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Cooking soul food means cooking from the heart, so it only makes sense that the food with the most soul is not only mouth-wateringly delicious but also vegan. So many soul food staples—corn, rice, molasses, okra, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, and collard greens, just to name a few—are animal-free by default. And thanks to tofu, jackfruit, seitan, and other vegan proteins, curating an exclusively vegan soul food menu is a recipe for success. These five vegan soul food restaurants scattered across the U.S. prove it.
Support Black-owned businesses and get your fill of animal-free down-home cooking by paying a visit to these vegan soul food favorites (listed in no particular order):
If you hit up Minneapolis’ Trio Planet-Based, you’ve got to try the For Your Soul Bowl. Think mac and “cheese,” collard greens, and Buffalo sauce topped with crumbled cornbread and a dab of maple butter—add some BBQ jackfruit riblets and you’ll be in vegan soul food heaven. You can also add sides like yams and southern slaw.
🍲 Follow Trio Plant-Based on Instagram for the most up-to-date COVID-19–related policies and hours of operation.
Authentic Louisiana creole flavor, 100% vegan—that’s Oakland hotspot Souley Vegan’s promise. And the business never disappoints. Start with some hearty croquettes (breaded zucchini and hearts of palm served with a side of creamy, zesty Pray-4-Me sauce), move on to the Southern Staples Bowl (a hearty serving of grits and crispy tofu, topped with a generous pour of house-made okra gumbo), then take a to-go Pray 4 Me burger (two house-made patties dressed with “cheese,” coleslaw, onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, and special Pray-4-Me sauce) to enjoy later at home.
🍔 Order your favorite dishes online, and follow the restaurant on Instagram for the latest updates on hours of operation.
Drop Squad Kitchen, another vegan soul food haven, is serving up some drool-worthy eats to the Wilmington community. All dishes are made to order and “reflect a multicultural influence or a story.” The Olmec sandwich features BBQ jerk “chicken,” avocado, kale, tomato, and “cheesy” garlic sauce, all served on an 8-inch steak roll. Add yam chips, Maryland Krab Soup, or any of the other “Traditions” as a side.
🍠 Follow the eatery on Instagram to discover the latest and greatest dishes.
Oh Vegan Soul is the place to be if you want vegan soul food in Boise—think vegan chicken with Soul Rice (a flavorful rice with animal-free sausage and green onions), collard greens, yams, mac and “cheese,” and Caribbean jerk jackfruit. Or why not pile collards, mac and “cheese,” and vegan fried chicken onto one epic biscuit sandwich?
🥪 Order online, and follow Oh Vegan Soul on Instagram to discover when and where you can get your vegan soul food fill.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Self-described as “a vegan plant-based experience with a southern twist,” Veltree in Charlotte won’t let your vegan soul food cravings down. Everyday menu staples include sweet heat drumsticks, Chic’n and Waffle, It’s Not Popeye’s Chick’n Breast, Shrimp Po’ Boy Sub, cornbread, and yams. A daily rotating menu also features Philly Cheeze Steak Subs, black-eyed peas, and collard greens.
🍗 Everyone’s favorite vegan soul food in Charlotte is available via DoorDash and Uber Eats as well as for pickup.
Not near any of these cities? Don’t fret—making vegan soul food at home is as easy as (vegan sweet potato) pie. Click on the links below to discover a few staple recipes.
All vegan food makes the soul sing, so make the compassionate switch today. Click below to do something good for you and for others: Go vegan!