The Common Market at Plaza Midwood is a Charlotte landmark that’s hard to describe.
It’s a convenience store.
It’s a deli.
It’s a bar.
It’s a neighborhood hangout.
It’s a place to sit and listen to local bands.
It’s dog friendly – pooches are allowed on the patio.
And, right from its beginnings almost 20 years ago, it’s been very veg-friendly.
There’s a substantial vegetarian/vegan section – for both breakfast and lunch – on the menu.
They boast “All items can be made vegetarian/vegan – just ask!”
And breads are labeled vegan or vegan with honey, taking the guesswork and awkward questioning out of the equation.
One of their earliest vegan offerings was the CM “Chickenless” Salad. Made old school style, with smoked tofu and vegan mayo and tons of onions and celery. We all fell in love – this was something new and novel 18 years ago! Years passed, chicken substitutes became a “thing” – the CM’s Chickenless Salad still kept a nostalgic place in our hearts. Today it has also found new fans, many of whom are looking for less processed “meat” substitutes (tofu or tempeh instead of highly processed “meat” amalgams).
Which is why a shock wave went out within the vegan community a month or so ago when customers started reporting the Common Market no longer served Chickenless Salad!
I immediately contacted Blake Barnes of the Common Market on Plaza Midwood.
“Common Market Plaza Midwood will ALWAYS have vegan chicken salad,” Blake began. “For clarity, CM PLAZA created that recipe and it is still on the menu in store and on line. We sell tons of it!”
He confirmed the other Common Markets (South End and Oakwold) were run by a different group, different partners, and that they had indeed dropped the chickenless salad. As well as making a few other changes to the iconic, vegan-friendly menu that got Common Market Plaza Midwood where it is now.
“They look at numbers more than I do, which is fine. We still ton through all the vegan stuff. Actually just started doing collard wraps again. You can’t get much more vegan/gluten free than that!”
Blake concluded by saying he has no intention of abandoning the vegan fan base that made the original Common Market a local legend. “We have been on the vegan side for over 18 years now. Lovin’ every minute of it.”
The Common Market/Plaza Midwood
2007 Commonwealth Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205
Parking: Small backlot + street parking
Dogs: Allowed on the patio only