The Grill

A neon sign displaying The Grill shines bright after the sun has set on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Athens, Georgia. The Grill, open 24 hours a day, is a favorite among Athens locals looking for a late night bite to eat. (Photo/Gabriella Audi, www.gabbyaudi10.wixsite.com/mysite-1)

Though the December closure of Athens' only fully-vegan restaurant Eden's Cafe marks the end of a short-lived era for vegan options in the city, the Eden's brand still lives on in a vending machine tucked inside of That Bar.

Though Athens isn't necessarily a bleak landscape for vegan cuisine, it can be tough to find a cheap and accessible restaurant chain or storefront to score your meat- and dairy-free fix late into the evening. In the spirit of the Eden's Cafe vending machine chugging along until 2 a.m. every night, the culture desk has compiled a list of restaurants in Athens where you can score vegan grub at any hour of the night.

the world famous

The World Famous offers two hearty vegan options. 


Open until 2 a.m.


The World Famous

Many of the late-night vegan options offer only sides or snack foods. If that’s not enough to get rid of hunger pains, The World Famous offers two meal options for vegan customers:

  • Tofu lettuce wraps
  • Veggie burger

Taco Bell

The first of quick-serve restaurants to offer items certified by the American Vegetarian Association, Taco Bell has become a cult favorite among vegan circles. The restaurant added a vegetarian menu in 2019 with customizable options for the ease of vegan customers. Vegans can eat:

  • Black bean Crunchwrap Supreme
  • Black bean Quesarito
  • 7-layer burrito
  • Bean burrito
  • Power Veggie bowl without cheese or sour cream
  • Black beans and rice 
  • Cinnamon twists 
  • Chips with guacamole 
  • Chips with pico de gallo

 Open 24 hours


The Grill

Where there's a will, there's The Grill — that's the saying, right? The safest of havens when the downtown Waffle House is at capacity, The Grill has a dedicated vegetarian menu that vegans can tweak to their liking:

  • Fakin' Bacon BLT (without mayonnaise)
  • Tofu Dog
  • Veggie Pita Wrap (without feta cheese dressing)
  • Veggie Melt (without melted Swiss cheese and ranch dressing)
  • T-Bird (without mayonnaise)

McDonald's

Although the vegan options at this classic late-night stop are few and far between, vegans can enjoy a few sweet and salty options:

  • Hash browns
  • Apple pie
  • Minute Maid slushie
  • Side salad 
  • Southwest salad (without chicken or cheese)

Wendy's

Athens' 24-hour potato plug comes in the form of a redheaded cartoon. This all-hour fast food restaurant has any vegan looking for a potato product at any time of the night covered:

  • Fries 
  • Plain baked potato
  • Garden side salad 

Correction: The Red & Black initially stated McDonald's french fries were a vegan option. McDonald's french fries contain milk derivatives and do not meet certified vegan standards. The Red & Black regrets this error. 

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(1) comment

deerbeach

As a local vegan, I really appreciate seeing articles like this! A couple of things though, The World Famous also has the General Tso's Tofu Box! Very good. And unfortunately, the Grill uses butter on the grill before they cook anything! Making almost none of their food vegan-friendly :(

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