Newly vegetarian? Here are 9 not-so-obvious spots to try

Courtesy of CAVA

Being a vegetarian is not new or even trendy anymore. Nearly anywhere you go, you can find something on a menu to fit your needs. Charlotteans who are vegetarian — or even those who just want to eat more vegetables and less meat — have countless options for dining out.

Demetria Cox-Thomas, the community garden manager at Southminster Retirement Community, is a vegetarian who shares her home with meat eaters. She looks to international cuisines as inspiration and notes that there are many options other than salads.

“Even though my hubby and daughter aren’t vegetarians, I’ve helped greatly reduce my hubby’s meat consumption and have gotten my daughter excited about eating her veggies through gardening and my vegetarian meals.”

England Simpson, an award-winning actor/filmmaker and fourth grade teacher who has been vegetarian for eight years, said, “I am an eater. I love food.” She suggested trying a meat-free Monday or removing meat from one meal per week. “If you are at a restaurant and there is a meat substitute, try it,” she said.

Like a lot of people who choose to cut out meat, UNC Charlotte student Ciera Griffin connected with vegetarianism for health reasons. “I initially decided to go vegetarian when I realized that I got sick every time I ate red meat. At first, I thought it was just red meat, but when I started to remove red meat from my diet, I would still get sick off of chicken and turkey.”

She suggested substituting eggs or tofu for meat for dinner.

We recently told you some mainstream places to go in the Queen City to find vegan fare.

In addition to the vegan spots, we’ve got some additional tips on finding veggie options around the city. You already know about the vegetarian-only restaurants in town. Here’s a list of not-as-obvious places that will leave you and your meat-eating friends both happy and full. 

(1) Bachi

2700 W. Mallard Creek Church Road #200
Recommended by: Ciera Griffin
What to try: The Pua Roll, deep fried sweet potatoes with slices of asparagus and cucumbers, vegan cream cheese topped with sesame seeds and a sweet sauce.
Cost: $8
Other options: King Liam Roll ($9), Vegetable Tempura ($5), Crispy Cauliflower Wings ($6)

(2) Blaze Pizza

1750 Camden Road or 8948 JM Keynes Drive

The Art Lover Pizza. Courtesy of Blaze Pizza

Recommended by: Demetria Cox-Thomas
What to try: The Art Lover Pizza, featuring artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, garlic and dollops of red sauce.
Cost: $8.25
Other options: BYO Pizza loaded with veggies (starts at $8.25)
Bonus: They’ve got vegan cheeses, too.

(3) Caribbean Hut

9609 N. Tryon St. or 200 W. Woodlawn Road
Recommended by: Demetria Cox-Thomas
What to try: Callaloo Roti, a leafy green dish with tomatoes, onions, scallions and flatbread.
Cost: $10
Other options: Curry Tofu Veggie Platter ($8), plantains ($3.50), steamed/fried okra ($3.50)

(4) CAVA

4267 Park Road or 8936 JM Keynes Blvd. or 6307 Providence Farm Lane

Photo courtesy of CAVA

Recommended by: Demetria Cox-Thomas
What to try: Greens + Grain Bowl, with super greens, black lentils, eggplant and red pepper dip, falafel, sumac radishes, kalamata olives and crumbled feta, topped with spicy lime tahini.
Cost: $9.57
Other options: BYO Bowl ($9.57), BYO Pita ($8.57), single mini pita ($4.40)

(5) Cookout

Various locations
Recommended by: Ciera Griffin
What to try: At this unassuming Greensboro-based chain, check out the cheese quesadilla with special sauce on the side.
Cost: $0.99
Other options: Cookout Tray with 2 quesadillas, fries, hushpuppies and drink ($5.90)

(6) House of Leng

8933 JM Keynes Drive or 2712 W. Mallard Creek Church Road #430

Recommended by: England Simpson and Demetria Cox-Thomas
What to try: Vegetable dumplings made with spinach dough; and tofu lettuce wraps, which include vegetables and rice noodles.
Cost: $5.25 for six dumplings; $7.25 for lettuce wraps
Other options: Singapore rice noodles with peppers, onions, mushrooms and bean sprouts ($8.25), Sesame tofu, lightly breaded and fried in a sweet sauce ($7.98)

(7) Passage to India

9510 University City Blvd.  #101

Recommended by: England Simpson
What to try: Mushroom mutter, a dish of sauteed button mushrooms and green peas cooked in an almond cream gravy.
Cost: $8.99
Other options: Veggie tikka masala with fresh vegetables cooked with tomato and almond cream sauce ($9.99), Aloo Gobi, a mix of potatoes and cauliflower florets sauteed with fresh tomatoes, ginger, cilantro and spices ($8.99)

(8) RuSan’s

2440 Park Road
Recommended by: Demetria Cox-Thomas
What to try: Ume Shisho Maki Roll, with pickled plums, mint and cukes. Cost: $3.50
Other options: Tempura veggie maki ($3),Teriyaki eggplant maki ($3), Inari fried tofu ($1)

(9) VelTree Vegan

7945 N. Tryon St. #110

Courtesy of VelTree

Recommended by: Demetria Cox-Thomas
What to try: “Chic’n” drumsticks (two pieces)
Cost: $4.99
Other options: In-house kale-ginger lemonade [$4.60], jerk Chic’n with rice and two sides [$12.95]


  1. Is the vegetarian scene in Charlotte that weak that a cheese quesadilla from Cookout gets a mention? Seriously friends, this article is pretty bad. Glad we got beyond the iceberg salad with ranch, but barely.

    • I had the exact same thought. Cookout: a hot spot for vegetarians everywhere. Sheesh…

      This article should have had all the strictly vegetarian options in Charlotte, of which there are maybe five, then filled the rest out with Indian restaurants.

  2. Come on! What about Fern, Bean, Pinky’s Westside Grill just to name a few…. this is a poorly constructed list.


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