North Carolina

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We’ve created this ever-growing guide to restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and ice cream shops in North Carolina that are friendly to dairy-free diners. It’s a collection based on research and reader recommendations (send yours!), that’s divided into local restaurants (first) and chains (second).

Note: You can ignore the date on this post going forward. We’ll update the information below whenever we’re alerted to a new restaurant recommendation, change, or closure. 

Local North Carolina Restaurants Recommended for Dairy-Free Eats

We’ve listed these recommendations alphabetically by city, and then by the restaurant or shop name.

⭐️ = Restaurant is either dairy-free, has a dairy-free menu, has dairy-free labels on their menu(s), or lists top allergens with menu items. (At the time of our last review.)

Asheville

  • Biscuit Head – It’s not easy to find dairy-free biscuits and gravy, unless you’re in Asheville. This Southern-style restaurant serves vegan and gluten-free biscuits with not one, but two choices of vegan gravy. According to their staff, any of their egg dishes can be made without dairy, and their potatoes can be served without cheese. They also have several naturally dairy-free items, including red eye gravy, sriracha slaw, calaloo collards, sriracha sausage, country ham, brisket, pulled pork, bacon, mimosa fried chicken, kale salad, and granola.
  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – This is a popular regional chain that offers dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge! In fact, their classic pizza crust and sauce are vegan, and they can make any veggie pizza vegan. They also have a fantastic allergen list. It tells you the specific items with dairy AND the items that contain dairy even when you hold the cheese. As a not-so-obvious heads up, their Thai Chili Sauce contains dairy – that one surprised us!
  • Green Sage Cafe – This plant-heavy restaurant and coffeehouse has a handful of locations scattered around Asheville. Their all-day breakfast and lunch menu is mostly dairy-free, and labeled with several vegan and gluten-free options. Some highlights include their dairy-free milkshakes and global plant-based bowls. They also offer almond, coconut, and oat milks for their coffee drinks.
  • Laughing Seed Cafe – This is Asheville’s favorite vegetarian restaurant, and almost every item on the menu is vegan or has a vegan option. This includes pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and an internationally-inspired selection of casual entrees. Vegan cakes and dairy-free smoothies are also available.
  • Nine Mile ⭐️ – Dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian items are clearly labeled on the menu. They even call out items that contain tree nuts. The cuisine is Caribbean, and thus includes quite a diverse dairy-free selection of chicken, seafood, and plant-based dishes. You can stop in for a late lunch or dinner, any day of the week, at all three of their Asheville locations.
  • Plant ⭐️ – There isn’t a drop of dairy at this 90% organic, often locally sourced, mostly gluten free, and completely vegan restaurant. They boast a simple, modern atmosphere and a dinner menu to match. Their dishes have plant-heavy, flavor-forward, global appeal, and are meant for savoring with one of their craft beers or biodynamic wines. They also offer a diverse dessert menu to cover those lingering cravings.
  • Rosetta’s Kitchen & Buchi Bar ⭐️ – The upstairs is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant, with dairy-free options for everything on the menu. The choices are diverse, with small plates, entrees, sandwches, and more. Downstairs, the bar serves their full menu, but has a more relaxed atmosphere with several kombucha flavors on tap, craft beers, local ciders, and more.
  • Salsa’s – The Caribbean influence on this Mexican restaurant equates to many dishes that are dairy-free, or can easily be made dairy free without the cheese on top. Our friend Thomas said he had an easy time enjoying a dairy-free and gluten-free meal at this restaurant. They also have a couple vegan dinners right on the menu

Burlington

  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – This regional chain offers dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge! Their crust is vegan, and they provide allergen info. See the Asheville Listing above for more details.

Cary

  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – This regional chain offers dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge! Their crust is vegan, and they provide allergen info. See the Asheville Listing above for more details.

Chapel Hill

  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – This regional chain offers dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge! Their crust is vegan, and they provide allergen info. See the Asheville Listing above for more details.

Charlotte

Durham

  • Kanki Japanese House – This isn’t a strictly dairy-free restaurant. In fact they do use cream cheese in some of their sushi rolls, and they cook their hibachi in butter. But they are very accommodating. Their staff is quick to alert you of any items containing dairy, they will cook you a full hibachi dinner in the back to avoid dairy on the grill, and will modify dishes as needed. Reader Jessy said they cooked chicken tenders and rice from scratch without dairy when her son said he wanted some.
  • Ted’s Montana Grill – Founded by media mogul and rancher Ted Turner, this American chain serves a meat-heavy menu with lots of dairy-free options. See our Dairy-Free Guide for Ted’s Montana Grill for more details.

Gastonia

  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – This regional chain offers dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge! Their crust is vegan, and they provide allergen info. See the Asheville Listing above for more details.

Greensboro

  • Boba House – This warm vegetarian restaurant serves an array of Thai and Vietnamese-inspired dishes. Almost everything on their lunch, dinner, and dessert menus is vegan and dairy-free. And many items are or can be made gluten-free. Everything is prepared fresh, made to order, and they source locally when possible.
  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – This regional chain offers dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge! Their crust is vegan, and they provide allergen info. See the Asheville Listing above for more details.

Raleigh

  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – This regional chain offers dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge! Their crust is vegan, and they provide allergen info. See the Asheville Listing above for more details.
  • Kanki Japanese House – Reader Jessy recommended this restaurant for being extremely accommodating, but she visited the Durham location. Nonetheless, I found the restaurant as a whole to be very responsive on special diet needs and happy to make modifications as needed. They can cook dairy-free hibachi for you on a separate grill, have a couple dairy-free appetizers, and offer a good range of sushi (just avoid the rolls with cream cheese!).
  • The Fiction Kitchen – Laura recommended this popular vegetarian dinner spot. Their menu has comforting Southern appeal with some global inspirations. Almost everything on the menu is vegan – they even serve a house-made vegan pimento cheese and cheddar. Their menu is also labeled for gluten-free options.

Southern Pines

  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – This regional chain offers dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge! Their crust is vegan, and they provide allergen info. See the Asheville Listing above for more details.

Wilmington

  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – This regional chain offers dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge! Their crust is vegan, and they provide allergen info. See the Asheville Listing above for more details.

Winston-Salem

  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – This regional chain offers dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge! Their crust is vegan, and they provide allergen info. See the Asheville Listing above for more details.
  • Camino Bakery – This vegetarian bakery has three locations running from north to south in the city. They each have an array of fresh-baked vegan bread loaves, along with a few other vegan pastries. Sometimes they have additional desserts that are “just dairy free.” They have a petite cafe menu with a couple vegan options, and you can order a dairy-free hot chocolate or mocha – their mocha syrup is vegan. At last check, they had coconut milk and oat milk for coffee drinks.

Most Popular Chains in North Carolina for Dairy-Free Diners

There are many more chains in this state, but these are the ones we recommend most for dairy-free options.

This Guide is Continuously Updated with Recommendations

We welcome you to recommend other dairy-free friendly restaurants. Leave a comment or contact us and tell us why you like a certain restaurant. Restaurant owners and employees are also invited to reach out and let us know how you welcome dairy-free customers.

Please kindly let us know in the comments if any of these restaurants close. We want to keep this list current for you, but aren’t always notified when a restaurant closes. Let us know and we will quickly update!

This Guide is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

For More Dairy-Free Guidance, Get Go Dairy Free!

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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