Veggin’ out in Charlotte


Vegetarians in Charlotte get no love: seemingly every week, there is the
grand opening of yet another hamburger, steak or barbeque joint, while the
options for vegetarian remain consistently anemic.  The benefits
of a vegetarian diet
are well established and its menu includes more than just salads and veggie burgers, yet finding some delicious meatless eats is a chore.  What’s a veggie to do?  Well, stick with me kids, because we’ve canvassed the Queen City and discovered a bunch of tasty vegetarian and vegan eateries, bakeries and recipe blogs.

Sit down dining

Luna’s Living Kitchen is an organic raw food café nestled next to the Atherton Mill Market in SouthEnd serving raw lasagnas (aptly named lunasagnas), kale salads, spicy living burritos wrapped in collard greens and fresh juices. Entrées start at $12 and can be enjoyed on Luna’s outdoor patio, where you might spot a television actor from a locally filmed series.

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Fern offers a wildly inventive vegetarian menu that changes with the season. The entrées are a little more expensive than Luna’s, because the tastes are more thoughtful and sophisticated. Try the OM burger or the “chicken” and waffles at their weekend brunch. Wash it all down with a $1 bloody mary.

Bean Vegan Cuisine has a mostly fried menu featuring burgers promising to taste like Big Macs. Crabby patties and fried tofu fingers satisfy the little ones, or even the kids-at-heart. Try the jackfruit tacos and the Kitty Kat cake for dessert-you’ll be amazed how well crackers and peanut butter mousse go together. Now serving brunch all day Sunday!

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Woodlands Vegetarian Indian Cuisine is an eastside restaurant dishing out all the savory flavors of India sans meat. Start your meal with some samoas and end it with a cup of rice pudding.

Additionally, Pizza Fusion, Uncle Maddio’s, Brixx, and Mellow Mushroom all offer vegan pizzas.

Takeout

Berrybrook Farm is a petite health food market in the heart of Dilworth offering heart-healthy wraps, smoothies and other nutritious grab and go snacks.

Zizi’s Vegan Takeout is a “blink and you’ll miss it” University eatery with a menu featuring vegan fish&chips, tempeh steak, “turkey” and gravy and $3.50 smoothies.

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Outside of Charlotte

******************Closed as of February 2014**************************

Just across the border in Fort Mill, SC is Eat Well . Their menu is full of tamales, quiche, and chai waffles. Whatever you order, save room for dessert – the raw chocolate cheesecake is worth the trip.

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Speaking of dessert, these local bakeries are 100% vegan: Novel Sweets, Your Veganesse, Laullipop&Co., Chelly’s Cakes and Pastries

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VegCharlotte and Queen City Vegan are valuable resources for how to enjoy meat-free dining in the QC.

Check out these fun food blogs for meat-free recipes: Thug Kitchen and veganstoner

Need more tips on healthy eating? The Fresh Expo taking place on October 12th at the Sheraton Hotel features samples from health food vendors, cooking demonstrations, lectures on GMOs and other healthy living topics.

                                        ~Cory Lenz & Jamie Sunnycalb~

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