While the South may be known for its meat-heavy dishes, there are vegetarian options abound in Charleston, South Carolina. As more people switch to a plant-based diet, the restaurant world has responded with veggie-friendly dishes. In the last few years, a handful of vegetarian eateries have started to pop up throughout the city. Whether you’re a strict vegetarian or just looking to try something new, check out our guide to the best vegetarian restaurants in Charleston.
Jack of Cups
Pub, Healthy, Thai, Fusion, $$$
Courtesy of Jack of Cups l Leslie McKellar
Though not strictly vegetarian, this Folly Beach restaurant regularly serves up unique veggie fare. If you’ve decided to leave the city and spend the day at the beach, Jack of Cups is the perfect place to grab a healthy lunch, but its unassuming exterior can make it easy to miss. Look for a tan building along the strip on Center Street with a small “Jack of Cups” sign illustrated with a jester. Though the menu changes frequently, star items that have appeared in the past include red curry mac ‘n’ cheese, veggie gumbo, and Chinese tea noodle bowl.
Bistro, Cafe, Restaurant, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
This light-filled, minimalist cafe dubs itself a vegan restaurant, offering no animal products on the menu. However, unsuspecting customers may be thrown off by the meat-centric dish names, like the fried “chicken” sandwich and chickpea “tuna” salad, but the meat substitutes create unique delicious dishes. Try the tempeh Reuben with vegan swiss cheese or caesar salad with fried seitan “chicken.” Serving breakfast and lunch, this trendy vegetarian restaurant knows how to make some tasty portobello bacon.
The Harbinger Cafe
Bistro, Cafe, Healthy, $$$
Owners Greer Gilchrist and Cameron Neal opened this quirky little restaurant in 2017 after leaving their bakery jobs in D.C. to pursue their own establishment. Located in the charming Hampton Park area, the eclectic vegetarian restaurant serves plant-based and dairy-free options. For breakfast, grab one of their homemade pastries, quiches, or toasts topped with a variety of compotes, fresh fruits, and other tasty spreads. The lunch menu incorporates farro, tabbouli, chickpeas, and tons of fresh veggies.
Restaurant, Sandwich Shop, Healthy, Caribbean, Vegan
Dellz original establishment began as a teeny, hole-in-the-wall deli with just enough room for two bar seats and a short line of people to order at the counter. Now, Dellz Uptown has changed locations and evolved into a sit-down restaurant serving a mainly vegetarian menu, though some meat options do exist. Order a healthy smoothie with probiotics or cocoa nibs and chow down on the fantastic vegan nachos. The vegetarian restaurant’s menu features yummy veggie-centric bowls, salads, and hearty wraps.
Cafe, Restaurant, Healthy
When you’re craving a nutrient-packed acai bowl, Huriyali is the place to go. Enjoy your meal on the back patio, enclosed by lush greenery that creates an almost tropical atmosphere. Choose from the bowl section of the menu with traditional acai, chocolate acai, and more, or grab one of the healthy wraps. Vegetarians will love the hummus wrap or the E.A.T. – egg, avocado, and salsa fresca sandwiched between slices of multigrain sourdough.
Food Truck, Healthy, $$$
For a quick veggie-forward bite while walking around downtown, you should visit the KOA Bowls. Currently located inside GLAZED Doughnuts on King Street, the food truck-slash-mobile eatery often changes location, so check the website for the latest update. KOA Bowls offers super fresh poke and acai bowls as well as avocado toast and pastries. Vegetarians can often for a meat-free poke bowl and poke nachos or re-energize with the fruit-filled acai bowls.
Cafe, Healthy, American, Vegetarian, $$$
With meat options available, The Daily serves up a variety of healthy toasts and salads. Order off the menu and dine in or grab something from their prepared food section. Don’t forget to ask about the rotating Kombucha on draft or try one of the bottled Kombuchas made locally.