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The Best Restaurants Near Cary for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving

(The Triangle Trend) — Whether you’re a vegetarian or plan to dine with one this Thanksgiving, chances are you’re not looking forward to the lack of dietary accommodations. Serving your own courses or finding some truly delectable meatless cuisine nearby is your best bet in ensuring everyone enjoys their dinner. While faux Turkey may not be on the menus below, you can expect fried okra, mac & cheese, potatoes, pasta, and more.

Irregardless Café & Catering

901 W Morgan St, Raleigh, NC 27603

Since 1975, Irregardless has been serving healthy, fresh-from-the-farm, and innovative meals, hosting live jazz and bluegrass nightly, and building a strong community.

Founded and operated by Arthur Gordon, Irregardless opened as Raleigh’s first vegetarian restaurant. From the beginning, they have advocated for diners to opt for plant-based meals, which they make simple by providing delicious vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes. Over the years the menu added seafood, poultry, beef, and lamb meals that come equipped with plenty of local veggies. Their goal is to satisfy all diets and provide a place of true contentment for all lifestyles.

Noted dish: Vegan Chorizo Rice Bowl—Vegan Chorizo served with black beans, coconut cilantro lime rice, guacamole, and pickled onions. ($15)

Golden Corral Buffet & Grill

3424 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27604

We’ll admit that Golden Corral isn’t ideal for finding a protein-packed vegetarian dinner, but most of the sides are meatless southern comfort food.

Lunch and dinner include their all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar, signature yeast rolls, and homemade desserts, along with soft-serve ice cream and their famous carrot cake. Golden Corral’s unmatched variety accommodates most all nutrition needs such as low-carb, paleo, and plant-based diet plans. They have to-go and delivery options available.

Noted dishes: Macaroni salad, Broccoli & Rice Casserole, Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes


4100 Main at North Hills Street, Raleigh, NC 27609

The brand new 41Hundred and 41Hundred Lounge can be found in the elegant Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel. With a focus on fresh, local, high-quality ingredients and delectable food and drinks, 41Hundred should be first on your list for North Hills restaurants. They are also offering take-out options.

Per state restrictions for guest safety related to COVID-19, the hotel restaurant and lounge has limited hours and capacity.

Noted dishes: Pappardelle A La Vodka – Baby Spinach, Broccoli, Sundried Tomato ($9)

Farmers Garden Salad – Mixed Local Greens, Cherry Tomato, Shaved Carrot, Red Onion, Cucumber, Aged Balsamic Vinaigrette ($9)

Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar

5625 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612

Relish provides an abundance of comfort foods, but they also cater their menu away from fried and greasy options and towards local farm-to-market offerings. Their food is prepared in flavorful ways that produce the most delicious healthy food options.

According to them, their food is of the “new Southern” style—Southern classics that have been modernized and refreshed with more current ingredients while still retaining the heart and comfort of the original dishes. Their menu features gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni & cheese skillets.

They’ve also added a “family meals” menu—macs and salads in their medium-sized portions that serve 4-5 depending on appetites.  The Macs are “take and bake” and are wonderful to freeze for later. 

Noted dishes: Classic Mac & Cheese Skillet – Cavatappi pasta smothered in creamy béchamel sauce and sharp cheddar cheese, baked to order ($11)

Veggies For Dinner – Fried green tomatoes, rotating fresh vegetables, green beans, and buttery mashed potatoes

Driftwood Cantina

8460 Honeycutt Rd, Suite 112, Raleigh, NC 27615

Driftwood Cantina is a Mexican restaurant with a strong focus on fresh ingredients. Their restaurant has been newly renovated, and the interior has been redecorated to match their bright, refreshing dishes.

“We are proud to serve delicious meals with fresh, quality ingredients every day. Our tortillas are handmade daily and we source our food as locally as possible. Our heart and soul is delivering amazing food to accompany an equally amazing experience. Our guests are treated as family at Driftwood Cantina. As a locally-owned restaurant, you’ll see our owners walking around, greeting you at the door, cooking your food, and making sure you have a great time.”

Noted dishes: Mushroom and Sweet Potato Tacos (Vegetarian) – Summer corn salsa, queso fresco ($12)

Beyond Meat Tacos (Vegan) – Beyond meat crumbles, rajas, tomatillo-avocado salsa ($14)

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Cierra Smith | Editor

Raleigh-born writer passionate about cultural awareness and social change. You’ll typically find me somewhere studying a language, writing, or doing pilates. Consider me a health-conscious foodie with an interest in all diets and lifestyles.

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