Asheville Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants Guide

Asheville Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants Guide

On the prowl for the best vegan restaurants in Asheville, North Carolina? We’ve got quite the list for you! From places to get a bangin’ vegan breakfast in Asheville to late night options, there’s plenty to keep you full from sunrise to sunset. Here are the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants Asheville, NC has to offer. 

As a historically sleepy, small mountain city, you’d be forgiven for initially overlooking this destination for your next big travel adventure. That said, once you know about the rich arts scene, burgeoning craft beer culture, unspoiled natural, and multiple James Beard Award-nominated chefs, it may very well rise to the top of your list. Asheville, North Carolina has been called the “Paris of the South” by some, referring to the free-spirited attitude that grants locals and visitors alike permission to indulge in the finer things in life, all while wearing muddy hiking boots, if desired. The picturesque Blue Ridge mountains have views that will take your breath away.

With a cosmopolitan feel but easygoing charm, Asheville is regularly voted one of the best places to live in the US, but you don’t need to move here to enjoy it. There’s plenty of take in thrill-seekers, families with young children, and solo travelers alike. That’s because everyone is welcome, as is readily apparent by the diverse and abundant range of restaurants specially catering to alternative diets. Plant-based eaters will find their happy place amongst the more than 110 vegan-friendly restaurants concentrated into such a tiny town. Clear your calendar and pack your stretchy pants—you won’t want to miss a single bite!

Modern American Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

For an upscale, borderline fancy but unfussy meal, you can find elevated cuisine coming from the most creative chefs in the country. Most establishments are largely omnivorous but will happily accommodate a vegan diet with enough advanced notice.

Plant: If you can only make it to one special meal, plan to have it at Plant. Widely regarded as the best 100% vegan restaurant around, reviews unanimously rave about the chef-driven approach to gourmet dining without boundaries. That means you can slurp down chewy ramen noodles, dig into raw lasagna, and savor a handmade plant-based cheese board all in the same
place.

Chestnut: Emphasizing local produce and slow food, these chefs take vegetables seriously. While the exact dishes shift with the seasons, you can expect gourmet delicacies like broccoli rabe risotto, pesto fettuccine, and meatless chorizo hash.

HomeGrown: Farm-to-table dining in a laid-back setting invites everyone to the table, especially when you can have a tempeh patty melt, butternut squash chili, or falafel wrap. There are plenty of vegan eats on this omnivorous menu, so you definitely won’t walk away hungry.

Early Girl Eatery: You don’t have to be an early riser to take advantage of this breakfast-centric menu with clearly labeled vegan options. The tofu scramble is a comforting classic, but the artfully plated grit cake stack is a unique treat, piled high with wilted spinach, red pepper, squash, caramelized onions, shiitake mushrooms, and southern tomato gravy.

BimBeriBon: Strictly a weekend spot, this gluten-free bakery and café welcomes everyone to the table. These entrees go well beyond avocado toast, too; think cashew cheese nacho bowls, just for starters. Chef Reza famously beat Bobby Flay at his own game with jian bing, a savory Chinese wrap available with vegan egg, sweet potato, and caramelized onion.

Pub Grub & Vegan Bar Food

When you have an embarrassment of riches to pick from, make the most of your time by visiting craft breweries that come with their own wealth of plant-based dishes on the menu. These are the combination restaurants and bars where you can have it all.

Asheville Pizza and Brewing: It’s a brewery, it’s a restaurant, AND it’s a movie theater?! That’s right! Come on by for dinner, drinks, and a show for a complete night of food and fun. The “Did I Mention I’m Vegan” pizza is a bestseller, complete with meatless pepperoni and sausage, red onion, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, and vegan cheese. You can even ask for it made
with a gluten-free crust, too.

Rosetta’s Kitchen & The Buchi Bar: Belly up to this bar for an expansive list of wines, beers, ciders, and kombucha on tap. Head downstairs for happy hour, and then come back upstairs to the café for dinner. You don’t want to miss these hearty, comforting, and healthy classics that range from chili cheese fries to brown rice Buddha bowls.

Funkatorium: Created by Wicked Weed Brewing, this taproom is dedicated to sour beer. Select a tasting flight from over a dozen varieties on draught and then head to the biergarten for a hearty meal. Everything labeled with a “V” is vegetarian, so double check that your selection can be made vegan, too. Beyond Burgers and buddha bowls are always reliable staples.

Down-Home Cooking & Vegan Soul Food in Asheville

Southern food, soul food, and simple American comfort food always hit the spot. Luckily, you’re never too far from these easy eats anywhere in Asheville.

The Smokin’ Onion: Slinging some of the best vegan food in Asheville, this food truck is on the move! Keep tabs on their travels through Instagram so you can catch their acclaimed meatless sliders, fried pickles, and fresh wraps, which typically sell out in short order.

The Trashy Vegan Food Truck: Call it “gourmet garbage” or just straight up good eats; these burgers and loaded fries go hard on flavor without any concern for etiquette or pretentiousness. Check their Instagram page for their latest location since this mobile vender is on the move.

Biscuit Head: It’s easy to fall head-over-heels for these buttery, flaky quick breads. You can choose a vegan and gluten-free base to slather with gravy or turn into a sandwich stuffed with veggie sausage.

Sunny Point Café: Promising comfort food from dawn to dark, they don’t disappoint, offering a separate vegan menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner classics. Wake up to avocado toast, get your brunch on with a black bean tostada, and have a super supper with a grilled Impossible burger. Don’t forget to check the robust list of craft cocktails, beer, and wine for a nightcap.

Green Sage Café: Healthy but hearty staples will cover all your cravings, sweet and savory alike. There’s no shortage of choices on this well-documented list of plant-based possibilities. The smashed falafel burger puts a unique spin on the American favorite, just like the spicy twist they add with their kimchi Reuben. There are three locations throughout the city so you should plan to drop by, if only for an oat and coconut-based mocha milkshake.

Asheville Sandwich Company: You don’t need to navigate this sandwich shop with trepidation; numerous vegan delights abound on the bill of fare, well beyond the breaded entrees. There’s even vegan ranch for dipping your fried Brussels sprouts, and vegan ice cream to blend into a rich milkshake for dessert! The buffalo cauliflower is probably the most popular main attraction, but it’s tough to resist the signature Whistle Stop, made with fried green tomatoes and vegan pimento cheese.

Healthy Whole Foods

If you prefer wholesome, unprocessed meals and lighter fare, there’s plenty of options for you to refuel! These fresh ingredients with fast service won’t disappoint.

Pulp + Sprout: Squeeze the day with cold-pressed juices, seasonal soups, stacked sandwiches, smoothies, and açai bowls. Even the raw cheesecakes are organic and nutrient-dense, made from nuts, not dairy, so be sure to leave room for dessert.

Laughing Seed Café: International inspirations manifest in meals that leave you light and well-nourished, with clearly labeled vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free options throughout. No matter how picky your dining companions are, there’s truly something here for everyone. Like it spicy? Go for the Buffalo cauliflower tacos. Want it raw? Try the zucchini noodles with pesto and
cashew cheese. Craving an old-school deli classic? The Reuben sandwich made with house-cured sweet potato or tempeh pastrami stacks up nicely.

Mountain Juicery: Family-owned and fully plant-based, this is your one-stop shop for coldpressed juices, smoothies, nut milks, elixirs, and wellness shots. Refuel the right way, without sacrificing great taste. Plenty of these blends, such as the “My Date With Chocolate” taste like decadent desserts, but are made from whole foods with real benefits.

Nourish & Flourish: Primarily known for wellness coaching, there’s a modest juice bar included on-premises too. Organic fruits and vegetables transform into super fresh thirst quenchers with real health benefits. On colder days, check out the warming tea menu; the chocolate chai is a crowd favorite.

Dobra Tea: Relax in this eastern tearoom with soothing brews and light eats. Steep and snack on hummus or an amaranth super seed cookie, depending on your mood.

Global Flavors and Fusion Cuisine — Caribbean, Ethiopian, Asian & Indian Food

Variety is the spice of life; you can get your thrills any day of the week when you have a world of flavors right at your fingertips. Leave your passport but take your appetite for this culinary adventure.

Nine Mile: Specializing in Caribbean cuisine, served up with laid-back vibes and fresh flavors, this dinner-only spot in the heart of the historic Montford neighborhood is all vegetarian and exceptionally vegan-friendly. The only downside to this hotspot is that they don’t take reservations, so come early and be prepared to wait. It’s worth your time, even if it takes 1-2 hours to be seated.

Red Ginger Dimsum and Tapas: Some say this is the hottest ticket in town, and it’s not just because of the handmade steamed dumplings. There’s an entire separate menu of authentic vegetarian Chinese small plates, so you can mix, match, and share around.

Addissae: Ethiopian cuisine as already very vegan friendly, but this innovative establishment takes it one step further by making traditionally meaty meals with plant-based options, such as their richly spiced tempeh tibbs. Your best bet is to go for the vegetarian Messob to get a taste of everything.

Chai Pani: While solidly an omnivorous ode to Indian cuisine, you can rest assured that you won’t accidentally get a dish with meat or ghee. Ask for the separate “special diets” menu to get a confidently plant-based meal, with plenty of gluten-free possibilities build in as well. Take advantage of unique offerings you won’t find anywhere else, like the incredibly crisp okra fries.Even if you hate the typically slimy pods, this will make you see (and taste) them in a whole new light.

Vegan Desserts & More in Asheville, NC

Let’s not sugarcoat it: There are tons of vegan treats to appease your sweet tooth in Asheville. And you don’t even need to eat your vegetables first! Skip straight to the good stuff by eating your plant-based dessert first!

Dough House: This short but sweet list of made-to-order doughnuts comes in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or chai, and all can be made gluten-free upon request. Beyond the staples, be on the lookout for special flavors, like the ever-popular Cookies & Cream Crumble or jam-filled favorites.

Vortex Donuts: Turning conventional menus on their heads, these “twisted” folks go out of their way to label non-vegan donuts, rather than the other way around. There are always 4-6 vegan flavors that change every day, both cake and yeasted, but you’ll need to come early for the full selection; supply is limited!

Short Street Cakes: If you’re craving cake, you’ll want to get out here in short order. There’s always at least one vegan cupcake available, with a tempting list of possibilities for special orders.

The Hop: Five compact parlors are committed to promoting happiness through ice cream, which includes dairy-free bases in a regularly rotating array of flavors. They create several bases using oat milk, pepita milk, hemp milk, almond milk, and banana crème. You can also expect at least one sorbet and an option with no sugar added.

French Broad Chocolates: Masters in the art of cacao, their collection of vegan bonbons would make an incredible souvenir, if you can manage to get them home before digging in. Satiate your cravings by indulging in their plant-based peanut butter chocolate cake while you’re in the café or book a tour at their factory to see behind the scenes. Most treats do have eggs or dairy, but the ones that don’t more than make up for it.

High Five Coffee: Take five and enjoy a hot latte made with locally roasted beans at one of three locations. What makes them a real treat to visit is their selection of vegan pastries, such as lemon tarts, sesame cookies, and pumpkin muffins.

Sunshine Sammies: You can have your vegan ice cream and eat it with cookies, too! The only plant-based option is a coconut milk-based ice cream sandwiched between two soft chocolate chip cookies, but that’s more than enough to feed your inner child.

Asheville Vegan Restaurant Spotlights

As you can see, there’s no shortage of delicious food that’s vegan in Asheville, North Carolina. In fact, the most difficult part of finding a vegan meal is deciding where to get it! The availability of vegan friendly establishments speaks to the compassionate nature of Asheville’s residents, visitors, and entrepreneurs. The atmosphere is laid back and friendly, with its unique down town area that highlights local breweries, artists, and musicians. If you’re planning a visit, or have been in Asheville for a while, check out the places below. You’ll be glad you did!

Bean Vegan Cuisine

Super hero themed, and as friendly as can be. Bean Vegan Cuisine is #1 on my list for a reason. The Cowboy Burger brought tears to my eyes it was so surprisingly delicious. We’ve all had those frozen veggie burgers that are good, but nothing to get too excited over. The Cowboy Burger, however, was love at first bite. I mean, who wouldn’t like fried onion rings, barbecue sauce, pickles, and tons of melted Daiya, all on top of a hearty burger on a fresh bun? While you’re there, don’t forget to order dessert. Their giant slices of double chocolate and strawberry “old fashion layer cake” were an absolute treat! Once you’ve devoured the best meal you’ve every had, check out the vegan products that are for sale, like Daiya Cheezy Mac and the out of this world Twilight bar. Seriously my friends, this place will change your life!

The Laughing Seed Cafe

Tucked away in a peaceful corner of downtown, The Laughing Seed is truly a special dining experience. With decor that’s inspired by nature’s beauty, dining here is similar to being inside a bright and airy greenhouse, where they just happen to serve delicious and creative vegan dishes. Check out my full review at The Laughing Seed Cafe!

Rosetta’s Kitchen and Buchi Bar

Rosetta’s Kitchen and Buchi Bar is another downtown hot spot, with the perfect hangout for college kids upstairs, that serves up bar favorites like their award-winning chili and french fries. The first floor is the ideal place to relax and enjoy some fresh kombucha that they offer on tap. The prices are right, and the menu will keep you coming back for more. I tried the avocado and tempeh sandwich, and it was a winner!

Plant

If you’re in search of a fine dining experience, the locals know that Plant is a must! Their menu features small plates and entrée options that you will not find anywhere else. The (Plant) Cheese includes a super sharp and tangy cheese, a mild cashew cheese, toasted crostini, pickled vegetables, and sliced apples in Rosemary olive oil… the makings of a delicious and fresh snack. For the ultimate treat, try the rich and decadent dark chocolate and peanut butter flavored “Blackout Pie,” that’s served with raspberry sauce and smooth coconut ice cream.

Nectar Nourishing Food and Juice Cafe

Eating at Nectar is similar to dining at a yoga retreat, but instead of doing Crow pose, you can order some beautifully plated, flavorful plant based dishes. The Mac & Cheese was a creamy, flavorful masterpiece, as well as the Garbanzo 2’na Sandwich, was just about the prettiest sandwich I have ever eaten. Check out my full review at Nectar.

THE BLOCK off biltmore

If you’re looking for drinks, food, and lively conversation, check out THE BLOCK off biltmore, Asheville’s first eco-vegan, social justice, solidarity bar. Located in the historic YMI building; circa 1983, THE BLOCK off biltmore takes a new approach to vegan drinks and dining. As soon as you enter the door, you feel the history of the space speak to you, as well as possibilities for the future. THE BLOCK off biltmore features various “food artists” nightly who serve up their own plant-based creations, which can be enjoyed while throwing back a local vegan brew or specialty drink from the bar, and listening to musicians, speakers, and performers. This is truly a space where locals and tourists alike can socialize and network with others in the community, while supporting local, green businesses, cruelty-free food options, and a bright future for all.

Vortex Doughnuts

Last but not least, check out Vortex doughnuts. This place is not exclusively veg, but features the best darn donuts you will ever have the pleasure of eating. I’m a regular at this place, and I’m always blown away by how fresh and flavorful these donuts are. Their signature vortex of dark chocolate on top of a sugar covered fried goodness will appear in your dreams, along with the apple fritters and vanilla bean frosted doughnuts. Check out their Instagram for their daily selection, and watch out for their happy hour where you BOGO free.

More Vegan City Guides:

We hope you enjoyed this guide sharing the best vegan restaurants in Asheville, North Carolina! If we missed any of your favorite Asheville vegetarian restaurants, we invite you to highlight them in the comments below. Many thanks to Hannah Kaminsky and Julie Massa for their help with this article. This article may contain affiliate links that support our work at World of Vegan at no extra cost to you. Thanks for stopping by, and we hope to see you again! 

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  1. Both Bean and Block off Biltmore aren’t a thing anymore. Please consult a local if you need some help 🙂

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