The Fiction Kitchen

Overall rating: 4.5 stars 19 Reviews
Re-opened Jan 2013 as a 50-seat vegetarian restaurant; previously a once-a-month vegan brunch service in Durham. Parties of 6 should call ahead. Colorful space, focus is on local produce. Sunday is brunch. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Fusion
428 S Dawson St
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
919-831-4177
Closed now

Tue-Thu 4:30pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 4:30pm-11:00pm, Sun 11:30am-3:00pm

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reviews

Reviews

First Review by GreyhoundEmerson
cookiem
cookiem
  • vegan
Contributions
+1864

Classy Veg Eating

4
Posted on 11 / 09 / 2014

The menu items were all vegan, but there were "add dairy cheese" options. Umm… I would love if they just kept it all vegan. Why bother? All the items on the menu were marked as vegan, and many of them were gluten free.

As you walk in, don't be surprised for this place to be packed full. Part of the reasoning is the choice of space allocation. There is such a large ratio of open floor space to seating, that it creates its own dilemma. If they had more seating, they would need more staff, but they would have more diners… Just typing out loud - just seems like if they could fit in more tables, it would benefit their business and the customers might be happier?

Anyhow, the menu items are incredible choices and represent the best cooked veg options in the Raleigh area. The menu is creative, diverse and local. If you love a selection of wine and liquor with your meal, this place delivers royally - more so than most other veg establishments. The items are clearly marked for gluten free concerns. Also, they have specials on a blackboard right above the kitchen.

The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. No attitude served up, which is nice, considering how this place is probably the highest level for fine veg dining in the Raleigh area.

The prices can be overwhelming, I think, compared to other joints around town, but I found them reasonable considering the amazing food choices. The appetizers and salads were interesting, but the entrees were more appealing by far. All of them had elements of protein, grain and vegetable. No raw entrees though, for those looking. The entrees were mouthwateringly described, cooked and presented, so by the time you can eat your entree, it's a finale worth the wait. The food was well seasoned, fresh, local and well-portioned. Also, I appreciated the proportions of veggies! Some places go over the top with grain or protein and sacrifice veggies, not here!

Save room after grits, pulled "pork," chik'n and waffles or a curry bowl for dessert. Happy stomachs if you like chocolate, but limited choices (1) if you want gluten-free. This place was awesome though, from start to finish. Great emphasis on local offerings and seasonal produce - check the board, ask your server. Awesome!

The only issue: parking. Beware!

Pros: All items can be vegan, Gluten-free marked, Entrees super tasty
Cons: Parking, Small seating area for space, Somewhat pricey?
GigglingPixie
GigglingPixie
  • vegan
Contributions
+46

Many options on menu, but restaurant has issues.

2
Posted on 10 / 07 / 2014

I'm a vegan...so it was exciting to have so many food choices on the menu. I brought my two non~veg family members to join me based on the glowing reviews of Fiction Kitchen. As warned...we had to wait 25 minutes for a table (not a big deal)...after being seated...we immediately ordered appetizers and our meals (we had plenty of time to review the menu before being seated)....a LONG time passed and we were beginning to wonder if our order was lost or never put in...so much for ordering appetizers...the waitress never stopped by to update us or check on us...FINALLY the appetizers arrived...and after another LONG wait...our meals arrived. In between...we had to flag down our waitress for drinks refills (bad service). I ordered the Braised Tempeh and NC Grits and I tasted the Pulled Pork...basically I would call it vegan greasy southern comfort food. The place was so loud that we had to scream to talk to each other. The peanut butter cheesecake was good.I wouldn't go back.

Pros: many vegan options, good desserts
Cons: bad service, slow to bring meals, very loud
  • thefictionkitchen thefictionkitchen

    Good Morning. We at Fiction Kitchen are very sad to hear of your unpleasant experience with us and would like an opportunity to correct our mistakes. We very rarely have a complaint on our customer service, or food times, so this concerns us greatly. Can we get more details to the date/time of your visit? Also, your review does not mention which appetizers you ordered. Did you think they were greasy as well?
    We totally agree that when our restaurant is at capacity and on a wait, that it gets too loud. We have been working on different measures to get the noise under control.
    Our customer's feedback is very important to us, and we appreciate information you can provide on your dining experience.

    Thank you in advance for your time,

    Caroline Morrison
    Chef/owner

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  • wellnessfood wellnessfood

    I am totally surprised by this review, I have to wonder who wrote it! I have eaten around the country at many vegan and raw restaurants and Fiction Kitchen is by far one of the best. I am surprise you got such poor service because the restaurant is not big enough for no one to notice you without drinks. I've been here many times and have never been left without someone checking on me. The food is above quality and freshness of most restaurants and I definitely would not consider it greasy. But I guess it is not impossible for them to have a bad night.

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Vbrodersen
Vbrodersen
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+4

Not Just A Restaurant

5
Posted on 06 / 29 / 2014

Fiction Kitchen advertises it self as a Restaurant and Bar. Check them out on Facebook before heading over. https://www.facebook.com/TheFictionKitchen
You can often find a pic of their menu and get an idea of the specials for food and beverages. You will also find posts about near by Red Hat Amphitheater events which is a nice touch, especially for the out-of-towners.
https://www.facebook.com/RedHatAmphitheater



fabtab40+
fabtab40+
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

How not to miss the meat

5
Posted on 04 / 20 / 2014

I recently became vegan and for my first restaurant, The Fiction Kitchen is it. The food was delicious, I really enjoyed it.


aner1kind17
aner1kind17
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+93

great Fake Meat

4
Posted on 01 / 21 / 2014

I'm not one of those vegetarians who typically go for fake meats, but I will say that fiction kitchen has really great selection. I really love the fried chicken because it's very flaky and delicious. I would stay away from the egg dishes because they are not unique here.

Pros: Atmosphere
meredith
meredith
  • vegan
Contributions
+255

From Vegan Brunches to Raleigh Dining!

5
Posted on 10 / 24 / 2013

I followed Fiction Kitchen around the Triangle area for their brunches. They have great, inspired menus and sincerely care about using local ingredients and involving & catering to the local community.

Their food is amazing. If you don't want overly processed food (to each his/her own!), ask if what they make is made with fake meat (e.g. the chicken and waffles that are vegan use Delight Soy, a local fake-meat production company). I recommend the grilled romaine salad, vegan cheese plate, any of their seitan, locavore dishes, and their alcoholic drinks!

Pros: Delicious, Beautiful, Inspired food, Great owners, Love the atmosphere
Cons: expensive, Not health food typically
punzelda
punzelda
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+37

Best In Raleigh for Vegans

5
Posted on 08 / 07 / 2013

Vegans, this is your must-visit restaurant in Raleigh! When they first opened, they were definitely more on the vegetarian side, but the menu has evolved quickly to include vegan options on everything (even the cheese plate appetizer). For dinner, I recommend the farmer's plate with seitan after the spring roll appetizer. If you go for Sunday brunch, get the vegan quiche with root vegetables, tempeh bacon, and a side of biscuits. I absolutely love this place; the only detractor is that everyone else does, too, so the waits can be long. Try to get there early. I wonder if they can put tables on the roof. ;)

Pros: Excellent food, Lots of vegan options, Fresh and local
Cons: Long waits
untemperedhope
untemperedhope
  • vegan
Contributions
+67

Amazing Experience!

5
Posted on 06 / 08 / 2013

We had heard great things about FK and tried to call ahead for a reservation. We were told that it was first come, first served. We made the journey to Raleigh and were not disappointed! It seemed like everyone got the memo about how great it was too- the place was full up and we saw a couple of groups have to wait a bit for a table. They also had sold out of a few of their specials! When the food came, it was very apparent why. From the appetizer (the tasting plate- wow tempeh pate and cashew cheese? yes!) to the main courses (I had the pulled "pork" and it was succulent and well spiced) to the dessert (all three choices were vegan- blueberry donuts, chocolate ganache pie, cheesecake with oreo crust and strawberry sauce), everything was WONDERFUL. After we ate, we all planned our next trip back asap.

The main drawback is it is fairly loud in the restaurant and the seating is pretty limited. Don't let that hold you back from having some of the greatest vegan food in the area!

Pros: Spectacular Food, Excellent Service, Unique Selections
Cons: Loud, Limited Seating
aidil02
aidil02
  • vegan
Contributions
+22

No Fiction! It's the real deal!

5
Posted on 06 / 07 / 2013

This menu is creative and takes you around the world. From the dirty South ("chicken" and waffles) to Asia, it is spicy, sweet and all other great flavors in between. Oh and the cocktails! Yes please.

Quirky and fun decorations abound and the staff is always awesome. Huge windows for awesome people watching in downtown Raleigh.

Pros: Great portions, Interesting vegan options, Great prices
schonthal
schonthal
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+13

Artistic imaginative delicious - casual atmosphere

5
Posted on 06 / 07 / 2013

For those of us who live in a town with only one vegetarian-only and no vegan-only restaurant(s), traveling, even a short distance to experience new veg-friendly places is always a treat.
When we went to Fiction Kitchen, we were just happy to be there. But what we found was a truly unique, inspiring meal. I have only been interested in veg culture for 5 years or so, but in all the years before I had never encountered chicken and waffles. I had the vegan version at FK and it was so awesome I want to go back, just thinking about them. Everything we had was superb! Sashimi Tofu, BBQ pulled “pork” with potatoes and seasonal vegetables, even the salad was incredible. Plus they have a great beer selection.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, nice vibe
autumnwynds
autumnwynds
  • vegan
Contributions
+17

Tasty

5
Posted on 05 / 31 / 2013

I must have arrived here at just the right time. We found parking around the corner right away, and the restaurant was not very busy yet. The staff were all very friendly. We started with the house soda, ginger for me and orange for J. The ginger was a strong, true ginger soda, just the way I like it. We had the tofu sashimi appetizer, which was good. For entrees, I had the chicken &waffles, and J had the BBQ pulled pork. J, a meat eater, said the BBQ had a real North Carolina BBQ flavor. The idea of chicken & waffles always seemed odd, but it was quite tasty. The sliced strawberries really made the dish. Then there was dessert. Truffle Pie with salted caramel. OMG, it was good. J had berry shortcake w coconut whipped cream. Also delish! Overall excellent meal.

Pros: Tasty food, Friendly staff, Truffle pie!
Cons: Parking could be hard to find
DaveRouse
DaveRouse
  • vegan
Contributions
+21

Interesting and good vegan fare.

4
Posted on 04 / 28 / 2013

I've been to FK a few times now. Each time was pretty crowded due to limited seating, not good for serious conversations since you're pretty much sitting on top of each other and parking can be difficult.
Those negatives being said, i love this place!
Very good combinations and pairings. If you ask for a substitute they all do a good job of accommodating you.
Friendly staff. I like that they try to buy all locally and can't wait for the spring and summer menu.

Pros: Excellent food choices, Very fair value, Great staff
Cons: Crowded, Noisy, Parking
veggietwin
veggietwin
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+29

good

4
Posted on 04 / 02 / 2013

I wanted so bad for the only vegetarian restaurant in Raleigh to be good. The owners even went to Plant restaurant in Asheville for advice. (Plant is one of the best restaurants I have ever been to in my life.) I wish the advice they took from Plant was how to make delicious food because I can cook better meals in my own kitchen than this place. The food was alright, but they have not yet committed to using vegan sugar. I did not like the menu, it was as if they could not decide on a theme to their restaurant so they did a bit of everything. I would rather have less choices of food that is very good, rather than a bunch of choices that are just okay. The staff was great. The place is decorated well, with a full bar (yeah!). I would prefer a better location with more/any parking. My husband loved the tacos. The tempeh was not good at all. The tasting plate was pretty good. The biscuits and gravy soup was amazing! Pricing was fair, and serving size was fair also. I will be back, but I hope they continue to work on their menu.

Pros: nice staff, cute atmosphere
Cons: quality of food , no vegan sugar
restamper
restamper
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

New Favorite Place

5
Posted on 03 / 28 / 2013

I am in love with Fiction Kitchen. They have excellent vegan food at mostly reasonable prices. I took my non-vegan family and they were all very pleased with their dishes and want to return. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. I look forward to eating there as much as possible.


trippinvegan
trippinvegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+33

Vegan Haven in Raleigh

5
Posted on 03 / 26 / 2013

As other reviewers have mentioned, the menu at Fiction Kitchen is vegan by default, with some dairy items optional. It's nice to not have to be the one to ask for substitutes for a change!

The food is awesome - haven't had a single "dud" menu item there, and I've tried a large percentage of the items available. My favorite is still the soy chicken and waffles; I get cravings for it pretty often now!

They also source as much as they can locally, so you can feel good about supporting a local business that supports local businesses. For example, they have a daily "Farmers' Plate" special that is made of items they find at the Raleigh Farmers' Market. It usually changes once or twice a week, so you know they're getting everything fresh from the market.

The owners are very sweet and the staff is very nice and attentive (maybe a skosh overly so, but maybe I'm just a curmudgeon -- that's highly possible).

Couldn't recommend this place enough! Just keep in mind that it's a small restaurant with limited seating, and can get very busy during peak times (6-8pm or so Friday and Saturday), and they don't accept reservations, so you should be ready to wait or go early or later than the dinner rush.

They are also a tiny bit pricey - not overly so, but the portions are smaller (read: reasonable) and the bill can add up very quickly if you're on a budget. Even so, I understand why they charge what they do, since they are so careful about their ingredients and are a small, local-oriented place. Very worth the price, just something to keep in mind so you don't get caught off guard.

Pros: amazing food, community-oriented, "default" vegan
Cons: long waits during dinner rush, a wee bit pricey
KelliKel
KelliKel
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+9

Impressed!

4
Posted on 03 / 23 / 2013

The food was great! I was pleasantly surprised.

Pros: good food
Cons: too small
soy_decaf_latte
soy_decaf_latte
  • vegan
Contributions
+20

Vegan oasis

5
Posted on 03 / 20 / 2013

Although labeled "vegetarian", FK is really a great vegan restaurant (with a full vegan menu) that allows lacto-ovo vegetarians to add or substitute ingredients in a few instances.

My teen age daughter and I enjoyed all vegan fare, including jalapeno cornbread apetizer (delicious; not too spicy), waffles (a first for us at a restarurant) with fried soy chik'n fillets (tastier than store bought), and N.C. style pulled soy bbq (which was just amazing) and chocolage ganache dessert with salted caramel sauce (a great combination of flavors).

The food, atmosphere, and service were all flawless, and the prices were very reasonable. I look forward to coming back next time I'm in town.

My only negative about FK is that there is the possibility of cross-contamination in the kitchen from the dairy. I hope to see the place go all vegan once it is established longer and word gets around how great it is.

Pros: excellent food at a resaonable price, comfortable ambience, friendly service
Cons: dairy products
TraciH
TraciH
  • vegan
Contributions
+24

Great food that happens to be vegan!

5
Posted on 02 / 23 / 2013

One word. A.MA.ZING. I went with a Meetup group (Triangle Vegan Social Club), and I think another reviewer (on Yelp) was spot on when she said that this is great food that happens to be vegan/vegetarian.

The good thing about going with a group is having the opportunity to taste a variety of dishes. For appetizers, we had the spring rolls and the cornbread. Both were incredible. The rolls were served with a terrific spicy peanut sauce, and the cornbread had a nice kick from the fresh jalapenos. The spread for the cornbread was slightly sweet, providing a nice contrast to the spice of the peppers.

As far as entrees, I had the pulled "pork," and it was better than the Lexington barbecue that I ate as a child. The dish had a lovely smoky flavor, and just the right amount of spice. The "chicken" and waffles were tasty - a beautiful combination of sweet and savory. The sweet potato sushi and tofu sashimi - fabulous. And surprising...I didn't expect to like it as much as I did! The tofu sashimi was the star of the dish. Whatever the tofu is marinated in is absolutely divine. The Tinga tacos were also delish - the flavors of chipotle and cumin were discernible, and the crunch from the cabbage was lovely.

For dessert, I tried a couple of bites of the chocolate ganache pie with salted caramel sauce. It made me weak in the knees. Really.

MUST GO BACK AND TRY EVERYTHING ON THE MENU. Seriously. LOVE this place!
Updated from previous review on Saturday February 23, 2013

Pros: Amazing flavors, Great variety on the menu, Cool, funky atmosphere
Cons: They don't take reservations.
GreyhoundEmerson
GreyhoundEmerson
  • vegan
Contributions
+20

My New Favorite Eatery

5
Posted on 02 / 02 / 2013

I attended approximately half a dozen Fiction Kitchen Brunches in Durham. I excitedly awaited the opening of their new "permanent" home. I was slightly apprehensive because of my misunderstanding that the menu would be 100% vegetarian and partially vegan. As it turned out the menu is 100% vegan with the option on some selections to add cheese to convert the vegan offering to a vegetarian one. What a unique idea. It was evident that the staff had been well trained, were very knowledgeable of the menu and were very friendly and accommodating. No one even "freaked" out when I walked in the door and ordered a hamburger. They all even seemed happy when I "Remembered" that I was a Vegan.

I had the FARMERS MARKET PLATE. On the day I was there the plate was a lentil stew topped with battered and fried portabella mushroom slices. The dish was so delicious and plentiful I unfortunately did not leave room for desert. I will do better next time.

Parking may be a little difficult if one tries to get street parking. However, a public parking deck is located on W.Cabarrus Street about 1/2 block to the east. I think it would be helpful if this information was addressed directly on the Fiction Kitchen website.

Updated from previous review on Saturday February 02, 2013

Pros: Food, Staff, $ Value
Cons: Parking - possible

 

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Last updated: 2014/03/20

 

Added: 2011/06/10

 

Added by: turtleveg

 

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