The Fiction Kitchen

428 South Dawson Street, Raleigh, 

Central North Carolina, of course, is a place that treats barbecue like religion, so when we say that chef Caroline Morrison’s soy-based imitation of Eastern N.C.-style pulled pork is as good or better as the best ’cue around, that’s about the highest (and most dangerously heretical?) compliment we could pay. If you’re not in the mood for fake pork, there’s plenty of other vegetarian entrées to enjoy—from “chicken” and waffle to sashimi tofu—rotating based on what ingredients are seasonally available. 


910 West Main Street, Durham, 

You know you’ve found the right place when the menu has a vegan section that is given the same emphasis as beef and chicken. That’s Goorsha, a family-run modern Ethiopian restaurant offering richly colored combinations of split pea, collard greens, cabbage, lentils, and much more to sop up with spongy injera. 

Happy & Hale

Multiple locations,

The emphasis here is on fuel to power your day, and there are lots of vegetarian choices—from smoothies to quinoa and acai bowls, falafel to avocado toast—all served in a lively, lunchtime-grab-and-go-friendly atmosphere. 

Living Kitchen

555 Fayetteville Street, #10, Raleigh,

Fully organic and always plant-based, Living Kitchen serves things like acai bowls and Quinoa Porridge (quinoa, coconut milk, coconut meat, cardamom, cinnamon, Brazil nuts, berry compote) for breakfast, and a BBQ oyster mushroom sandwich and broccoli mushroom pizza (with cashew ricotta cheese) for lunch and dinner. There’s also a full array of cold-pressed juices. 

Raleigh Raw, 7 West Hargett Street, Raleigh, 

Raleigh Raw began as a raw juice company, and that’s probably its biggest claim to fame. But its cafe has a plethora of healthy options, too, most of which are suited to vegans. There are smoothies (with coconut “mylk”), oatmeal, poke bowls (of the fish and non-fish varieties), and soups, all of it the kinds of stuff your doctor wants you to eat more of. 

The Remedy Diner

927 West Morgan Street, Raleigh,

If you’re looking for veg-friendly food with a little less fuss than Fiction, Remedy Diner is your prescription. And unlike Fiction, here there’s plenty of actual meat for your, ahem, less morally evolved pals, in addition to soy chicken wings and Nashville hot tofu. 

SAGE Vegetarian Cafe

1129 Weaver Dairy Road X, Chapel Hill,

This charming cafe in a Chapel Hill strip mall features Persian-influenced salads, soups, and hot-pressed sandwiches and wraps for a lighter bite. Heartier entrées for lunch and dinner include vegetable kababs, Caribbean black beans, and an “eggplant paradise.”

The Spotted Dog Restaurant and Bar

111 East Main Street, Carrboro, 

Having cravings for Southern comforts like red beans and rice and barbecue? For spicy flautas? A classic burger? Spotted Dog has veggie and vegan renditions to satisfy. Try the vegan Carolina crab cakes, made with a splash of bourbon and served on a bun with remoulade and vegetables.

Vegan Community Kitchen

803 East Williams Street, Apex,

This Apex gem features Turkish and Mediterranean vegan food cooked in a 100 percent vegan kitchen. Try the baked seitan doner kebab atop sliced pita bread with tomato and yogurt sauces, any of the vibrant salads, and a trio of colorful hummus.

Vegan Flava Cafe

306 West Franklin Street, Suite G, Chapel Hill,

The husband-wife team behind Vegan Flava Cafe craft much of their vegan soul food from raw or living ingredients. Be sure to seek out the barbecue jackfruit, collard wraps, and Too Tasty Tacos, made from a mix of raw walnuts and nutritional yeast.

2018 Best of the Triangle Readers’ Picks, Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurant:

Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas, Durham County

Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe, Orange and Chatham Counties

The Fiction Kitchen, Wake County

One reply on “2019 Food & Drink Almanac: The 10 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Spots in the Triangle”

  1. Love the list, but Mike’s Vegan Hotdogs was robbed. Amazingly creative and delicious fast food created in an all-vegan food truck.

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