Organic Dining and Shopping Options Expand in the Triangle
Here are a few options to consider during your search for local organics.
Green is the new black when it comes to feeding your family, and the Triangle is no stranger to organic food, with its long growing season and booming businesses. Finding organic goodies for everyone around the table to enjoy is as easy as opening your GPS app. Here are a few options to consider during your search for local organics.
Weaver Street Market is a trusted Triangle co-op 30 years in the making and now serves customers in Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill — with a downtown Raleigh location coming later this year to the Warehouse District. The market’s reputation as a must-visit store for organic-minded shoppers is centered on collaborations with local food artisans and farmers to provide organic produce, meats, cheeses and even wine. Weaver Street isn’t just building bridges between families and organic food — it also runs a childhood hunger initiative called TABLE and displays customers’ art in the cafe.
A true embodiment of the community it inhabits, the Durham Co-op Market is as much a reflection of the Bull City as it is a market and cafe. Shoppers will identify Durham’s culture in every aspect of the co-op — from obtaining a punch card for walking or biking to it, to feeling welcome to breastfeed within the store. The market also welcomes kids via a robust “Co-op Explorers” program that encourages them to learn more about nutrition.
From poke bowls to cold-pressed juices, Raleigh Raw doesn’t just want to feed you — this downtown Oak City restaurant aims to nourish you. Raleigh Raw first made its mark on the Triangle in 2013 by bringing organic, unprocessed and cold-pressed juices to shoppers’ doorsteps. With the backing of an energetic crowdfunding campaign, the Raleigh Raw team opened its brick-and-mortar cafe in 2016 with the same type of cuisine in mind. This hip eatery’s juices and smoothies are kid-tested and parent approved, plus big on taste and nutrition.
Business partners Juliana Luna and Stephen Edwards opened their original Living Kitchen in Charlotte’s South End to fill the void of quality, handcrafted organic and plant-based cuisine. The two expanded their business east to fill the same gap in
Chapel Hill and Raleigh. Living Kitchen covers your three square meals a day by offering an expansive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, Living Kitchen’s Cookie Bites are available in various health food markets around the southeast. These satisfying raw, organic and vegan cookies will have even the most persnickety of children asking for more.
Priding itself as Raleigh’s only 100 percent organic grocery, Harmony Farms has been at the forefront of the organic movement for decades. Long before modern organic buying trends, Harmony Farms championed organic produce in the Triangle. Its juice and smoothie bar is also 100 percent organic, providing plenty of straw-sipping nutrition, including drinks with original names such as “Detox” and “Refresher” that everyone in the family will enjoy.
Photo courtesy of Harmony Farms
The beloved coffee shop Global Village has been caffeininating students and professionals alike since 2000. Located on iconic Hillsborough Street near the North Carolina State University campus, the coffee shop is stalwart in its commitment to serving organic coffee and offers coffee shop standards like lattes and cappuccinos, as well as loose leaf teas. Aiming to keep your belly and coffee mug full, the shop offers a gamut of homemade delights such as scones, cookies, muffins, pastries and sandwiches.
A former textile mill in the small town of Pittsboro, Chatham Marketplace offers everything you can find in a mega supermarket — such as a full-service deli, meats, cheeses and produce, for example — but backs them with the market’s “End Statement,” which includes providing healthy foods, supporting local agriculture and strengthening the local economy. While known for its healthy, local and organic offerings, Chatham Marketplace is more of a community hub hosting various events such as weekly storytime sessions and family game nights.
Derek Sharp first discovered his taste for the acai berry, a Brazilian superfood, during a surfing trip to the West Coast. Aiming to bring the joy of this food to the Triangle, he started Buoy Bowls in 2016. Buoy Bowls’ purple food truck covers most areas of the Triangle. In addition to organic acai, a variety of fruits, honey and cocao nibs can also be mixed into Buoy Bowls. Smoothies are on the menu, too. Community-minded Buoy Bowls parters with Waves For Water, a charity that works to provide clean water to communities in need all over the world, by donating 3 percent of its profit to the cause.
Photo courtesy of Buoy Bowls
Anita Klahan was once a food blogger focusing on Levantie cuisine from the Eastern Mediterranean, the food of her childhood. However, when she and her family started to become ill and sensitive to certain foods, she refocused her cooking and launched a blog on restorative dieting and clean eating. Her pursuit of delicious organic and gluten-free foods spurred the creation of Fresh Levant Bistro. Located inside Raleigh’s Lafayette Village, Fresh Levant Bistro incorporates organic ingredients in every section of the menu. Even kitchen staples like sweeteners and butters are organic.
What started as a mobile catering delivery service in 2011 turned into a Durham brick-and-mortar business in 2015, thanks to husband-and-wife team Yah-i and Maat Ausar. Since then, Veban Flava Cafe has been dishing out tasty, animal-free meals — from tacos to smoothies — made from organic vegetables and fruits. All food is washed and prepared with Kangen water, which is created from an innovative water technology developed by Enagic, a company based in Japan. Enagic devices filter tap water and produce ionized alkaline and acidic waters through electrolysis.
Explore the Triangle's organic food scene with your family. You'll find restaurants and marketplaces that care about the communities they serve, and offer options that work for everyone.
Elliot Acosta is a husband, father and food blogger based out of Raleigh. He writes at eatRaleighBlog.com.