Atlanta's 5 Hottest Vegetarian And Vegan Restaurants

Where to dine meat-free in ATL

January 11, 2019

It’s 2019, and you’re not the only one looking to reinvest in your health. One of the world’s most powerful entertainment couples, Beyoncé and Jay Z, have been promoting a “practical veganism” lifestyle for several years, and now Beyoncé’s personal trainer Marco Borges has released a book called “The Greenprint: Plant-Based Diet, Best Body, Better World, with a foreword from Bey that encourages readers to include less meat in their daily meals and give plant-based eating a try.

To be sure, that might not sound easy to do in Atlanta, a meat-loving southern city where barbecue, burgers and wings are part of our southern culture, and we famously love soul food, which is known to include beef, chicken, pork and fish – sometimes/usually fried. But just because most restaurants don’t happen to lean vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up flavor or make an instant, dramatic lifestyle change that comes along with a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Slutty Vegan Burgers

Slutty Vegan
Probably Atlanta’s hottest restaurant in plant-based food service right now is Slutty Vegan, a food truck owned by Clark-Atlanta University alumna Pinky Cole, who will open a stand-alone version of the restaurant in Atlanta’s Westview neighborhood on January 13. One look at the website will explain the sinfully seductive appeal of the no-meat menu, which is anchored on the Impossible brand burger patty (a meatless mixture made of potato protein) that makes up the “Ménage à Trois” burger.  There’s also a New-Orleans-inspired “Heaux Boy” sandwich made with vegan shrimp (yes, it’s a real thing and very convincing), and a vegan Philly cheesesteak called the “Hollywood Hooker.”

Local Green avocado toast

Local Green
Recently honored by CeeLo Green’s GreenHouse Foundation, Local Green is a restaurant run by a trio that includes Zachary “Big Zak” Wallace, an Atlanta hip-hop veteran whose voice V-103 listeners know well – he raps the intro to Greg Street’s 6 p.m. show on weeknights. Wallace decided he wanted to help underserved areas of Atlanta have access to healthier food, so he and his partners offer a changing menu of meat-free meals (with names inspired by famous creatives) as well as non-vegetarian/vegan food from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. That might include the "Basquiat" thin-crust veggie pizza with vegan mozzarella cheese, or a “3 Stack” of roasted cauliflower tacos, and a pulled barbecue sandwich with homemade slaw, but substituting jackfruit – which has a texture similar to meat – for pork.

Herban Fix eggplant

Herban Fix Vegan Kitchen
Even plant-based food can be considered “fusion,” which is what Herban Fix accomplishes through the culinary talent of Chef Wendy Chang, who specializes in Asian cuisine and has been the driving force behind such successful Atlanta restaurants as Tamarind Seed, known for its superb Thai food. At Herban, you can enjoy starters ranging from vegetable spring rolls to purple yam cakes, and entress that treat soil-grown foods as if they once had heartbeats. Take the crispy king oyster mushroom, which is plated much like a steak, with sesame soy au jus as a glaze, or pad Thai noodles with tofu, or even fried or truffled wild rice. And stop by on Sundays for their brunch buffet.

Viva la Vegan sandwich

Viva La Vegan
Jermaine Dupri is a fan of this West End vegan restaurant which regularly posts photos of the tempting plates of plant-based soul food it serves. They’ve got lots of street food for anyone looking for something fast and sturdy West Indian curry with potatoes, plantains and herbed rice, Mexican street corn, a portabella mushroom Reuben sandwich and even a vegan shrimp po’boy, which is made with battered and fried konjac root (high in fiber) instead of the curly shellfish. They also offer Italian food with vegan treatment, including a saucy lasagna and a chickpea lemon fettucini pasta.

Soul Vegetarian 2's barbecue kalebone and mac-n-cheese

Soul Vegetarian
If you’ve been around long enough to consider yourself “Old Atlanta” (which FYI, doesn’t literally mean you’re “old” at all; just classic), you’ve surely heard of Soul Vegetarian, if not enjoyed the famously tasty food. The pocket gyro and lentil burger are popular, along with the carrot salad, which you can have packaged as a sandwich by ordering the Salat Gezere. They also serve “Kalebone” steaks, stir-fried mixed veggies in ginger sauce over brown rice, and a weekend brunch with scrambled tofu to replace eggs, vegan sausage and pancakes. And they’re seriously delicious.