North Carolina is home to two of the nation’s best restaurants for vegan food, a new report finds.
Enat Ethiopian Restaurant in Charlotte and Pure Soul in Durham rank among the top 100 places for plant-based dishes in the United States and Canada, according to findings Yelp published Monday, April 4.
To create the list, the restaurant review website said it examined eateries that serve vegan food “then ranked those spots using a number of factors including the total volume and ratings of reviews.”
Of the two North Carolina eateries that made the top 100, Enat Ethiopian Restaurant ranked the highest at No. 36. The eatery — located in the Shannon Park area of Charlotte — focuses on East African dishes with a twist, The Charlotte Observer reported.
“We are dedicated to elevating the status and awareness of Ethiopian cuisine by fusing modern creativity with authentic delicious taste,” the restaurant said on its website. “The only thing better than our food is our impeccable service, through which we demonstrate warmth, professionalism, and integrity.”
Customers seem to agree, helping it to earn 5 stars out of 5 on Yelp. Some took to the website to rave about the restaurant’s vegan combo, which can include a veggie dish called gomen and injera flatbread, an Ethopian staple.
Enat is no stranger to earning wide recognition.
In February 2021, Yelp named it one of the top restaurants in the United States, McClatchy News reported. Months later, the restaurant announced that it was planning to open up shop in Optimist Hall, a collection of food vendors Charlotte.
On the latest Yelp list, Pure Soul in Durham landed just steps down in the rankings, earning the No. 41 spot. The restaurant said it puts a plant-based spin on comfort food classics — including Southern fried chicken.
“Our goal is to create a vegan fast-food experience that offers kindness and cleanliness in creating savory soul food,” the business said on its website. “We hope people take away feelings of communion and belonging, as well as support in their journeys with food.”
The restaurant — located on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard in Durham — also earned 5 stars out of 5 on Yelp. Several website users said they were fans of the restaurant’s signature “soul rolls,” vegan egg rolls filled with the restaurant’s takes on barbecue, mac and cheese, collard greens and cabbage.
“If you haven’t sampled these lovely little rolls we roll them fresh daily,” Pure Soul wrote March 15 in a Facebook post.
Overall, the top-ranking restaurant on Yelp’s list was The Mediterranean Chickpea in Tampa, Florida. Rounding out the top five were eateries in California and Arizona.