And it’s not all salads, either, as these restaurants have incorporated healthier alternatives into some of the most familiar and comfortable dishes you can think up. You don’t really have to look too hard because you’ll find them scattered throughout Queen City.
We keep coming back for more and have discovered plenty of health-conscious Charlotte restaurants to include in your next meal out.
This guide is part of our series on Charlotte and all the awesome places to visit in Central North Carolina. We originally created it on November 26, 2018. It has been maintained and updated, as of January 19, 2020.
Healthy Places to Eat in Charlotte
Website | 720 Gov Morrison St, 1331 Central Ave, & 1231A East Blvd
Christina found herself in a pickle one day. She was in Charlotte to cover an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, hungry, and during a Whole30 round. After reaching out on Instagram, YAFO Kitchen was one recommendation thrown out to her, and it was a great one!
YAFO serves up made-to-order Mediterranean food with Middle-Eastern flavors and locally sourced ingredients. The food is fast, homemade, and comes at an incredible value.
While searching their website, we found that they even have carefully chosen suggested menus based on specific diets. Whether you follow a plant-based, low carb, paleo life or looking to gain muscle, YAFO has menus with dishes from their entire restaurant group.
Website | 1537 Camden Road
While we typically only feature locally-owned restaurants, Flower Child was also heavily recommended to us when seeking out healthy food in Charlotte.
Popular in the Southwest and California, Flower Child’s South End location offers vegetarian, vegan, gluten, dairy, and sugar-free options. Their colorful interior is joined by colorful food options. Salads, bowls, and wraps all pop with a beautiful mixture of fresh vegetables.
Whether you’re looking for plant-based protein or healthy lean meats, Flower Child is the perfect place for a filling and thoughtful healthy meal in Charlotte.
Fern, Flavors from the Garden
Website | 1419 East Blvd
You’ll discover Southern food is not just for carnivores after visiting Fern, Flavors from the Garden. Their Seitan chicken and waffles and Panko-crusted Violife mac and cheese top our brunch rankings. However, there are plenty more dishes to explore throughout the day.
If you’re coming hungry, reserve a table in advance because this place fills up.
We included Fern among our favorite breakfast restaurants in North Carolina, too!
Website | 1609 Elizabeth Ave
On Elizabeth Ave near Piedmont Community College, Earl’s Grocery combined a market and café to create a kitschy yet accessible place to grab a quick meal.
You can dig into various salads, their Pick Up the Tempeh sandwich, and the delicious grain bowl we sampled for breakfast one morning.
Also, the market is home to things you can grab on the go, like the locally produced Lenny Boy Kombucha.
Website | 10221 University City Blvd
Slow-cooked meats, wholesome ingredients, and freshly chopped veggies is exactly what you want to be wrapped up in a warm pita at Wrapway.
With made-to-order Mediterranean wraps, bowls, and salads, Wrapway is a delicious and healthy restaurant in Charlotte that absolutely belongs on this list.
Whether you’re grabbing the Lahmajoun (a delicious Armenian pizza) or going all-in with a Mediterranean beef wrap, expect fresh, yummy food and friendly service! We also found their prices to be very affordable, which can be tough when searching for healthier eats.
Website | 2000 South Blvd
We’ve been excited to try Living Kitchen ever since they opened up in Raleigh, which at the time of writing was the only other location.
If you do some digging into LK, you’ll find their mantra that reads, “food is a labor of love.” After devouring their Sweet Potato Sushi Roll and Yellow Curry Bowl, I tend to agree with them.
Bean Vegan Cuisine
Website | 3001 E Independence Blvd
Y’all, even vegans crave comfort foods that carnivores love! Living a plant-based life doesn’t mean some won’t miss burgers, barbecue, or tacos!
Bean Vegan Cuisine comes to the rescue here, specializing in Southern Comfort food with a healthy and environmentally conscious focus.
You’ll find plant-based food for all three meals, here. Examples include fried tofu fingers, jackfruit Crabbie Patties, Meatloaf made with Harmony Valley Burger Mix, and an incredible lineup of freshly pattied burgers.
7th Street Public Market
Website | 224 E 7th St
We’ve given a lot of love to 7th Street Public Market and think you should include it during every trip you take to Charlotte. Start with a bowl from Rico’s Acai and some juice from Viva Raw, with the latter proudly declaring themselves as “The New Milkman.”
Pure Pizza offers a gluten-free crust and locally sourced ingredients while Hazelnuts offers vegetarian and gluten-free (optional) crepes.
Most of these vendors have multiple locations but we’re thankful that you can find them inside 7th Street Public Market.
You can reach it by LYNX Light Rail or by taking a short walk from some of our hotels that include Hilton Charlotte Center City and SpringHill Suites Charlotte Uptown. Those are a couple of places we’ve stayed and enjoyed ourselves!
Lady Go Go’s
Instagram | Check Instagram for this Food Truck’s Schedule
Lady Go-Go’s is where you should start when looking for a healthier food truck option. Their version of Mexican street food comes with a vegan twist. It’s so delicious that any carnivore would never know there’s no meat.
Final Thoughts and Yours, Too
But as you see, many of the best restaurants in Charlotte are dishing out healthy, even strictly plant-based dishes.
We can’t wait to keep revisiting the Queen City in search of even more and look forward to sharing them with you.
But for now, which of these spots would you visit first when looking for healthy places to eat in Charlotte?
Special thanks to Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority for hosting some of the meals featured in this article. All opinions within this article are our own.