This Restaurant Reinvented the McGriddle
While it’s one of the most well-known vegetarian spots in ATL, Poncey-Highland’s Soul Veg rarely makes you wait (unless you’ve got a hankering on a Monday, when it's closed). Touting itself as part of the largest chain of vegan restaurants in the world, it has curated a 100% vegan menu of signature apps, entrees, sides, and specials, including “kalebone,” which is its exclusive super protein made in-house with wheat gluten and natural spices. Enjoy soul-food iterations like homemade cornbread, barbecue tofu, amazing vegan mac & cheese, eggless egg salad, collard greens, and a lot more.
Buckhead and Sandy Springs
Whether you’re trying to impress a tofu-loving date or celebrating a special occasion, Cafe Sunflower will get the job done. The menu varies by location, but those used to having one or two meat-free options when dining out are sure to be blown away. Cafe Sunflower serves up faux meats and quinoa burgers, and each and every recipe was clearly made to please the palates of meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Anticipate an extensive menu, with items like spring rolls with glass noodles, supreme nachos with Daiya cheddar cheese, and handmade ravioli with tofu ricotta.
Pan-Asian, plant-based fare in the heart of Atlanta... do we have your attention? That’s the name of the game at new vegan restaurant Herban Fix, which recently opened up shop at the bottom of the stylish Reynolds Condos building. While vegetarian places can often pigeonhole themselves into hippie-dippie granola territory, Herban Fix remains sleek and sultry, with a great lounge space, events, and special brunch offerings to boot. Pop in for lunch or dinner (it’s a great pre-Fox Theatre option) and try the pan-seared scallion pancakes with curry dipping sauce, stir-fry soy chicken in citrus sauce, or the truffle wild rice topped with sautéed assorted mushrooms.
Vegans and vegetarians sporting a serious sweet tooth, rejoice: Dulce Vegan’s here for you. This quaint Kirkwood cafe (open Tuesday through Sunday) has a rotating, seasonal menu of breakfast pastries, fresh sandwiches, and healthy sides like tabbouleh and house-made soups. But back to the sweet stuff: this is a one-stop shop for those looking for vegan cakes in specialty flavors like lemon raspberry, Mexican chocolate, and orange cardamom. Keep up with what it's churning out on any given day by following its social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter -- trust us, it’s worth it.
Little Five Points
As edgy and inclusive as L5P purports to be, it's been seriously lacking in the veggie department. Luckily, Go Vinda’s came along and fixed all that. The welcoming Euclid Ave spot serves up no-frills dishes from an array of international influences. Case in point: the menu includes fried soy shrimp, Jamaican fries with jerk seasoning, a chickpea wrap, and a four-layer burrito with seasoned black beans and lime, just to name a few. Plus, all of the soy options are GMO- and MSG-free.
A relative newcomer to the Atlanta vegetarian food scene, Viva La Vegan is a delicious diamond-in-the-rough helmed by a brother and sister team who serve handcrafted comfort food so mind-blowingly good you seriously can’t believe there’s no meat or dairy in them. The menu features dishes such as chicken and waffles, a portobello mushroom Philly cheese steak, pastas, and desserts. Pro tip: don't even try leaving without a piece of the rich, raw German Chocolate cake.
One of Atlanta’s most beloved Ethiopian spots, this cozy eatery gets a lot of props, and while it’s not an exclusively vegetarian restaurant, its veggie dishes -- including the outstanding vegetarian platter, which boasts things like boldly spiced yellow peas, red lentils, curried potatoes, collard greens, etc. -- are arguably the best way to enjoy DEK’s exotic flavors, especially if you pair ‘em with an Ethiopian beer or the honey wine.
Vatica is a completely vegetarian restaurant (much like roughly 30% of India!), and enjoys a cult following thanks in part to a menu packed with authentic Indian dishes, including Behl puri and vada pav. During lunch, though, it has all-you-can-eat thali that draws rave reviews from even the most carnivorous folks. It’s probably because those authentic Gujarati flavors are magically good, making it a great choice for both Indian aficionados, as well as those new to the cuisine.
Don’t be fooled by its unassuming storefront in a strip mall -- meatless or not, Greensprout is known for some of the city’s best Chinese fare. The wonton soup rivals any meat-based wonton we’ve ever had, leaving us wondering if it's really vegetarian. And the sesame chicken -- like everything else on the extensive menu -- is perfectly seasoned, wildly flavorful, and so meat-like it’s a must-try for anyone who likes to eat, period.
Some of the best joints to eat around Atlanta can be found in unassuming strip malls, and Go Vegan Grill is no exception. This Lawrenceville Hwy restaurant serves up a plethora of inventive vegan and vegetarian options for lunch and dinner (don’t pass up the Parmesan zucchini fries or the BBQ vegan rib tips) from its open-air kitchen, but breakfast is where it really shines. Local omnivores now have morning options like the sausage gravy biscuit platter with scrambled tofu and homestyle potatoes, a variety of omelets, and last but certainly not least, the crispy vegan chicken & waffle, which comes with a perfectly seasoned vegan chicken strip, an enormous waffle, and a side of maple dijon.
Don’t worry, Buford Highway devotees, we didn’t forget about you. Nestled in the Orient Center Shopping Plaza in Chamblee’s renowned victual mecca is Harmony Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant, which has, unsurprisingly, become a go-to destination for deliciously authentic Chinese cuisine, minus the meat. Hit them up any day but Tuesday (they’re closed), and start your meal off with a choice of wonton or hot & sour soup. The lengthy menu boasts dishes including veggie eel, lamb, chicken, and beef (all the meat options are actually plant-based), with chef’s specials like black pepper “steak,” chicken and corn soup, steamed dumplings, curry pockets, and everything in between.
Pizza usually comes with guilt, which isn’t a deal-breaker as long as it satisfies your taste for carby deliciousness. At P-BP, the vegan cheese does nothing to kill that vibe; rather, you’re even more likely to enjoy a Philly flatbread made with mild Beyond Sausage, or a vegan meat lovers’ calzone, or a Mexican pizza (normal or with gluten-free cauliflower crust) with taco-seasoned sausage, vegan mozz, and cheddar, and all the other spices, without digestive issues (particularly if you stay until their 1am closing time on Fridays and Saturdays).
Who’d have thought that a CAU graduate would come back to the turf near her alma mater and launch Atlanta’s hottest restaurant brand? Slutty Vegan went from “that food truck with the freaky-sexy named Impossible Burgers and the wildly long line” to what’s basically the heir to Ms. Ann Price’s “Ghetto Burger” in terms of national media attention and local love. And yes, again, these are plant-based food items. Everybody famous has eaten there and been willingly “Sluttified” (meaning captured on Instagram eating the food), even before it moved into the Westview neighborhood last January. But it’s the seductive appeal of the sauce that launched SV’s no-meat menu offerings -- whether you prefer the “Ménage à Trois” burger, the “Heaux Boy” vegan shrimp sandwich, or the vegan “Hollywood Hooker” Philly cheesesteak -- into its own fame.
Those who claim the vegan lifestyle may occasionally like a little plant-based junk food, but real ones are all about that raw food. This is precisely what LIL, located basically across the street from East Point City Hall, offers: organic living and vegan cuisine. Pull up here for lunch or dinner, which if you want the best options should include cabbage nutmeat tacos, the super-green “Vitality” soup (spinach, kelp, avocado, garlic, EVOO and other antioxidant goodness), vegan lasagna made of pine nut cheese and zucchini noodles, stir-fried sweet and sour veggies, or go romantic with a five-course vegan dinner for two, at only $72, which includes soup, salad, app, entree, dessert and a non-alcoholic drink for you and that sexy significant other who also likes it raw.
Zachary “Big Zak” Wallace, an established ATL music business vet, was just as concerned about healthy food options in underserved areas of Atlanta as he was with his money. This resulted in a catering service, then a West End restaurant with meatless feasts bearing names inspired by Atlanta’s most beloved musicians. It’s that jackfruit “pulled BBQ” sandwich that steals the show, but don’t fill up so much on those that you miss the roasted “3 Stack” cauliflower tacos, or the thin-crust “Basquiat" vegan pizza. And if you ever meet Big Zak, be sure to dap him up and tell him how much you love his radio rap interlude on DJ Greg Street’s weeknight radio show on V-103.
You may be used to Caribbean natives and West Indian islanders boasting about the greatness of goat, oxtails, and various stewed or grilled forms of chicken, and they have every right to do such because that stuff is amazing. But there’s also a lot of healthy food in tropical places, so it shouldn’t be surprising that a restaurant in the famously-vegan-friendly West End can do with barbecue sauce and tofu cutlets, or imitation “un” versions of salmon, chicken, goat and more. Don’t skip sides like sweet potato cornbread, vegan Jamaican patties, and organic rice and peas, and keep it even realer with fresh juices, smoothies, and even Irish moss.
Originally planning years ago to claim the title for Atlanta’s best kale, this raw vegan cafe is run by “master raw food alchemist” Tassili Ma’at, who believes in seven core principles: truth, justice, harmony, balance, order, reciprocity, and propriety. Knowing that, here are seven delicious things you should eat here: sweet coconut corn, Moroccan couscous, spicy “popolicious” herbal popcorn (infused with vitamins B and C), curried plantains, seasonal raw soups, and suggestively named wraps, like the “Punany” spinach and kale, and the gluten-free carob “Climax” brownie.
It might be hard to imagine a great pastry without eggs, milk, or butter, but that’s exactly what Karen Peters creates at Great Rising. The menu features eight types of doughnuts, including cardamom rose, lavender, pecan praline, and even maple bac-”un” (get it?). There are even fancier croughnut versions, including organic strawberry and lemon, plus rotating seasonal flavors.