Vegetarianism and vegan lifestyles are becoming more and more prominent as people strive to become healthier individuals. They've always been around, but they are just now getting the attention they deserve from the media. People want to be healthier, help the environment, eat local, or just don't care for meat. My two roommates are vegetarians and have really gotten me interested this lifestyle and all the yummy dishes they make on the reg. They ask me where they can go to eat in Charlotte that fits in their diet, and my honest answer at first was that I didn't know. But I did my homework: here's the top ten best vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Charlotte, NC.

Living Kitchen

Housed in a gorgeous space in the Atherton Mill in SouthEnd, Living Kitchen prides itself on using local and organic ingredients in its plant-based dishes. You can get a literal rainbow of health on your plate with dishes like the Sweet Potato Sushi Roll, Living Burrito, or Avocado & Basil Sandwich with sunflower seed hummus. Their desserts are incredible too- lemon berry cheesecake made from cashews is divine! If you need a quick snack, there's always fresh juices and smoothies available, like the "Pinko Drinko". 

Fern, Flavors From the Garden

Did somebody say buffalo cauliflower? Heck yeah! There's even vegan cheeseboards for all you charcuterie nerds, "chicken" parmesan, and a spicy tofu chimichanga. All the deliciousness that these classic dishes are known for, but none of the meat. Keep an eye out for their specials as well- you don't want to miss vegan donuts or beignets. It's a whopping three minutes from school, located on East Boulevard. See you at brunch, y'all. 

Burton's Grill & Bar

This place is a little on the fancier side, so grab your boo and go for a nice date night. Burton's is wonderful, because it is their mission to accommodate any dietary needs. Don't be afraid to ask for a special request if there's something you want. Their menu is pretty nifty too- black bean burgers with jalapeño tomato relish, or wild mushroom risotto served with lemon butter sauce just to name a few. Posted below is a picture of one of the chef's "whim" menus, including Quinoa Tabouli and Roasted Red Pepper hummus. Maybe go to Burton's on a whim to try the whim menu, eh?

Bean Vegan Cuisine

It doesn't look super fancy on the outside but the menu is Southern inspired with a healthy twist. Try the Pimento Cheeseish Dip, or maybe opt for some fried pickles. They even have fried tofu fingers! The burgers are also insane- check out this burger with BBQ jackfruit, seitan bacon and Daiya cheddar. WOW is all I have to say- and it's vegan? Double wow.

Pinky's Westside Grill

Now, I know what you're thinking. There's NO way a burger joint has vegetarian options. Well friends I have some news for you- say hello to the vegetarian corndog. Mic drop. Also a must try are the Pimpin' fries with melted pimento cheese- to make it vegetarian friendly, add their veggie chili on top. There's also rosemary infused hummus, fried pickles, and hushpuppies. That's only the appetizers! There's a whole menu dedicated to salads, veggie hotdogs, sandwiches like the "Redneck Parm" with fried squash, black bean burgers... they really accommodate everyone. Also on a personal note, one of my favorite all time restaurants. Plus you can't beat the crazy cool atmosphere. There's a VW on the roof!

Yafo Kitchen

Hello, Yafo. Who doesn't love homemade Mediterranean food? There are plethora of vegetarian and vegan options here, so go crazy! Their hummus bowls make for beautiful Instagram photos and an even better meal- and they are served with warm Laffah bread on the side for dipping. There's also Greek Salad bowls with feta and lemon herb vinaigrette, Sabich with eggplant and Tahini, roasted brussels sprouts and veggies. Don't forget your cucumber mint limeade!

The Common Market

With three locations, you don't have an excuse not to go to this place. They really pride themselves on having such a wide menu in which everyone can partake- so let's get down to business. Breakfast menu includes sandwiches like the "Greens n' Stuff" with egg, avocado, and alfalfa sprouts. You can make any sandwich into a salad or grit bowl, btw. Moving to lunch look for the CM "Chickenless" salad or the "Soy Boy" with baked tofu. If you want a classic PBJ, cause you can, they got that too. It's the "PB Owen". 


This place is the epitome of "casual". Located in Plaza Midwood, this Southern inspired hangout serves up a variety of delicious meals that vegetarians can enjoy as well. Fried green tomatoes are a Southern classic, and there is Cajun inspired veggie loaf sliders. Also open for breakfast, Huevos Rancheros and Soysage biscuits are up for grabs. dish also serves up Southwestern style veggie burgers, veggie pitas, and Portabella pesto sandwiches just to name a few options. Their key lime pie is legendary, I'll attach a picture below because seeing is believing. 

Zada Janes Corner Cafe

Zada Janes is known for their legendary, served-all-day breakfast menu. But did you know that they keep half of their menu vegetarian friendly? They even have two separate grills to cook on so you don't have to worry about your food coming into contact with something that you don't want to eat. Grab a coffee beverage from their coffee bar and sit down to a "Booker T East Side Hasher", a sweet potato hash brown frittata with melted cheese with your choice of protein, in this case soysage. Maybe opt for their take on Huevos Rancheros, called "Bunny Rancheros" with salsa verde and soysage. They also have a spread of salads and sandwiches for your choosing. Snack on "The Green Mindmelt" with oven roasted veggies like zucchini, squash, and portabellas topped with mozzarella and pepper vinagrette. YUM.

Owens Bagels and Deli

Pop culture inspired bagels, need I say more? Look for the "You don't eat meat" menu, comprised of bagel sandwiches like the "Psychadeli" with sprouts, cheese, veggie cream cheese; "Marley and Me" with peppers, avocados, black olives, and homemade hummus; or even the "Booty Bagel" with pb, bananas, and honey on a cinnamon raisin bagel. If you really want to watch what you eat, no worries. They have a create your own bagel option with all the topping possibilities.

With the restaurant scene rapidly expanding in Charlotte, it's only a matter of time until this list gets bigger! Next time your vegetarian/vegan friend asks you where they can go eat, refer to this list and go bananas. Let me know what your favorite vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the area are and give me a holler at my blog @cltchomp!