As with any new place, as soon as we arrived to Charleston, South Carolina, we whipped open Happy Cow and checked out what was in the area. While it doesn’t have a ton of vegan options, we did find a couple of really great restaurants that are sure to please anyone’s taste buds. Here are the 3 best vegan options in Charleston, South Carolina!
Gnome Cafe is a cute little all-vegan restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch. You’ll find anything from hearty breakfasts, sandwiches & salads, to delicious desserts, as well as a full coffee bar. We stopped in for breakfast and tried the Cinnamon Pancakes served with fruit, portabello “bacon,” and homefries. Aaron has really been on a tear lately when it comes to pancakes and these lived up to his expectations. The cinnamon flavor was well present throughout but didn’t overwhelm the pancake. The portobello “bacon” had an incredible smoky flavor, but the texture was more like a mushroom than bacon.
We also tried the Southern Grit Bowl that came with grits, portabello “bacon,” kale and tofu scramble, which was super delicious. We were in the south, so we figured we HAD to try the grits and they were super creamy and cheesy. The kale, bacon, and tofu added additional textures and tastes that made the whole bowl a very well rounded breakfast. They have some amazing looking sandwiches on the menu as well, including a Reuben and a Fried “Chicken” Sandwich that we wish we could have tried as well.
CO is a Vietnamese restaurant located right in the middle of the adorable shopping area on King Street. It isn’t a fully vegan restaurant, but they do have a separate all-vegan menu, just ask your server for it. We tried a couple appetizers including the crispy edamame spring rolls that come with a delicious ginger miso dressing. These were one of the best appetizers we’ve had! They were fried perfection and we highly recommend them.We also tried the mango summer rolls that were much lighter than the edamame rolls, packed with fresh veggies and topped with a delicious peanut sauce.
Our entrees included the Spicy Udon with tofu, which was packed with flavor and veggies and definitely hit the spot. We also had the Com Chien (fried rice) with tofu, which was crispy and tasted just how fried rice should. If we went back, we would definitely try the Bahn Mi Lemongrass Tofu sandwich, which sounded amazing.
Basil Thai Restaurant
Basil Thai Restaurant was advertised as having vegan options, but many of the dishes were unable to be veganized due to fish sauce. Make sure to ask your server which ones are vegan-friendly because you’d be surprised! So, we stuck to what we know and ordered Red Curry that came with bell peppers, bamboo shoots, basil, and we added tofu. It came in its own covered pot and was steaming hot with a side of rice. It was really delicious and even had a little bit of spiciness to it. We also ordered the Sweet and Sour with tofu, which came loaded with veggies but wasn’t the best. There just wasn’t a ton of flavor to the dish, which was a bummer. However, the best thing we ordered that we’ve never tried before was the mango sticky rice. It was super flavorful and came covered in a coconut cream which was fantastic. We highly recommend that for dessert!
Dellz Uptown was recommended to us but was closed for Easter when we tried to eat there. Check it out though, because it looks like they have some awesome sandwiches, nachos, and pizza (with vegan cheese).
Did we miss your favorite restaurant? Let us know and we’ll add it to our list to check out!