I’ve been immensely impressed with the raw and vegan selections at grocery stores in Asheville. None of them have everything, but a few of them have an awful lot. Around here, just about any grocery store will have plenty of vegan options and good organic local produce to take home. I’m listing here only those grocery stores that seem to go above and beyond in their raw and vegan offerings.
- Earth Fare
675 Merrimon Ave.
Vegan: The first time I saw Earth Fare’s refrigerated section, I nearly wept tears of joy. They have the widest selection of prepared vegan meals and snacks I’ve ever seen. I’ve tried most of them, even the gluten-licious ones I’m not supposed to eat. Chicken nuggets, dumplings, chickpea “tuna” salad, quinoa salad, mushroom cakes, BBQ tofu, and a seaweed salad that I am addicted to. I regret that I never tried their delicious-looking tiramasu and other amazing pies, cakes, and cookies and have sinse sworn off sugar – for real this time. I don’t especially recommend their hot and cold food bar. It’s an ok place to eat if you’re hungry and always has a lot of vegan options, but the food tends to be mediocre.
Raw: Earth Fare often has one or two raw entrees in its refrigerated isle. The raw lasagna is worth trying once but it’s too hard to eat and isn’t earth-shattering. Their collard wraps are a nice treat. Sometimes they have really good flax seed crackers, but they are very expensive. They have a good selection of raw nut butters, agave, snack bars, and other pre-packaged raw foods and also carry the incredibly delicious but expensive containers of raw chocolate truffles.
- Greenlife Grocery
70 Merrimon Ave.
Vegan: Greenlife has a small hot and cold food bar, but it is much smaller than Earth Fare’s. Still, it always has hot vegan options in addition to salad. Their deli case and refrigerated section has a decent selection of vegan food. It may sound dull, but they really have a way with tofu. Try the Green Gorilla smoothie. I think it’s even raw, but I’m not 100% sure.
Raw: Greenlife has the best raw food selection in town. They have very little in the way of raw prepared meals or deli items, but they have an entire section of the store devoted to hard-to-find raw snacks and ingredients. For items that you can find at Earth Fare, Greenlife has them cheaper, such as those little heavenly chocolate truffles. Their produce usually (not always) seems to be fresher and less expensive than Earth Fare. They often have organic produce items that Earth Fare does not.