As Southern playwright Tennessee Williams once wrote, “Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else.” Head below the Mason-Dixon line and you’re faced with romantic countryside, haunted historic places, and of course gloriously rich and flavorful food that, if you’re vegan, you probably think you can’t eat. But think again! Even outside of the big cities, there’s delicious, decadent destination-worthy vegan eats. Pro tip: always take the scenic route.
There’s an entire vegan menu of Japanese favorites like tempura, teriyaki, ramen and “Incredible vegan sushi? In little ole’ Norfolk, VA? Kotobuki was named by PETA for having some of the best vegan sushi in the US and we were pleased to have found this place in an area that isn’t necessarily known for vegan options… All of the rolls were awesome because they incorporated faux seafood instead of just sticking to tofu and the more bland vegan options.” – Brianna B
This woman-owned and operated vegan restaurant in West Virginia was voted #1 restaurant by the Yelp Community in 2021 thanks to its impressive menu of Southern staples like chicken & waffles, not to mention “Those unfinishable nachos. Well, um, oh my god! Two of us could not take the whole thing down, and we were hungry! Honestly, some of the best nachos I’ve had in my life, vegan and non. The toppings were delicious, plentiful, and distributed evenly all the way down. We also ordered a bunch of food for the road.” – Reana K
Experience an unforgettable food adventure at this famous Asheville eatery. Almost everything is locally-sourced, organic, gluten-free and everything is made in-house. “The Plant cheese large plate is a great dish to share and start off with. It is a combination of cashew, almond, and pecan cheeses that are served with edible flowers, arugula and pickled vegetables. The texture of the vegan cheeses rivals that of real cheese. You will certainly smile at how authentic they taste!” – Adrean A
Located smack-dab between Charlotte and Atlanta, this sweet little vegan eatery in Greenville, SC is calling your name! “The mock chicken salad is the most popular dish and was also my favorite. It’s like a nice and creamy chicken salad but with garbanzo beans. The crackers are superb, they are made in-house from a variety of seeds and are also protein packed!” – Valentine C
An Athens institution since the early 90s! Just about anything on The Grit’s huge plant-based menu can be veganized and it’s even a hit with the omnivore crowd (good to know if your carload isn’t completely vegan). “The golden tofu wrap has sauce made from Jesus himself, it is so good. I did not know I was capable of liking kale until I tried the grain bowl—amazing! Don’t forget to try a dessert before you leave!” – Lindsey S
Sarasota is just an hour away from Tampa and is known for its miles of beaches with fine sand and shallow water. Vegans will find plenty of goodness at Veg. “This place is a hole-in-the-wall that is a whole world of lusciousness… I had jackfruit cooked up as brisket, served with a colorful heap of slaw. It was an experiment, since I’ve never eaten jackfruit, but I was so glad I had it.” – Carol B
Yelpers line up at this food truck for hearty and healthy food. Unsure of what to get? Let Chef Will make you a plate! “Y’all this place is so good I came back twice in two days. Each time I asked chef to make me something that was not on the menu and each time my taste buds exploded with happiness.” – Shaquina P
A short drive from New Orleans will get you to the beautiful beaches of Gulfport– and vegan food that is practically spell-binding! “We got the bbq chicken sandwiches with coleslaw on the side and sub mac and cheese for potato salad… The sandwich is to die for, it’s the sloppy joe that every vegan I know dreams of! The coleslaw is the best I’ve ever had (even before going vegan! I’m dead serious). The mac and cheese is awesome, some of the best I’ve ever had!” – Eve B
Woman-owned and operated, Cashew is 100% plant-based and 100% delicious. Pro-tip: Yelpers recommend that you do not skip dessert. Check out the daily specials. There’s surely a cupcake with your name on it! “If you can get there on a Friday, definitely order the vegan pizza. The topping we picked were so fresh and the cashew cheese was delicious. Also tried the special Bánh mì sandwich which had a great combo of heat and slaw, would totally order it again.” – Andrea I
When visiting Austin, make sure you also head out of town and into Hill Country where Skull & Cakebones is offering their delicious baked goods, cauli wings, grilled cheese and more to go. The croissants are a Yelper favorite. “It’s been years since I’ve wrapped my lips around such a buttery, yet ephemeral pastry. The endless array of gossamer thin layers is a feat of both art and science, ending in a bittersweet center of soft chocolate filling. There’s just nothing else that compares.” – Hannah K
We’ll next be road-tripping through the Midwest. Send me a DM if you know of a must-visit vegan spot that’s outside of a major metro.