Whether or not you think meat-free is the way to be, it’s inarguable that Atlanta is shockingly progressive when it comes to its wealth of vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a soul-food brunch, Chinese takeout, or an entire three-layer cake (we don’t judge), Atlanta’s got plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians alike… check ‘em out...
Where to Find the Most Mouthwatering Vegetarian Food in Atlanta
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 Vegetarian 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.
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Caroline Cox is a writer, editor, content marketing specialist, and vegetarian in Atlanta, Georgia who might be vegan if she were better at cooking. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @carolinecox.
1. Soul Vegetarian No. 2652 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta
2. Cafe Sunflower2140 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta
3. Herban Fix Vegan Kitchen565 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta
4. Dulce Vegan Bakery & Cafe994 Hosea L Williams Dr NE, Atlanta
5. Go Vinda's Cafe1146-A Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta
6. Viva La Vegan1265 Lee St SW, Atlanta
7. Desta Ethiopian Kitchen3086 Briarcliff Rd NE, Atlanta
8. Vatica1475 Terrell Mill Rd #105, Marietta
9. Green Sprout1529 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta
10. Go Vegetarian2179 Lawrenceville Hwy, Atlanta
11. Harmony Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant4897 Buford Hwy, Chamblee
"Your health is your wealth" at this homey little Atkins Park joint. Serving up meatless and dairy-free takes on your Southern comfort favorites and a few Mediterranean meals, Soul Vegetarian substitutes beef ribs for kalebone, tofu, and cauliflower steaks for barbecue full of spice, and sandwiches, gyros, and rice platters come piled high with the same veggies in disguise for a dining experience that's healthy but no less flavorful.
Given it's Buckhead location, the low-lit atmosphere with modern flair and a romantic edge at this Sunflower Cafe location shouldn't surprise. What might come as a shock, to those that haven't been, is the variety of its entirely vegetarian menu -- dishes draw inspiration from the American Southwest along with Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Asian countries. Substitute meats play a large role in items like soy chicken burritos and berry bbq tempeh, but thanks to the culinary expertise and top-notch presentation, you'll barely notice the difference.
This swanky Asian-fusion restaurant near Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward boats a massive bi-level space with bright-orange mod fixtures and opts for fewer tables with plenty of space between them (read: make a reservation). The funky yet private setting sets the scene for entirely vegan fare that draws Korean, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese influences in dishes like flavorful, seared vegetables and tofu, pad thai and other noodle bowls, and a hefty selection of quick snacks like spring rolls and spicy soups.
Kirkwood's best vegan bakery will draw you in with its quirky, spacey 1960s theme alone. Once you're inside, you'll continue to be dazzled by the flavor palette of the cakes and sweet treats that are completely free of dairy, animal product, and processed sugars. Coconut chocolate almond, raspberry lemon, banana, and cookies & cream are merely a few of the flavors that lie under the thick piles of bright turquoise and pink icing sitting pretty on the top of their cupcakes. If your sweet tooth has yet to appear with a vengeance, there's always a daily selection of vegan sandwiches, too.
Smack dab in the middle of Little Five Points, Go Vinda's serving up a a slew of vegan and vegetarian dishes that draw inspiration from a mishmash of countries like India, Mexico, China, and a few from right at home in the American South. Everything's completely without meat, even in the dishes like burgers, fish wraps, burritos, and curries. Even amongst Euclid Avenue's quirky outpost of restaurant and bars, the bright green paint of this spot's interior will guide you right towards it.
This Capitol View hole in the wall (blink and you'll miss it on 139) ran and operated by a brother and sister team keep it simple with a short menu full of American classic and easy-going comfort food. The catch: it's all vegan. The menu's split into two options -- soy and soy free -- and boasts big plates full of chicken & waffles, Philly cheesesteaks, mock salmon burgers, and chicken gyros, all sided with crispy, garlic-y french fries. The meat substitutes absorb so much flavor you'd never even guess they weren't the real thing.
This spot has some incredible Ethiopian food including succulent, marinated lamb tips sautéed in a secret blend of spices practically melt in your mouth, and are even better scooped up in super-soft injera bread. The honey wine and spiced coffee are both musts as well.
The choices at Vatica, a leather booth-lined strip mall spot in Brandl Cove, are made pretty simple -- you'll get one rotating platter with neatly sized portions of roti flatbreads, potato and vegetable curries, masala chickpeas, a few different sauces, and one big sharable pile of hot rice in the middle for an Indian culinary experience that's entirely vegetarian that you can east without guilt.
Tucked in the middle of a Morningside-Lenox strip mall, Green Sprout's got all the entrapments of your favorite family-owned Chinese joint: the waving porcelain cat in the entryway, prints of dragon art adorning the walls, funky patterned chairs. And while the menu appears to be the same as those joints -- you know, general tso's, mongolian beef, sesame chicken and such -- but this restaurant's only slinging vegetarian versions, with flavor-packed substitutes like tempeh and soy with freshly cut vegetable mixes.
We're not quite sure if the name of this restaurant way up in the northeast Atlanta suburbs is simply a clever name or a call to action, but wither way we're buying it. They've got a menu full of meals for both those weaning themselves off of meat and veteran vegans with incredulously, so-convincing-you're-not-entirely-convinced-it's-vegan dishes like big country fried steaks, bbq rib tips, chicken strips, and massive burgers with fries.
The steaming plates full of tangy and spicy chicken, beef, and shrimp at this far north suburban spot look so appetizing you'd hardly even know they were all made from the vegetarian replacements like tofu, soy, and tempeh. Doused in sauces and soups, the garlic-laced veggies and chewy noodles that come with them leave little to be desired afterward, unlike the unfulfilling feeling that tends to come with the meatless diet of a rookie vegetarian.