Your Guide to Eating Vegan in Charlottesville, VA

I met up with a friend for dinner last night. She is new to Charlottesville and we had a hard time figuring out where to get together (especially since I’m vegan). In navigating this situation, I realized it’s really important to have a quick reference guide for new vegans, visiting vegans, the vegan-curious, and your vegan friends/ family while in Charlottesville.

I tried to only focus on local businesses or small chains that I frequent. I still have a LOT to explore because this small college town is actually bursting at the seams with amazing food. Enjoy!


*I will continue to update this as menus and restaurants change. Last update: 08/05/2020


  • Boylan Heights Burger Bar
    • On the UVA Corner right near grounds. This is where the college kids and the business folks gather for burgers, drinks and to watch whatever sportsball game is on. Very cool spot!
      • They are the first place in Virginia to carry the Impossible Burger! The burger that “bleeds” like a real burger… and creepily tastes like one too. Right now you can get it in a bowl for the full vegan experience. If the burger is as well-received as they think they’ll be adding it to the menu with a vegan bun.
      • I thought it would taste too real for me but I honestly enjoyed it SO much. I’ll be back for many more of these burgers.
  • Citizen Burger Bar
    • Meat-centric but offers a VERY good burger with lots of vegan fixins and sides.
      • The House Vegan Burger. Quinoa, millet, & beets, in peanut oil, served “red”. Customize it and build it to your liking with the vegan bun or lettuce wrap, regular toppings and even PREMIUM toppings like local mushrooms, avocado, tarragon vegenaise or black onion.
    • Citizen also has a separate Bowl Shop. Build your own with ingredients like greens, quinoa, brown rice, edamame, beets, local mushrooms, avocado, charred tomato, red onion, charred corn, chickpeas, red cabbage, toasted pumpkin seeds, sriracha, apple, oranges, basil, sunflower seeds, roasted tofu, black beans, cilantro.
      • Spicy Thai Bowl. (their premade vegan bowl) Quinoa, roasted tofu, red cabbage, carrot, basil, chilis, green onion, Thai chili sauce.
    • Stay tuned – they are also opening a Taco Shop! Hopefully, it will have vegan options, as well.
  • NoBull Burgers
    • LOCAL
    • This family-owned and operated Charlottesville business constructs the most amazing tasting, gourmet veggie burgers with real whole foods. They are sold all over the eastern US, but you can find them in local Cville restaurants and grocery stores. Below are their two vegan and gluten-free varieties.
      • The Sun-Dried Tomato NoBull. Organic lentil & organic brown rice base with chunks of sun-dried tomatoes, onions, organic spinach, chia seeds, a blend of organic flours (garbanzo, potato, tapioca, sorghum, fava), tamari soy sauce (non-GMO) & finished off with organic tomato paste, & celery seed.
      • Mama Mia Spicy Italian NoBull. The most popular of the two vegan/ gluten free NoBull varieties. Organic lentil & organic brown rice for the base, with onions, & organic spinach. Then they load each batch up with eggplant, red & green sweet peppers, zucchini, plum tomatoes, & bind it together with chia seeds, a blend of organic flours (garbanzo, potato, tapioca, sorghum, fava) & finished off with tamari soy sauce (non-GMO) fennel seeds, dried red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, & garlic.
      • Click here for a full list of restaurant and grocer locations!
  • Glaze Cville
    • LOCAL
        • Vegan Chick’n – vegan chick’n patty, smoky vegan tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato, vegan chipotle mayo sauce, and pickles
        • Impossible Burger – California style with vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, vegan sauce, and pickles

        • Vegan B.L.T. – Smoky vegan tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato, vegan mayo

        • Vegan Donuts and Donut Holes all indicated clearly by (v)
        • Vegan Bacon Sandwich – Smoky vegan tempeh bacon, vegan egg, and vegan egg sandwich


  • Juice Laundry
    • LOCAL
    • This is a completely organic and vegan juice and smoothie spot!
    • Their commitment to zero and low waste is incredibly inspiring.
      • Cold Pressed Juice 
      • Nut Milks
      • Smoothies
      • Breakfast Bowls – gluten-free oats and/or quinoa with your choice of 3 toppings)
      • Chili w/ Cashew Cream – their delicious house chili with your choice of regular or jalapeno-lime cashew cream
      • Chia Pudding – a super filling and hydrating sweet snack (chocolate or strawberry)
      • Kale Caesar– kale and cabbage blend with vegan dressing and parm (select locations and times only)
  • Farmacy LLC – Food Truck
    • You have GOT to check out this local, organic, superfood, Mexican fusion food truck serving the Charlottesville and central Virginia area since 2018. Their vegan burrito is life-changing. Follow them on social media to see where they’ll be next!
      • Vegan Burrito – Black Beans, brown rice, finely chopped kale, nutritional yeast flakes, onions, chestnut mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and lions mane mushrooms, jalapeños, bell peppers, super guac, served in a flour tortilla with a side of salsa
      • Jessica and Gabino (the couple who own the truck) are very knowledgeable about vegan diets and can customize other vegetarian options to be vegan. Just ask.

Asian Cuisine

  • Bang!
  • Local Vegetarian, Vegan, & Gluten Free Friendly Restaurant
    • Dedicated Vegan Menu includes:
      • Avocado Citrus Salad
      • General Tso’s Cauliflower
      • Flash Fried Brussels, Sweet Soy
      • Grilled Broccolini, Sesame Cashew Sauce
      • Beets, Pistachio Pesto, Arugula, Cashew Cream
      • Thai Carrot & Mango Salad, Mint, Leeks, Crispy Shallots
      • Kale Caesar, Nooch, Crispy Quinoa, Shaved Brussels
      • Grilled Local Mushrooms, Baby Bok Choy, Basil
      • Coconut Rice
      • House Pickles
      • Edamame (salt only)
  • Chimm
    • Local Thai Restaurant
    • Dedicated Vegan Menu. So incredibly helpful and stress-free. Here is a summary of the main categories.
      • Stir Fry Plates
      • Vietnamese Pho
      • Vietnamese Bun Bowls
      • Small Plates
      • Sweets
  • Monsoon Siam
    • LOCAL
    • As they say on their website “most dishes can be made vegetarian/ vegan”. Just sub tofu for any meat, say no fish sauce or no egg. Here are a few of our favorite dishes:
      • Spicy Eggplant. Slices of eggplant and tofu stir-fried in a spicy black
        bean sauce with chili, red peppers, garlic, and fresh basil.
      • Pineapple Fried Rice. Jasmine rice stir-fried with yellow curry powder, pineapple, peas, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and cashew nuts. (ask for no egg please)
      • Spicy Roasted Tofu Basil. Deep-fried roasted tofu sautéed in spicy basil sauce with red pepper, onions, green chili, fresh basil. Served with steamed veggies on the side.
  • Now and Zen
    • LOCAL. Vegan items are clearly labeled including:
      • Edamame
      • Spicy Edamame
      • Seaweed Salad
      • Vegan Miso Soup
      • Tofu Balls – Mashed potato and tofu, sweet and sour coconut curry sauce.
      • Vegan Yakisoba – Pan-fried noodles, cabbage, bean sprouts, fried tofu, tare sauce.
      • Tan Tan Vegan Ramen – Ramen noodle soup with sesame paste and chili oil, seaweed and mushroom stock, bok choy, corn, sweet potato tempura, and bean sprouts
  • Thai 99′ II
    • LOCAL
    • Another favorite Thai restaurant.
      • Fried Egg Rolls
      • Bean Curd Vegetable Soup
      • Tofu Soup
      • Tofu Red, Green or Yellow Curry
      • Tofu Panang Curry

Mexican Cuisine

  • Brazos Tacos
    • LOCAL
    • Casual location with outdoor patio and string lights.
      • The Woody. Refried black beans, roasted corn pico, sautéed mushrooms, and sliced avocado.
      • Triple Pickle. Refried black beans, mushroom bruja, roasted pepitas and chopped jalapeños with red onion pickles, jalapeño pickles and pickled watermelon with a lime wedge
      • Sir Paul. Refried black beans, avocado, roasted corn pico and roasted pepitas
    • Also their chips, salsa and guacamole are great appetizers.
    • Brazos says they are working on more vegan options to be released later this year!


  • Lampo Neopolitan Pizzeria
    • LOCAL
    • Order the Marinara D.O.C. pizza. It’s so simple… just incredibly quality ingredients: marinara, garlic, oregano, sea salt, olive oil.
    • I like to order it with a side of Basil. It is culturally blasphemous to change the Marinara DOC with other toppings so don’t try to order with changes.
  • Uncle Maddio’s Pizza
    • CHAIN
    • Build your own vegan pizza with Whole Wheat or Gluten-Free dough. Their vegan toppings include Daiya cheese, ALL fresh veggies, Tomato Basil sauce, Garlic Olive Oil, Zesty BBQ sauce, Spicy Buffalo sauce, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Grilled Tofu, Black Bean Corn Salsa, walnuts and fresh herbs.
  • Mellow Mushroom
    • Another place to build your own pizza. If you’re not a fan of Daiya cheese, rejoice because this location just started using a new vegan cheese that looks, melts, and tastes more like mozzarella. Top it off with all of the veggies (or fruits!?) that your heart desires.
    • Be sure to specify you don’t want their classic swipe of garlic butter and sprinkle of parmesan on your crust.


  • Orzo Kitchen and Wine Bar
    • Fine dining with dedicated vegan menus so there is no confusion. Let’s be honest, this doesn’t happen often. With entrees like:
      • Risotto “Autumnale”. Roasted Butternut Squash, Sharondale Mushrooms, Sage.
      • “Plain and Simple” Spaghetti Pomodoro. Tomato, Fresh Basil, Olive Oil.
      • Rigatoni “d’Stagione”. Fall Vegetables, Garlic, Olive Oil, White Wine.
      • Amazing salads as appetizers and a good selection of sides, too!

American/ Fusion

  • Iron Paffles and Coffee
    • Relaxed nook with hip decor turning out creative puff-pastry waffle sandwiches with savory & sweet fillings.
      • Chik’n Paffle – Chik’n fried tofu with your choice of preparation:
        • My fav is to add vegan mac, sriracha, greens
      • Veggie-iron Paffle– Twin oaks tofu scramble, trio fire-roasted bell peppers, Caramelized onions, cilantro lime sauce.
      • PBJ Paffle – Almond whip, yellow peach and lime chia seed jelly
      • Watch their instagram for CRAZY limited time vegan specials!
  • Beer Run
    • Family friendly location with covered patio and outdoor seating. Enormous selection of beer, wine, cider and kombucha.
      • Breakfast Tacos. Only available Saturday 8am – 11:30am. Served on a homemade corn tortilla with house salsa. To make it vegan, build your own with ingredients like organic potatoes, black beans, daikon sprouts, spinach, jalapeño and red onions. Add a side of Organic Texas Frites!
      • Avocado Salad. Organic Lettuces, Organic Spinach, Kalamata Olives, Carrots, Artichoke Hearts, Cucumbers, Organic Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado. Just hold the feta and ask for the the balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
      • New Trail Runner. Sandwich with Lemon-Pepper Hummus, Cucumbers, Avocado, Daikon Sprouts, Tomato, Organic Red Onion, and Organic Spinach
      • Hummus Plate. House-Made Hummus with Garlic and Lemon. Served with Kalamata Olives, Organic Carrot Strips and Tortilla Chips.
      • Veggie Dog. On a pretzel bun with house made vinegar coleslaw & house mustard.
    • Only available during Sunday Brunch:
      • Avocado Toast. Avocado, creamy onion olive compote, on rustic local MarieBette bread. (They sometimes change the menu to include goat cheese on this- make sure to ask for no cheese)
      • Pupusa Cheeky Chic. Two Organic Black Bean, Garlic, Smoked Paprika, and Fresh Corn Pupusas, with House Pico de Gallo, Fresh Avocado and Local Vegan Kimchi (ask for no cheese).
  • Firefly
    • LOCAL
    • Cool BARcade with plenty of vegan options and substitutions built into their menu!
    • BRUNCH Saturday and Sunday until 2pm:
      • Tater Totchos. Tater tots with black beans, salsa, avocado.
      • Tofu Wonton Nachos. Fried wontons, tofu, napa cabbage, cucumber, ginger, soy glaze, sriracha.
      • Breakfast Burrito. Avocado, onion, peppers, corn, quinoa, wild rice.
    •  LUNCH:
      • Sweet Chili Tofu Sandwich. Grilled Twin Oaks tofu, Thai chili sauce, Napa cabbage, cucumbers, onion, ginger, cilantro, toasted sesame seed on a brioche bun (ask for vegan sourdough bread instead).
      • Hummus Platter. Roasted garlic hummus, toasted flatbread, peppadews, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, olive (ask them to hold the yogurt).
      • Kale and Quinoa Bowl. Kale sauteed with asparagus, roasted red pepper, artichoke heart, caramelized onion, served warm (ask them to hold the chevre).
      • Vegan NoBull Burger. Sundried tomato and lentil burger, greens, tomato, and house-made pesto.
  • Revolutionary Soup
    • A couple of casual dining locations with great vegan soups, wraps, and sandwiches.
      • Spicy Senegalese Peanut Tofu Soup. Spicy jalapeños combined with mild peanut. Garnished with scallions & cilantro.
      • Classic Miso. Traditional Japanese soup with shitakes, carrots, kelp, scallions, and tofu.
      • Black Bean & Spinach Wrap. House-made spicy black beans, spinach, mushrooms, & red pepper pesto wrapped in a flour tortilla.
      • Thai Wrap. Peppers & Onions, shredded cabbage with a Thai peanut sauce. Specify tofu (not chicken).
      • Grilled Tofu Sandwich. Seasoned grilled tofu, arugula, onions, tomato & fig dijon on sunflower wheat.
      • House Salad. Spring greens with tomatoes, cucumbers, mandarin oranges, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds & balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
    • All vegetarian tea house/ hookah bar with a bohemian atmosphere. Many of their food options are vegan like the Hummus Platter, Dahl and Rice, Mezza and the Vegan Spice Cake.


  • Moon Maiden’s Delights
    • Entirely vegan and gluten-free bakery on The Downtown Mall!
      • BEAUTIFUL donuts, cakes, pies, bread, and cupcakes.
  • Splendora’s
    • Local gelato and sorbetto on the downtown pedestrian mall. Dairy-free flavors include:
      • Blood Orange
      • Mango
      • Grapefruit
      • Raspberry
      • Strawberry
      • Tangerine
  • The Pie Chest
    • Offers a sweet and savory vegan pie option every day! Call or stop in to find out.

Classes and Events

  • The Happy Cook
    • The Happy Cook offers a variety of cooking classes from hands-on, to demonstrations to cookbook discussions. They cover subjects such as ethnic cooking, technical classes, and baking. For example, the tea-tasting and knife skills classes are perfect for the new (or seasoned) vegan. Here are some specifically vegan classes  coming up:
    • February 8th, 2018 – Winter Vegan Cooking Class
    • March 22nd, 2018 – Spring Vegan Cooking Class
  • The Elderberry
    • This herbal apothecary offers great classes, consultations and fun events like Tarot card readings. The owner, Jan, and her staff are extremely well-trained in herbal wisdom and healing.
    • The holiday gift-making class is always a big hit. There is always incredible hot tea in the shop which you can sip as you shop!
  • Cville Veg Fest aka Vegan Roots Fest
    • Grab awesome food (organizers work hard to bring in the coolest food trucks in the region), listen to music, grab a beer or wine or kombucha, and learn about all the ways veganism is for the animals, the people, and the planet: a win-win-win!
    • Washington Park is gorgeous and you’ll get to hang out (bring your dogsor your kids) under the trees—and get to know some of the movers and shakers in animal and social justice. If you’re new to veganism, they have experts on hand who can talk nutrition, menus, and shopping! Always a good time.


  • Integral Yoga Natural Foods
    • 100% Vegetarian, 100% Certified Organic Produce, an Organic Juice and Smoothie Bar, a Hot & Cold Salad Bar, an Organic Bulk Food Section, Raw and Vegan Desserts, Package, Dairy, Bakery, and Frozen Items, Aromatherapy and Body Care Products, Vitamins, Supplements, and Bulk herbs, and more!
  • Rebecca’s Natural Foods
    • 25 year old natural grocer. They pride themselves on being big supporters of the locavore, environmental and health movements. Good selection of vegan treats, body care and supplements, however, they do sell animal products of all kinds.


Coffee Croissant Latte Art Espresso Table

  • Local
    • Mudhouse– 2017 Roasters of the year (Roast magazine). Hemp milk available.
    • Snowing In Space– Nitro cold brew coffee that’ll knock your socks off! Plant milks available.
    • Shenendoah Joe– Plant milks available.
    • Cville Coffee– Known for being kid-friendly. Plant milks available.
    • Milli Joe– Their latte art is off the chain. Plant milks available.
    • Grit– Plant milks available.
  • Drive Thru Chains
    • Dunkin’ Donuts – Almond Breeze almond milk available
    • Starbucks- Soy, Almond and Coconut milk available

If you are a restaurant or small business and would like to be added to the list, please shoot me an email with your vegan options or substitutions!

11 thoughts on “Your Guide to Eating Vegan in Charlottesville, VA

  1. This is a dope list, kinda making me wanna take a trip out there. I’m sure we have some great places here in Texas, too. I probably just haven’t been researching enough. Thank you for sharing this list lol I wonder if any of these restaurants share their recipes….hmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks so much! And yes haha, we are lucky but it’s taken me years to discover all of this. I’m sure you have a lot of hidden gems too! I wasn’t expecting to find anything in Fort Worth, TX when I visited but I think about Spiral Diner all the time. Texas is big but… great food if it’s anywhere close to you 🙂


      1. Hmm I think you just find a great shot for me! I’m currently located in Fort Worth. I’m gonna check it Spiral Diner, Lord whining, one of these days lol. What did you order?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Whoa, what are the odds!? I got some kind of taco dish that came with a side of beans and guacamole. Vegan cheese on top. There was just too much to choose from. I still follow their Instagram and their desserts and pancakes make me want to book a flight ☺️ let me know if you go!!


  2. Thanks for mentioning FIREFLY! We love serving the vegan community in Charlottesville! We also proudly serve the locally-made No Bull veggie burger (sundried tomato/spinach version, which is vegan and gluten-free). We love the No Bull burger as a sandwich (on vegan sourdough bread) or atop a salad. Those who wish can also always request to have their tater tots baked instead of fried (since our fryer is used for non-vegan options).

    Hope to see you soon!
    ~Melissa & FIREFLY Team

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a wonderful guide, thank you! We will be visiting Charlottesville over Halloween and we will definitely have to use this guide to navigate the vegan spots while we’re up there! Quick question- do you have any suggestions for the best wineries in the area that have vegan wine options?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I will make sure it gets updated to reflect new restaurants and offerings. And you just gave me a great idea for a new blog post! I’ll figure out all of the vegan wines and have it ready for your next visit 🙂


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