The Greensboro Vegan Dining Guide

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by Eric Ginsburg

Word spread among Greensboro’s vegans that the Charlotte-based Zizi’s Vegan Restaurant would expand to the Gate City well before the storefront opened near Sedgefield. But it didn’t take long for the takeout business to fail, and it closed about as quickly as Jaribu, a more recent Jamaican restaurant originally from Winston-Salem that served a tasty vegan breakfast.

Greensboro’s vegans, for the most part, are forced to become adept cooks, unless they’re the type that considers a sleeve of Oreos to be lunch. But there are still particular menu items scattered throughout the city that local vegans have come to appreciate beyond Boba House, Greensboro’s lone vegetarian restaurant.

1. Binh Minh (pictured)

It used to be more common to see a crew of a dozen vegan, straight-edge punks crowded around a round table at this Vietnamese institution on West Market Street. The fake chicken with vermicelli, more commonly called “V10” here, is the way to go. Arriving in two bowls — one with the noodles, bean sprouts and lettuce and the other with the fake chicken (or tofu) in a delicious, orange sauce along with potato, onion and bamboo shoots — it’s more than enough for one person.

2. Tandoor

Tandoor India Restaurant, just up the street from Binh Minh, only serves the buffet during lunch. But show up for dinner and order the bhindi masala — “fresh-cut okra sautéed with onions, tomatoes, fresh herbs and a touch of fresh lemon juice.”

3. Taste of Ethiopia

It’s incredibly rare to see the word “vegan” on a menu in these parts; most venues use the catchall “vegetarian.” But Taste of Ethiopia lists five vegetarian/vegan options — choose the seven-item combo plate with spicy split lentils, yellow peas, greens, cabbage, shiro, salad and chickpeas in a spicy sauce.

4. Crafted: Art of the Taco

Few places actually understand what “vegan” means, paying enough attention to remove egg and meat while leaving cheese or another similar screw up. That’s not the case at the South Elm Street taco joint, where the Messenger tacos can be made vegan and eaten with seitan, a fake meat made from wheat gluten. There are also “chofu” tacos — fake chorizo made with tofu.

5. Jack’s Corner

This establishment proximate to UNCG has long been known as a vegan haven thanks to its falafel wrap combo with tahini — rather than cucumber tzatziki — sauce. The Mediterranean Platter with falafel, hummus, tabouleh, pita and baba ghanoush is another fine choice.

 6. Pho Hien Vuong

The city’s most popular Vietnamese restaurant is also known for two vegan choices in particular out of its extensive vegetarian menu section — the stir-fried tofu basil with garlic and onions as well as the vegetarian pho noodle soup (which, of course, utilizes vegetable broth).

7. Sticks & Stones

That vegan pizza tho. Sure, other places, even the chains, can remove the cheese from a pizza and throw on a bunch of vegetables, but Sticks & Stones is the best choice for vegan ’za around. The Lindley Park restaurant also has a relatively solid veggie burger — unlike nearby Hops, the bun here is vegan as well.

8. Taste of Thai

Ever heard of pad ma kua? It’s stir-fried eggplant with salted soya bean, bell pepper and sweet basil. Order it with vegetable and tofu at Taste of Thai on Westover Terrace and you won’t be disappointed.

9. Wallfour Bakery

The weekly Corner Market in the parking lot of Sticks & Stones on Saturday mornings is as close as Wallflour — a vegan and gluten-free local bakery — comes to a storefront. But the desserts can be found at places like Deep Roots Market and Vida Pour Tea consistently.

 10. Coming soon…

Get ready. With options like vegan steak, vegan tofu and vegan ribs, Noma Food & Co. makes a strong first impression based on its menu alone. The forthcoming Thai and Vietnamese fast-food restaurant will open on Battleground Avenue with things like a banh mi sandwich with vegan ribs, red curry with vegan tofu and pho with vegan steak. And one of the two women opening it runs Boba House.

  • clarkwork

    Do a sequel for WS.

  • Don’t forget dark chocolate for dessert.
    Spencer – El Loco de Coco

  • Hi Eric, This is a great article! I would also like to let folks know that the local Greensboro Vegan Meetup Group currently has over 500 members and it grows each week! As organizer of that, I host a monthly vegan potluck on our farm, which is also a vegan event center and B & B called Arcadia Lodge. It is located 10 miles south of Greensboro. We also offer various workshops here, and I will be offering a vegan cooking series coming up this fall. I also operate a small vegan food business at the lodge called Loving Spoonfuls.Look for my signature Nuchi Sauce at Deep Roots. It’s the cure for the common vegetable and is rich in B 12, a nutrient that vegans need to supplement their diets with. I am just in the process of launching several other products including a unique vegan ice cream substitute called SupremO! I am currently reworking my Loving Spoonfuls website, but we are on Facebook under both Arcadia Lodge NC and Loving Spoonfuls LLC. The next potluck (always lots of fun and live music) at Arcadia Lodge happens to be coming up this Saturday and will be a July 4th celebration! I plan to make a vegan rainbow cake and we will have veggie burgers on the grill. At this potluck we will begin discussions regarding organizing a vegan festival that we hope to have slated for later this fall. If anyone is interested in joining us, please check out the meet up group site for details! Regular vegan brunches and dinner soirees will also resume in the fall. These are limited to 16 guests and are prix fixe. I can be reached at [email protected]

  • Ms_Moneypenny

    I just discovered Cleopatra’s, an Egyptian place. They have a bunch of vegan meal and side options. But watch out because some of the sides suggested under the “vegetarian entrees” are cooked in meat broth (the stews/stuffed vegetables)!

  • Kim

    I would definitely add Jerusalem Market in Sedgefield to this list. Vegan-savvy staff makes the best falafel around!

  • Some more vegan friendly places: India Palace on Tate Street has the most vegan options during their lunch buffets compared to the other local Indian buffets. For pho, I heart Pho on High Point Road is great! The Penny Path makes delicious vegan crepes (It’s a little vegetarian place in High Point that’s worth the trek). Also, to network with other Triad vegans please go to our new page http://www.facebook.com/vegans.triad