July 20, 2024


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Where to find the best vegan food trucks in Charlotte, NC

Lamont Fox and Tigo B are the co-owners of Romeo’s Vegan Burgers.

Lamont Fox and Tigo B are the co-owners of Romeo’s Vegan Burgers.

Despite the pandemic, there’s a food trend in Charlotte that is still thriving – vegan food trucks.

Vegan and plant-based food trucks have been present in Charlotte for over a decade, and COVID-19 hasn’t put a stop to the growth of the vegan and plant-based food market. In fact, it’s done the opposite. There are now at least 12 vegan food trucks in the area.

Out of 237 active food trucks listed by the Mecklenburg County Health Department, 23 are closed or not in operation, one of them is a brick and mortar and one spot is listed twice (two locations). After taking that into account, the list includes seven vegan trucks. CharlotteFive found five additional vegan food trucks that weren’t listed.

There are also several vegan pop-up, delivery and catering services in Charlotte.

A national 2019 boom in plant-based food has continued into 2020 as consumers have looked to purchase more natural, healthy products during quarantine, a May study from the Plant-Based Food Association and SPINS showed.

Retail plant-based food sales spiked in mid-March, up 90 percent compared to 2019 sales, according to the study. And in the four weeks following, plant-based food sales grew at 27 percent, 35 percent faster than total retail food.

Julie Emmett, senior director of retail partnerships at the Plant Based Foods Association, said in a May statement that this data shows consumers are turning to plant-based food options now more than ever.

In uptown Charlotte, the food truck industry has remained steady throughout the pandemic, Vica Bondurant, vice president of marketing and communications for Charlotte Center City Partners, told CharlotteFive. She said at the beginning of the pandemic, there was an uptick in interest from restaurants considering food trucks as a way to reach customers.

During COVID, food trucks visit neighborhoods, not bars

Several new vegan food trucks opened right before or during the pandemic in Charlotte. Food truck owners told us they are seeing long lines of customers — with a few pandemic-friendly logistics tweaks.

Sasha Quinn opened Soul Miner’s Garden, a vegan street food truck, in March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Charlotte. Instead of her original plan of going to crowded breweries and visiting corporate offices during lunch hours, Quinn said Soul Miner’s Garden had to adjust.

The Soul Miner_s Garden food truck. Photo courtesy of Sasha Quinn.PNG
The Soul Miner’s Garden food truck. Courtesy of Sasha Quinn

The food truck now frequents Charlotte neighborhoods to visit people stuck at home due to quarantine and visits breweries offering drinks to-go.

“That’s really how we were able to build a following,” she said. “It’s a completely different scene for the food industry.”

The loaded nachos at Soul Miner_s Garden. Photo courtesy of Sasha Quinn.PNG
The loaded nachos at Soul Miner’s Garden. Courtesy of Sasha Quinn

Vegan food trucks across Charlotte range in types of cuisine, including plant-based burgers, Mediterranean food, street food and soul food.

‘Word of mouth is traveling very hard’

Tigo B is a Charlotte-based musician and the co-owner of Romeo’s Vegan Burgers, a vegan food truck that offers burgers, fries and shakes. He said he was inspired to create Romeo’s because he’s vegan and has struggled to find good vegan restaurants in places he did shows in, like Atlanta, Alabama and L.A.

The food truck opened Nov. 17, and Tigo B said the response from customers in the vegan community has been incredible.

“We’ve been getting a lot of great feedback from customers,” he said. “Word of mouth is traveling very hard.”

Quinn, who grew up eating meat, said plant-based food isn’t just for vegans. She said her customers are split 50/50 — and she’s had meat-eaters tell her her Philly is the best they’ve had, meat or non-meat.

“If people are open minded, then I’ve got something for everyone,” she said.

Whether you’re looking for plant-based cheesesteaks or cauliflower wings, here’s a list of some of the vegan food trucks in the Charlotte area:

(1) Evs Organic Fruit Infusions

This truck featuring acai bowls and smoothies can often be found in Mint Hill. Popular options include mixed berry, strawberry banana and pineapple banana mango.

(2) Mac’d Vegan

Build your own mushroom philly, “chik’n” gyro or veggie mac n “cheez” bowl at Mac’d vegan, a 100% vegan food truck.

(3) Mike’s Vegan Cookout

Mike’s Vegan Cookout is a food truck that visits locations across North Carolina, including Charlotte. The menu includes vegan comfort food like plant-based burgers and fries.

(4) Rico’s Acai

You’re used to visiting Rico’s brick-and-mortar locations, but if you’re craving some of the city’s best acai on the go, keep your eyes peeled for the truck when you’re out and about.

Rico’s Acai serves 12, 16 and 24-ounce acai bowls with granola, fruit and other toppings. Courtesy of Rico’s Acai

(5) RiCoQui

RiCoQui is a Puerto Rican and Latin American inspired food truck that’s coming soon to the Charlotte area. Until it opens, RiCoQui is offering a taste of what the food truck will offer by selling its jackfruit empanadillas at the restaurant Banh Mi Brothers.

(6) Romeo’s Vegan Burgers

Grab your favorite vegan burger here. The “Where Art Thou Romeo Burger” is topped with lettuce, grilled onions, cheese and house pickles, and order a strawberry milkshake, kale salad or vegan chili cheese fries as a side.

(7) Soul Miner’s Garden Food Truck

Pick up a burrito, quesadilla or quinoa power bowl at Soul Miner’s Garden Food Truck, a vegan food truck serving food made from locally grown produce.

The power bowl, BBQ jackfruit sliders and happy crazies with collard greens at Soul MIner_s Garden. Photo courtesy of Sasha Quinn.JPG
BBQ jackfruit sliders, Happy Crazies with collard greens and the power bowl at Soul MIner’s Garden. Courtesy of Sasha Quinn

(8) Sun Burger Vegan Cuisine

Sun Burger Vegan Cuisine is a vegan delivery service that has a food truck, as well. Order from a variety of options, including fried dumplings, plantains, chik’n fried cauliflower or spicy mushroom “wings.”

(9) Taza Food Truck

Taza Food Truck offers Mediterranean soul food, and every item on the menu offers a vegan option, with falafel-based protein made from fresh veggies, chickpeas and spices. Grab a bowl, wrap or side, and make sure to try one of its special sauces.

(10) Vegan Rich

Vegan Rich is a food truck and delivery service based in Charlotte. Its menu offers sweet and sour “chikn,” coconut curry quinoa and baked ziti.

(11) Ve-Go Food Truck

To find meat alternatives for breakfast, appetizers, entrees and dessert, check out Ve-Go Food Truck. Choices include a tofu scrambler, vegan beef hash, cauliflower wings, salisbury “steak” and a pineapple upside down cake. Ve-Go caters and offers private food truck bookings, as well as service for events in public places across the Charlotte area.

The New Orleans jambalaya at the Ve-Go food truck. Photo courtesy of Erik Lottary.jpeg
A philly cheez steak with Ve-Go fries from the Ve-Go food truck. Courtesy of Erik Lottary

(12) Zizi’s

Zizi’s is a Queen City classic, having been around the Charlotte area since 2009. The food truck and catering service’s menu features Philly “cheez” steak subs, eggplant curry and “chx” nuggets.

(Bonus entry) Veganners Luck

Veganners Luck is a food truck without the truck. Place an order by calling or texting, and either pick it up or have it delivered for a small fee. The pop-up restaurant offers comfort food like mac n cheez, mashed potatoes and sweet potato pie.

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Sonia Rao studies journalism and economics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She is the city & state editor for UNC’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel.