Eating healthy in one of the South's biggest food cities is hard enough without the veritable bear trap that is a mid-class-day stroll down King Street. Moe's, Chipotle, Mama Kim's, Mellow Mushroom, Kickin Chickin', all a convenient five minute walk from central campus. With no parents reminding you that you can't actually eat pizza for every meal, or preventing you from adding queso to your loaded quesadilla, it can be easy to get halfway through your freshman year and realize you don't remember the last time you put an actual vegetable into your body. Fear not; hidden underneath the cheese, grits, and butter, Charleston's healthier options are just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
347 King St.
Verde: a salad-lover's haven. Verde is to veggies what Chipotle is to Mexican. The local chain has a location right on King Street and offers a set menu of salads with a couple seasonal specials, plus the option to build your own from a variety of fresh, often local ingredients. Any salad can be made into a wrap, plus you can snag a homemade cookie at the checkout line. It's vegan, so it's good for you. Probably.
Caviar and Bananas
51 George St.
If you have a little bit of extra dough to spend, stretch your dollar at Caviar and Bananas. Skip the sushi, salad, and sandwich bars, because although all are delicious, they don't even hold a candle to the Caviar and Bananas lunchbox deal. The prepared foods case at Caviar and Bananas is a beautiful, magical place — and the lunchbox lets you choose three of their prepared options for a reduced rate. Might we recommend the kale salad?
43 Cannon St.
Five Loaves Cafe is a little bit off the beaten path, on the corner of Cannon and Coming Streets, but rest assured — it's well worth the trek. Flavorful soups, salads, and sandwiches made with sustainable, local ingredients — what could be better? The restaurant is well-known for taking allergies and dietary restrictions seriously, which makes it a haven for vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-intolerant people alike.
96 Wentworth St.
Marty's Place was recently introduced to the College of Charleston's campus as a vegan-friendly, Kosher dining hall. The dining hall offers variety for plant-based people; portabella burgers and black bean tortas abound — but contrary to popular belief, just because it's vegan, doesn't mean it's healthy. It's tempting to gravitate towards the plant-powered mac and cheese, but the veggie-based dishes are usually the better call.
1107 King St.
If you're looking to impress your friends with your insider knowledge, the trek to the Harbinger Cafe is well worth the Uber fare. The cozy cafe sits off the beaten track on King Street and strives to offer locally sourced, healthy fare at affordable prices. Menu items include breakfast sandwiches, chia pudding, tarragon and grain salad, and a quinoa tabbouli; it's a veggie-lover's dream.