Monday, May 23, 2022

The best vegan restaurants in Atlanta for every taste

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Ahh, Atlanta, Georgia. The home of southern charm, sumptuous soul food, and an ever-increasing vegan community that loves to eat out. No wonder the city is bursting with so many options.

It feels as though you can barely turn a corner in sunny Atlanta without stumbling across yet another fantastic vegan cafe, restaurant, or food truck. Who can resist the lure of freshly cooked treats with a conscience?

Whether you’re in the mood for comfort food like Meemaw or Nana used to make, or a taste of Asian street food, or a big greasy burger with all the fixins, Georgia’s state capital is here to serve.

Here are some of the best vegan restaurants in Atlanta that need to be added to your bucket list, if they aren’t already.

Soul food hotspots

vegan soul food

When you want traditional Southern food made with extra love, eating vegan soul food is the way to go. 

Happy hearts and stomachs are guaranteed if you visit any of the following vegan restaurants :

Go Vegan Grill

With their motto “a taste of real-life” and fast service cafeteria-style seating, Go Vegan Grill makes eating plant-based an experience that brings people together. Smothered Chicken and Gravy, Creole Shrimp and Grits, and longstanding favorites like collard greens and mac and cheese all get the vegan treatment. Other signature Southern comfort dishes include Candied Yams, Fried Steak and Gravy, and even vegan Braised Oxtail. There are plenty of soy and gluten-free options for vegan soul food-loving diners with food allergies and sensitivities.

Soul Vegetarian

“Vegan before it was cool” Soul Vegetarian restaurant has been part of the plant based Atlanta scene since 1979. With two locations (Highland Ave Ne and Ralph David Abernathy Blvd), this essential destination for the vegetarian and vegan crowd leans into the joy of traditional southern soul food– just without any animal products. What the menu lacks in meat, it makes up for in creativity. Their Country Baked Steak is made from an exclusive protein recipe that gives this popular dish a meaty texture and bite. And yes, their collard greens and sweet potato cornbread are delicious.

Cafe Sunflower

One of Atlanta, GA’s longest-standing and best vegan restaurants, Cafe Sunflower, has been at it for over 25 years. Offering a varied menu with recognizable dishes from their signature Buffalo Soy Chicken drumsticks with their vegan blue cheese to their beloved Bacon Beyond Burgers and Crispy Shrimp tacos, their varied range of very good food has a little something for everyone. Cafe Sunflower also offers a soul-satisfying Saturday brunch with cozy and comforting dishes like Soy Chicken and Waffles and Almond Butter Blueberry Pancakes with their famous in house whipped cream.

BBQ and beyond

Grass VBQ Joint’s award-winning chef says, “barbecue is a way of cooking, not a type of meat.” With that in mind, these two vegan and vegetarian restaurants put a plant based spin on some of the most beloved and authentic Southern dishes. The extraordinary eats you’ll encounter on each menu goes far beyond basic barbecue tofu cutlets.

Grass VBQ Joint

Have you ever really eaten southern food if you’ve not had barbecue? Not according to Grass VBQ Joint. This fully vegan restaurant has taken the time to recreate meat specials with plant-based alternatives. Home to a slew of legendary dishes, favorites on the menu include Oyster Mushroom Po’Boy, Smoked Chili Cheeze Dawg, and Nashville Hot BBQ Smoked Wiingz. Served alongside Celery Slaw, Bourbon Baked Beans, and Corn Hash, these meals come with all the fixins you’d expect from Southern comfort food. If it’s your first visit, be sure to leave room for the bourbon and peach crumble, or you’ll be kicking yourself all the way home. If you’re a barbecue fan that usually opts for meat, just give Grass VBQ a try. It’s one of the best vegan restaurants in Atlanta!

Envegan

With three locations serving up tantalizingly tasty plant based takes on popular fast food offerings, this fully vegan restaurant is a rising favorite. Envegan‘s menu is packed with hearty burgers, wraps, sandwiches, salads, bowls, and more. Their Crispy Chicken Burger, Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, and Grilled BBQ Beef Sandwich are hot picks that are loaded with flavor. They also have some of the best vegan cakes in Atlanta. Stop by their Atlantic Station location to try their banana pineapple Hummingbird Cake and rich, fudgy Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake. They’re unforgettable.

Honorable Mention

When the warm, ooey-gooey cheese cravings hit, you need to book it over to Plant Based Pizzeria, pronto. Formerly only operating as a food truck around the West End parts of Atlanta, Plant Based Pizzeria now also has a permanent take-out-only location in Sandy Springs. While it’s unfortunate that there aren’t sit-down, eat-in options, the pizzas, calzones, and flatbreads on their menus are truly what vegan dreams are made of. The Vegan Meat Lovers Pizza with cashew cheese, Beyond sausage and hamburger crumbles, and pepperoni seitan is a popular pick. And, like all of the pizzeria’s offerings, it can be made on gluten free cauliflower crust.

Brilliant burger joints

slutty veganSometimes you just want the satisfaction of a fully-loaded burger or hot dog, amirite? Vegan and vegetarian diners in Atlanta who are a firm believer in the more toppings, the better will love the finger-lickin’ good eats at these restaurants:

Slutty Vegan

These vegan takes on mouthwateringly fried fast food are definitely not health food. Stacked so high they are in danger of toppling before you can get your mouth around them, the menu items from Slutty Vegan are ridiculously flavorful and fun. With their cheeky monikers, you’ll enjoy a big dollop of decadence and some double entendre when you eat here. Hollywood Hooker with a Side Heaux, anyone?

Life Bistro

vegan restaurants atlanta

Life Bistro gives American comfort food an elegant vegan twist. With an entire menu built around the vegan lifestyle, the burgers and sliders are powered by plant protein. This restaurant has something for every appetite. While mainly a fast food type of joint, you can still choose to be a little more virtuous. If you don’t want the indulgence of their traditional potato fries, their zucchini fries are amazing. But, really, it’s the in house vegan cheese sauce that makes this a must-stop for vegan foodies, so don’t go without it.

Honorable mentions 

Other burger restaurants in Atlanta, GA that cater to vegans include YEAH! Burger and Grindhouse Killer Burgers.

YEAH! Burger’s housemade veggie burgers are served up in a variety of ways, with avocado and alfalfa sprouts (the Earth Burger), with corn salsa and tortilla chips (the South by Southwest Burger), and with the classic lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle combo (the YEAH! Veggie Burger). Make sure you specify that you want them prepared vegan, as this is not a purely vegan or vegetarian restaurant. Many of these burgers include cheese, butter, and dairy-based dressings.

Grindhouse Killer Burgers offer two vegan and vegetarian options: the Impossible Burger and their housemade Veggie Burger made from chickpeas, quinoa, and black beans. You can enjoy the burger patties atop the Grindhouse Salad– a blend of mixed greens, sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, and dried cranberries tossed in a lemon vinaigrette or with sides like Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Carolina Coleslaw, and Sweet Potato Fries. This is not an exclusively vegan restaurant, so be sure you specify you want your meal to be vegan.

Asian awesomeness

Vegan and vegetarianism have roots in Asian cultures and those with spirituality running through their core. So there’s something so harmonious about mixing Eastern flavors and vegan ingredients. From simple stir-fry dishes to complex Asian fusion creations, Atlanta, GA restaurants seem to have a knack for catering to all palates. Popular eateries include:

Green Sprout

A Chinese restaurant that places health at the forefront of everything it creates, Green Sprout isn’t shy about spreading the message of veganism. A proud member of the plant based community, the Green Sprout is living proof of how warm and inclusive the vegan and vegetarian scene is in Atlanta. Green Sprout reimagines authentic Chinese street foods with an extensive menu that includes Fried Curry Spring Rolls, Sesame Soy Chicken, and delicious curries. They also have a separate gluten free menu.

Herban Fix

Filling a gap in the market for a fine vegan dining experience, Herban Fix is an Asian fusion destination that brings exciting flavors together in creative and beautiful dishes. Looking to cater to everybody, and not just as a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, Herban Fix’s menu includes dishes like Steamed Buns with Crispy Soy Duck, Taro, and Glass Noodle Hot Pot, and Pan-seared Baozi. Beyond promoting a vegan diet, Herban Fix encourages all curious foodies (including those who follow a gluten free diet) to try out their delicious dishes.

Healthy havens

raw vegan atlantaWhile not all of the best vegan restaurants in Atlanta seek to be healthy vegan food providers, a few try to stay true to a plant-based diet’s more pure elements. With fresh juices, raw food, and often organic ingredients on the menu, the following vegan and vegetarian restaurants are great for mind, body, and soul:

True Food Kitchen

The specialty here is “craveable food that boosts your mood,” so you know you’re in to eat a satisfying and nourishing meal as soon as you step through the door. Fresh seasonal ingredients dictate the menus, which are designed to improve immunity and wellbeing while not skimping on taste. While not an exclusively vegetarian or vegan restaurant, plant based foods include gluten free Terikayki Quinoa Bowls, Korean noodles with pickled shiitake, and a vegan Double Cheeseburger. And yes, you definitely should leave room for dessert. True Food Kitchen’s vegan Vanilla Ice Cream is a can’t miss a sweet treat.

Tassili’s Raw Reality

If you’re looking to nourish your spirit and your belly, this is the restaurant to hit. As the name suggests, raw is the dish of the day, every day at Tassili’s Raw Reality. A fan favorite on their menu is the Spicy Kale Wraps, which can be accompanied by an enormous range of sides, including Curried Plantains, Black-eye Pea Hummus, and Sweet Coconut Corn. If you’re looking for a sweet treat, their Afrikan Carob Cake and Carob Climax brownies are a positively sinful indulgence.

Lov’n It Live

Farm-to-table gets a vegan edge in this unique East Point Atlanta restaurant that likes to serve raw food wherever possible to maintain the nutrients in the food. Lov’n It Live’s focus on care and cultivation fits well with the vegan message of consciousness. But don’t think you can’t enjoy something hearty because it’s healthy. Their vegan pizza made from kamut, spinach, tomato, and pine nuts, and zucchini noodles lasagna with chunky marinara are among the most ordered dishes.

If vegan food is on your mind, Atlanta, Georgia has it!

Every vegan restaurant, cafe, bistro, and eatery in Atlanta we’ve featured here comes highly recommended. With menus that include vegan takes on comforting Southern soul food, to authentic Asian street food, to mind-boggling burgers, these food joints tempt travelers from all over the globe to make a reservation.

So what are you in the mood for? Because if you’re craving unforgettable and meat-free decadence, you’ve got to head to Georgia.

Amy Buxton
Amy is a committed ethical vegan, raising a next generation compassionate human with her husband and their beloved dog, Boo. A freelance writer with a background in PR, she decided to use the COVID lockdown period to refocus her client base and has come to The Vegan Review as a senior writer and editor, before moving into her external content director role. "What we should be doing is working at the job of life itself" is Amy's mantra, courtesy of Tom from The Good Life.