Fern – Flavors From The Garden – A Vegetarian Gem In Charlotte, NC

1323 Central Ave
Charlotte, NC
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by Danielle Bussone



The first time we visited Fern was during the Charleston Vegetarian Festival last summer.  It was a blistering day and our beloved monster, Phoenix, was feeling the heat.  We noticed the building as we were driving through town and it happened to be within walking distance of the festival.  With covered out-door seating and entirely vegetarian, it seemed to be just the ticket. Phoenix settled down at the foot of our table and the waitress was kind enough to fill her dish with water.   I had the Om Burger and I cannot for the life of me remember what Rich had. I can tell you that it was all delicious and I am filled with guilt every time I think about it.  We had every intention of writing a review of Fern then but as it sometimes happens, life got in the way and Fern continued to slip farther back on our “to do” list.  Recently, en-route to Charleston we decided to give Fern another try.


Fern: Flavors From The Garden Vegetarian Restaurant

Fern: Flavors From The Garden Vegetarian Café


Fern is a charming café with lots of tables and bustling activity.  When we were seated we were brought a glass of water infused with cucumbers.  This was an unexpected and delightfully refreshing treat!   I remember how welcome that was on our parched first visit to Fern.

Fern Interior

Fern Interior

We arrived on a Saturday when brunch was in full swing.  Rich had a wonderful sourdough flatbread topped with what they referred to as scalloped turnips and mushroom bacon.  The turnips are marinated in seaweed to give them a scallopy flavor, though truthfully, they didn’t taste like scallops to me.  Whatever you want to call them, they were delicious!  As was the creamy onion béchamel base for the pizza style flat-bread as well as the crunchy 200 year old flat-bread itself.  Offered a choice of sides, Rich opted for the Kale chips.  They were crisp and melted in our mouths.


Fern Sourdough Flatbread with Turnip Scallops and Kale Chips

Fern Sourdough Flatbread with Turnip Scallops, Mushroom Bacon and Kale Chips – $10


Recalling how much I enjoyed it on my last visit, I ordered the Om Burger.  It is a vegan burger with smoked tomato, pickled local cucumbers and poblano garlic Aioli.  You have the option of a bun or a wrap and choice of sides. I chose the bun for my burger and roasted caramelized sweet potatoes as my side.  Rather than “Om” they should have named it “OMG!” it was that good.  It is a big hit at Fern and a favorite among many of their customers. I have no idea what the burger itself is made of.  Just a little piece of heaven, I suppose.


Om Burger with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Om Burger with Roasted Sweet Potatoes – $11


Fern changes its menu quarterly.  The management is serious about their customers’ health and does not serve anything that has been genetically modified, at least to their knowledge. While they do their best to buy organic and local ingredients, in the wintertime there are slim pickings from the local farmers.  In the summer, Fern claims to be around 90% organic. In the winter, that number drops to around 30%. It is a vegetarian restaurant which is responsive to vegan diners. There are many vegan choices on the menu.

Whether you live in Charlotte, are visiting, or just passing through, Fern Vegetarian Café is the place to go for some good wholesome veggie love. See you on our next trip through.


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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