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 is one food trend in Charlotte that is still thriving – vegan food trucks.

Vegan and vegan food trucks have been around Charlotte for over a decade, and COVID-19 has not stopped the growth of the vegan and vegan food market. In fact, the reverse happened. There are now at least 12 vegan food trucks in the area.

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

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

The national plant-based food boom in 2019 continued into 2020 as consumers sought to purchase more natural and healthy products during quarantine, a Can study from the Plant-Based Food Association and SPINS have shown.

Retail sales of plant-based foods increased in mid-March, up 90% from sales in 2019, according to the study. And in the next four weeks, sales of plant-based foods grew 27 percent, 35 percent faster than total retail foods.

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

In downtown Charlotte, the food truck industry has remained stable throughout the pandemic, Vica Bondurant, vice president of marketing and communications for Charlotte Center City Partners, told CharlotteFive. She said that at the start of the pandemic, there had been an increase in interest from restaurants seeing food trucks as a way to reach customers.

During COVID, food trucks visit neighborhoods, not bars

Several new vegan food trucks opened just before or during the pandemic in Charlotte. Food truck owners told us they see long lines of customers – with some logistical adjustments suited to pandemics.

Sasha Quinn opened Soul miner garden, a vegan street food truck, in March, just before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in Charlotte. Instead of his initial plan to go to crowded breweries and visit company offices during lunch hours, Quinn said Soul Miner’s Garden had to adapt.

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 the neighborhoods of Charlotte to visit people stuck at home due to quarantine and visits to breweries offering drinks to go.

“This is really how we were able to create an audience,” she said. “It’s a whole different scene for the food industry. “

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

Charlotte’s vegan food trucks offer different types of cuisine, including plant-based burgers, Mediterranean fare, street food, and soul fare.

“Word of mouth travels very hard”

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

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

“We have received a lot of good feedback from customers,” he said. “Word of mouth travels very hard. ”

Quinn, who grew up eating meat, said plant-based foods aren’t just for vegans. She said her customers are split 50/50 – and meat eaters have told her Philly is the best they’ve had, with or without meat.

“If people are open-minded then I have 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 offering acai bowls and smoothies is often found in Mint Hill. Popular options include Mixed Berry, Strawberry Banana, and Pineapple Banana Mango.

(2) Mac’d Vegan

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

(3) Mike’s vegan barbecue

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

(4) Acai from Rico

You’re used to visiting Rico’s brick and mortar stores, but if you’re craving some of the best acai in town, keep your eyes peeled. for the truck when you are on the go.

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 coming soon to the Charlotte area. While waiting for its opening, RiCoQui offers 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 homemade pickles, and order a strawberry milkshake, kale salad or vegan chili fries on the side.

(7) Soul Miner’s Garden Food Truck

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

The Bowl of Power, the BBQ Jackfruit Sliders and the Happy Boobies with Collage at Soul MIner_s Garden.  Photo courtesy of Sasha Quinn.JPG
BBQ Jackfruit Sliders, Happy Crazies with Kale and the Bowl of Power at Soul MIner’s Garden. Courtesy of Sasha Quinn

(8) Sun Burger Vegan cuisine

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

(9) Taza Food Truck

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

(10) Rich vegan

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

(11) Ve-Go catering truck

To find meat substitutes for breakfast, entrees, entrees and desserts, check out Ve-Go Food Truck. Choices include a tofu scrambler, vegan hash beef, cauliflower wings, salisbury “steak” and pineapple upside-down cake. Ve-Go handles and offers private food truck reservations, as well as service for events at public venues in the Charlotte area.

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 Lottery

(12) Zizi

Zizi’s is a Queen City classic, present in the Charlotte area since 2009. The food truck and restaurant service menu includes Philly ‘cheez’ steak subs, eggplant curry and ‘chx’ nuggets. “.

(Bonus entry) Luck of the vegans

Veganners Luck is a food truck without the truck. Place an order by calling or texting, and 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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This story was originally published February 3, 2021 9:26 a.m.

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

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Tanya S. Norvell