Maybe it’s because I had more time to spend in Charlotte on this recent trip, but the city seems significantly more vegan-friendly than ever before.
First though, the bad news. Blynk Organic, the super healthy, vegan-friendly, soup and salad restaurant at the Southpark Mall, which I wrote about in a previous post, is no longer there. It was so good that we were actually looking forward to eating there again. I’m sure many readers are thinking, “who gives a crap about mall food?” Well, I hate shopping at the mall too, but the truth is that the only reason I ever go to Charlotte in the first place is to buy clothes, because you just can’t find petite women’s clothing in Asheville. It was nice to have a place in the mall to grab a quick bite to eat.
But on to all the good stuff, some of which is new, most of which has probably been there for years but I just didn’t know about it.
Fern, Flavors from the Garden, is a new all-vegetarian restaurant, a bit on the fancy expensive side. Plenty of gluten-free, vegan options available. The flavors were impressive. The only complaint is that the portion sizes of the entrees were very small. I think most people would be disappointed with, especially considering the price. I do highly recommend trying it.
Luna’s Living Kitchen is a raw, vegan restaurant, open only for breakfast and lunch. Many gluten-free options. They have an extensive breakfast menu, but I was hoping to order something off the lunch menu. Unfortunately it was too early, and I didn’t end up making it back there again later. I ordered the Bombin’ Buckwheat Blaster, which was tasty and full of fresh fruit. For me though, it was way too sweet, which means most people would probably love it. Even so, I could tell the quality of the food was top notch, and I hope to try their lunch menu next time I’m in Charlotte.
I’m sorry to say, I found out too late about Zizi’s Vegetarian Restaurant. It’s 100% vegan, take-out/delivery only, lots of gluten-free options and lots of comfort food. It looks fantastic. It’s #1 on my list of places to go the next time I’m in Charlotte.
Not a restaurant, but I have to mention….
The Greener Apple is a new little all-vegan store. I should really say, The Greener Apple is an all-vegan tiny corner of a large book store. Despite it’s surprisingly small size, I did walk out of there with 3 things I was genuinely excited to find – peanut butter cups, dog bisquits, and something like a sponge but much less disgusting than a sponge. Make sure to look for the “Book Buyers” sign in order to find the store.
There are also plenty of grocery stores in Charlotte that have all the vegan food you could want. Healthy Home Market, where I did my grocery shopping this time around, has 3 locations and a ton of gluten-free breads. Earthfare has 2 locations in Charlotte. Berrybrook Farm is a great little health food store in Charlotte, but it’s pretty small. They also have an excellent sandwich shop inside.