Living Vegan In Charlotte, NC


This is inspired by my fellow blogger TrueIndigo’s Pennsyltucky Veggie Awards (check out her blog Bacon Is Not An Herb).

Charlotte has come a long way in the past few years.  Occasionally food critics will write “best of vegetarian/vegan” reviews … trouble is, most of the critics are NOT vegan!  How can I take a critic’s review of a vegan dish seriously if she is also a devotee of foie gras, veal, or lamb chops? !!

Even the “best of” lists that solicit reader’s opinions … like Charlotte Loafing … how many of the readers that vote on, say, Best Vegetarian Restaurant are actually vegetarian or vegan?!!

So!  I think we vegans and vegetarians need to compile our own lists and give our own awards!

SPECIAL NOTE:  I know most of us are VERY partial to Bean, Zizi’s, Luna’s, Fern.  So, instead of just listing … say, “Bean,” as best in everything, please give a little thought and see if you can think of an omnivore restaurant that also does a veg dish very well.  We want to honor our veggie restaurants and give them the credit they deserve, but we also want to give a shout-out to those omnivore restaurants that care enough to create some special dishes for us, too.

These awards will also help new vegans in our area learn about their options and be a guide to the best vegan food in Charlotte, so PLEASE PLEASE VOTE!


  • Best Appetizer
  • Best Salad
  • Best Soup
  • Best Chili
  • Best Pizza
  • Best Sandwich
  • Best Veggie Burger
  • Best Portobello Burger
  • Best Veggie Dog
  • Best Veggie Special (could be anything; from veggie meatloaf to spaghetti squash pasta)
  • Best Tofu Preparation
  • Best Vegan Dessert
  • Best Vegan Restaurant
  • Best Thai Restaurant
  • Best Indian Restaurant
  • Best Italian Restaurant
  • Best Mexican Restaurant
  • Best Omnivore Restaurant for Vegetarians
  • Best Store to Shop for Vegan Foods (Please consider your small local independent stores as well as your major chain stores when answering)

You may cut, paste, and post your responses here, or send them to me at  If you follow me on Facebook, you can send your responses to me via Facebook.


Everyone who votes will be entered into a drawing for a vegan bar of dark chocolate and a vegan cookbook.

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14 Responses »

  1. Jade’s in Ballantyne is a sushi/Asian cuisine restaurant that offers vegan alternatives to every dish by substituting tofu (instead of chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp). All of their dishes are extremely tasty and allow me to eat along side non-vegan co-workers at lunch. Their lunch menu is extremely reasonable in price as well. Also they make a wonderful tofu skin sushi roll.

  2. This is great! I’m glad you’re starting this ‘Best of’ awards list! I’m sure it’s too late at this point, but wanted to suggest an additional category…Best Tofu Preparation. A lot of places have Tofu, but the preparation of the Tofu differs widely and I rarely like how they prepare it or the texture. (ie: some chop it too small or too big, some fry it too much or too little, some just think vegetarian cooking means raw tofu on top of a salad with no other marinade or preparation.) I thought it would be good to see what others consider best Tofu Preparation (not sure if that’s a good name/description)

  3. I’ll vote for a few of the categories. Pinky’s has the best veggie dog and veggie chili.
    Best Italian restaurant is Brio. Best Thai restaurant is Deejai Thai. Berry Brook Farms also has some very good vegetarian food in their take-away section including a very good veggie hot dog and veggie burger as well as excellent soups that vary daily, and some fabulous sandwiches! I like to shop there as well. Thanks for developing the Veggie Awards!

  4. Best Appetizer – The tri-hummus plate at Dilworth Neighborhood Grille is surprisingly good.
    Best Salad – Zada Jane’s! Their basic salad and the spinach salad are both fantastic. Any salad with their pepper-herb vinaigrette, really.
    Best Pizza – Mellow Mushroom… even without cheese!
    Best Sandwich – Common Market!
    Best Veggie Burger – The Diamond. That Black Bean Burger is a classic.
    Best Veggie Dog – Pinky’s, with their veggie chili on top! (if only the slaw were vegan)
    Best Veggie Special (could be anything; from veggie meatloaf to spaghetti squash pasta)
    Best Tofu Preparation – Lang Van and Ben Thanh have THE best tofu in town!
    Best Thai Restaurant – Thai Thai (takeout only.. does that count?)
    Best Indian Restaurant – Situl! The spicy onion chutney just kills me!
    Best Omnivore Restaurant for Vegetarians – Pinky’s, the Diamond, Zada Jane’s
    Best Store to Shop for Vegan Foods (Please consider your small local independent stores as well as your major chain stores when answering) – Healthy Home Market, always.

  5. Best Vegan Delivery: Nourish!! 🙂 (I’m a little biased, but since we’re not a bricks’n’mortar place, thought I’d just toss us out there as a vegan business supporting the Queen City!

  6. Best Juice Bar: Natural Blendz. At Natural Blendz we have some amazing raw juices, fruit and vegetable base smoothies, salads, wraps and soups. I know I might come off as a little biased but really we have a very extensive raw juice and smoothie menus.

  7. Oh man, I love stuff like this! OK!

    Best Appetizer – Pinky’s Waffle Fries w Chili n Mustard, Zizi’s Buffalo Wings, Cuisine Malaya’s Roti Canai, totes tied
    Best Salad – Buffalo Finger Salad from Bean w Ranch, word WORD
    Best Soup – Fern’s Ramen bowl ties w Ben Thanh’s Dau Hu hotpot ties with Cuisine Malaya’s Curry Laksa. MMMM.
    Best Chili – I love me some Lupie’s!
    Best Pizza – MAN, we need some better vegan pizza in this town. Fuel tries, kinda.
    Best Sandwich – Common market ANYTHING, Bean’s Reuban, Zizi’s Buffalo Chik Cheezesteak
    Best Veggie Burger – Bean’s Jalapeno “Cheddar” Burger. So bad, so good.
    Best Portobello Burger – Dandelion Market’s (hold the chevre, buddies!)
    Best Veggie Dog – Diamond! With chili, mustard and vinegar slaw!
    Best Veggie Special – Common Mkt’s Vegan Brunch! Always rad!
    Best Tofu Preparation – Bean, they do it every which way. Gotta give props. Also, Ban Xeo from Ben Thanh rules.
    Best Vegan Dessert – Apple Cobbler from Bean
    Best Vegan Restaurant – I mean, that’s why I love our town lately. We’ve got all three categories covered! Take out: Zizi’s, Casual: Bean, Fancypants: Fern. Awesome.
    Best Thai Restaurant – Viet Thai Noodle House, Monsoon tie (hehe)
    Best Indian Restaurant – Woodlands, yeow! Even their weekend buffet is vegan friendly.
    Best Italian Restaurant – N/A as far as I’m concerned
    Best Mexican Restaurant – Three Amigos
    Best Omnivore Restaurant for Vegetarians – Carpe Diem for date nights, Three Amigs for fun timez
    Best Store to Shop for Vegan Foods (Please consider your small local independent stores as well as your major chain stores when answering) Ecolicious!

    Whoo! That was fun!!

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