Charlotte, North Carolina, has been in rapid development since the mid-00s. The restaurants and bars in this city reflect the changing needs of its residents.
While this city’s cuisine traditionally focuses on seafood and barbecued pork, you can now find vegetarian restaurants that will provide you with an authentic North Carolina dining experience. Charlotteans have a fondness for comfort food and there is a growing appreciation in the city for East Asian dishes.
12 of the Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Charlotte, NC
It can take a while to discover all the best vegetarian restaurants Charlotte has to offer. This list will help you find the best fit for your taste.
Fern is an elegant all-vegetarian restaurant that promises “fresh flavors from the garden.” Their East Boulevard location has an old-fashioned, welcoming ambiance. In 2013, Fern was named one of Charlotte’s top 25 restaurants.
Each dish at Fern is beautifully served. There are elaborate and refreshing salads, and you can order additions that include vegan cheeses, seared tempeh, and pumpernickel. Don’t miss out on the delicious toasts or the beet burger and make sure to try the apple cobblers or carrot cake for dessert.
2. Ma Ma Wok
Although Ma Ma Wok only switched to serving all-plant dishes in 2017, it has quickly become one of the city’s best vegetarian restaurants. Charlotte is well-known for its seafood dishes, but it wasn’t always easy to find vegetarian seafood options. Ma Ma Wok rose to the occasion with their excellent vegan shrimp.
Additionally, this Chinese restaurant serves various dishes with vegan beef and chicken, as well as noodles and vegetable bowls. For dessert, you can give the Chinese donuts a try. This restaurant is located on Elm Lane.
If you’re a fan of traditional Southern comfort food, give dish a try. This eatery is located on Thomas Avenue. While they aren’t exclusively vegetarian, dish is a good choice when you’re looking for a filling plant-based meal.
The Cajun lentil loaf is a must-try. They offer a variety of vegetarian-friendly sides, including smoked limas, honey glazed carrots, and collard greens. The dessert selection includes three types of pie. Additionally, they serve Cheerwine, a cherry-flavored drink that is particularly well-loved in North Carolina.
4. Chop’t Creative Salad
Chop’t has locations all across the country. In Charlotte, you can find them on Rea Road, Park Road, and Providence Road. Their motto is simple: “Salad isn’t the start of the meal, it’s the whole meal.”
When you visit Chop’t, you can build your own salad out of fresh fruit and vegetables. They offer Tex-Mex ranch, lemon tahini, and a selection of other dressings. You can also opt for walnuts, berries, grains, and beans.
5. BEAN Vegan Cuisine
It’s easy to find BEAN on East Independence Boulevard and you can also order from them online. This cozy eatery serves healthful vegetarian snacks such as fried pickles, fried tofu fingers, and textured vegetable protein chili. Don’t miss out on their jackfruit tacos, seitan burgers, and the tofurkey bratwurst sandwich. Their signature dish is a plate of rice and red beans served with a fried veggie of your choice.
6. Rico’s Acai
If you’re in the mood for a sweet and filling brunch, try Rico’s Acai. They have trucks at four different locations, including one on South Park Mall.
Acai bowls are a great option if you need to boost your focus or do some detoxing. Rico’s offers pureed acai with granola and coconut flakes, plus a selection of delicious superfruits. You can also choose toppings that include chia seeds, agave, peanut butter, and even Nutella.
7. Yafo Kitchen
Yafo Kitchen features delicious and organic Mediterranean fast food for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. They have a location on East Boulevard, another one on Gov Morrison Street, and their third location is on Central Avenue. Yafo Kitchen also offers take-out.
Their menu is multicultural, and it includes falafels, roasted eggplant, and various Middle Eastern dressings. If dairy is on the table for you, don’t miss out on the cilantro yogurt and the tzatziki. Yafo Kitchen also lets you build your own wrap or bowl, so you can experiment with combining all the different tastes of the Mediterranean.
8. Owen’s Bagels and Deli
If you’re in the mood for NYC-inspired bagels, consider Owen’s Bagel. Their vegetarian selection features seasonal vegetables, house-made hummus, and wheat buns. You can also combine toppings, cheeses, and sides to your taste. Owen’s has a cozy location on South Boulevard.
9. Viva Raw
This juice bar has a location on East 7th Street and they operate an electric powered truck that sells Viva Raw products in different spots throughout Charlotte. You can also order their juices online.
Viva Raw uses fresh ingredients and combines them to make raw, unpasteurized juices. These can help treat a variety of health conditions, and they’re a good option when you’re doing a cleanse. There’s also a small selection of raw foods you can order, including chocolate snacks and granola.
10. Living Kitchen
Living Kitchen has locations on South Boulevard and on Charlotte Road. This is one of the best vegetarian restaurants Charlotte has to offer if you don’t know exactly what you’re in the mood for. Their menu is extensive and multicultural.
Start your meal with their sweet potato sushi rolls and then try their mushroom barbecue or the quinoa-lentil curry bowl. Living Kitchen also offers delicious vegetarian and vegan pizzas, as well as quesadillas, tacos, and hummus platters. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the macrobiotic bowl, which contains adzuki beans, roasted sweet potatoes, and sauerkraut.
This restaurant also features excellent breakfast options, including acai bowls and raw bagels. But it’s their hand-crafted herbal blends and elixirs that really make Living Kitchen stand out. These will give you a mood boost when you really need it. You can also try their probiotic almond milk drinks or their special smoothies.
11. Lang Van Vietnamese Restaurant
Although Lang Van isn’t wholly meat-free, they have an extensive selection of vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine. You can try a variety of noodle dishes and rolls, as well as the vegan tofu hot pot, which is particularly popular. This simple but friendly restaurant is located on Shamrock Drive.
12. Sunflour Baking Company
Here is a vegan bakery with three locations across Charlotte and one in the nearby Harrisburg. You can grab a quick bite in a Sunflour café or order their delicious pastries online. The menu includes seasonal muffins, cupcakes with vegan frosting options, and various sandwiches. Don’t forget to sample the cookies and croissants as well.
A Final Word
This was only a partial preview of some of the city’s best vegetarian restaurants. Charlotte is an exciting place to visit, with a surprising variety of vegetarian-friendly eateries. If you’re a Charlotte native, you should keep an eye out for new vegetarian places worth exploring.