Art of Living Retreat Center

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 2 reviews )

639 Whispering Hills Rd, Boone, North Carolina, USA, 28607

A retreat center that is open to the public - see its webpage for daily schedule of activities. Offers vegetarian buffet style breakfast (7:30-9:30am), lunch (12-1:30pm), and dinner (6-7:30pm). Meals are labeled for potential allergens. Groups of 6 or more should call ahead to ensure availability. Open Mon-Sun 7:30am-9:30am, 12:00pm-1:30pm, Mon-Thu 6:00pm-7:30pm, Fri 5:30pm-7:30pm, Sat-Sun 6:00pm-7:30pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, International, Buffet, Salad bar, Fusion

2 Reviews

First Review by KatieBush

A meal with a view! - Edit

Art of Living Retreat Center Restaurant/Dining Hall
There are only two fully vegetarian/vegan options in Boone, Kindly Kitchen and Art of Living International Retreat Center, the latter of which this review is written for. Sitting on over 300 acres of beautiful mountains, this Ayurvedic spiritual retreat center is open to the public for many activities, including just to visit the restaurant. Once there, you’ll see why immersion retreats, both weekend and longer are conducted here, along with a full spa for massages, yoga sessions, and why the vegetarian cuisine is worth coming to visit alone. The drive takes about 15 minutes from downtown Boone. This is the largest vegetarian kitchen in the state, with seating for well over a few hundred so there is plenty of privacy, and anywhere you sit, you’ll be rewarded with expansive mountain views and understand why the location is on what is called Heavenly mountain. I’m not kidding, the views are just stunning and it feels like being on top of the world.
Lunch and Dinner ($15 and $20) are buffet style all-you can eat, and includes beverages and dessert. The manager reminded me that not only Indian type foods are served but many other ethic specialties. For my lunchtime visit, I had an assortment of young mesclun salad greens and other vegetables and nuts for a nice salad, potato and leek soup, steamed asparagus and broccoli, spaghetti squash, basmati rice, Opo squash (it is actually a gourd) simmered with spices and mustard, and khichdi, which is a Indian staple of moong lentils and rice, in a blend of spices with turmeric. This was the first time to try khichdi and was very delicious. Usually the standard recipe includes ghee, and this was a vegan version. Double check on the day you go to make sure it is prepared without ghee. Actually, everything on the buffet was vegan, and each item on the buffest specified if dairy-free or gluten-free. Watermelon juice was the beverage of the day and pureed fruits for desert. This was a bargain.
All areas I visited were spotless and clean. In the kitchen, El Salvador-born Executive Chef Roberto Mendoza, who has worked for major celebrities and several US Presidents and well known establishments like the Beverly Hills Hotel, does not disappoint and includes local produce as well as samplings from the on premise vegetable garden, and knows how to make excellent and creative vegetarian fare.
After the meal, you can walk around the grounds and gardens,

Pros: very vegan friendly, buffet style -all u can eat, very relaxing and beautiful environment

Cons: none

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good - Edit

If you're on a retreat, it's nice, otherwise expect to pay $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $20 per person for dinner. Buffet style meals. Breakfasts consist of oatmeal and tofu scrambles, some cereals and toast or fresh fruit. Lunches always have some cooked veggies and a rice dish and usually kicheri and a salad bar and some other cooked dishes. Dishes can be spicy and are usually some kind of Indian fare. Dinners are the same as lunch, different options. Meals are fine, lots of vegan options and all vegetarian. It's good food. Not sure if it's worth the price for drop-ins. If you do come to dinner, join kirtan which is every night.

Pros: labels at every meal explains contents

Cons: expensive for drop-ins

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