Reservations are accepted for dinner.
2707 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28209
1816 Galleria Blvd., Ste. G, Charlotte, NC 28209
5410 E. Independence Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28212
Natural foods store/deli. Healthy Home Market is a natural foods store with vegetarian and vegan options. They offer great smoothies like Almond Joy and Beauty Express. They also sell organic produce and bulk items. The Market features a deli at the South Boulevard store in Charlotte and the location in Davidson.
2102 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203
Vegetarian/raw foods/organic. Luna's Living Kitchen offers fresh, organic, local foods that are mostly vegan (only exceptions are honey offered as a sweetener and bee pollen in one smoothie). Enjoy homemade nut milks (almond, coconut, and hemp), locally-roasted fair trade coffee, and multicultural, world music. Luna's is located next to the Atherton Mill Farmer's Market and Evolution Fitness.
1055 Metropolitan Ave., Ste. 130, Charlotte, NC 28204
Pizza/organic. Pizza Fusion is an organic, eco-friendly pizza chain offering vegan and gluten-free options. Try the Very Vegan Pizza which has crimini mushrooms, roasted garlic, organic tomato sauce, and soy cheese (casein-free). Or build your own pizza with topping choices like roasted eggplant, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, sauteed spinach, and vegan soy cheese. The motto at Pizza Fusion is, "Saving the Earth, One Pizza at a Time" and that's not just a slogan. Examples of how they promote sustainability include: using company-owned hybrid vehicles for food deliveries; giving customers discounts for bringing back their pizza boxes for recycling; using spudware utensils, made from potatoes, which biodegrade in 50 days; and offsetting their energy use by purchasing wind energy certificates.
324 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203
Thai. You can choose to have many dishes on Thai Taste's menu, such as curries, stir-fries, and noodle dishes, made vegetarian, with or without eggs. Try the Pud Met Ma Muang (cashew nut) or the Khing Sod (fresh ginger) stir-fry, the Thai Salad with vegetables and fried tofu, or one of several vegetarian appetizers.
7128 Albemarle Rd., Ste. A, Charlotte, NC 28227
Vegetarian/Indian. To find out why one VRG member called Woodlands "the best Indian restaurant in Charlotte," make sure to include a stop at this South Indian all-vegetarian restaurant. They offer an extensive menu that includes appetizers, dosas, uthappam (Indian-style pancakes), pullavs (rice specialties), curries, and breads. On weekends, stop in for their popular lunch buffet. Woodlands is closed on weekdays between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours.
7945 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28262
Vegan/American. Zizi's Vegetarian Restaurant offers all-vegan comfort foods created from soybeans, grains, nuts, and fresh vegetables. Try the Philly Cheese Steak Sub, BBQ Tofu, Fish & Chips, or Tempeh BLT Wrap. Zizi's is located in the Gold Hill Pavilion and is for take-out only.
261 Griffith St., Davidson, NC 28036
Natural foods store/deli. See description under Charlotte, NC.
716 9th St., Durham, NC 27705
Latin American. Blue Corn Café features Latin American fare. They offer several vegetarian selections; many can be made vegan upon request. Make sure to try the Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew, their famous vegan stew. Blue Corn has live music and a full bar. Enjoy the warm, colorful décor featuring art from local artists. The restaurant is near Duke University. Outdoor seating is available.
716 9th St., Durham, NC 27705
Vegan/raw foods/organic/juice bar. This juice bar whips up a multitude of juices with customizable options. They also offer raw foods including Lotus Kelp Noodles, Marinated Mushroom in Lettuce Wraps, Chia Coconut Macaroons, and Rawberry Cheesecake. Outdoor seating is available.
5504 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd., Ste. 102, Durham, NC 27707
Vegetarian/Persian. Pomegranate Kitchen has outdoor seating so you can enjoy your meal in the fresh air when the weather is good. They use natural, local, and seasonal ingredients so call ahead to see what's on their menu for that day. Choose from dishes like fresh herb patties, pomegranate and walnut stew, or Persian noodle soup. Meal portions are large and include freshly baked bread and a piece of chocolate. Cash only.
4201 University Dr., Durham, NC 27707
Middle Eastern. The vegetarian and vegan options at Saladelia include the Vegetarian Gyro, Hummus Pocket, Mediterranean Eggplant Melt, stuffed grape leaves, and falafel.
Chapel Hill St., Durham, NC 27705
Vegan/food truck/organic/raw foods. Triangle Raw Foods is a vegan food truck and delivery service for the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Other areas include Greensboro and Carrboro. Try Green Falafel Tacos (with cashew sour cream) or Spicy Kelp Noodles. For the delivery service, each week a selection of dishes is posted to their website, which locals may order to have delivered to their homes on the following Monday. Check the website to find out when and where the food truck will be.
(For restaurant listings in the surrounding areas, see Winston-Salem.)
332 Tate St, Greensboro, NC 27403
Vegetarian/Asian. An all-vegetarian restaurant and teahouse, Boba House offers a wide variety of fake meat dishes including Hawaiian Chicken, Sauteéd Cuttlefish, Calamari Salad, Chef's Tuna, and Black Pepper Steak. They also offer soups, salads, a children's menu, and vegan desserts. All menu options are clearly marked as "can be made vegan".
715 Old Spartanburg Hwy., Hendersonville, NC 28792
Natural foods café. Located in the Hendersonville Co-op, this café serves sandwiches like the Café Veggie Burger, Tempeh Reuben, Veggie Roll-Up, and Herb Baked Tofu Sandwich. It also offers entrées, such as the Hummus Plate, Happy Buddha Plate, and seasonal platters. The Blue Mountain Café Organic Juice Bar offers a number of organic fruit and vegetable juices, allowing you to create your own blend, as well as tasty smoothies and tonics. Plus, their Grab n' Go case is stocked daily with sandwiches, salads, desserts, soups, and more.
1514 Concord Ave., Unit C, Monroe, NC 28110
Vegan/ice cream parlor. Butta Beans is a vegan ice cream shop with sandwiches, organic salads, and desserts. Enjoy a real fruit smoothie like Mango Melody or Purple Rain. Or try their "Wake Me Up" beverage made of orange, apple, carrot, and lemon juices plus ginger. Hours vary by season so please call ahead for hours.
6105 Grace Park Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560
Vegetarian/Indian. Café Curryleaves has an expansive menu consisting mostly of dosas, other South Indian food, and chaat. They also offer fusion food such as Indian wraps and subs. Enjoy an Indian veggie burger or their popular Chilli Paneer sub. Curryleaves is closed between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours.
10235 Chapel Hill Rd., Morrisville, NC 27560
Middle Eastern. Neomonde serves Middle Eastern and American cuisine, including stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, spinach pie, chickpea salad, hummus, and baba ghanouj.
144 Morrisville Square Way, Morrisville, NC 27560
Vegetarian/Indian. The menu at Tower Indian Restaurant includes samosas, pakoras, puri, vadai, dosais, utthappams, masala dosas, curries, rice dishes, and more! Lunch is a buffet, while dinner is served á la carte. Tower is located near the Morrisville Fire Station and is on the same road that serves the airport (you can literally be parked in front of check-in in about 5 minutes from leaving the restaurant).
(For restaurant listings in the surrounding areas, see Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Morrisville.)
6325 Falls of Neuse Rd., Raleigh, NC 27615
Middle Eastern/Lebanese. Aladdin's Eatery is a popular regional restaurant franchise offering Middle Eastern cuisine. Their website boasts that over 70 menu items are vegetarian or vegan. These include Lentil Soup, Vegetarian Chili, Hummus, Tabbouleh, Dawali (stuffed grape leaves), Baba Ghanouj, Falafel, and Vegetarian Rolled Pitas. Enjoy Lebanese cuisine, a relaxing atmosphere, and friendly service at Aladdin's Eatery.
901 W. Morgan St., Raleigh, NC 27603
Natural foods/American. The Irregardless Café presents a new menu each day to offer what is freshest and in season. They feature an extensive selection of vegan dishes which are noted on the menu. Some include Tofu Stir Fry, Cauliflower Tower of Power, Vegetable Curry, Portabella Polenta, and Acorn Squash Cassolette. Live music is featured nightly. Irregardless is closed between lunch/brunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours. Reservations are accepted.
3817 Beryl Rd., Raleigh, NC 27607
Middle Eastern. See description under Morrisville, NC.
428 S. Dawson St., Raleigh, NC 27601
Vegetarian/natural foods/eclectic. The Fiction Kitchen is a vegetarian restaurant that is mostly vegan. Their location near the farmers markets allows them to have daily specials with fresh produce and local foods. Vegan menu selections include Sweet Potato Sushi Rolls with Sashimi Tofu, BBQ Pulled 'Pork,' and Crispy Fried 'Chicken' and Waffles.
137 E. Hargett St., Raleigh, NC 27601
American. The Remedy Diner serves up rustic American fare that is good for what ails you! Vegetarian and vegan dishes and substitutes are clearly stated on the menu. Entrées are divided into "Mainstream Therapies" for omnivores and "Alternative Therapies" for vegetarians and vegans. Some Alternative dishes include Tempeh Tantrum (a marinated tempeh sandwich with avocado, vegan bacon, and lettuce on sourdough), and Country-Fried Seitan Steaks. Attention sweet tooths: vegan desserts can be made to order, and whole pies can be ordered with 48 hours notice!
900 S. Post Rd., Shelby, NC 28152
Vegetarian/living foods. Hallelujah Acres Café offers gourmet raw foods in their mostly vegan eatery. The atmosphere is pleasant and the prices are great so make sure to stop in for lunch. The café is just one component of Hallelujah Acres; they also provide education, products, services, and other resources on the vegetarian raw foods lifestyle.
709 S. 3rd St., Smithfield, NC 27577
Vegetarian/international. Eden's Vegetarian is a family-run restaurant, located in the Dupree House, that serves a variety of international dishes in vegetarian form. The menu changes often, as they use local and seasonal foods as much as possible. Vegan items are noted on the menu as well as items that can be made vegan upon request. Reservations are required for 3 to 5 course meals or for 4 or more people. Tea parties are available by appointment. The restaurant is closed on weekdays between lunch and dinner, so please call ahead for hours.
612 W. Main St., Sylva, NC 28779
American. Lulu's on Main offers an informal atmosphere of fresh, local foods. They feature a variety of ethnic foods including dishes for vegetarians and vegans.
1319 Military Cutoff Rd., Ste. H, Wilmington, NC 28405
Natural foods store/café. Lovey's Natural Foods & Café is very veg-friendly. Lunch items include Boca Burgers, Sunshine Burgers, Tofu Melts, and Bean Burritos. They have a salad bar with food sold by the pound and a few choices of soup each day. You can also buy vegetarian and vegan items in the store as well. Lovey's is located in the Landfall Shopping Center.
129 S. Stratford Rd., Winston-Salem, NC 27104
Indian. Nawab features a large selection of vegetarian and vegan appetizers and entrées. Sample vegetable patia (vegetables cooked with sweet and sour mangos and a touch of ginger), palak paneer (spinach with or without Indian cheese), mushroom broccoli krahi (sautéed with vegetables, garlic, and herbs), Bombay potatoes, eggplant bharta (baked, then mashed and sautéed with garlic, onions, and tomatoes), and much more. Children's portions are often available for half the price of a regular entrée.