Atlanta is synonymous with rich history, creative minds and nonstop fun. However, you might not know that The Big Peach also has a thriving (and growing) vegan culture. Yes, my friends, Vegan Atlanta has arrived!
Atlanta, February 5th, 2024 — As a first-time visitor to Atlanta, I was pleasantly shocked by the many options for vegan food, drink and even entertainment! Bottom line: it’s easy to be a vegan tourist in Atlanta. So, here’s the lowdown on a few of the highlights from our Vegan Atlanta trip:
Slutty Vegan is black-owned and woman-owned and worth every bite. I had first learned of this vegan mecca in the ATL from the founder’s cameo on UnchainedTV. Pinky Cole is a brilliant entrepreneur who has already opened several locations in Greater Atlanta with big plans for a national chain. I gotta say the food lived up to its reputation for deliciousness.
We were in the throes of late-night food cravings as we visited the Englewood location. We each ordered the Project Chik with a side of fries and vegan ranch. Comfort food at its finest, this sandwich delivered! It was packed with crispy Chik’n and Slutty Strips of vegan bacon, jalapeños, vegan ranch and vegan smoked Gouda cheese, all on a Hawaiian bun. Yes, it was as savory as it sounds.
This quick-service place was fairly busy, despite us visiting during off-peak hours. While there, be sure to check out their merch and indulge in a Slutty selfie.
I’ve been vegan for 6 years and have enjoyed my share of elevated meals, but PLANTA takes vegan fare to a whole new level of gourmet cuisine. With several locations nationwide, PLANTA’s menu reflects the flavors and richness of world cuisine. Whenever possible, their dishes reflect seasonality and use local produce to align with their sustainability-forward ethos.
We came for lunch and took advantage of the Plant Power Lunch, a three-course meal with generous portions and imaginative options. As I ordered the Caesar salad entrée, I wondered if mushrooms and kelp could scratch the salty itch a Caesar used to satisfy in my pre-vegan days. After one bite, I became a believer! It was the best Caesar salad I’ve ever had. And, yes, the dessert cookie was out-of-this-world, large and rich.
A stone’s throw from PLANTA, Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate is a gem inside the bustling Krog Street Market. I spoke with a friendly associate who told me about their commitment to using only plant-based ingredients. Plus, Xocolatl is woman-owned and committed to sustainability. In fact, just last year, they became Climate Neutral Certified. This means the company follows a science-based framework for measuring, reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.
But back to the chocolate! I sampled a few bars and was impressed with the dynamic range of offerings, including truffles! The flavors were robust without being overpowering. The Peppermint Bark tasted just like you’d imagine…. minty. I secured a few bars of Kissed Mermaids as gifts and can’t wait to convert my friends into Xocolatl fans. This place should definitely be on the map nationwide.
Nestled in the Reynoldstown neighborhood, La Semilla invites you to explore the richness and nuances of Latin plant-based cuisines. Sophisticated without being pretentious, La Semilla’s menu highlights seasonal ingredients with vegan dishes inspired by the diverse cuisine of Latin America. Their bar offers artfully curated cocktails, local beer and a selection of non-alcoholic beverages.
Days later, I’m still thinking about the Cuban sandwich I had and how each element was more than the sum of its parts. In this case, jackfruit lechón, glazed seitan-ham, pickles, cheese, mustard and Cuban bread left a lasting impression on this hungry tourist. The same can be said for the squash empanada appetizers and the pumpkin donuts I had for dessert.
We only had a few days in the city and I feel like we just scratched the surface in terms of Vegan Atlanta’s majestic prowess. I suppose we’ll have to return and take in more local flavor! #VeganATL…hell yeah!
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A graduate of the University of Dayton, Lauren Caggiano is a Midwest-based copywriter, journalist, editor, and personal trainer who is passionate about championing the cause of a kinder lifestyle.