Special Report: A taste of Black history
Why Charlotte’s Black food stories are America’s stories. Learn which Black food has shaped the area, meet a pair of sibling chefs that are shaping Southern cuisine and explore some of Charlotte’s Classic Eats.
With health and wellness at the forefront of many conversations today, it’s no surprise that veganism is gaining popularity. Within the last few years, Charlotte has experienced tremendous growth — and changes — in its restaurant scene.
Many of Charlotte’s Black vegan chefs lead the charge by bringing innovative and flavorful vegan dishes to plant-based eaters and meat-eaters who can’t resist — or can’t believe it’s not meat.
Romeo’s Vegan Burgers’ co-owner Monty “Tigo B.” Faulkner realizes the importance of being in the forefront of this trend that leads to healthier lifestyles for the community. “I feel that it’s important because, you know, it’s revolutionary. You know, because at the end of the day, most people wait to see things work and then jump in, versus leading the way in something,” Faulkner previously told CharlotteFive.
From crispy, plant-based chicken to vegan mac and cheese made with coconut cream, here’s where you can get a taste of some of the best vegan food in Charlotte made by Black chefs.
Location: 2200 Thrift Rd, Charlotte, NC 28208
Neighborhood: West End
What to know: Best of Both Souls’ menu offers vegan and vegetarian options with a twist. The concept is pickup only from The City Kitch West End.
Dish to try: The crispy, crunchy plant-based It’s Not Chick’n Strips Dinner is fried oyster mushrooms. It comes with your choice of two sides ($20).
What to know: Adjoa “Joya” Courtney, aka “Chef Joya,” is known for creating delicious vegan food, especially vegan mac and cheese. She’s the author of four vegan cookbooks and she has a line of vegan seasonings. You can book Chef Joya for private dining, catering, vegan consulting, corporate seminars and private or group virtual cooking classes.
[Related: ‘We boost each other.’ Meet the sibling chefs changing Charlotte’s vegan food scene]
Neighborhood: Westover Hills
What to know: Dee’s Vegan To-Go in City West Commons offers a menu that’s described as “vegan comfort food.” The concept is takeout only.
Dish to try: The Mac & Cheese is a creamy cheese sauce that’s made with coconut cream, vegan butter, nutritional yeast, and seasonings. It’s tossed with gluten-free macaroni noodles and vegan cheddar cheese sauce ($8.49).
What to know: Mac’d Vegan offers a menu that includes Hot Dawgs, Chick’n Gyro, Mac n Cheez and more. Check its social for locations..
Dish to try: The Chick’n Gyro on Pita includes lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion and tzatziki ($13.50).
Location: 5518 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28217
What to know: Romeo’s offers dine-in, carry-out and drive-thru services. The menu includes 100% plant-based burgers and organic house-made lemonades, tea and organic shakes.
Dish to try: The Where Art Thou Romeo Burger includes lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and house pickles ($12.99).
Location: Online only
What to know: Sweet Spoon Bakery offers vegan dessert jars that are prepared for you to eat right out of the jar. The dessert shop is online only and offers local delivery and shipping.
Dish to try: The Banana Velvet Jar comes with banana cake, creamy cookie pudding, homemade vanilla wafers and signature vanilla frosting ($13.75).
What to know: In addition to the food truck, Sun Burger offers a vegan cuisine meal plan and delivery service.
Dish to try: The Plantain Panini comes with a crispy, sweet fried plantain on flourless bread with tomato, arugula, smoked gouda and spicy mayo. It’s served with a kosher dill pickle ($8.58).
Neighborhood: Highland Creek
What to know: Trust Ur Taste Budz is a meal service that offers chick’n, barbecue and more. There are pickup and delivery options. The concept will re-open mid-spring 2022.
Dish to try: The BBQ Ribz includes tender ribz served with mac & cheeze, green beans and cornbread ($20).
Neighborhood: Charlotte, Concord
What to know: Ve-Go was started by Akil Courtney and his wife in 2019. The truck offers catering, meal prep and private food truck events. The food truck menu includes everything from Salmon Croquettes and Cajun Fried Fish to Beef and Broccoli and Loaded Baked Ziti.
Dish to try: The Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes comes with your choice of two sides ($16).
What to know: Described as a soulful vegan cafe, the concept offers vegan cuisine, smoothies and juices. The menu includes lasagna, Krabcake sandwich, yams and more.
Dish to try: The fried chic’n drumsticks come with three pieces ($9).
[Related: Plant-based? Here are 16 vegan restaurants in Charlotte, and what to order at each.]
This story was originally published February 18, 2022 6:00 AM.