Meat in the Middle: Date Night with Your Plant-Based Partner (Eat Your Veggies Part 2)
“Hey babe, what’s for dinner?”
Chances are you’ve found yourself and your significant other in a fight over this question more times than you’d like to admit. Choosing a meal that both parties can agree upon doesn’t always happen easily, especially when it comes to meeting dietary restrictions. With an ever-increasing popularity in vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, we wanted to make it easy for you to find places where you both can find something to eat. Meat lovers and vegans/vegetarians alike should be able to enjoy the same places together.
Check out these places in the Upstate that passed the test for both meat and plant-based eaters.
Writer: Natalie Montore
Photo Contributors: Jennifer Brock, Karen Lano, Nicky Vanvalkenburgh
Digital Retouching: FishEye Studios, Greenville, SC
Generations Bistro (Image: Portabella burger)
From falafel to gluten-free braised lamb shank to crabless stuffed portabella, Generations Bistro is serving up something for everyone. Located off of S Batesville Rd in Greer, Generations Bistro is all about offering food that everyone can enjoy. This casual spot strives to serve locally-sourced, house made dishes, as well as various foods for dietary restrictions. They offer several vegan and vegetarian dishes, but also are happy to modify your meal. Generations is a great date night or brunch spot for you and your partner.
Green Fetish (Image: Thai hard green bowl)
Everyone’s been anticipating Green Fetish, one of Greenville’s newest food additions. This spot has become a favorite for vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. They serve fresh, organic, gluten-free bowls, made from scratch right before your eyes.
Choose your favorite organic meat, or keep it vegan with tempeh, tofu, black beans, or lentils. They also offer a wide variety of fresh veggies and other premium toppings to dress up your bowl. Green Fetish is the perfect spot for a healthy lunch date. Because who ever said healthy had to be boring?
Aryana Afghan Cuisine (Image: veggie plate)
If you’re both feeling adventurous, Aryana is an amazing choice. Located in downtown Greenville, this Afghan restaurant offers delicious options. Their menu is simple and easy to navigate, with clear choices for both the meat and meat-free eater. Try a chicken kabob plate or their vegetarian plate that comes with three selections. Their lunch menu changes daily, keeping it fun and fresh for all guests. Aryana is open for cafeteria style lunch every day and dinner on Saturdays only.
Persis Biryani (Image: Tandoor platter)
Nothing says “date night” like spicing things up a bit. Persis Biryani is a great spot for you and your boo to sit down and enjoy a nice meal together. Persis has crafted a menu that is comprised of some of the most flavorful vegan/vegetarian and meat dishes. Choose from dishes like vegetable curry, chana masala (chickpeas and sauce), or a more traditional meat-centered dish like chicken tikka masala.
When dinner time rolls around, the atmosphere at Persis shifts to the perfect date night vibes, with cloth napkins, a beer and wine service, and an a la carte menu, so you can mix and match your dishes to fit both of your needs (and tastebuds)!
Image provided by Persis
Jianna (Image: Spaghetti TBG)
If you’re looking for a more upscale date night experience with your partner, Jianna is the way to go. This modern Italian eatery is both jaw-droppingly beautiful and has an equally impressive menu. Meat-eaters, we promise you will drool over their Bavette Steak Tagliata while your vegan partner can enjoy Spaghetti TBG (which we hear is house-made with only semolina and water, so it truly is vegan).
con't Jianna (Image: Vegan pasta special)
Word on the street is Jianna does an exceptional job at being accommodating to vegans and vegetarians, so just make sure you give them a heads up! Sometimes it’s okay to dress up, hit the town, and enjoy a lovely Italian candlelit meal with our S/Os (significant other).
This list would not be complete without a vegan and vegetarian-friendly pizza place. World Piece, located off of Stone Ave in Greenville, offers some delicious vegetarian and vegan pie options. Choose from a long list of veggie pizzas (such as the Extreme Mushroom or Mediterranean) or make any meatless pizza vegan with their vegan cheese.
Meaty friends, they’ve got you covered with a 5-meat pie, barbecue chicken, a Philly pizza, and more! Want something a little less carby? World Piece also offers veggie quinoa burgers, crispy tofu, and a cauliflower crust pizzas.
OTG tip: at World Piece you can order a hand tossed pizza with half vegan cheese and half dairy cheese to limit the hassle and save some cash! (pictured)
LTO Burger Bar (Image: Vegan Power)
When you hear “burger bar” you may assume it’s a meat-lover’s paradise. While this may be true, LTO is changing the game when it comes to burgers. They offer several vegan and vegetarian-friendly options including a black bean burger, vegan nachos, a vegan bowl, and various vegan/vegetarian sides.
They even have an option for you to upgrade to the Beyond Meat burger (a plant-based patty)…..so you can try any of their tasty burger sandwiches without the meat! LTO is the perfect place to go when you are both craving a burger and don’t want the fight.
Image provided by LTO
The Farehouse (Image: Zucchini pasta with house made Pomodoro sauce)
If you’re looking to expand your horizons outside of Greenville, Taylors Mill (just 20 minutes outside of downtown) is the perfect place for a date night. With 13 Stripes Brewery, Tacos and Mas annex, Junto Coffee, and The Farehouse, The Mill is booming with top-notch establishments.
The Farehouse, a self-proclaimed “community kitchen,” combines nostalgia with modernity to create a cozy, rustic, dining experience. Ranging from offerings such as New York style pizza to entrees that are Southern-inspired, they’ve got tons of tasty plates you’ll want to try!
Tacos are most definitely a crowd-pleaser, but when you don’t eat meat, it can be hard to find the right taco shop. White Duck Taco in Hampton Station is the perfect place.
With options like banh mi tofu, black bean, and mushroom and potato tacos, your vegan/vegetarian date is sure to leave happy. Their meat-based tacos are amazing too. We recommend the Korean beef bulgogi and the buffalo chicken. We promise you’ll both leave White Duck happy and full. Plus, you can’t go wrong with date night when you have Birds Fly South right next door with the tasty brews to keep the buzz going.
The Eatery (Image: Kimchee taco)
Spartanburg is continuously stepping up their restaurant game. A spot we have recently come to adore is The Eatery, located downtown on East Kennedy St. This Southern gem is all about the specials. They offer mouthwatering meaty meals like the Farmhouse burger (a giant burger with a fried egg, fried onions, and bacon), chicken and waffles, and various types of unique tacos.
They also offer several vegan and vegetarian specials like buffalo cauliflower tacos, bruschetta eggplant burgers, and protein-packed vegan salads. The Eatery is a great spot for you and your boo to grab Sunday brunch. It’s open Tuesday-Sunday from 8:30am/9am-3pm and has plans to open for dinner sometime September 2019.
Hey, meat eaters: if you want to go above and beyond for your vegan/vegetarian partner, there are several meat-free spots in town that you should try.
Both Thai Vegan and We Got the Beets food truck are 100% vegan and 100% delicious. Let’s be real, meat doesn’t always make a meal better. In fact, it’s nice to have a break from it once in a while. So do yourself (and your partner) a favor and try one of these awesome places.
Thai Vegan, located in downtown Greer, has some of the best vegan food in town. We recommend the Pad Thai combo with tofu and veggies that comes with spring rolls and a salad (pictured here), the Papaya Salad, and Shiitake mushroom steak with fries. This vegan spot is perfect for a tasty lunch or dinner date. Enjoy a post-meal walk around adorable downtown Greer to wrap up a romantic evening.
We Got the Beets, the Upstate’s first all-vegan food truck, has become a staple. Their menu (and their location) is constantly changing, so you are guaranteed to not get bored of this vegan machine on wheels. Try one of their Beyond Meat burger options, brussel sprout salad, and yes, maybe even some beets. Make sure you keep up with them on Instagram so you know where they are and what they are serving up each week!
Next time your partner asks, “What’s for dinner?” don’t be afraid to pull up this list. Date night shouldn’t have to be a hassle, especially when it comes to agreeing on a place to eat. It’s our goal at Off the Grid Greenville to find common ground in the community and provide resources that fit everyone’s needs.
Don’t see a restaurant on this list that offers great vegan/vegetarian options? Shoot us a message and you may see your recommendation on part 3 (coming soon)!
Other helpful resources:
For even more amazing vegetarian and vegan-friendly options in the Upstate, make sure you check out our original list of places here.
For an even more extensive list of options, check out VV Spot, an Upstate vegan and vegetarian-friendly resource at your fingertips.
Whether you are a vegan looking for community, or just want to learn more about veganism, check out the Greenville Vegan, an online community and resource that hosts monthly vegan potlucks in the Upstate. They even offer a Carolina Veg Discount Card for purchase so you can get great deals on local vegan food! Find out more information here.