Vegan Travel Log // Durham, NC

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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).

Thursday night: 

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.

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Friday morning: 

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.

Friday afternoon: 

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.

Friday night: 

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!

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Saturday morning: 

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!).

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Saturday afternoon: 

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.

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Saturday night: 

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.

Sunday morning: 

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.

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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.

Sunday night: 

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.

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Monday morning: 

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.

Monday afternoon: 

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.

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Monday night: 

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.

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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! ♡

Vegan Travel Log // Michigan Pt. 2

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We travelled back to Michigan for another wedding almost two weeks ago. Check out this post from July for Part 1: Vegan Travel Log // Michigan

Here’s our latest trip in photos:

Breakfast the morning we left Dallas: Fresh Morning Donuts’ tofu scramble burritos and donuts. We bought extra to share with my parents who were kind to drive us to the airport.

We landed in Detroit that afternoon. We were hungry so we stopped by Seva in Ann Arbor to pick up some dinner before our 5 hour drive across the state. We started with some queso and chips then ordered the Beyond Burger Patty.

It was a long drive with lots of trees.

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The morning of the wedding we picked up some bagels and hummus from L’Chayim Delicatessen in Beulah.

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At the wedding they had a delicious option for the vegans there: a squash filled with quinoa and veggies with asparagus on the side.

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I also didn’t think any of the desserts were vegan so I picked up some Ritz crackers, then saw a sign that said all the cookies were vegan.

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We went to a BBQ the next day and were surprised to find a grocery store (Shop N’ Save) that had not only Gardein chick’n burgers and daiya cheese, but also Dandies marshmallows on display.

We left for Dallas the next day. While waiting for our plane at the airport we stopped by Bigalora, a pizza place that had vegan cheese. Then we found out our plane was delayed so we got some drinks and fries while we waited.

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That’s the end of the quick look of our trip to Michigan. I was surprised how easy it was to find places near us with vegan options in an area I didn’t think had many. Have you guys been to Michigan? Let us know of any places we should try out next time we visit!

Also, here’s a video I posted on my YouTube channel of some clips I took while in Michigan: Our trip to Michigan.

Vegan Travel Log // Michigan

We left for Michigan from Dallas a few weeks ago. This is the first time we’ve been in Michigan since we’ve both been vegan, so I was pretty nervous. Turns out, it was extremely easy and there were tons of delicious options for us.

Saturday:

At the Dallas / Fort Worth Airport we were running short on time for breakfast and options were scarce near our terminal so we stopped at a Blimpie. We both got a sub with all the veggies and mustard on white italian bread.

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We landed in Michigan a few hours later. Our first stop was at Tim Horton’s. I’m from Buffalo, NY so we used to get our coffee from Tim Horton’s, not Starbucks. I got a plain pretzel bagel and some coffee.

That night we met up with some family and ate at the Blaze Pizza in Auburn Hills for dinner since it was close to the hotel. There’s one about 40 minutes from where we live in Texas and we’ve only been there once, but we really enjoyed it and hoped the family we were with would too. We ordered a vegan pizza to split between DJ and I and a side salad (I love the build your own salad option Blaze offers!). We topped the pizza with vegan cheese, spinach, tomatoes, and onions. This is a terrible sneaky picture of our food because I was super embarrassed taking photos of my food in front of people I didn’t know yet.

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Sunday: (the wedding!)

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We came here for a wedding, so I figured I would also show the makeup I used. Everything is cruelty free from the brand Wet N’ Wild. It is super affordable makeup that I think looks really nice. I used the photofocus foundation in shell ivory, the coloricon blush in mellow wine (that broke in my suitcase on the way back home), the megaglo highlighter in “When the nude strikes”, their black eyeliner pencil, and their retractable brow pencil in ash brown. I never wear lipstick so I forgot to include it in the picture (it was still in my bag from the wedding) but that was also from Wet N’ Wild in the shade Wine Room.

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We had a bit of food at the wedding (lots of beans, veggies, and potatoes) and that night we drove 3 1/2 hours east to Beulah, MI. We stopped at a Wendy’s for dinner and I ate some fries and the Apple Pecan Chicken Salad (without the chicken, pecans, and the bleu cheese).

The wedding venue was really neat, there was a small room under the pond outside that made for some cool photos.

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Monday: 

Oatmeal for breakfast:
Instant oatmeal has been a lifesaver for when we go away. Hotel buffet breakfasts don’t usually have much we can eat, if anything at all, so we always go to the closest grocery store (usually a Walmart) on our first day and pick up prepackaged oatmeal and Lenny and Larry’s cookies. Hotels will always have hot water near the coffee in the lobby, so adding it to a bowl and mixing it with some oatmeal and bananas or other fruit is such a quick and easy breakfast. Lenny and Larry’s cookies are also a good snack to have on hand because they are so filling.

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For lunch we stopped by a restaurant in the city of Empire called Joe’s Friendly Tavern. They had a plant-based burger, and we were told the buns are vegan. This was another sneaky shot out of embarrassment of photographing my food.

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Tuesday:

For breakfast DJ and I ate at the Crescent Bakery and Cafe in Frankfort. The Vegan Panini and the Veganlicious were so good! There were tons of options here and they even had oatmeal raisin cookies too.

We wanted to stay in Frankfort for dinner and found the Stormcloud Brewing Company. They have flatbread pizzas that can be made vegan, the pretzel bites are vegan (the cheese it comes with obviously is not), and some delicious hummus with veggies. We split the Caprese flatbread with vegan cheese but without the pesto (the pesto is not vegan) and the hummus and veggies.

Wednesday:

We had a long travel day ahead of us, from Traverse City to Detroit then finally home. We had a three hour layover in the Detroit airport so we had a nice dinner at Mezza Mediterranean Grille. We highly recommend eating here if you’re at the airport, especially if you’re stuck there like we were. The vegan options are clearly marked and the staff was extremely nice. We split the Mezza starter which includes hummus, baba ghannooj, and tabbouli, and we both ordered a falafel wrap. We can’t recommend this enough, it was so tasty.

Those are some of our highlights from our short time in Michigan. We’re going back in September for another wedding so there will be a part two coming soon. We didn’t think there would be so many options, and there are many more places we want to try when we go back.

Vegan travel log // Phoenix, AZ

Last week my family and I took an unplanned trip to Phoenix. Here’s what I ate on the 15 hour car ride and while we were there for the week.

For breakfast during the week I had lots of fruit. I bought a bunch of bananas the first day we were on the road and snacked on some apples, peanut butter, and bananas. Having lots of snacks also helped to keep me full. Dried mango is one of my favorite snacks and I made sure to have plenty for the trip.

We also bought some pre-packaged oatmeal a few days after we arrived which had chia seeds and dried cranberries in it. It was easy to make in the hotel lobby; all I had to do was add some hot water and let it stand for a minute or two, then topped it with a banana. It was great to have since I couldn’t eat anything that the hotel provided for breakfast.

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There was a Whole Foods two minutes from the hotel so for most nights we would bring some meals back to the hotel since everyone could get something they wanted. This was a lot cheaper than eating out at restaurants every night, plus it was a lot more convenient. I mostly ate EatGud meals, including their jackfruit wrap and falafel wrap. They had a ton of other vegan treats too, like some veggie potstickers and mochi.

One night for dinner we checked out the Loving Hut in Phoenix. Loving Hut is one of our favorite places to go when we’re near Addison so I wanted to try out the one in Arizona. Everyone liked it and the food was great. I ordered the Chow Fun and my parents had the Loving Hut Burger and the Spicy Cha Cha.

I also had to make up my own meals from the menu from a few places (this was just some veggies and rice):

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Taco Bell and Subway were also really convenient to stop at since they have so many vegan options compared to other fast food restaurants. At Subway I always get the Italian bread and I load it with veggies and mustard. Taco Bell is super easy too. My go-to orders are either a bean burrito fresco style (no sour cream and no cheese) or a Crunchwrap Supreme (substitute beans for beef, and also make it fresco style. Adding potatoes or guacamole is really good too). It’s so easy to customize your order so we stopped at these places a few times.

The past few road trips we’ve been on since being vegan have been pretty easy. Bringing our own snacks helps a lot and tons of restaurants have vegan options now. Let me know what your go-to tips for traveling while vegan are in the comments!

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Vegan travel log // Austin, TX

We took a small road trip to Austin, TX last month and tried out a bunch of vegan places while we were there.

First off, on our car ride there we snacked on some dried mango, which we always say is like vegan jerky. We also picked up some Taco Bell, which I didn’t photograph. My go-to taco bell order is a bean burrito fresco style, or the triple layer nachos fresco style and with guacamole.

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On our first morning there we went to a place called El Chilito, which is not vegan but they had a ton of vegan options. I ordered a burrito and put black beans, rice, avocado, and potatoes in it:

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For dinner we went to Mother’s Cafe and Garden. They’re a vegetarian place with lots of vegan options. I ate the vegan tofu enchiladas, and although they didn’t photograph well they were so good. We’ve eaten here a few times over the years and have never had a bad meal.

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That night we went out to a bar and I got hungry again. I looked up vegan places nearby and was shocked to see Arlo’s, a vegan food truck that served burgers. We decided to walk there and try it out. If you are craving a vegan burger patty that tastes like a delicious, fast food beef patty, this is the place to go. We didn’t think it was vegan when we took our first bite. This was taken at 1 in the morning, so it’s not the best quality photo:

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The next morning for breakfast we ate at Capital City Bakery, an all-vegan bakery. There’s nothing better than vegan baked goods in my opinion (except for vegan mac and cheese, maybe). We each got a pop tart and an oatmeal cookie sandwich.

For dinner we had a vegan feast. We went to Conan’s Pizza and brought home their vegan deep dish pizza topped with Daiya cheese, spinach, and tomatoes and ate while we watched movies. This is some of the best pizza I’ve ever had, including non-vegan (to be honest, the best pizzas I’ve eaten have been vegan). It’s not a vegan restaurant, but their dough is vegan and they have Daiya!

On our final morning in Austin we went back to Capital City Bakery. We read online they had vegan kolaches but they were out when we went the day before and we had to try them. It was definitely worth the wait:

For lunch we went to Bouldin Creek, Cafe. They are a vegetarian cafe with vegan options as well. I ordered the El Tipico which had scrambled tofu, herbed potato hash cake, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, beans, and flour tortillas.

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Arlo’s was so good the first time we ate it, we had to make it our last stop before we drove back home. They were out of fries, so they asked if mac and cheese would be okay instead (of course it was) and this time instead of just the classic burger I added vegan bacon too it too.

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I posted all of these photos on my Instagram while we were there, so check it out if you want to see more vegan junk food (and sometimes healthy meals too!).

We’re so lucky to have some vegan restaurants near us at home, but we were definitely overwhelmed and spoiled being surrounded by so many vegan places in Austin. We didn’t have enough time to go everywhere we wanted to, so we’ll definitely go back soon (especially for the vegan deep dish pizza and burgers).