Gathering Café In Charleston, SC, Casual Fine Dining with Vegan Options!

by Danielle Bussone

Travel-weary and ravenous, Rich was searching the web for a place to eat near our hotel in north Charleston when I happened to look up from my steering wheel and noticed a sign that read “Gathering Café.” My car just steered its way into the parking lot. We were greeted by our friendly waitress, Olivia, and we grabbed an empty table. Casual and understated, the restaurant decor belies the gustatory delights awaiting discovery.

Gathering Cafe Exterior


Interior 2


Gathering Café serves animal dishes for the most part, but we were thrilled to learn the menu has a number of vegan options We quickly discovered Olivia to be knowledgeable and accommodating. To start, we ordered the Carrot-Ginger Soup and the House Salad, which we shared while awaiting our main course. The salad consisted of fresh, delicate baby greens, fresh tomatoes, carrots and cucumber tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and served with a crisp sesame seed cracker. It tasted… well, like spring.


House salad & Carrot-Ginger Soup

The Carrot-Ginger Soup was sweet and spicy and utterly delicious. I was beginning to get the picture. The chef at Gathering Café certainly understands flavor. There is a vegan falafel sandwich and vegetarian dishes in which the cheese can be removed if you prefer. We opted for the clearly plant-based options.

Oven Roasted Chickpea Cakes

I ordered the Oven-Roasted Chickpea Cakes. Served on a bed of chickpeas, roasted peppers and tomatoes and topped with perfectly prepared fresh asparagus, the combination of flavors was out of this world.

Rich had trouble choosing between the two rice bowls, so we resolved the dilemma by ordering both (taking one back to the hotel for later).  The Panang Curry boasted carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, mushrooms and ginger stewed in coconut milk and served with brown rice.

Panang Curry

The Teriyaki Rice Bowl comprised of mixed vegetables, avocado, and sesame seeds, was flavored with, you guessed it, teriyaki sauce.

Teriaki Bowl

Finally, we finished with a delightful refreshing fruit sorbet that was just the right combination of tart and sweet. These are not on the menu but are offered as seasonal specials in a variety of flavors.


Do yourself a favor the next time your are in Charleston. It’s worth the drive out of the city to visit this charming little restaurant to enjoy some of the best food in the area.


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 author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.

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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Sweet Savor African Restaurant

Sweet Savor Exterior

Sweet Savor Interior

En route to Jesup, GA , we stopped in Charleston for an overnighter. Just down the road from our hotel, we discovered Sweet Savor African Restaurant, a Nigerian restaurant that is located in exactly the same location as now defunct Taste of Ethiopia, one of our all-time favorite Ethiopian restaurants. It’s a cautionary tale, use it or lose it. If we don’t support these marvelous ethnic restaurants with our patronage, they disappear, along with their amazing vegan options.






Sweet Savor is certainly not a plant-based restaurant but it does offer a few plant-based options. This cuisine is based on healthy whole foods like beans, grains and fruits. The spices are definitely understated so don’t expect exotic flavors. The food is simple and hearty. The owner is a lovely Nigerian woman who is willing to work with customers to see they have everything they need. If you find yourself in North Charleston, check out Sweet Savor and discover the hearty food of Nigeria.




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Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony


Nitsuh Woldemariam from Ethiopian Taste Food & Coffee in North Charleston, SC teaches us how to make traditional Ethiopian Coffee.  Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and is an integral part of Ethiopian culture. It has evolved into a ceremony of roasting beans on a fire, with incense burning in the background. The smell of incense alerts visitors that coffee is being prepared. Once the beans are roasted, the hostess takes the pot of beans around and each visitor  inhales of the savory bean aroma before the coffee is made and the rich, sweet beverage is served. (I’m sad to report that this lovely restaurant is not longer in business.)






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We are grieved to report that Ethiopian Taste Food and Coffee is no long in business. Ethiopian Taste Food & Coffee Brings Big Flavors To Charleston!

By Danielle Bussone


Ethiopian is one of my very favorite cuisines so you can imagine how excited I was to learn of a new restaurant opening in Charleston, SC, only two miles from where Rich and I stay when we visit the area.  Ethiopian Taste Food & Coffee is located on Dorchester Road in a little strip mall  just off exit 16A on I-526. Alas, our first visit occurred before the Ethiopian Taste Food & Coffee had actually opened their doors for business. Our next visit fell on a Monday when the restaurant is normally closed.  Drat!


Ethiopian Taste Exterior

Ethiopian Taste Food & Coffee Exterior


The third time was the charm!  We were welcomed by owner, Nitsuh Woldemariam, and her husband, Arega Kebede, who works as an engineer by day and restaurant host by night.  Arega is excited about Nitsuh’s new venture and works along side his wife to help her to succeed. Ethiopian Taste Food & Coffee is not a fancy establishment. It is a cheerful, welcoming place where a family can spread out and get comfortable. The floors are painted concrete and Ethiopian pictures and artifacts adorn the walls. The food is prepared by Nitsuh’s mother and is comprised of longstanding family recipes.


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Dell’z Vibez – Smoothie and Juice Bar In Downtown Charleston, SC!

by Danielle Bussone


Just around the corner from Dell’z Diner you’ll find Dell’z Vibez (Vibes), a bustling smoothie and juice bar owned and managed by Dell’z daughter, Nicole (Nikki) Brown.  Nikki, as it turns out, is Holistic Health Practitioner, a Certified Raw Foods Chef and Teacher.


Dell'z Vibez


Rich and I  waddled in after stuffing ourselves at Dell’z Deli and couldn’t resist ordering something to drink. Nikki recommended something light which would help us to digest the heavy meal we had just consumed.


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Dell’z Deli – Vegan Eats To Go In Charleston, SC!

by Danielle Bussone



Dell’z Deli is a tiny (as in tee-nine-y) little sandwich shop located in downtown Charleston, SC. The owner, Dell (Maudell Grayson), greets us with a big, pearly white smile and a head full of dreadlocks peaking out of a cool gray scarf. Her son, a tall, affable young man expertly assembles sandwiches and pizzas, moving them efficiently into and out of a toaster oven. Another helper, answers the phone, takes orders, handles the cash and passes out take out lunches to the steady stream of customers who crowd around the four seater counter where Rich and I sit on wobbly stools awaiting our meal. It’s standing room only and no one seems to mind.


Dell'z Team

Dell’z Team


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