If you're looking for a meatless meal in the land best known for barbecue, you're in luck. That's right, the restaurant revolution has brought plenty of veggie options to the Triangle so you can chow down on something more than a sad salad. Think all-vegan soul food (even the mac!), flavor-packed international eats and "chicken" and waffles. Even the carnivores are gonna want in on this.
Raleigh Raw not only offers a trendy setting for healthy eating in Downtown Raleigh, but the co-owners strive to bring awareness to living well. It's all about the #healthyvibes. They offer a variety of fresh juices, smoothies and coffees. Be sure to peek at the grab-n-go options in the fridge like coconut yogurt parfaits, smoothie bowls, and coconut ceviche. They make their own almond mylk and granola in house. If you're looking for something more filling, veganize their poké with sweet potato (drizzle it with their dairy-free spicy mayo!). The shop is always busy, but the service is friendly and fast. Take a seat in the cute sidewalk area to sip your smoothie and people watch.
This funky little spot is located in Downtown Raleigh across from Marbles Museum. They've got zany decor, local art and an outdoor patio in the back where you can hang with your pup. The menu's made up of casual sandwiches, burgers, homemade desserts and vegan blue plate specials. There are separate areas on their menu for vegan, vegetarian, and carnivorous options—a catch-all for everyone in your group. Soon you'll find them in a new, larger location, a few doors down from Irregardless Cafe.
Luna Rotisserie is a unique spot in Downtown Durham with great Latin American food for everyone in your party. They cater to all diets and offer reasonably priced plates with creative ingredients. Every Monday they create additional vegan entrees and app specials for ”Meatless Martes”. The staff is knowledgeable and known for great recommendations. The jackfruit Patacon Pisao with buns made of plantains and yuca fries is highly recommended.
Irregardless is a Raleigh staple, no matter your diet. The ambiance is upscale, but never stuffy. Parents will love the live music and white tablecloths, while your hungover brunch squad will dig the complimentary breakfast breads and eggs Benedict. They offer an array of classic dishes for meat lovers like paella and smoked brisket, as well as separate pages of inventive gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. Veggies go wild over the vegan Moussaka and the vegetarian Chile Relleno. On the weekend you might want to make reservations, it's usually packed!
At Fiction Kitchen, every meal is an ode to veggies. They focus on locally grown produce and really know how to coax the absolute best out of what's in season. They boast gorgeous plating, inventive Farmers Market plate specials and they’ve even perfected smoky vegan BBQ! Their dishes cross culinary boundaries from veggie sushi, to tinga tacos, to southern fried “chicken” and waffles, so there's something for every palate. Their quirky aesthetic draws you in with unique local art, kitschy details and a charming atmosphere. Weekend brunch is so popular that there's often a line down the block.
FK is 100% vegetarian with tons of vegan and gluten-free options.
Living Kitchen offers a fresh take on 100% plant-based cuisine in a welcoming space filled with natural light and industrial decor. There's a ton of tasty meal options if you're in Raleigh or Chapel Hill looking for something vegan, gluten free or just a nutritious meal full of flavor. They offer fresh juices, coffee and smoothies. Pair yours with dishes that stand out—including the sweet potato sushi roll, zucchini manicotti and mushroom BBQ sliders.
Located in Durham, Souly Vegan specializes in vegan soul food. This family-owned joint is welcoming and has a laid-back vibe. One of their most popular orders is the Jerk Chick’in Combo Plate with side options like collards greens, cornbread, yams, plantains and mac-n-cheese. They'll make you feel at home and recommend a glass of ginger lemonade.
Located in Chapel Hill, this little, cash-only joint is literally a hidden gem both in location and availability. Found down a small side road, lunch is the only meal they serve. Though it's off the beaten path, it's worth the trip. They offer tons of vegan and gluten-free Persian and Iranian takeout options. Chef Mally uses local produce to create dishes like fava bean rice, eggplant stew, pastries, and veggie stuffed pockets called Pirashki. For meat lovers she serves her famous lamb shank. Often you can spot Pomegranate Kitchen dishes at local farmers markets.
This family-run restaurant has offered traditional East African dishes in Durham for over 20 years. The Ocholas are Kenyan natives and wanted to create a welcoming space with comfort food and world music. Palace International is known for the friendly waitstaff, cozy atmosphere and a menu that gives equal attention to vegetarian/vegan, meats and poultry. If you're opting for a veg meal, the green lentils cooked in curry and coconut milk with rice, cabbage and chapati bread is the way to go.
This quaint Durham cafe is decorated with greenery, wooden tables and abundant natural light, inside and out on the patio. They accommodate all diets and have numerous vegan and gluten-free options for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. The cafe uses all local produce and is famous for its Greek yogurt cheesecake (be sure to take a look at their giant tray of desserts). With menus for every meal, there's a lot to look forward to like fresh smoothies, vegan pancakes and vegetarian huevos rancheros!