Calling all vegans and vegetarians. Asheville has an abundance of vegan and vegetarian restaurants to choose from. Not all of the places listed below are solely vegan or vegetarian. Many of them have more than just one or two plant-based options, though, and a few are dedicated vegan spots. For those of you who need a refresher, vegans exclude all meat and animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy and eggs. Vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, ﬁsh and seafood. Here are our top picks for the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Asheville, NC.
Heiwa Shokudo | 87 North Lexington Avenue
The menu at Heiwa has plenty of meat options but for those of you looking for an excellent restaurant in Asheville with vegan and vegetarian options, head on over to Heiwa. It’s located downtown and has a nice outdoor patio and even some free parking in a lot next to the restaurant. Their kimchi and seaweed salad are delicious and we’re big fans of their sweet potato tempura appetizer served with vegan tempura sauce. If you want sushi, the Veggie Handroll is a solid pick and they’ve also got a solid veggie and tofu tempura main.
Hop Ice Cream Café | Various Locations
The Hop has an online store and 4 retail locations and all of them offer vegan ice cream options. They also have vegan brownies at each spot in case you want to go for a deluxe dessert. The Hop’s goal is to offer as many different options for people with as many dietary restrictions and preferences as possible. To that end, they have scratch-made ice creams that are made with oat milk, pepita milk, hemp milk, almond milk, and even banana crème. Also, the Hop does a great job of sourcing a ton of their ingredients from local farmers and small businesses. And not that you need an extra reason but the owners are some of the nicest people you’ll meet.
Laughing Seed Café | 40 Wall Street
One quick glance at the menu and you might think you’re pulling up to a regular ol’ restaurant. But take a second look. That Blue Ride BBQ sandwich is actually made with jackfruit and the Buffalo Tacos are made with cauliflower! This is a place where you get more than just one or two vegan or vegetarian items. In fact, the entire menu is devoted to vegans and vegetarians; there aren’t any meat products on the menu. We recommend the Harmony Bowl and that you pair it with one of their cold pressed juices. Bonus: there’s a nice outdoor patio and it’s dog-friendly.
Nine Mile | Various Locations
There are three Nine Mile locations but the one we go to the most often is the one in West Asheville. Regardless of which one you visit, they all have the same menu. And there are numerous vegan and vegetarian options available. At last count there were 22 vegan and vegetarian options on Nine Mile’s menu. If you go, give their Groundation salad a try. You can add tofu or tempeh and the best part is that it comes with their famous sesame garlic tahini dressing.
plant | 165 Merrimon Avenue
plant is one the best restaurants you can dine at in Asheville, in addition to being one of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in town. The food is not only scratch-made and 90% organic but it’s also very beautifully presented and many of the ingredients are locally sourced. In fact, Zagat has been quoted as saying that Plant is one of the best vegan restaurants in the country. You can bring in your own wine for a nominal cork fee but it must also be vegan. And as far as a dress code, like almost everywhere else in Asheville, there isn’t one. That said, they do not tolerate fur on your clothes and will ask you to leave it in your vehicle if you come in with it on.
Pop Bubble Tea | 640 Merrimon Avenue
Though traditional bubble tea is made from cow’s milk, Pop Bubble Tea in North Asheville offers vegan bubble tea. Oat milk is available and almost everything on the menu is available dairy-free and vegan. Also, in case you didn’t know, boba aka tapioca pearls, are plant-based so you’re covered there, too. This is a popular spot with both kids and adults so if you’re looking for a fun little vegan treat, head on over to Pop Bubble Tea.
Pulp + Sprout | 233 South Liberty Street
A vegan juice bar? Yep! Pulp + Sprout makes our list of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Asheville even though it’s technically a café. But we’re not about to get all technical on you and have you potentially miss out on one of the coolest spots in town. All of their food is plant-based and organic and several of their menu items are also gluten-free. Their smoothie bowls are crave-worthy and if you’re big on eating every color of the rainbow, this is your spot. Pulp + Sprout is at the top of the list when it comes to healthy restaurants in Asheville, NC.
Rosetta’s Kitchen | 68 North Lexington Avenue
One of the coolest things about Rosetta’s Kitchen, besides their delicious vegan food, is that it’s a place where everyone eats. Literally. As in, no one is turned away because they don’t have the funds to buy food. They have a rice and beans dish that is offered daily on a sliding scale and ask that if you can, you pay it forward so that others may eat. Plus, Rosetta’s is one of the more healthy restaurants in Asheville NC. Their Buddah Bowl is a classic dish: a bed of organic spring mix, organic brown long-grain rice, sea veggie salad, tomatoes, avocado, organic and grilled smoky tofu, with a sweet and tangy tahini-based BBQ sauce plus some sprouts for good measure. Whatever you do, just order the cornbread and collard greens.
Smokin’ Onion | Location Varies
Though the Smokin’ Onion is a food truck, it made our list of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Asheville because well, they’re doing good stuff around town. They’re making a lot of their food from scratch including their buns, pita, seitan, “burgers”, “crab cakes”, dressings, sauces, fries, and fried pickles. The fried Brussell sprouts are a must-eat. Check their website to see where they are parked – usually it’s at one of the local breweries!
The Trashy Vegan | 697 Haywood Road, Unit E
The Trashy Vegan started out as a food truck but in 2022 they opened a brick and mortar in West Asheville. Though you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, give what’s on the weekly specials a try. And if you must take a recommendation, order the cheeseburger or the tot burger. They’re both made with impossible burgers and go great with their $2 PBRs.
Vortex Doughnuts | 32 Banks Avenue, Suite 106
Vegan doughnuts? Yep! Vegan is the default at Vortex DouAnd they’re really good, too. There’s often a line and they sometimes sell out, so if you’re craving a particular flavor, especially on a weekend, go early. Oh, and we recommend getting at least a half a dozen so you can try the different flavors.
Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Asheville, NC Recap
Is Asheville vegan-friendly? It is! Stop at any one of the places listed above and if you go, please let us know what you think! Also, be sure to check back periodically as we make a point to update our lists as new information becomes available on the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Asheville, NC.