• Art of Living Retreat Center

  • (6)
  • White Vegetarian
Salad bar

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. Allergen friendly. 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.

Venue map for Art of Living Retreat Center
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6 Reviews

First Review by KatieBush


Points +35

24 Jun 2023

Can’t Believe It’s Vegan!

I’m here for the Happiness Retreat & was nervous that the food would be really healthy, but bland. I was so wrong! Every meal has been flavorful & nourishing & almost exclusively vegan. I rarely saw anything with cheese, & they always had a vegan counterpart. I usually put salt & pepper on everything, but nothing needed it! Dessert is only offered at dinner & worth the wait from a peach like cobbler to cheesecake. I can’t wait to return!!!

Pros: Breakfast scrambled , Dessert , Helpful staff

Cons: Dessert only at dinner



Points +17

05 Apr 2023

Great buffet-style vegan meals with a beautiful view

The meals change everyday, with food from a different culture at every lunch/dinner. I believe you have to call ahead for a reservation if you are not a guest of the retreat center. The new head chef is vegan, and can often be often found standing by the kitchen doors to answer any questions about the food. The food is pretty darn good, especially considering they are mostly whole foods and also very allergen friendly, completely avoiding garlic, onion, mushrooms, and eggplant with several nut free / gluten free options. I honestly have no idea how they make the food as good as it is without onions / garlic / nuts etc. lol. Talking to the manager it seems like have really stepped up the food and dining experience within the last year.

The staff is very nice. The menu seems to be like 90% vegan, the only non-vegan foods served that I noticed are ghee, chai tea, greek yogurt, paneer cheese on indian night, and mexican cheese / sour cream on taco day. The menu's on top of the buffet line are very clear to read and understand what items are vegan, soy free, gluten free, nut free etc. The meals are a little pricey at around $20 per person to outside guests, so I would ask what is on the menu for when you are planning to visit, in order to make sure you aren't coming on indian night if you don't typically like indian food for example.

Also if you are vegan, i'd probably avoid indian night anyways (I believe it's usually saturday night) since the main dish is palak paneer (only vegetarian), although there was also a vegan lentil dal soup as another protein option.

Kitchadi is also served at every lunch / dinner. It's like a healthy, dal-type meal. The texture is kinda meh, but if you are on a retreat needing something really healthy and easily-digestible it's always there. Would not come here just for the Kitchadi though, the other dishes are much more flavorful.

The campus is also alcohol / smoke free so keep that in mind.

98.0 Health Rating, can't complain there.

My favorite meal was probably the tempeh with sambal sauce on Indonesian night (it was black bean tempeh so it's even soy free which I thought was neat).


Points +17

29 Jul 2019

Excellent food

Menu changes everyday. All you can eat with both Indian and American type dishes. Uses dairy (milk and cheese) in some dishes as well as honey, but not meat, fish, or eggs. I have a lot of inflammation in some joints and can find some but not all dishes low inflammation. The retreat and view is unbeatable. We come once a year to relax and eat healthy vegetarian food for 4-7 days. Usually stay at hotel in Boone due to cost. Would highly recommend.

Pros: Great tasting food, All you can eat, Mountain top views

Cons: Expensive if small meal, Vegan options not labeled - have to ask


Points +176

25 Jul 2018

Pretty expensive for only okay food.

Came here expecting a fully vegan lunch buffet, but the main dish was a cheesy pasta. The vegan options available were decent, but I could probably make better food at home. Probably won’t return as there are better vegan options in Boone.


12 May 2023

dont go there for God sake.. ravi shankar does black magic and he will make you sick . never go there...


Points +139

20 Jun 2017

A meal with a view!

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


Points +3168

14 May 2017


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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