David started talking about the next trip we needed to take to Bean Vegan Cuisine about halfway through our first visit.
One bite of their take on a vegan Big Mac, which they call the Good Burger, and he was already plotting ways to sneak in another visit before our time in Charlotte, North Carolina was done.
Bean Vegan Cuisine
Bean Vegan Cuisine offers Southern style comfort food that’s entirely plant-based. The restaurant is spacious and casual.
It’s decorated in all kinds of superhero paraphernalia – with art on the walls, figures lining shelves, and even a big cardboard cutout of Captain America patrolling the restaurant entrance.
(There’s a second location of Bean in Asheville.)
In addition to soft drinks, Bean Vegan Cuisine offers wine and beer.
North Carolina is known for its breweries. So David and I ordered a local beer from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery called Capt Jack.
The mild beer went down easy and was the perfect compliment to the fried comfort food we were ordering.
(I tried to find the beer outside of North Carolina, but sadly, it doesn’t go further west than Asheville.)
On our first visit, we ordered battered and fried dill pickle chips. They were generously portioned and had a crisp exterior. On the side, creamy ranch dressing for dunking.
There was no way we could finish all of them, but they were surprisingly tasty later eaten cold out of the hotel refrigerator.
(Want to make fried pickles at home? Check out my recipe. They can be made in the air fryer or skillet.)
On our second visit, the fried buffalo cauliflower was a special. I always bake my buffalo cauliflower at home, and so having it fried felt like a real indulgence.
It had a crisp coating and a generous smothering of buffalo sauce. On the side, thick and creamy ranch dip.
Burgers & Sandwiches
Is there any other choice? Obviously I had to try Bean’s classic reuben with thinly sliced house made seitan, melted Daiya mozzarella, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing.
They don’t skimp on the toppings, and this reuben was all pleasure.
On the side, I ordered collard greens, and for me, they were the surprise standout of everything I had at Bean. The smoky and slow-cooked collard greens had an edge of sour sweetness.
(The owner was at Bean one of the days we were there, and he told me the secret ingredient. I have since made collard greens at home using his trick, and it’s magic. See my vegan collard greens recipe that was inspired by their collard greens here.)
On our second visit to Bean, I ordered the cowboy burger. It was piled high with seitan bacon, onion rings, melted Daiya cheddar, pickles, and barbecue sauce. This gargantuan burger was packed with flavor and bite.
On the side, I had grilled zucchini. Mild zucchini is always great on the grill, because it picks up smoky flavors beautifully.
The burger so nice, David had to order it twice. Like its Golden Arches nemesis, Bean’s good burger is topped with two burger patties, special sauce, lettuce, melted Daiya, pickles, and onions.
David is still talking about it.
In addition to all of the comfort food you can eat, Bean has a small 100% vegan market inside of their restaurant. They have products from national brands, as well as seitan and spreads from their restaurant for home use.
We enjoyed both visits to Bean Vegan Cuisine, and the service was exceptionally friendly across the board. If you want to sample Southern comfort food, make sure to include Bean in your Charlotte itinerary.