12 Asheville restaurants for omnivores with hearty vegetarian meals

Asheville is an exceptional place for vegetarians in that nearly every independent restaurant makes meat-free accommodations far beyond the veggie burger. That’s why this is by no means a complete list. But if you’re a meat eater with a visiting vegetarian friend, here are just a few of the many places you might consider. 

Andaaz Indian Cusine

At lunch, this new Indian restaurant serves a buffet where you can find more vegetarian than meaty dishes. How often can you say that? Meat eaters will love the lamb curry but also will find the dal, the mixed vegetable pakoras, the palak paneer and other hearty meat-free fare to be perfectly satisfying. At dinner, it’s a more a la carte experience with a menu of nearly 20 vegetarian entrees. 28 Hendersonville Road.

Related:Sneak peek, opening date for Andaaz fine-dining Indian restaurant in Biltmore Village

The Blackbird

This downtown Asheville restaurant has an entire vegetarian and vegan section on the menu. Among the choices, you’ll find a vegan risotto made with hemp milk and fresh truffles and a vegetable Wellington, both of which are perfectly fancy. Meat eaters, you may have fried chicken, heritage pork chops and a few seafood selections, too. 47 Biltmore Ave.

Leo’s House of Thirst

Though wine is a major star of the show in this West Asheville spot, the food should not be skipped. You’ll find vegetarian tartines, a seasonal soup and plenty of cheese to nibble on. There’s also a grilled cheese that looks pricey ($12), but you should spring for it and also add the Calabrian chili, because why not. For those who eat fish, try the smoked fish dip and the crudo. 1055 Haywood Road.

Green Sage's Green Day smoothie is made with banana, avocado, spinach, kale, dates, almond butter,
chia seeds, spirulina, and almond milk.

Green Sage Cafe

There are so many options here for vegetarians, from the Pura Vida bowl at breakfast to every single one of the hearty grain bowls, which start off vegetarian, though you can add any protein you’d like.

For meat eaters, there’s plenty of salmon, hormone-free chicken and even a Hickory Nut Gap burger. There are also smoothies and coffee drinks here, too. Downtown, North and South Asheville.

Find your closest spot at greensagecafe.com.

Haywood Common

At this West Asheville spot, the poke is a favorite treat with its zippy coconut-lime rice and array of seasonal vegetables and just enough spicy Sriracha sauce. Though you can have fish — sometimes salmon, sometimes tuna — you can also have your poke bowl made with tofu.

That should be filling enough, but don’t forget to check out the salads. 507 Haywood Road.

Cucina 24

This northern Italian restaurant does amazing things with vegetables. You’ll find pretty flowers and seasonal greens you’ve never heard of and warming pasta dishes with meat and without. You won’t miss it.

For takeout, try the pizza, suitable as a meal for one, but easily split if you add on a few other dishes. Whatever is seasonal and fun should be your order, and meat eaters will find the pepperoni pie to be a solid choice. Note: the restaurant is running a prix fixe menu, so check in advance for availability at www.cucina24restaurant.com/reserve. 24 Wall St.