Luna’s Living Kitchen, Illuminating Charlotte with Raw, Beautiful, Plant-Based Cuisine!

2000 South Blvd, Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC, 28203
704-333-0008

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by Danielle Bussone

 

Open only three years, Luna’s Living Kitchen is already an icon in Charlotte, NC. Whenever we ask where we can find a good place to eat while visiting Charlotte, Luna’s is the first word out of everyone’s mouth. Everyone.

Luna’s Living Kitchen is a stand-out with its all organic, largely locally sourced ingredients without a hint of genetically modified fare to be found!!!  To this I can’t say strongly enough to owner,  Juliana Luna; You go, girl!

 

Luna's Living Kitchen Exterior

Luna’s Living Kitchen Exterior

After a year of readers pushing us to visit this restaurant, Rich and I loaded up two of our beloved monsters, Phoenix and Coal, and made the three hour trek to Charlotte to see what all the fuss is about. Well…  turns out it is about something special. Luna’s offers beautifully presented whole foods, almost entirely in their natural state. Only the bread is fully cooked and the burgers are lightly fried to give them a delicious crust.

 

Luna's Interior

Luna’s Interior

 

Breakfast is served from 8-11 am with whole grain cereals to a living bagel with prices ranging from $8.50 – $9.50. The restaurant is open from 8 am – 9 pm, Monday – Saturday, closed Sundays. We arrived in time for lunch and settled into the outdoor seating area which, fortunately, is very pet friendly. Our delightful and knowledgeable waitress, Ally, even brought us a water dish for Phoenix and Coal.

 

Luna's Outdoor Seating

Luna’s Outdoor Seating

 

Phoenix and Coal patiently allowing us to eat in peace in Luna's pet-friendly outdoor seating.

Phoenix and Coal patiently allowing us to eat in peace in Luna’s pet-friendly outdoor seating.

 

The presentation of the dishes is as luscious to look at as they are to eat. We first spoke to some very satisfied customers.  The ladies at the table next to us both had the Living Burrito and absolutely raved about it. This was their first visit to Luna’s and they both said they would definitely be back.

 

Luna's Living Burrito

Luna’s Living Burrito

Luna's Happy Customers Taking Home Leftovers

Luna’s Happy Customers Taking Home Leftovers

 

I ordered the Classic Burger with the idea in mind to see what Luna’s version of the indomitable veggie burger would be like. It was a thick, flavor-packed quinoa-millet veggie patty, crispy on the outside with a soft core, served on a vegan, multigrain bread or wrapped in collard greens for the gluten sensitive diner. Dressed with lemon-parsley sunflower hummus, onion, tomato and salsa verde, it comes with a green salad prepared with a homemade tahini-hemp dressing with locally sourced greens. All the burgers are $10.

 

Luna's Classic Burger

Luna’s Classic Burger

 

Another type of burger, which I did not try but wish I had, is their Fire & Brimstone burger. It is the same quinoa-millet veggie burger but dressed with chipotle sunflower hummus, onion, cucumber, salsa verde and homemade hot sauce.  Also available is a burger they call Skinny Witch, which is the veggie burger wrapped in collard leaves, topped with cucumber, sprouts and local “pickleville” relish.

 

Luna's Fire & Brimstone Veggie Burger

Luna’s Fire & Brimstone Veggie Burger

 

Rich chose the Lunasagna, which is comprised of layers of paper thin zucchini noodles, sun-dried tomato and mushroom sauce and the most amazing layer of cashew-basil cheese you have ever put in your mouth! This was also served with the green salad, $12.

 

Lunasagna, $12

Lunasagna, $12

 

Ally brought us out a sampling of Luna’s Vanilla Chia Pudding, which was quite delicious. It was the texture of tapioca, made with dates, soaked Chia seeds, cashew cream and topped with maple syrup and fresh fruit.  However, good as it was, this little sample did not stop us from ordering two full servings from their selection of mouthwatering desserts. We had the Dulce de Amor, which translates as “sweetness of love”. This was a rich, decadent, extremely chocolate dessert with a chocolate pecan crust, a layer of chocolate ganache, a layer of chocolate and vanilla mousse and, finally, topped with a raspberry couli, $9. For chocolate lovers, what could be better?

 

Luna's Dulce de Amor, $9

Luna’s Dulce de Amor, $9

 

The second dessert felt lighter, with a lemony, fruity flavor. It is their Lemon-Berry Cheesecake made from cashews, coconut, lemon and organic berries. It is both sweet and tart and was the highlight of our meal, $8.50.

 

Luna's Lemon-Berry Cheesecake

Luna’s Lemon-Berry Cheesecake, $8.50

 

Luna’s carries a variety of packaged and refrigerated items to take home with you as well. They have their own granola and raw cookies you can purchase at the counter. To the left is a refrigerated section displaying Luna’s healthy drinks, I counted eight, plus homemade almond milk.  Also available are jars of their proprietary hemp-tahini salad dressing, maple and mustard vinaigrette, raw yogurt, chia pudding with blueberry coulis, raw salted caramel brownies and more.

 

We were told Luna’s Living Kitchen is changing locations towards the end of the month. No worries, it is within spitting distance from their current location and the building can be seen from their outdoor seating area. Be sure to check their website and Facebook page for updates on this move.

 

Luna's To Go Items

Luna’s To Go Items

 

If you are looking for delicious, organic, whole, vegan fare served with style and panache, Luna’s is worth the trip to Charlotte from wherever you call home. You may arrive hungry, but you’ll leave satisfied and with a little spring in your step knowing you’ve treated your body very well!

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About!, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is currently writing a cookbook for vegans called, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health.” Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle  directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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