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Vegan in Charlotte, NC – Luna’s Living Kitchen, Zizi’s, & Fern

The drive from Asheville to Charlotte was breathtaking. It took me through green, luscious mountains, bright blue skylines, and incredible heights. It was, in a way, calming and made me look forward to what was ahead. On the journey as a whole, that is. Anyway, before I start daydreaming let’s get to the food stuffs in Charlotte!

Luna’s Living Kitchen – 100% raw and vegan

2102 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203

Luna's Cafe - Charlotte, NC

Luna’s is super cute inside. I love the art and slick feel to it all. The service was great! I was also super happy to be joined by my friend, Mandi. She runs ChicVegan.com and was the emcee for the vegan fashion show I organized a couple of years ago. It was awesome to reconnect with her! We didn’t get a pic together when we met up at Luna’s, but I have this one (!!):

Mandi & Kristin at the 2012 NY's Capital Region Vegetarian ExpoMandi and Kristin at the 2010 NY’s Capital Region Veg Expo/vegan fashion show.

 

Right. So. Back to food! Yes, Luna’s!

Luna's Cafe - Charlotte, NC

I started with a glass of kale lemonade (kale, lemonade, ginger, apple, and celery). Wowza, it was refreshing and delicious! For my meal I had the Spinach Temptation salad (spinach, onions and cherry tomatoes tossed with Brazilian Nut ‘parmesan,’ lightly marinated in extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Served with a marinated beet salad). It was very, very, very good!! I love raw food!! I also included a pic of Mandi’s salad but I didn’t write down which one she ordered. It looked equally delicious though.

Luna's Cafe - Charlotte, NCLuna's Cafe - Charlotte, NCLuna's Cafe - Charlotte, NC

After meeting up with Mandi at Luna’s I swung by Zizi’s for a quick fix before doing some work and then heading to Fern for dinner. At first I was a little confused about where to find Zizi’s. It’s tucked away, among office-like buildings and their building sign reads, Vegetarian Take-Out. Their website is “awesomevegan2go.com,” and their Facebook page is “Zizi’s Awesome Vegan 2 Go.” So it wasn’t entirely clear and I’m honestly not sure exactly what to call them. But anyway, if you’re looking for them just trust your GPS (if you use one) and follow the road along the brick building and to the back. You’ll see it. It’s the only veg place there. :)

Zizi’s– 100% vegan

7945 N Tryon Rd
Charlotte, NC 28262

Zizi's vegan fast food - Charlotte, NC

Love the colors! You can call ahead so your order is ready when you get there, and they also deliver locally. Oh and when you stop in, check out their robust community cork board.

Zizi's vegan fast food - Charlotte, NCZizi's vegan fast food - Charlotte, NC

I had the Chicken Cheese Steak (chopped soy chicken with cheese and grilled onions). The cheese was wonderfully melty, and the chicken and bread were awesome. Oh yeah, I also had a side of collard greens. Didn’t get a pic but they were yummy too.

Before I left Zizi’s I put some wtfvf bumper stickers on the counter. I sat in the van while chowing down and noticed a couple pull up in their car and one of them went in inside. The guy came back out carrying one of the bumper stickers and was SOOOO excited about it. Haha. I didn’t have the guts to say, “hey check out my trip,” but it was pretty cool to see someone so excited about the sticker. Made my day. :)

Zizi's vegan fast food - Charlotte, NCZizi's vegan fast food - Charlotte, NC

Next up was dinner at what is most likely my favorite restaurant in all of North Carolina, Fern. I love the decor! It’s all green and they’ve got mason jar lights all over the place (but in a classy way), it felt cozy, inviting, warm and you could totally dress up or down to dine here. Another great place for a romancey date, IMO. :)

In addition, the service at Fern is top notch. There were at least three different servers who were checking in with me on the regular. But not too much or in an annoying way. They just all had each other’s backs and were very attentive. I quite liked it.

Fern – 90% vegan

1323 Central Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205

Fern - Charlotte, NCFern - Charlotte, NC

I started with the Green Balance juice and Fern’s Baby Cakes (pan-sautée of garden latkes with minted cream). Per my notes: “Wow, **bleeping,** wow!!!!! The cream seemed to be like a sour cream but without the sour taste, was simply out of this world. The latkes themselves EXPLODED with flavor… pop, pow, wow!!! There was so much going on in these little rounds, it’s hard to explain exactly what happened. They were gone in a flash during my suspended tastebud-gasm. I don’t even know if that makes sense. But what I’m trying to say is, GET THESE!!!!

Fern - Charlotte, NC
I love the little, thoughtful details throughout the decor too – the whimsical curly q fork end and the bumblebee pattern on the back of the chairs. I had a lot of fun taking these pics, trying to get just the right angle to capture everything I was seeing.

Fern - Charlotte, NC
I also LOVED the presentation of every plate that was set before me. Look at these teeny purple flowers resting gently atop the latke and scattered gracefully along the plate. I took this pic before touching anything, and was fixated on that one little flower, just hanging out, upside down, on the lefthand side of the plate. So beautiful.

My main dish was the Farmhouse Ragout (crushed potatoes with preserved lemon, unfiltered olive oil, spinach, glazed rainbow carrots, marcona almonds, tempeh, and roasted tomatoes). AMAZING!!  Not to be a vegan stereotype but OMG, THESE CARROTS!! What am I talking about?? Of course I don’t mind being a vegan stereotype. ;) This dish was great! Just a plate full of fresh, whole foods cooked JUST enough and with the slightest touch of salt. Simple yet filling and delicious. Perfect!

Fern - Charlotte, NC

For dessert I had the Cinnamon Donut Holes with chocolate ganache and jam. These, my friends, are the ultimate donuts for adults! The jam makes them taste a bit like good ol’ jelly-filled donuts and when combined with the chocolate they remind me of the classic Boston Cream donut. This dish is artful, creative, decedent, and downright wonderful. Stepping outside of that train of thought for one minute – look at those little pebbles of chocolate! They were like chocolate-covered nerds. But better! Teehee!! :)
Fern - Charlotte, NC

I’d come back to North Carolina just to have dinner at Fern. No joke. Check it out if you can!!

Next up is South Carolina! :)

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Comments

  1. Girl! I realized right after we parted ways that we never got a photo. How very unblogger-like. I was happy to catch up with you and I can’t wait to see you again in Portland!

  2. Wow, this is great. I visit Charlotte regularly b/c that is where my family lives and I didn’t realize it had so many vegan options!

  3. Just discovered your website – and absolutely loved it!
    I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and recently discovered a Living Food cafe and restaurant – if you happen to come to this part of the world, you should try ! It’s brilliant and so yummy
    http://foodinkl.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/passionate-about-health/

    • Kristin

      Thank you for the kind words!! Ah… I’d love to visit Malaysia some day. :) I’ll definitely keep your recommendation in mind. Thank you much!

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