The glowering heat and constant buzzing of the cicadas provide the perfect backdrop for me to enjoy a delicious mug of sweet tea. This popular beverage sets the tone for some of South Carolina’s most delicious cuisine, and good old southern hospitality is prevalent in every morsel you bite into. Fresh, local ingredients infused with a desire to excite their patrons’ taste buds set the tone for a delicious meal. But the punchline is still to come: these meals are all vegan.
Exotic Fare From Distant Shores
I found Basil tucked away at 460 King Street in the heart of Charleston. It provides foodies with the perfect reason to forego a steak. The Masaman curry tantalizingly combines potatoes, onions, and cashew nuts infused with decadent spices that bring out the flavor profiles of every ingredient. While meat options are available, the tofu is the perfect accompaniment to this dish.
Have Your Cake and Eat It
I hardly come across someone who recommends a vegan spot for their delectable desserts, and when that moment comes along, I grasp it with both hands. The Harbinger Cafe & Bakery understands their ingredients, and because of that, they serve delicious concoctions to their client’s sans animal products. Indulge yourself with scrumptious cookies and delicious salads such as the chimichurri sweet potato salad for a flavor that just pops.
Lunch on the Run
When I feel like heading out just to take in the city’s preserved architecture, lunch on the run is a must. Earth Fare has several stores, and one of them is in the heart of Charleston. The mock chicken curry salad is a vegan staple and is a delicious meal hot or cold. Filling and nutritious, it goes down well with a freshly squeezed juice from the Juice Joint. Juice Joint has two locations in Charleston – one at the Downtown Farmer’s Market and the other at Folly’s Beach.
Vegan Cuisine with an Asian Twist
There are a number of reasons I like to tuck into a good Asian dish, and at the top of the list is the flavor explosion that takes place in Xiao Bao Biscuit. They offer crafted Asian cuisine that caters to vegan patronage. While they offer meals such as okonomiyaki —which is a Japanese cabbage pancake—as a meat dish, there are vegan options too. Mapo doufu is another dish served with pork, but equally delectable with tofu.
One of the best things about the south is sitting down with a refreshing drink and enjoying a balmy summer sunset. Top that off with a southern dish from the plant variety, and it’s an evening worth remembering.
About Rory Brown: Rory Brown is a food critic and blogger specializing in healthy diet and lifestyle choices. Beginning in Charleston, SC, he has attracted a large following by offering nuanced takes on fine cuisine with a focus on health. Rory Brown splits his time between Charleston, SC, Hawaii, Sydney, and Lake Como, keeping his finger firmly on the culinary pulse across the globe.