Try the: Vegan chocolate chunk cookie
For more vegan-specific desserts, I recommend the Vegan Ice Cream Man!
Spotted Dog Restaurant and Bar
The Spotted Dog is technically in Carrboro, but it’s so good that I’m granting it an exception on this list. It has multiple types of cuisine, and many of the non-inherently vegan meals on the menu have the option for vegan protein and dairy substitutes. This is the perfect restaurant to visit when you’re with plant-based friends and meat lovers.
Try the: Spot’s Salad with tempeh and lemon tamari dressing
Chimney Indian Kitchen & Bar
Chimney offers amazing Indian cuisine filled with rich flavor. It’s classy decor is bound to make any meal feel a little more special. Not to mention, if you accidentally call to order after the kitchen has closed, they may even offer to make Chana Masala for you anyway. You’re too kind, Chimney.
Try the: Dal Tadka
Cosmic is one of my all-time favorites. I don’t think my college experience would be complete without it, and I’m sure many other students can agree. Delicious burritos, great chips and a selection of beans and tofu to add that extra bit of protein to your plant-based meal. You can’t go wrong here.
Try the: Green Burrito
Vegan Flava Cafe
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Vegan Flava Cafe is a quaint restaurant tucked away in Chapel Hill that is all vegan and all good. They have everything from tacos and wraps to Sunday brunch and smoothies. As one of my non-plant-based friend’s put it: “I wouldn’t even know this was vegan.”
Try the: BBQ Jackfruit
Affectionately known as Med Deli, this semi-open air restaurant has so many menu options you’re bound to find something for every occasion. Check out the Mediterranean Market just next door for some fava beans and extra baklava on your way out.
Try the: Falafel, grape leaves and tabouli
Purple Bowl has some of the best acai I’ve tried. If you’re not an acai person, they also offer a pitaya pink and vanilla almond protein smoothie base. Their unique selection of toppings means you'll never get bored. Ever wanted to try lavender on acai? Go to Purple Bowl.
Try the: Antioxidant Bowl
Lime and Basil
I spent my first two years after going vegan actively trying to find plant-based pho. Lime and Basil was the answer to my prayers. Lime and Basil also offers Vietnamese dishes beyond pho, and almost every option on the menu has a vegan or vegetarian equivalent. It’s also home to some of the best summer rolls I’ve had.
Try the: Pho dau hu
I’m thrilled to see more restaurants including vegan items in their menus. Plant-based meals can be enjoyed by all customers, not just vegans. Making them more accessible is a definitive way to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, protect marine ecosystems and avoid supporting factory farming.
Plus, it allows more people to partake in the valuable socialization that comes along with group meals.
So, remember to eat your veggies! Especially if they’re in the shape of a cookie.