A couple of weeks ago I was able to head back to my former home, Raleigh, NC. I love Raleigh and tend to miss it when I am on the road. However, when I left Raleigh I was eating very differently. When I arrived, I was a little concerned about where and what I would be eating for the weekend.
Let me say this, the south has a rich food history that should be praised. It extends beyond BBQ, biscuits, and sweet tea. The Triangle in particular prides itself in locally grown and seasonal produce along with creating wonderful atmospheres for people to dine in.
So what did I eat all weekend?
The place I miss the most in Raleigh is Trophy Brewing & Pizza. I used to live right across from the beer and pizza stop and loved ordering a beer and their signature Daredevil pizza covered in cheese while sitting outside. It was to my surprise as I scanned the salad offerings that they offer Daiya (dairy alternative) cheese ! I quickly whipped up my own pizza with arugula, mushrooms, tomato sauce, and LOTS of cheese. It was divine.
For date night, my fiancé and I ate at Fiction Kitchen. I had never given this restaurant much thought and I am really sad I didn’t before. This restaurant takes the motto “I can make anything you eat vegan” to the next level. We started with a summer must-have, zucchini fritters with a vegan sour cream, and completed the meal with vegan sushi and vegan lemon blueberry donuts. The ingredients are all sourced daily from the local farmers markets and the plates are almost too beautiful to eat. The flavors and textures leave nothing to be desired. Next visit I will be ordering their signature “chicken” and waffles.
A friend mentioned to me that a new raw spot had opened downtown and I of course went. Twice! Cold press juices fill the fridges and kombucha flows straight from the tap. The coconut ceviche makes you feel like you are in the Caribbean. But the true star was the tuna poke, using sustainable fish piled high with greens. While not a completely vegan food choice, this is what fast casual food should be like. I also highly recommend their blueberry bee pollen smoothie.
Whenever I travel in the US I always find the closest Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods Market on Wade Avenue had their salad bar set up and ready to go by 7 am each morning, which made for delicious salads topped with breakfast potatoes and a side of vegan steel cut oatmeal. If you know how to stick to lighter weight options, like shredded beets, zucchini, and seeds, you can make an impressive salad for under $10.
These restaurants are starting a new movement of raw and vegan food joints in Raleigh. As people start demanding healthier and sustainable food options, I can’t wait to see how the vegan and raw movements redefine the food of this city in the south.
This piece was written by Travel Expert, Jennifer DeSimone. Reach out toJennifer via Facebook or via email at Jennifer@theartofintentions.com