NC Triangle Area Vegan Food Guide

NC Triangle Area Vegan Food Guide

Updated: 4.15.19

If you don’t know by now, I’m a native of Durham, NC. After spending most of my childhood here, somehow I’ve managed to find my way back. Durham has truly changed a lot since my days in high school. Every time I turn around, there’s another crane in sight. The city is definitely growing! Along with its growth, the food scene has grown tremendously! Although I’m from here, I learn more and more about this city all the time. Don’t let your familiarity with a place keep you from exploring! An added benefit to living in this area is the ability to travel 20-30 minutes away (depending on what side of town you’re on) and end up in another budding major city. Right next door there’s Raleigh (our state’s capital), Chapel Hill, and Cary. If you’re really in the mood for a mini road-trip, Charlotte is just 2 hours away.

Any who, as a food blogger I’m often asked about some of my favorite places to eat while I’m home. After getting this request multiple times, I thought it was time that I come up with a list of my favorite places to eat to be included in this Triangle Area Vegan Food Guide (listed in no particular order). Some of the places listed below serve only vegan food, while some are regular restaurants with vegan options. Check it out!


1. The Remedy Diner

927 W Morgan St, Raleigh, NC 27603

Menu

I’ve only eaten here once, but I’ve been trying to find my way back ever since! The Remedy Diner offers a mostly vegan menu, but they also offer meat options as well which means you can invite your carnivore friends out to eat and everybody’s happy. Pictured below is the “Tempeh Tantrum”that includes marinated tempeh, homemade pesto mayo, bacon, avocado, and lettuce on sourdough. Fun fact: it was the winner of PETA’s Top 5 Vegan Sandwiches in USA (impressive!). I won’t lie, my first time dining here wasn’t perfect. The first order of fries I was given were almost room temperature. Perhaps they had been out for a while? I shared my disappointment with the waitress and she quickly corrected it by bringing me an entire plate of fries. I’m glad I asked for new ones because the second order was SO much better! The way to my heart is a good serving of french fries 🙂

Update: I went back recently and ordered the fried chik’n platter with greens and fries. Everything was great! But whatever you do, don’t bother with the mac and cheese. It’s pitiful! LOL

Why I love this place:

  • Not your basic vegan food
  • Relaxed Atmosphere
  • Tasty
  • Food for everyone (veg+omni friendly)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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2. Souly Vegan

4125 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707

Facebook

This unassuming little place is most certainly a hidden gem in Durham. It’s my understanding that it has gone through a bit of a transition (name/menu change), but my hope is that it’s here to stay. My husband and I visited here earlier this year for the first time and we were quite impressed with the food. My husband isn’t vegan, but he enjoyed it just the same. We later brought my dad (non vegan) back here and he enjoyed it as well. Want to know my favorite part? They seem to always have a Groupon deal, so be sure to check before you go! It’s a great way to save a few coins. What I enjoy most about this place is that there’s no need to guess about their menu. The entire menu is vegan friendly (hence the name) which makes ordering completely effortless. The hardest part will be choosing what to order. While the food is not amazing (very good, but not amazing), I still like frequenting here because I believe it’s important to support black/small business. It’s what makes Durham, Durham!

Why I love this place:

  • Completely vegan menu
  • Quaint
  • Vegan spin on “soul food”

UPDATE: I went back and tried the greens and they are AMAZING! I could definitely eat an entire bowl of them!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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3. Pure Juicery Bar

716 Slash Pine Drive Cary, NC 27519

Site

I’ll start by saying I regret not being able to get to this place more often. I wish I lived closer! If I’m not mistaken, it’s the triangle’s only fully vegan juice bar. What I love most is that they actually offer WAY more than just juice and new menu items are constantly being added. They do burgers, waffles, pancakes, acai bowls, the list goes on! Of course, the juices are delish and a lot of the menu items are guilt-free. So if you’re in the Cary area, this should be the first stop on your list.

What I love about this place:

  • Everything is vegan
  • New+Fresh menu items consistently
  • Vegan breakfast options (hard to find!)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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4. Juju Asian + Tapas and Bar

The Shops at Erwin Mill #210, 737 Ninth St, Durham, NC 27705

Menu

Juju’s is a swank little small plates restaurant close to downtown Durham. My first experience here as a vegan was for me and my husband’s 2 year wedding anniversary. I try my best to keep an ear to the Durham vegan scene and I was a little worried because I hadn’t heard of Juju’s being particularly vegan friendly, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was so happy to see that there was more than one vegan option to choose from! They even had a vegan dessert! Pictured below is their Sweet Chili Tofu “Poke” Bowl that included sushi rice, edamame, pickled onion, cucumber, and avocado. Since we were celebrating our anniversary, they gave us a complimentary order of dumplings that were pan seared stuffed with collards and wild mushrooms. I’m not even a huge mushroom fan, but I really enjoyed them! For dessert, they offered a sorbet trio- pineapple/banana, plum, strawberry yuzu topped with candied pecans. They made it really easy to choose from the menu being that they had entrees clearly labeled. Their menu is constantly rotating, good if you’re looking to try something new, bad thing if you’re looking for an old favorite. Either is fine by me!

Why I love this place:

  • Nice “fancy” place to go if you’re celebrating something special (not too fancy though)
  • Clearly labeled menu items
  • Great service

5. Goorsha

910 West Main St, Durham, NC 27

Menu

Goorsha is a new restaurant in the downtown Durham area. It’s right around the corner from where I work and as soon as it popped up on the scene, it seemed as though everyone I worked with was talking about it! I had never tried Ethiopian food before, but I figured that now was as good a time as any to give it a spin. After looking at the menu, I was really impressed with how nicely all of their vegan options were labeled and the number of vegan options on the menu. A friend and I met here for lunch to try it out and Goorsha didn’t disappoint. The inside decor is nicely updated and the staff is really friendly and helpful. I ordered the Yemisir Kik (red lentils), Gomen (chopped collard greens) and two other sides that I can’t remember the name of. The Yemisir Kik was my absolute favorite! It was SO good! Everything was well seasoned and flavorful. The sides are served cold which caught me a little off guard so just be aware. The next time I went they allowed me to substitute my sides for another serving of Yemisir Kik (WIN!). As you can imagine, I was super happy. Oh, and if you’re new to Ethiopian food like I was, don’t be surprised to find no silverware on the table. It is tradition that the food is eaten using the injera bread provided. If you want, you can ask for silverware.

Why I love this place:

  • Friendly and helpful staff
  • Clearly labeled menu
  • Well priced
  • Adventurous food

6. Living Kitchen

555 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Menu

Love this place! First of all, the menu is completely vegan so that’s a total win. What I enjoyed most was that their menu was different and filled with things that I’m not accustomed to eating. For example, below is their Broccoli Waldorf Salad. OMG. SO GOOD! It’s a shame I haven’t been back in a while because I literally have dreams of this salad! Pictured below is their Fire and Brimstone burger which I enjoyed so much! For the appetizer, I ordered their sweet potato sushi rolls (amazing) and for dessert I ordered their Lemon- Berry Cheesecake (amazing). My husband introduced me to this place early on in my vegan journey and it really helped me to change my perspective on what “good food” was. I found their menu items to be super inspiring and delicious too!

Why I love this place:

  • Entirely vegan menu
  • Adventurous menu
  • Cool vibe and atmosphere

 

7. Heavenly Buffaloes

1807 W Markham Ave, Durham, NC 27705

Menu

The first time I tried this place I was a little underwhelmed. My husband and I were going to an event downtown and decided to pick our dinner up first and then find parking and eat in the car. Well, by the time we were able to locate a decent parking spot, the fries were lukewarm and the vegan wings were no longer hot. Needless to say, it didn’t leave a great first impression. This was completely my fault, so I knew I had to give them another chance.

Pictured below are their Sweet Thai Coconut Chili wings and sweet potato fries. These wings are OH SO GOOD! What I also appreciate about this place is that they have a link on their website that notates any allergens, which is inclusive of vegan friendly items. If you’ve never been here, I urge you to try them out. You won’t be disappointed!

Why I love this place:

  • Amazing food!
  • Great place to go with vegan and non-vegan friends
  • Filling AF!
  • Pricey, but large portions

UPDATE: The new location in Chapel Hill is now open!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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8. The Parlour

117 Market St., Durham, NC 27701

Menu

If you’re looking for a sweet treat in Durham, this is the place! It’s a local shop which is right in the middle of downtown Durham, tucked away behind the 21c Museum Hotel.They always have a few (2-3) vegan ice-cream flavors (or sorbet) available and they’re always tasty! They also typically have vegan baked goods available like the “brookie” pictured below (which was amazing).

Why I love this place:

  • Vegan options everyday!
  • The flavors are always super creative
  • Vegan options are clearly labeled

9. The Fiction Kitchen

428 S Dawson St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Menu

Finding this place has been one of my favorite discoveries in LIFE. If they ever shut down for any reason, I’ll be front and center with picket signs in protest. The first time I came here was for my birthday and I ordered their chicken and waffles. It was so good (although I wish they gave more waffles)! My dad ordered a curry dish (pictured below) and it was amazing! Next time I go back for dinner, I’ll definitely be ordering it. My favorite trip here was for their brunch. It was so hard to choose what to order! I settled on the mini chicken biscuits and sweet potato hash, served with a side of local blueberry jam and it was EVERYTHING! What’s funny is that I almost missed out on this meal for lack of patience. This place is always jumping so the wait was a little longer than what i wanted. I’m so glad I waited because this was probably one of my favorite meals as a vegan to date!

Why I love this place:

  • Their menu is amazing
  • Local foods
  • Exciting menu
  • Omnivores love it!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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10. Cocoa Cinnamon (Lakewood)

2013 Chapel Hill Rd Suite A, Durham, NC 27707

Menu

I have to start by saying that if you’re looking for churros, the Lakewood location is the only place with them and they are oh so good! They are made to order and if you want, you can watch while they whip them up! One day I decided to give this place a try since I had heard so much about them and my husband frequents one of their other locations. Since I’m not a coffee person, I asked the Barista if they had any recommendations for good drinks that were coffee-free and she introduced me to Horchata. To my understanding, it’s seasoned rice milk, which sounds strange but is actually delicious! It paired perfectly with my churros. Would you believe these amazing churros are only $1 a piece? I wanted more after eating the two pictured below, but practiced self-control (I’m trying, y’all).

Why I love this place:

  • Beautifully decorated, creating a unique atmosphere
  • Churros, churros, churros!
  • Friendly and helpful staff
  • No internet, but maybe that’s a good thing? UPDATE: There’s internet now!

11. Coco Bean Coffee Shop & Cafe

1114 Environ Way, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Menu

This place is so cute! I came here on a nice, quiet Sunday when the weather was nice and I wanted to get out of the house. I had some studying to do so I thought I would check this place out. It’s the perfect place to hang out and get stuff done. They even offer cozy throw blankets if you start to get chilly. Pictured below is an apple tart that was sourced from a local bakery. It was super tasty, but I would imagine that it’s even better served warm. They offer a variety of different vegan options to snack on as well as plant-based milks! It’s a little pricey, but worth dropping in every now and then.

UPDATE: They now have a completely vegan mini grocery store!

Why I love this place:

  • Super friendly staff
  • Nice atmosphere
  • Many vegan options

12. The Palace International

1104 A Broad St Durham, NC 27705

Menu

I have NO idea how I left off this restaurant from the original list. I frequent The Palace on a pretty regular basis. It’s never too crowded (a plus during lunch hours) and the food is consistent. They only have a few vegan options, but I order the same thing every time: The Maharangwe Ya Nazi. SO GOOD! Curried red beans, spinach, and rice. A simple trio that will make you feel as if you’re in heaven. I visit here so often it would be a crime for me to NOT put this restaurant in this Triangle Area Vegan Food Guide.

I’ve branched out a few times and tried their other vegan dishes, like the Dengu (pictured below- spiced green lentils+cabbage, rice and chapati) which was good, but not as good as my fav dish. They also serve plantains so if you’re in the mood, go ahead and add a serving of those too. You won’t regret it! I love that Durham has so much to offer in terms of authentic international cuisine. This authentic African food is no exception. Oh, and they cater too so contact them for your next event!

Why I love this place:

  • Reasonably priced (lunch for under $10!)
  • Never super busy

 

 
 
 
 
 
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13. Earth to Us

1720 Guess Rd. #18 Durham, NC 27701

Menu

I was so excited to finally get around to visiting this place last week! Before getting a physical location, they had a food truck that I was able to visit. I’m always on the go, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that they were settling down not far from my job!

I literally stood there staring at the menu for what seemed like 15 minutes. I couldn’t decide what to get! So many tasty options to choose from! I finally decided on the BBQ Chick’n platter and it was EVERYTHING! I can’t wait to go back and try more!

Why I love this place:

  • Completely vegan menu
  • Nice variation
  • Reasonably priced
  • Delicious food!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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14. Vegan Community Kitchen

803 E Williams St, Apex, NC 27502

Menu

If I lived in Apex, this would be a problem. A friend and I tried this place out for the first time a few weeks ago and we completely demolished EVERYTHING! I first learned about this place during my trip to Istanbul, Turkey last year. I stopped in a vegan restaurant ate, and got to chat a bit with the owner. When I told her where I was from, she informed me that her sister was planning to open a vegan restaurant very similar to hers, in Apex, NC. I was super excited! Prior to this, I’d never had Turkish food, but I knew if it was anything like what I had in Turkey, it was going to be bomb!

Fast forward a few months later and I’ve finally had the chance to visit the Apex location. I ordered the Doner Wrap and it was so good! I truly enjoyed every bite. Can’t wait to go back again!

Why I love this place:

  • Amazing Turkish food
  • Authentic menu offerings
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Completely vegan menu

 

 
 
 
 
 
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15. Happy+Hale

703B Ninth Street Durham, NC 27705 (they have a few locations, but this is the one I frequent)

Menu

The first time I tried this place, I didn’t see what the big deal was. I can’t remember what I ordered, but it seemed basic. You know, the kind of thing you could easily recreate at home. For whatever reason I decided to try it again. I think it was because of a recommendation I got from a co-worker. She came back from lunch raving about some falafel salad she had so I decided to try it for myself. Best decision I ever made.

This falafel salad is so simple, but SO GOOD. It’s a mushroom based falafel (I didn’t even know that was a thing), and the combination of that and the hummus, lentils, and dressing is everything you could ever hope for. Seriously y’all, it changed my life. I could go for one right now!

Why I love this place:

  • My favorite falafel bowl in the whole wide world
  • Never too busy, quick service
  • Clearly labeled vegan options

 

 
 
 
 
 
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16. Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings and Sweets

121 N. Gregson Street, Durham NC

Menu

Rose’s is a restaurant in the Durham community that recently revamped itself. It used to be “Rose’s Meats+Sweets” but they’ve since moved in a different direction. I wish the direction involved more vegan options, but I’ll take what I can get I guess. This place only has one vegan option, but it’s a DAMN good one! When you go, you’ll want to look for the house made belt noodles. They’re paired with fried spring veggies, mushrooms, and tossed in a spicy sesame sauce. Just try them, I think they’re amazing.

Why I love this place:

  • The noodles!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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17. Brewery Bhavana

218 S Blount Street, Raleigh, NC 27601

Menu

Last year my husband and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. Trying to find a place that both of us will enjoy without the other feeling slighted can be challenging at times, but Brewery Bhavana came through! I’m SO glad we decided to try this place. They have a few vegan options, but I don’t think I’ll be trying the others. The General Tso’s Tofu was to die for. I can’t see it getting any better than this! It sounds pretty basic, but let me tell you… maintaining a crispy texture after frying something, then adding sauce is a tricky thing to do! Trust me, I’ve tried and I still can’t get it as crispy as theirs.

I’m hoping we can make this a yearly thing for our anniversary (fingers crossed)! They even have vegan desserts! I’ll definitely be back! It’s for sure in the top three of my Triangle Area Vegan Food Guide.

Why I love this place:

  • Nice atmosphere for a dinner date
  • Reasonably priced
  • Very generous portions (even the leftovers are amazing! I was beyond excited to eat them the next day!)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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18. Lilly’s Pizza

1813 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27608

Menu

Lilly’s Pizza offers some of the tastiest pizza in town. Their original crust contains honey, but they now offer an alternative. They use Daiya vegan cheese and they even offer meat subs! Idk about you, but vegan meat toppings for pizza are a little hard to come by in my experience. I like being able to add chick’n along with my veggies!

Why I love this place:

  • They offer meat substitutes
  • Budget-friendly lunch specials
  • Great customer service

 

 
 
 
 
 
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19. Luna’s Rotisserie

112 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

Menu

There are few things that I could imagine eating daily (without getting bored of them), and this jackfruit grain bowl from Luna’s is one of them. They offer a few different vegan options and on Tuesdays they have new vegan specials (appetizers and entrees). A major plus for me is that I’ve never had to wait to be seated, although they do get pretty busy sometimes. It’s a really casual spot with good food that I think you’ll enjoy. I make an effort to eat every bite of the grain bowl as slowly as possible. It’s so good!

Why I love this place:

  • Quick service
  • Amazing food
  • Tuesday vegan specials

 

 
 
 
 
 
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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for this. I’m always searching for vegan options at Triangle restaurants. FYI – more & more places are finally adding Beyond Burgers or Impossible Burgers. I had the Beyond Burger @Abbey Road in Cary last night. Yay! Oh also Alamo Drafthouse has a separate vegan menu! Double yay!

    • Lura, that’s so good to hear! Thanks for telling me about Alamo Draft House. I hadn’t heard of it. I’ll have to add it to my list of places to check out!

  2. Girl you’ve got to add Spotted Dog, located in Carrboro, to this list! A must-visit! If you’ve never gone, the vegan crab cake sandwich is out of this world

    • Hey Sammy! I’ve been to the Spotted Dog but wasn’t super impressed. I ordered the chicken sandwich, but maybe I should go back and try this vegan crab cake sandwich?!

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