To eat better in the new year, prioritize healthy restaurants in Charlotte NC, especially those that offer plant-based dishes. In essence, the virtues of plant-based dining are plentiful. Generally, it’s healthier, better for the planet, and actually not that difficult to do. In fact, meat-free dishes rub elbows with steaks, burgers, and other meaty morsels on the menus of many of Charlotte’s favorite eateries, especially within healthy restaurants in Charlotte NC.
As more and more people have adopted a vegetable-forward diet to better their bodies and shrink their carbon footprints, more and more restaurants have responded with flexitarian menus that have offerings for all kinds of eaters. Undoubtedly, this level of accessibility and deliciousness makes a compelling case to skip the burger on your next night out and instead opt for one of these mouthwatering, veg-forward meals from one of your go-to restaurants in the Queen City.
So, what does this mean for you? Your meals are about to get a whole lot more delicious and plant-rich
This Camp North End food stall is quite literally one of the most approachable plant-forward food suppliers in the Queen City. So, go ahead and sidle up to the counter for one of the following.
Falafel Tower – This signature Plant Joy dish is like a falafel sandwich, only served nacho style. Dive into a pile of falafel, smoked hummus, pickled greens, and pita.
Polenta Fattoush – Get your healthy on with a pile of greens, radishes, and warm and crispy polenta croutons served under a drizzle of zesty Fattoush dressing.
Yam and Cheese – Bite into a flavorful sandwich made from smoked / roasted sweet potato plank, Viva Raw’s chive cheese, and tempeh chorizo.
This Dilworth restaurant is fully vegan or vegetarian in its offerings and is most appropriate for the veggie-confident. It’s one of the best vegetarian options and high on the list of healthy restaurants in Charlotte NC.
Black Trumpet Risotto – Porcini fried tofu and broccolini served over a bed of risotto and topped with shaved truffle.
Japanese Katsu Curry – Spaghetti squash, bok choy, shiitake mushroom, and sweet potato anchor this tasty curry.
Truffle Udon – Oat cream, mixed mushrooms, calabrian chili, shaved truffle, and crispy shallot give texture and variety to this noodle dish.
Chef Craig Barbour’s seasonally-driven, classic cafe in South End serves three meals a day and offers tons of easy grab-and-go options. Eating well doesn’t have to be complicated.
ROOTS Bowl – A delicious mix of roasted carrots, caramelized sweet potato, baby kale, green chili pinto beans, pickled pepper, and roasted red pepper vina.
Veggie Burger Bowl – Dig into a chickpea and sweet potato veggie burger with fresh greens, pickled pepper and chili aioli served on a bed of baby kale and fresh greens.
Kid Cashew’s tagline is “no freezers, no fryers, no heat lamps,” and you can believe you’ll find only the freshest meals at this Mediterranean-inspired eatery. That commitment to fresh makes Kid Cashew not only flavorful but also one of the top healthy restaurants in Charlotte NC.
Quinoa Stuffed Avocado – Quinoa, cucumber salsa, and shredded lettuce are nestled inside a plump avocado, then drizzled with chipotle sauce. Go ahead and order three.
Cast Iron Mac & Cheese – Homemade mornay sauce, creamy leeks, shallots, and five different cheeses take this Southern classic to the next level. Significantly, it’s served gratin for that extra crunch.
Super Grains Salad – This filling, leafy experience centers avocado, greens, quinoa, fennel, pistachios, cilantro yogurt, oranges, and lemon vinaigrette.
James Beard Award-Winning chef Meherwan Irani delivers a truly delicious sensory experience at Botiwalla, located in Charlotte’s Optimist Hall. Certainly, this is the perfect place to (re)learn that meat-free doesn’t have to be boring.
Bhel Puri – This Botiwalla snack is an Indian street food classic. Puffed rice, flour crisps, crunchy chickpea noodles, roasted chickpeas, cilantro, and onions tossed with tamarind, green chutneys, and spices, produces tangy, crunchy bites of goodness.
Paneer Tikka Roll – Paneer is a type of Indian cheese that, when marinated in yogurt, lime juice, Kashmiri chili paste, and North Indian spices, chargrilled with onions and bell peppers, and then wrapped in hot, buttered naan alongside Desi slaw, cilantro, and chutney will fully change your life.
This South End staple might be Charlotte’s unofficial ramen headquarters. Chef and owner Michael Shortino had his veg-forward friends in mind when he added these gems to the menu.
Shishito Peppers – This savory starter consists of lightly fried shishito peppers dressed with sesame, garlic, and soy. Start with this dish before moving on to your ramen main.
Niwa – A base of vegan broth, dappled with mushroom, bok choy, roasted and julienne leek, arugula, sesame, sprouts, scallions, golden pea shoots, and watermelon radish makes for a mouthwatering main that you’ll be enjoying for days (expect leftovers).
Vegan Donburi – Donburi is a rice bowl that, in this instance, is served with pickled cucumber, bok choy, sesame, bean sprouts, organic mushroom, spicy gochujang bbq, and scallions.
Hawkers is a regional chain but a local favorite. In short, visit for bold Asian street food flavors in an ambience with attitude.
Basil Fried Rice – An herbal take on a classic fave. Eggs, onions, fresh basil and soy sauce.
Hawker’s Delight – Saucy blend of wok-seared tofu, broccoli, carrots, napa (pro tip: the cabbage, not the city), bell peppers and straw mushrooms served with jasmine rice.
Pad Thai – Dare we say this is the best pad thai in Charlotte? We do dare. Rice noodles and tofu wok-fired in a tangy, red chili pepper sauce with eggs and veggies, then topped with roasted peanuts and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Delivering on the promise of true Italian cooking with fresh ingredients cooked simply, Ever Andalo is NoDa’s newest cozy eatery. In addition to plentiful veg-forward pasta dishes, all their pastas can be served gluten free, too.
Spaghettini alla Nerano – a rich plate of creamed zucchini, zucchini slices, pecorino romano, and finished with parsley.
Mushroom Tortelloni – this umami pasta features seasonal mushrooms, shaved parmigiano reggiano, porcini cream, and greens.
Farrotto – indulge in creamy farro with seasonal squash, seasonal vegetables, mascarpone, and pecorino romano.
Haymaker is an Uptown staple that serves seasonal fare with heirloom ingredients indigenous to the Carolinas. While they’re not strictly a vegetarian establishment, their vegetable-based courses are total standouts.
Mushroom Toast – The toast is topped with wild mushroom ragout, herbed goat cheese, shaved roots, and fresh herbs.
New Potato Gnocchi – House-made potato gnocchi…need we say more? The gnocchi is dressed in a heirloom pumpkin butter with roasted hen of the woods mushrooms, savory pumpkin seed granola, and fried sage.
Milkbread, Plaza Midwood’s latest niche eatery, is best known for its pillowy, milkbread donuts. But aside from donuts, which happen to be vegetarian by the way, Milkbread is known for its breakfast bowls, savory and sweet toasts, and salads.
Avocado Toast – Served with everything seeds and kashmiri chili, a colorful Indian spice with mild heat.
Whole Bowl – The Whole Bowl is a hearty breakfast bowl packed with cauliflower rice, whipped tahini, jammy egg (aka soft boiled), red onion, peppers, and nut crunch.
Living Kitchen is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant that prides itself on being “100 percent organic, plant-based, and locally sourced.” The eatery serves everything from salads, to nachos and burritos, and even their own unique take on veggie-based sushi. In a hurry? Living Kitchen also offers grab-and-go options at their counter. Thus, with so many plant-based dishes, Living Kitchen is one of the most healthy restaurants in Charlotte NC.
Spicy Black Bean Bowl – Served with their signature black beans, the bowl is topped with avocado, quinoa, mushroom “carnitas,” romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, chipotle sauce, and lime.
Caramelized Onion and Pear Flatbread – Their flatbread has a buckwheat and flax seed crust, a cashew basil cheese, caramelized onions, pear, arugula, and a hemp seed parmesan.
Oh My Soul
Oh My Soul is NoDa’s premiere vegan restaurant. The owners bring their South African heritage to their cuisine, allowing for creative dishes with a cultural backing.
ORDER: Macho Nachos – These fully loaded, South African nachos come stacked with seitan chicken and vegan bacon, chakalaka (a classic South African dish consisting of beans, veggies, onions, peppers and tomatoes), pico de gallo, guacamole, shredded cheese, fresh herbs, queso, and ranch.
Waka Waka Burger – The Waka Waka burger is another South African-inspired dish. It consists of a spicy lentil patty served with fresh cilantro, tomato, and red onions. Then, it’s topped with a chili mayo, guacamole, chakalaka, and spicy chili flakes.
Curry Gate is a Queen City secret gem. Though the Indian/Nepali restaurant mostly focuses on take-out, do not underestimate it. Curry Gate is a powerhouse of flavor, offering an array of delicious curries, traditional Indian and Nepali favorites, and of course plenty of vegetarian options.
Samosa – You can’t go wrong starting off with some samosas, aka deep-fried savory pastries stuffed with vegetables.
Papdi Chaat – One of our favorites. Indian style nachos, with diced potatoes and topped with yogurt and chutneys.
Makhani Curry with Paneer – A rich butter curry made with Indian spices. Pro tip: enjoy with a side of garlic naan.
300 East has been feeding the people of Charlotte since 1986. The restaurant has a reputation for its unique setting. In particular, it sits in a renovated house with an outdoor patio that faces East Blvd.
Their menu is not strictly vegetarian, but does offer a variety of veggie-friendly options.
Sweet Potato Ravioli – Rich ravioli dressed in a gorgonzola cream sauce with toasted walnuts.
Grain and Veggie Bowl – If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, but still filling, try this bowl. It contains Carolina Gold brown rice, roasted winter squash, root vegetables, chickpeas, currants, and tossed in an orange-sunflower vinaigrette.
Barrington’s is a SouthPark classic. The restaurant, which has been open since 2000, specializes in New American cuisine and focuses on creative spins on traditional dishes.
Butternut Squash Soup – Made with apple chutney, candied pecans, and a curry-cinnamon creme fraiche.
Tega Hills Mix Salad – Grilled Mushrooms, shaved radishes, croutons, porcini puree, truffled pecorino, red wine vinaigrette.
From the creative mind of owner Gary Crunkleton, The Crunkleton has made a name for itself here in Charlotte and at its original location in Chapel Hill. In brief, standouts at The Crunkleton include its craft cocktails, curated and diverse selection of spirits, and of course Southern-inspired fare.
Vegan Pumpkin Chili – Vegans delight with this pumpkin chili. Red beans, kale, and diced pumpkin come together under a topping of topped with tri color slaw, crispy spicy chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds.
Fall Harvest Salad – Roasted beets, sweet potato, farro, goat cheese, spicy fried chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, shaved brussels, kale salad, dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette.
Named after the Spanish word for butterfly, Mariposa is best described as a multicultural “world to table” restaurant that prioritizes a communal dining experience between friends and family. As a result, their menu focuses on the concept of “mezze,” a North African/Mediterranean idea of shared small plates.
Mariposa Mezze Board – A hearty board topped with tzatziki, hummus with roasted garlic, garden veggies, marinated olives, roasted eggplant, pepperonata, and za’atar pita.
Vegetable Tagine – A delicious stew composed of tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, carrots, olives, harissa, crispy chickpeas, preserved lemon, and couscous.
Supperland touts itself as a Southern-style steakhouse with an element of whimsy. It sits in a renovated mid-century church in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood. Accordingly, most of the dishes can be shared, church potluck style.
Baked Brie Bites – A homemade puff pastry, melty brie cheese, and a little pop of spicy goodness with the orange jezebel sauce.
Miso Mac and Cheese – North Carolina miso mornay, small mac and cheese shells, and topped with a miso cream.
Vegetable Pot Roast – Slow-cooked root vegetables in a mushroom gravy, topped with pan-seared hen of the woods mushrooms and fresh herbs.