Are you headed to Kure Beach (or Carolina Beach) in North Carolina and searching for vegan options? If so, you are in the right place!
We visited for the first time in August 2022 with family for a vacation and will be there again in 2023. Once the decision was made for us to visit again, I knew it was time to create a guide.
As a vegan, I’m always researching areas before we visit so I can plan for how much we will be eating out vs cooking in our rental or even hotel room. If you are vegan or plant-based as well, I’m sure I’m not saying anything that isn’t new to you.
In this guide, I will go through what local establishments have the best vegan options in Kure Beach, North Carolina.
You will see Kure Beach is slim on options so I chose to add Carolina Beach to the guide as well. If you are not familiar with the area, you drive thru Carolina Beach to get to Kure Beach.
At the bottom of the guide, I have also added the closest grocery stores.
Vegan Options in Kure Beach
Ocean View Restaurant
The Ocean View Restaurant sits in downtown Kure Beach just next to the Kure Beach Pier. It is very sweet and appears to be a family-run business. Two items on the menu say they are vegan options.
One is called, Hot Strawberries & Biscuits. Sounds good, right? I got excited too but wait until you read the modifications. To make this one vegan, they substitute the biscuit for multigrain toast and leave off the butter and fresh whipped cream. Our suggestion is to order Multigrain Toast with Strawberry Preserves because that’s all you’re left with and it might be cheaper.
The other is Avocado Toast. This is what we both ordered and would suggest if you find yourself at the Ocean View Restaurant. Avocado Toast comes with 2 pieces of multigrain bread with an avocado spread and sliced tomato topped with microgreens.
I also ordered a cup of fruit which was a teeny cup of watermelon. Of course, watermelon is delicious but it wasn’t a substantial amount of fruit.
We would recommend this restaurant for any vegan that is really wanting to eat breakfast at a restaurant or if you are in the situation we were in which was being with omni family and wanting to eat out together.
Happy Hippies Java Hut
Happy Hippies Java Hut is a bright and tiny coffee shop in what we considered Kure Beach’s downtown. Their house coffee is a Medium-Dark Roast Organic Fair Trade Blend made with Guatemalan and Peruvian beans. Non-dairy milk options are almond milk, coconut milk and oat milk.
Everyone talks about the Mermaid Magic drink here… we want to you know that unfortunately, it contains dairy.
Jack Mackerels Island Grill
There is a menu item that mentions a veggie burger so we sent a message thru their contact page on 7.19.23 and will update our listing here when we hear back.
Vegan Options in Carolina Beach, NC
Since vegan options are lacking in Kure Beach, I’m sharing with you the ones we found in Carolina Beach. Carolina Beach sits just north of Kure Beach–technically, you drive thru it to get to Kure Beach.
The Veggie Wagon
Not a restaurant; however, this was our favorite place to stop at while in Kure Beach (and the closest to Kure on our Carolina Beach list). In fact, I think we drove our little golf cart here just about every day.
Why did we visit here so much, you ask?
We mostly ate every meal in our beach house which left us wanting to get out for a treat and the Veggie Wagon just so happens to have the most yummy vegan milkshakes. 🙂
You will also find fresh fruits and vegetables you can buy here, nuts, fresh pressed juices, coffee and jams. In the refrigerators, read thru the ingredient list on individually prepared microwavable food or wraps… sometimes you can get lucky and find ones that are vegan-friendly.
Crush and Grind
Crush and Grind describes themselves as being your “local one stop shop for gourmet coffee, craft beer and high quality wine.” The coffee is organic & fair trade and they offer almond and oat milk. We also confirmed with the general manager that the flavor shots are vegan as well but they do not offer any food items that are.
They also have live music some days. From looking at their FB page, they do not seem to have set days and times for when they do though; nor a schedule.
Malama Cafe is a breakfast and lunch cafe with a good amount of vegan options that are notated on their menu. They have a couple of yummy toast and wrap menu items, a breakfast burrito, bowls, smoothies and smoothie bowls.
This is a great place if you are looking for fresh and healthy.
Nauti Dog is going to be the best restaurant with vegan options for lunch and dinner in this area. They offer vegan hot dogs, brats, homemade chickpea salad and more.
When we visited in 2022, there was a vegan section on their menu but when visiting in 2023, it does not show it. You will need to ask what specifically is vegan when visiting because they do not have any notations to show them either.
Whether you are looking for a boardwalk-type vegan hot dog or a lighter, more whole-foods type meal, you should be able to find something here.
We are fans!
After our delicious meal at Nauti Dog, we walked to Latella Gelato. Lucky for us they always have at least 2 vegan options. Flavors do change so check the board when you walk in. They put a little v by the ones that are vegan.
Nollies Taco Joint
A VeggL user wrote in after we published this guide and let us know about Nollies Taco Joint. You will find as they call it, “righteously vegan” options here! Nollies offers 3 different vegan tacos; one with jackfruit, one with beans and one with tofu.
Thank you for this recommendation, Jen! Wish I had seen this one before we visited… next time! 🙂
Shagri-La Island Bar
A woman-owned cocktail & sandwich bar with vegan options! Shagri-La Island Bar offers a seasonal menu that includes a V on the items that are vegan-friendly.
On their 2023 summer menu, they are offering a beautiful Farmers Harvest Sandwich with so many fresh veggies with a green goddess dressing on toasted sourdough and a Vegan Italian Sandwich with Tempeh on rosemary ciabatta. Check their website or social media for days & times open and updates to the menu.
We found a couple of vegan-friendly items on Soul Flavor’s menu, like their Beetman & Rojas Hummus Platter (not your typical hummus plate…it’s unique), Tio Joe’s Tacos with tofu and vegan lime crema, and a Vegan Pho.
The highly reviewed and rated Island Bagels has vegan cream cheese! The only negative reviews I read were the wait can be long at times so be prepared for that and that the bagels run out fast so get there early (before 10’ish is how I read it)
On the day we visited, they only offered a plain Vegan Cream Cheese (on the menu is a Vegan Plain, Vegan Scallion and Vegan Veggie Cream Cheese) so I chose an Everything Bagel lightly toasted with it, while Ryan chose a Cinnamon Raisin bagel toasted with the vegan cream cheese. Both were yummy!
They also offer veggie toppings and avocado spread if you prefer a bagel sandwich. 🙂
Wake N Bake Donuts
Wake N Bake offers vegan donuts and coffee. When we visited, there were 4 options (and as you can see in the pic, we got all 4) but they do vary in how many they offer and what the flavors are each day.
We are thankful that Wake N Bake Donuts has taken the time to create vegan options but we want to note that they do not seem to be on the same level as their regular donut creations.
Nicki’s Gourmet & Sushi
This restaurant offers veggie spring rolls and plenty of tofu dishes. We sent them a message thru their contact page on 7.19.23 for more information and will update when we learn more.
The menu appears to have a couple of options that might be vegan… Avocado Toast and Impossible Burger. I sent a message thru their contact page on 7.19.23 asking and will update when I hear back.
All of the above are local restaurants (support local!) but I will also share the chain restaurants in the area. We have a vegan guide for each of these so click on the link to see what (or if) you can order from them:
Closest Grocery Stores
We chose to mostly eat in since we were down in Kure Beach and it’s not the best with vegan options… as you read above. No, it’s not far from Carolina Beach but we liked being in our beach house and not having to get fully dressed every day for meals.
If you prefer this way too, get a rental that has a kitchen, make a meal plan for the week and stop at one of the closest grocery stores.
Technically, you have four. Two are within 10 minutes of Kure Beach, while the other two are about 20 minutes away–closer to Wilmington. I shared them in order of what is closest.
But also look at supporting the local Veggie Wagon during your vacation.
Wal Mart Supercenter
We very much enjoy spending time in Kure Beach, North Carolina and hope our vegan guide is helpful for you. If you happen to visit the area and notice any changes or updates that need to be made to our guide, please let us know!
And don’t forget your vegan sunblock!