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May 8, 2009 01:06 PM

Classy, vegetarian friendly restaurants in Asheville?

I am going on a trip to Asheville with my boyfriend in July, and would like to surprise him with dinner at a nice restaurant. He's a vegetarian, so I'd like a place with mutliple vegetarian options. Somewhere with "special occassion/date" atmosphere would be ideal.

We are students, so I am looking for something where dinner for two would be under $80 or so, without drinks. I hope you can help!

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  1. I have done some research and come up with a few ideas, including Fig, Corner Kitchen, Market Place, Zambra, Ophelia's and Vincenzo's.

    Which would you recommend (or not recommend) and why?

    2 Replies
    1. re: RoadTrips

      Vincenzo's - absolutely not. I try not to post negative comments on this board, but this restaurant is a candidate for Gordan Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmare's. We had a large group go recently and not one of us would ever consider going again.

      Fig, Corner Kitchen, Market Place, Cucina 24 or my current absolute favorite Table all meet your criteria. Zambra can be chaotic on the weekends and it really works better when you have a group so everybody can get a taste of a lot of different dishes. Ophelia's just isn't that special.
      Once you've chosen, give the restaurant a call and let them know it's a special occasion with a vegetarian ~ they are all very accommodating.
      Have a great time in Asheville ~ it a wonderful town.

      1. re: NANCY

        I love Table; its been fantastic when I've eaten there, but I really don't know if a vegaterian would be happy there. The menu is online, though, so the OP might want to check it out before going.

    2. Early Girl is the best--not strictly vegetarian, but lots o' options.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kimgirl

        we went to early girl during a trip to asheville this april and i'll be honest, i was kind of disappointed. everything in the menu sounded really good, but the end result was just ok (not bad, but not really great). also if roadtrips is looking for a classy dinner, early girl doesn't really fit the bill. it's fun for a loud, casual dinner but it's not classy.

        our friend with whom we were traveling was really excited about the restaurant table. we didn't end up going there, but it certainly looks like a classy place with lots of local/sustainable/organic/yaddayaddayadda options.

        in general, asheville is a very vegetarian-conscious town so almost any fancy place you pick will have options.

      2. I am also a vegetarian and I love Laughing Seed. The food is always great and everything on the menu is vegetarian. For breakfast I would go to Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville or Over Easy downtown. Both supposedly have great lunch and dinner too. If you like Indian food, Mela has lots of options for vegetarians. The couple times I've been to Marketplace I've been disappointed with the amount of choices even though the food is decent. Cucina 24 has a lot of options and the food is fantastic. Zambra has quite a few options and is delicious. Finally, check out Nova. They have lots of veggie options as well as the best cocktails in Asheville. Good luck.

        4 Replies
        1. re: McChow

          oh yea i've been to laughing seed too! the food was great, but again, if you are not particularly interested in having children running around and a hectic atmosphere for your fancy dinner, it might not be the best. but the food is very good and it's not too expensive :)

          we also went to mela for their brunch buffet. it was good and i bet it has a more loungey/contemporary feel for dinner.

          1. re: McChow

            Agreed...Laughing Seed is very good (although not particularly "special occasion"-ish). And Sunny Point is the best breakfast, better than Early Girl.

            Zambra would be my choice for dinner.

            1. re: danna

              Laughing Seed is indeed all veg and it is very, very good but it is super casual and not at all special occasion. Same with Early Girl and Sunny Point - good, but too casual. Try them for breakfast or lunnch. Mela is one of our absolute faves and while it is a beautiful place I still think it is too big and loud to be considered "special occasion."

              Of the places suggested, for a special occation, I would highly reccomend:
              Zambra - tapas, small plates, great wine list, lovely interior, fun but not casual
              Fig - this is where we have our anniversary each year - excellent
              ...and I suppose Table and Nova based on reviews alone. They are next on my list to try.

              1. re: miss piggy

                I have mixed reviews on the Table but I love the concept so I think they are worth trying. I have had some over the top meals and then some okay meals. I agree with everything Nancy said regarding Vincenzo's. Miss Piggy' suggestions are right on. I also like Rezaz's. Enjoy your visit!

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