Where to Eat as a Vegetarian in Charleston, SC

June 8, 2024

Charleston, South Carolina is a city known for its rich history, architecture, and, of course, the southern food scene. Don’t worry, you can enjoy this foodie town as a vegetarian-  I’ve been doing it for years! There are a surprising number of fantastic vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Charleston that even my meat-loving husband loves to visit. Here are my 13 personal favorite restaurants to eat as a vegetarian in Charleston with a non-vegetarian partner.

Basic Kitchen

Basic Kitchen (@basic_kitchen)  is known for using local, seasonal ingredients to create dishes that are both delicious and good for you… plus some vegetarian takes on less healthy favorites. Sure, you can order a delicious salad or grain bowl, but make sure to pair it with the cauliflower wings and sweet potato fries! Despite being vegetarian and gluten-free focused, they do it all well- my husband maintains that “the naughty burger” is one of his favorite burgers in all of Charleston.

The Harbinger Cafe

The Harbinger Cafe (@theharbingercafe) will forever be my Charleston happy place. This woman-owned and neighborhood focused cafe and bakery is a favorite among locals for its cozy atmosphere, delicious pastries, and hearty vegetarian options. Their rotating salad plate is my go-to lunch option in Charleston. 

Harken Cafe

Harken Cafe (@harkencafe) is the little, French inspired sister cafe to The Harbinger and another excellent choice for vegetarians in Charleston. Similar menu, more tourist focused location in the heart of the French Quarter, and a perfect place to stop by for coffee or lunch when exploring the sites in downtown Charleston.

Huriyali

For a quick and healthy bite, check out Huriyali (@huriyali) near Hampton Park. Their staff is super friendly, and they are known for their fresh juices and smoothies (I recommend the Purple Rain), but also offer a variety of vegetarian sandwiches and vegan bowls, and a local wine and beer fridge.

The Daily

The Daily (@thedailychs) is one of Charleston’s OG local coffee shops that has since expanded its reach to Atlanta. The flagship King Street location is a combination of a coffee shop, bakery, and cafe, serving up a host of middle eastern inspired vegetarian options. I live for their breakfast pita – really just order anything that comes with their schug. Pro tip: this is wi-fi free cafe, come and hang!

Pink Bellies

Come for the noodz and stay for the cocktails! I’ve been obsessed with Pink Bellies (@pinkbellies) since the days Chef Thai got his start as a food truck on the College of Charleston campus. This trendy Vietnamese restaurant is famous for its OG garlic noodles with pulled pork, and their vegetarian restaurant with tofu and oyster mushrooms is another homerun. Their rotating specials also often include vegetarian or pescatarian options.

Ma’am Saab

Ma’am Saab (@maamsaabchs) offers a unique fusion of Southern and Pakistani cuisine in the heart of downtown Charleston, not to mention some deliciously innovative cocktails and mocktails. They have plenty of vegetarian options, but the samosa chaats followed by the butter paneer are my go-to. Ma’am Saab is a great downtown takeout option, and if you are local you should look into their supper club membership.

Beautiful South

Beautiful South (@beautiful_south__) serves southern Cantonese cuisine in a sleek spot just off upper King Street and most of their dishes can be made vegetarian upon request. I love the Teochow-style green beans and General Tso’s tofu, best enjoyed on a Tini Tuesday or Wine Wednesday

Bon Banh Mi

Bon Banh Mi (@bonbanhmi) is the best banh mi in Charleston! Now offered in three locations, and the red curry tofu slaps at all of them, not to mention their house made sangria. 

Jack of Cups Saloon

Jack of Cups Saloon (@jackofcupssaloon) is a funky Folly Beach eatery with a seasonal menu that is always changing, but you can always expect them to include vegetarian options like an Egyptian veggie curry and African peanut stew.

King BBQ

Based on the name, you might not expect to find vegetarian options at King BBQ (@kingbbqchs), but it is actually one of my favorite places to recommend when meeting up with friends in Charleston. Shuai and Corrie Wang are the geniuses behind this Chinese BBQ joint that always offers a vegetarian option on their BBQ by the pound – usually a smoked tofu dish or mongolian mushrooms. You can order them over rice or noodles… or take it a different route and order a smattering of vegetarian small plates and sides. 

EVO Pizza

EVO Pizza (@evopizza) is a staple in the popular Park Circle neighborhood, as one of the original local restaurants on East Montague. This pizza joint offers a variety of vegetarian pizzas and fresh seasonal salads. Plus, if you do the make-your-own pizza option, they’ll let you split toppings if you want half veg and half meat if you have a partner like mine.

Chasing Sage

Chasing Sage (@chasingsage) is a restaurant that prides itself on its ever-changing menu of seasonal dishes, many of which are already vegetarian or can be made vegetarian. Best to come as a small group and share a variety of plates for the full dining experience – reservations recommended.

This is seriously just the beginning of delicious vegetarian meal options around Charleston, a city where I rarely feel I’m missing out because I don’t eat meat. Use this list to plan the perfect veggie foodie Charleston food tour.

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