If you are like us, dinner in new cities is a mix of quick Google searches, asking a handful of places to see their menus and finally finding something that “hits the spot” for you both.
Travelling as a vegan can be scary and exciting. You can find amazing spots in the most unlikely of places. Our recent trip to Charlottesville, VA proved just that.
As we pulled into the Omni Charlottesville parking lot after a two hour car ride our hollow stomachs were making quite the stir.
Typically I am a planner but after a crazy four days of travelling and a quick sprint over to Dulles Airport to pick up Eric we found ourselves in a new city, hungry and no idea how vegan friendly this place was.
After a browse on HappyCow.Net we decided on South Street Brewery, just blocks from our hotel with a noted black bean burger on their menu.
It was a modern vibe for a pub setting, but it worked. We were also delighted to see not only our desired black bean burgers on the menu but cauliflower “wings.” And yes, they were just as delicious as they sound!
After inhaling our food oh so fast, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed R and R before our body next day exploring the city.
More dinner options noted towards the end of this article, but had to note this one first as it was a lifesaver when we got into town 😉
Brunch the next morning wasn’t quite as easy. Anyone else LOVE brunch, but can never find anything vegan to eat? I truly believe breakfast is the hardest meal of the day for plant based finds.
We did a little looking around before venturing out, but both scarfed down a banana thinking it might be a lost cause.
We came across Bluegrass Bakery and Grill which had options for their breakfast hash including tofu, soy chorizo or mushroom! But the line was out the door with an hour plus wait, we unfortunately had a full day ahead and didn’t have time to wait. So, if this is a stop on our list be sure to allot enough time as I hear it’s always quite packed.
Luckily our local Charlottesville guide told us the Farmer’s Market in town was a must stop, so we wandered over there to see what local eats we would find.
Eric scored a veggie sandwich and I was lucky enough to come across a delightful, all vegan bakery stand. My little vegan heart skipped a beat! I settled on an almond ricotta and tomato gallette and all was right in the world.
If you are not so lucky to be in town during the Farmer’s Market I will also highly recommend Bodo’s Bagels. This may sound like an odd thing to propose, but I promise you will not be disappointed, they are so much more than “just” bagels.
This build your own bagel stop has everything under the sun for sandwich options including a veggie patty, herbed tofu, avocado and hummus.
They serve a little more like a fast food joint, so make sure to bring your own water bottle and silverware if you want to skip the plastics! (Read about our Zero Waste Travel Essentials!)
My top pick for lunch is near the University campus (thank you to millennials for driving that plant based biz!) called Roots Natural Kitchen. Setup is similar to a Chipotle or Freshii. They have delightful power bowls that you can easily sub in BBQ or Miso tofu!
Eric and I both went with The Southern which was loaded with black rice, cabbage, corn and that scrumptious BBQ tofu!
Another noteworthy option is Revolutionary Soup. We didn’t get a chance to try this spot, but one look at their menu and you’ll see why it made the list. Not only do they have a couple veg friendly soups, but their sandwich section is filled with items like black beans and spinach, grilled tofu and a thai wrap.
Alright, that brings us back to dinner!
Another one that I wanted to try but didn’t get the chance was a place called Firefly. Their menu is super vegan friendly, even noting EXACTLY how to turn a non veg dish into vegan! With items like tator tot nachos, hummus platter and a sweet chili tofu sandwich, I might just drive back to Charlottesville to give this a try.
If you are looking for a higher end place to enjoy dinner, I highly recommend the Fitzroy. It is known as an oyster place, but don’t let that fool you. Notable dinner options are their cauliflower steak and veggie kabobs over quinoa.
To say that I was shocked at not only have options in this small college town, but actually having NEW and exciting dishes to try was quite the treat.
I am sure there are many more options across this surprisingly veg friendly city and hopefully someday soon we will get back to the area to explore more. If you had a good one for us to try, please let me know. Or if there is a city you are heading to and want me to do some research are best grub shoot me a message!
Carry on Charlottesville, you guys rock!
For more info on things to do and see in Charlottesville, check out their Visitor Page!