A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains. This month, we get the year off to a healthy start at restaurants offering a tempting selection of vegetarian and vegan fare.
201-100 Park at North Hills St., Raleigh
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Try: Kale and quinoa bowls (I like the spicy avocado and lime); sweet potato fries; açai berry smoothie.
Black Cat Café
4209-136 Lassiter Mill Road, Raleigh
Try: Portobello burger; baked eggplant sandwich; Thai curry “chicken-less” salad.
8369 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh
Try: Spanakopita; orzo pasta with feta, Kalamata olives and artichokes; almond cookies.
2105-AA NC Hwy. 54, Durham
Try: Falafel wrap; or spring for the vegetarian buffet for an all-you-can-eat sampling.
Fresh Levant Bistro
8450-106 Honeycutt Road, Raleigh
Try: Shakshuka (eggs braised in a spicy tomato sauce); goat cheese and fig flatbread; grilled halloumi cheese sandwich.
2608-132 Erwin Road, Durham
Try: Quinoa Mexicana with spicy ancho ranch dressing (available as a salad or wrap).
2250 Gathering Park Circle, Cary
Try: Paneer masala dosa; lemon rice; any of nearly a dozen vegetarian curries, from malai kofta to okra fry.
The Remedy Diner
137 E. Hargett St., Raleigh
Try: Tempeh Tantrum (marinated tempeh, vegan “bacon,” avocado, lettuce and homemade pesto mayo on sourdough).