By Ama Opare
I first became a vegan vegetarian (I don’t eat any meat, or dairy, or eggs, or other animal products) back in 2007. As a result I lost weight and the nagging chronic health issues I was having diminished or disappeared.
However, I was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the time and there wasn’t much of a visible black vegetarian presence or support in the area that I was aware of. I felt isolated and unsupported. In fact, being single at the time, I was told by a friend, “You might as well get a white boyfriend!”
Thankfully, that is not the case here in Southwest Atlanta. While vegetarians are not the norm, I have found a strong and growing community of black vegetarians, vegans, and raw vegans. It is a wonderful thing.
First of all is there the Black Vegetarian Society of Georgia (BVSGA). BVSGA hosts an annual Meat Out event in March with speakers and venders. Indeed, there are Black Vegetarian Society organizations in many states.
There are great authors around the country, too, such as Tracye McQuirter, author of the By Any Greens Necessary blog and a book by the same name and Breeze Harper, author of Sistah Vegan. There are recipe books like the Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry, and The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy by Atlanta’s Afya Ibomu
I have also found great choices for dining here in Southwest Atlanta. These black owned businesses provide great food, community gathering spots, and many also provide educational programs.
There are three great places in the West End:
Healthful Essence – Caribbean style vegan vegetarian cuisine. Owners Princess Dixon and Kwadwo Kephera. Located at 875 York Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30310. This is one of our favorite spots. They also serve raw food.
Soul Vegetarian – Run by the Hebrew Israelite community and offering vegan soul food. Located at 879 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW, Atlanta, GA 30310 –This is one of 2 Soul Veg sites here in Atlanta. Other sites are located in Chicago, DC, and Los Angeles and elsewhere.
Tassili’s Raw Reality – Serving raw vegan food. Located at 1059 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW Atlanta, GA. There is always something going on at Tassili’s.
Elsewhere in the southwest area we have found two spots:
Loving it Live – Serving gourmet style raw food. Located at 2796 East Point Street, East Point, GA 30344. My favorite is the Sage Burger. Yum!
Bole Ethiopian Restaurant – While not a vegetarian restaurant, their veggie platters are very good. Located near the airport at 1650 Virginia Ave, College Park, GA 30337.
This just a sampling of the great vegetarian resources and food available nearby and on the web. I am sure I have left out many worthwhile and notable options
Do you have other suggestions to offer?
Post them in the comments section!