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14 SPOTS FOR VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN EATS IN ATLANTA

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Samantha DiMauro

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As you know well, Atlanta—the capital of one proud and sunny Southern state—is much loved for incredible barbecue and smoky meats. And while your local BBQ joint is worthy of a “cheat day” indulgence, the question is where can you go on the daily for some good, old-fashioned clean eating.

Luckily, Atlanta is home to a ton of restaurants dedicated to pure vegan and vegetarian menus. They’ve got Asian-fusion flavors or wholly raw ingredients. Down-to-earth, soulful eateries or fine dining affairs. Whatever you’re craving, you’ll find something clean and green to fit your fancy.

Chef Wendy Chang moved to Atlanta from Taiwan at 17 years old and has served up her take on fine vegetarian dining since. Her menu is packed with earthy goodness, like lemongrass consommé with veggie dumplings and truffle wild rice topped with assorted mushrooms. You’ll find this chic, pan-Asian eatery in the equally chic Midtown — and near some prime entertainment destinations (the historic Fox Theater and Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse are just down the block). Dinner and a show!

Cafe Sunflower

Restaurant

Just the name of this place puts a smile on your face, but the food will keep it there. You can have anything your veggie-loving heart desires: fried avocado tacos, sesame soy chicken, chimichurri seitan steak, you name it. They’ve been wowing Atlanta for over 20 years, and have established two distinct locations. Go to the newer one in Buckhead for the brunch menu (chicken seitan and waffles, anyone?), and the flagship in Sandy Springs for fresh-pressed juices.

While not a solely vegetarian joint, R. Thomas’ deserves a shout-out for its fun, funky atmosphere and amazing dedication to organic and vegetarian food. You can go for the clean eats and stay for the array of tropical birds/new friends. Once you’ve gotten your table at this iconic Buckhead eatery, dig into a vegan spread of raw cashew cheese or nori veggie kraut rolls before indulging in something like the Thai Express quinoa bowl or a Sloppy Veggie Joe.

Flower Child

Restaurant

Flower Child is a newcomer to ATL—both in Buckhead and Sandy Springs—but it has quickly become a go-to for vegans, vegetarians, and just plain healthy eaters. Demonstrated by the GMO-free, organic, farm-fresh ingredients whipped up into salads, grain bowls, and veggie-based plates like Yuzu Brussels Sprouts with golden miso and Thai basil, Flower Child is all about flavor for all.

There’s a lot to unpack when trying to describe Buckhead’s {SAMA} Food For Balance. But understanding this healthy fast-casual restaurant gets much easier when you know that ‘sama’ is a Sanskrit word for ‘Balance’. That carries through to their entire business, where they seek to help the Atlanta community find balance in their body, mind, and soul using Ayurveda principles (an alternative, holistic healing system), in-house meditation classes, and a menu packed with juices, smoothies, breakfast bowls, and tons of vegan options to build your own Balance Bowl.

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Need to satisfy your sweet tooth? Kirkwood’s Dulce Vegan has got you covered with a menu packed with cupcakes, scones, cinnamon rolls — you name it, they’ve veganified it. But they offer savory favorites like sandwiches, bagels, and soups as well. To keep up on their special dishes, look for daily posts on their blog and social media pages. And you absolutely don’t want to miss out on limited-time offerings; past offerings include dragonfruit cheesecake, spicy tomato okra soup, or a black bean burger topped with tempeh bacon and guac.

In the heart of Atlanta’s West End is a vegan meal seemingly straight from the Caribbean islands. Reggae beats fill your ears while you fill up on curried “un-goat” or jerk “un-chicken”, paired with soul food faves like sweet potato cornbread, collard greens, and mac and “cheese.” And you’ve got to try the raw Irish Moss smoothies. They’re thick, smooth, and dairy- and gelatin-free! Need help deciding? Try the Mausiki Moss blend, sweetened with fresh dates and maca root.

Time to start up the grill! This spot serves up hearty, barbecue favorites with a vegetarian twist, like BBQ cauliflower and country baked “kalebone” steaks. (Kalebone is the restaurant’s own super-protein recipe, made from wheat-gluten and all natural spices). You’ll find this hot spot off of Ponce de Leon Ave., near Freedom Park.

North of the city in Marietta is Vatica, an Indian vegetarian restaurant offering a delightfully affordable and flavorful menu. They serve up versions of Indian street food like deconstructed samosas, but a thali meal is the highlight here. You’ll dig into a wide assortment of dishes including rice, lentils and vegetables, raita, and more — all served with unleavened bread on one large, steel plate.

When this West End spot opened six years ago, owner Tassili Ma’at set out to serve the best kale dishes in the city. While kale wraps and spicy kale salads set the stage, the menu’s evolved to be one of the most diverse around. Check out new classics like mango mushroom stew, curried plantains, and rainbow seaweed salad.

Ten minutes from downtown in East Point is one of the best raw restaurants in town. Everything is incredibly fresh, straight from the stands of the local organic farmers market. The personal pan pizza is a game-changer on the veggie scene, made with Kamut bread and topped with a heaping helping of spinach, tomato sauce, pine nut cheese, and veggie crumbles.

This spot is the standard for full-veggie menus with Asian flair. The 100% vegan menu is highlighted with flavors found in Chinese cuisine and reimagines crowd favorites like General Tso’s chicken, made instead with crispy soy protein. When you’re good and stuffed, walk it off at Piedmont Park, which is basically the backyard.

Head a bit north of the city to Duluth to dive into this massive menu of Asian-fusion vegetarian eats. It’s complete with mock-meat options and vegetarian sushi rolls, and even some much-loved barbecue. Try the Veggie Hunan-style BBQ “pork,” made with bean curd and stir-fried in a hot-n-spicy Hunan sauce — or not! Here, any spicy dishes can be customized how you like it (if you can’t stand the heat).

Occupying a stall at Krog Street Market, Recess is truly unlike any other eatery in ATL. Serving up a fine-casual experience and vegetable-centric menu from behind a super-trendy counter (there are about 15 bar seats up for grabs), chef Victoria Shore delights with the likes of grain bowls, power greens, ricotta toasts, mushroom patty melts, curried cauliflower, and an all-star healthy beverage menu. Fitt Tip: Kombucha Margarita — get it.

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Stay up to date on what’s happening in Atlanta’s health and fitness scene.

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Stay up to date on what’s happening in Atlanta’s health and fitness scene.