Living Vegan In Charlotte, NC

VegCharlotte Awards – Best Vegan Chick’n Wings

It’s March Madness!

To help everyone celebrate March Madness, we at VegCharlotte came up with the BEST vegan chick’n wings in the Charlotte, NC area.

Categories: Best Traditional, Best Non-Traditional, Best Old School, and Best DIY.

Qualifications: Lots of YEAHs, no BLEAHs, and no more than one MEH from our judges.

Best Traditional – Ma Ma Wok

If you’re looking for vegan wings that are almost indistinguishable from the body parts of a dead bird, look no further than Ma Ma Wok.

Ma Ma Wok’s Buffalo Wings (4 large wings for $12.99) are perfect for those seeking a realistic alternative to “cruelty wings.”

These wings are simmered in a spicy-but-not-too-spicy Buffalo sauce. It has some kick, but won’t kick your *ss.

Served STEAMING hot.

Chewy, slightly stringy “flesh” with a bamboo “bone.”

Our token omni judge actually believed this to be “real” meat at first!

Ma Ma Wok also offers fried-chicken-style Drumsticks (4 for $11.99) with a sweet chili sauce for dipping on the side. They’re good, but we all preferred the Buffalo Wings.

Best Non-Traditional – Dee’s Vegan To Go

So what if you want something that is sorta like wings, but nothing you would actually mistake for meat?

Move over cauliflower! Oyster mushrooms are here!

Our favorite chicken-y mushrooms? Dee’s Vegan To Go Oyster Mushroom Bites.

Let us count the reasons why:

1) The mushrooms are always crispy crunchy, not soggy.

2) They are fried, but not “greasy.”

3) The mushrooms are bite sized, making them easy to eat.

4) It’s a generous portion for a reasonable price – $8.89.

5) The sauce is AMAZING – a mix of hot buffalo sauce and avocado ranch. Our advice? Order extra sauce. There’s an extra charge – $.75 – but trust us – you’ll be glad you did.

Best Old School – Bean Vegan Cuisine

What, some may be asking, is Old School Vegan?

Once upon a time, there was no Gardein, no Beyond, no Impossible. No vegan cheese (except maybe in California). No vegan yogurt. No vegan ice cream (except fruit pops and sorbet).

So we made our own yogurt using soymilk. We made “nice cream” with frozen bananas. We used nutritional yeast – “nooch” – to give food a cheesy taste. And we used tofu and tempeh instead of “mock meat.”

Bean is keeping up the tradition with Fried Tofu Fingers ($10-ish for 8). Extra-firm tofu cut into thick slices, battered and fried, and tossed in sauce. You can choose Southern Style (no sauce), Buffalo, BBQ, Teriyaki, or Korean BBQ sauce. Can’t decide? You can mix and match. Then you have your dipping sauce – a choice of Ranch or Blue Cheesish. .

“This is a really nice change from Gardein and Beyond,” one of our judges said.

“Also, it seems healthier – much much less processed,” said another.

Best DIY (Do It Yourself)

Maybe you are making March Madness snacks for a large group – say, a work potluck – and the restaurant options seem a bit pricey.

Fortunately for us, the frozen section of almost every supermarket is loaded with faux chicken options!

The VegCharlotte judges were ready to debate over the Big Three – Gardein’s Ultimate Chick’n Wings, Impossible’s Chick’n Tenders, and Beyond Chick’n Tenders.

They were surprised when I trotted out Morningstar Farms Veggitizers – Buffalo Wings. Served with Follow Your Heart Bleu Cheese dressing as a dip.

But they tried and they liked. What’s not to like? The breading is zesty and there’s not too much of it. The meat is chicken-y but not too terribly realistic. Best of all, if you’re feeding a crowd you can purchase bags of approximately 15 bite sized nuggets for around $4-5, compared to roughly $9-10 for a bag from one of the Big Three. A bottle of Follow Your Heart Bleu Cheese dressing sells for around $5-6. If you really want to splurge, you can mix some of Follow Your Heart Bleu Cheese crumbles into the dressing.

Runner up was Gardein Nashville Hot Chicken Wings. They were barely edged out by Morningstar Farms because the Gardein had fewer pieces, larger pieces, and were a couple of bucks more expensive. Great for a family dinner but not so great if you are trying to stretch your budget.

Note: Not everything from Morningstar Farms is vegan, but most (if not all) of their “chicken” products are.

Dressing/Dip Note: We are in love with Follow Your Heart dressings. Although Bleu Cheese was featured here, they also make a fantastic Ranch.

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4 Responses »

  1. I really like Dee’s. I think it’s actually become my favorite vegan place.


  1. VegCharlotte Awards – Best Vegan Chick’n Wings — VegCharlotte | My Meals are on Wheels

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