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August 19, 2019

Vegan Dining Options in Asheville, NC (Part 7)

by Anne Paddock

Asheville’s vibrant restaurant scene is often compared to Portland, Oregon’s (often referred to its sister city) but its not because both cities have numerous vegan restaurants. Instead both cities are known for being incredibly tolerant and accommodating to diners preferences.  Plant-based options are available at most restaurants even when the menu doesn’t list a vegan option.

There are many fine, casual, southern, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Thai, Chinese, and Indian restaurants in Asheville. Here’s just a few that offer some great vegan dining options:

SONORA COCINA MEXICANA

  • Address: 89 Patton Avenue, Asheville (downtown)
  • Phone Number:  828-232-7370
  • Website:  www.sonoranc.com
  • Hours:  M-Th: 11:30 am-9:00 pm; Fri and Sat:  11:30 am – 1:00 am; Sunday:  12:00 pm – 9:00 p
  • Prices: Vegan Tacos are $6 each or 2 for $10 and come with rice and beans
  • Notable: Specialty Vegan Tacos
  • Other Information:  The staff are super flexible and accommodating so don’t be afraid to ask them to include vegetables to your liking.

Sonora Cocina Mexicana is referred to as simply “Sonora” by locals. A small super casual restaurant (shorts, t-shirts and flip flops are the norm), Sonora is known for their tacos. Vegan options include the avocado taco (flash fried avocado, grilled corn salsa, and cilantro lime slaw (hold the aioli and queso but consider adding pineapple salsa and beans) made with corn tortillas. The staff are very accommodating and even made a bean taco (with corn salsa, fresh avocado, and pico de gallo on a recent visit) when I wanted two different types of tacos. Sonora also offers vegan chorizo and spicy potatoes, too.

BUTTON & CO BAGELS

  • Address:  32 S Lexington Avenue, Asheville (downtown)
  • Phone Number:  828-630-0330
  • Website:  www.katiebuttonrestaurants.com
  • Hours: Mon: closed; Tues-Fri: 7:00 am-3:00 pm; Sat and Sun:  8:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Prices:  Bagel sandwiches are about $7
  • Notable: Bagel Sandwiches (although there are no vegan bagel sandwiches on the menu, ask for the Veggie (mixed vegetables (roasted carrots, onions, tomatoes, red onion or pickled red onion, lettuce, and sprouts) without  the  cheese  (vinaigrette  is  also  optional).  If  you’ve  never  tasted  a  roasted  carrot  on  a  bagel, you’re  in for a treat.
  • Other Information:  Button & Co is the classic bagel shop meets the South.  You won’t find a dozen varieties of bagels or 20 guys behind the counter making bagel sandwiches in minutes but what you will find is 6 or 7 types of bagels (plain, salted, rye, seeded, everything, and a seasonal flavor – try the fig and sorghum if available).

ABEJA’S HOUSE CAFE

  • Address:  1550 Hendersonville Road, Asheville
  • Phone Number:  828-505-3696
  • Website:  www.abejashousecafe.com
  • Hours: Tues-Sun:  7:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Prices: Most entrees are $8-$10
  • Notable: The California Veggie Sandwich made with fresh avocado, cucumber, red onions, fresh spinach, alfalfa sprouts, fresh tomatoes, and pepper on sprouted multigrain bread (ask them to hold the goat cheese and no mayo). The California comes with a side of salad (served in a separate bowl), french fries, or sweet potato fries.
  • Other Information: Abeja’s serves breakfast and lunch. The menu lists lots of vegan options, including the Vegan Burrito, the Vegan Platter (a breakfast dish with tofu scramble or tempeh, fresh tomatoes, roasted potatoes, kale and onions, and homemade sourdough bread), a Veggie Omelet, a Portobello Veggie Burger Sandwich served with potatoes, fries, or a side salad, a California Veggie Sandwich (hold the cheese), a Pure Vida Bowl (without the eggs), a Spinach Berry Salad, and a house salad.

FRENCH BROAD CHOCOLATE FACTORY AND CAFE

  • Address:  821 Riverside Drive, Asheville
  • Phone Number:  828-348-5169
  • Website: www.frenchbroadchocolates.com
  • Hours: Open everyday from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm but tours are listed on the website
  • Prices: The tours are $3-$12
  • Notable: Make an on-line reservation for the 30 or 60 minute chocolate tour (includes chocolate tastings). Enjoy the Guatemalan 73% Dark Chocolate at the chocolate tasting.
  • Other Information: A selection of fresh vegan truffles are available for sale. Don’t leave without trying the Strawberry Balsamic Truffle, the Chocolate Caramel and the Almond Praline.

CHIESA

  • Address:  152 Montford Avenue, Asheville
  • Phone Number: 828-552-3110
  • Website: www.chiesaavl.com
  • Hours: Open daily from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Prices: Appetizer: $6-$12; Salads:  $7-$12, Entree (Vegan Basil Pesto): $17
  • Notable: The Vegan Basil Pesto (orichette or Penne) with walnuts and the Beet Salad
  • Other Information: The chef at Chiesa is a vegan and he specializes in Italian fare. Chiesa is the Italian word for “church” which is fitting given that the restaurant is in what was once a church. Lots of vegan options on the menu including pasta and sauces, marinated cauliflower steak, marinated olives, Endive and Pear Salad,and a Beet Salad.

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