We took a weekend trip to Durham, North Carolina from Dallas, Texas to visit a friend this past weekend. Here’s what we ate as we travelled through Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
First, I want to mention some of the snacks we brought to keep us awake for the long car ride. We brought:
- Unsweetened dried mango
- Annie’s Chocolate Chip Bunny Grahams (most of the other flavors have honey in them, but these don’t)
- Mini bagels and peanut butter
- Buddha Bowl Himalayan Pink Salt popcorn
- And some leftover pasta with spinach and Boca veggie crumbles (we brought it since it would be bad by the time we got home).
We started our road trip to North Carolina with a quick dinner from Freebirds in Plano, TX. We shared a burrito and filled it with Beyond Meat, cilantro-lime rice, black beans, creamy jalapeño sauce (didn’t think this was vegan, but the nutrition info on their website says it is!), sautéed peppers, onions, pico de gallo, and tortilla strips.
We stopped by Chik-fil-A and picked up some coffee and hashbrowns. As far as we know, Chick-fil-A is the only place open at 6am that has something vegan.
We were near Knoxville, Tennessee so I looked up on google maps vegan places near us. I found The Tomato Head, a pizza place located in West Knoxville that offered some vegan options. We split a sandwich (marinated tofu, fresh spinach, carrot, red onion, spinach and sundried tomato pesto, tomatoes, and sprouts) and a pizza (vegan cheese, spinach, basil, and tomatoes). Both were so delicious.
We made it to Durham! We hung out at an outdoor bar called Motorco Music Hall. We ordered some beers and DJ and I split the vegan tacos (eggplant, tofu, pickled red onion, cilantro, and green onion) and some fries (salt, pepper, and parsley). The atmosphere was cool. It used to be a car dealership but was transformed into a bar and music venue. Plus, after looking at their menu online while making this post, they offer a ton of vegan options!
We ate at Elmo’s Diner in Durham for brunch. At first glance there weren’t many options on the menu, but our waitress pulled out a menu that had all of the vegetarian and vegan options highlighted. We ordered the vegetarian chili (which was vegan!) with a dinner roll on the side, plus a house salad with lemon tahini dressing.
We also stopped at Sam’s Quik Shop which had a large selection of beer. I found a really tasty vegan beer there (and a giant dog!).
We planned on picking up a snack before dinner, so we stopped at Ninth Street Bakery on Chapel Hill St. Unfortunately they didn’t have any vegan pastries out while we were there (but they do make them!), so we split the Thai Curry Bowl and we bought a loaf of ciabatta bread. This was so amazing. We were going to pick up another bowl to split on our way back home but they were closed by the time we got there Sunday afternoon. We highly recommend checking this place out if you’re in the area.
We picked up a Mellow Mushroom pizza and some pretzels before we headed back to the apartment. We topped it with cheese (which at this location was Follow Your Heart), tempeh, spinach, and basil. When you order from Mellow Mushroom just make sure you ask for the crust and the pretzels without butter and without parmesan cheese.
For our last day we went to Guglhupf for brunch, a nice-looking cafe that had two vegan options: tofu scramble and a roasted poblano panini (avocado, greens, and vegan chipotle mayo on ciabatta bread). I usually don’t like getting tofu scramble out because it’s generally watery and just not very good, but the tofu scramble here was cooked perfectly. The coffee was amazing too.
We walked around the Duke Gardens after we ate brunch.
It was a nice, warm day out, and I really wanted some ice cream after we had walked around for a few hours. There aren’t any ice cream parlors near us that offer vegan options, so we haven’t eaten ice cream out in almost 2 years. When DJ and I first started dating we would get frozen yoghurt all the time. But, I found a place nearby called The Parlour that always offers vegan flavors! On this day they had a coconut ice cream and banana sorbet. I tried the coconut one and got it topped with a coconut whip and DJ got the banana sorbet. Both were really tasty. We also split a vegan pecan brownie.
Like I said earlier, we planned on picking up another bowl of the Thai Curry soup and bread, but they were closed by the time we got there. Instead we stopped by Dos Perros, a Mexican restaurant that had some vegan options. We split the flautas veganas (crispy corn tortillas, black beans, sweet plantains, red and cayenne peppers, and corn “cream” sauce) and some vegan tacos.
At 6am we stopped at a Chik-fil-A again to pick up some hashbrowns and coffee, and we snacked on those with a mini bagel and peanut butter for breakfast.
Taco Bell. Luckily there’s a Taco Bell almost everywhere, and it’s so easy to order a bean burrito fresco style or customize a crunch wrap supreme.
We got home at 6pm so we stopped by the Target near our apartment and picked up some frozen food to make a cheap, easy dinner. These are some Alexia onion rings, Gardein barbecue wings, Morning Star buffalo wings (Morning Star is making a lot of their products vegan now!), and DJ picked up a frozen curry burrito. We promptly fell asleep soon after.
That’s everything we ate while in Durham, North Carolina. It’s getting easier and easier to be vegan while traveling. We were surprised how many vegan options there were in Durham and in all the states we travelled through! ♡