No eggs, no cheese, no butter, no seafood, no meat—no problem? Then you’re probably a vegan. Across the country, the lean toward a plant-based diet is a growing trend. Whether chosen as a matter of health, conscience or both, it’s a lifestyle that requires a modicum of research and inquiry to ensure a truly vegan experience when patronizing South Carolina’s restaurants. After all, you’re in the land of barbecue, macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits, fried chicken and biscuits, which can pose more than a few dining challenges.
But there’s another reason people sit down to a meal devoid of meat, dairy and such: taste. If you are vegan, you get it. If you aren’t, treat yourself to the amazing variety and fresh flavors embodied in plant-based eating. Many vegan restaurant owners not only use locally sourced ingredients, but report a diverse clientele, with herbivores and omnivores finding common ground over chicken-less chicken sandwiches and kale salads washed down with cold-pressed juices.
Honestly though, there’s so much more to the menus at South Carolina’s vegan operations. While you’ll be wowed by the creativity that goes into these dishes, the most surprising revelation of all is that you likely won’t feel meat deprived. Vegan chefs are notoriously skilled in cooking up dishes that capture the texture, flavor and look of favorite carnivorous eats as well as crafting plant-based dishes so flavorful and colorful you’ll forget your meat and dairy cravings altogether. You also won’t be shortchanged nutritionally, as a vegan diet can deliver all the protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals you need for prime health.
Vegans visiting Myrtle Beach don’t have to scour the coast for suitable dining options. Restaurant operators have kept you in mind when creating their menus. It’s not all about the seafood—it’s about giving guests just what they’re looking for in a meal and doing it with flair. So, pack your bags, leave those limiting “salad bar” expectations behind, and prepare to be surprised by the vegan cuisine at these five restaurants.
Bay Naturals is a healthy food stronghold along the Grand Strand. Part market, part cafe, you can find a host of ingredients, snacks and full meals to meet your vegan requirements. Soups, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, desserts and more give you what you’re looking for: a variety of choices filled with vegan goodness.
Vegan raves: Cinnamon rolls, lentil soup, three-bean chili, donuts, pies
If you love Asian flavors, Co is poised to bring it on—vegan-style, of course. Noodle dishes, sushi and more get the creative plant-based treatment here. A dedicated vegan menu is brimming with inspired dishes; nothing is an afterthought. Killer cocktails, too, so have a toast to one of the most popular vegan spots on the Grand Strand.
Vegan raves: Avocado ceviche, spicy udon, lemongrass tofu buns, sushi
No matter your eating style, a visit to Jerusalem guarantees a memorable dining experience. The exotic Middle Eastern decor will transport you as you nosh on the many beautiful dishes offered here. Hot mezze, cold mezze and signature dishes all feature a nice array of vegan offerings and tons of vegetarian options, too. Live dancing is a bonus on a certain night; call for details.
Vegan raves: Dolma, Batata Harrah, Max’s Israeli Salad, hummus mushrooms
Mindfully baked goods bursting with mind-blowing taste and texture—that’s the calling card of Poppyseed Cafe. Almond and coconut flours are the main foundations for a tempting array of pastries, cakes, muffins and more. With vegans in mind, the bakers here whip up daily batches of treats to satisfy any craving. Plenty of paleo, keto and gluten-free choices, too. Ask about their special-order vegan pizza. Yum!
Vegan raves: Pecan pie bars, turtle cheesecake, black forest cake, coconut macaroons
Water Tree Cafe
A menu specifically designed for “Vegan Trees” will delight the plant-based crowd. Owned and operated by the talented Chef Philomena Mazzochetti, the vegan dishes are creative and taste as good as they sound. Wraps, burgers, salads, omelets and Mexican-inspired tacos, burritos and more make this the place for satisfying whatever vegan craving is calling you.
Vegan raves: Barbecue tofu veggie wrap, breakfast burrito, cheeseburger omelet, hipster burger, vegan milkshake, teriyaki chicken special