CLOSED: Balewa's Vegan Gourmet

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 15 reviews )



394 N Watkins St, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 38104

Vegan food restaurant menu includees salads, steamed or boiled vegetable plate, raw burger, seawich, sprouted quinoa nori wrap, and others. AUG 2013 Reported closed and moving to new location, per its Facebook message - Please update HappyCow when / if it re-opens!

Categories: Vegan, American, Fast food, Take-out

15 Reviews

First Review by vegansandy

Completely worth the drive - Edit

Hubby and I are recent converts to veganism, and we're finding good vegan restaurants to be slim pickin's here in the Mid-South. I found Belawa's here on HappyCow, and based on the other reviews, we decided to make the 95-mile drive from Tupelo, MS to check it out.

The place is located in an older house on the corner in a historic neighborhood, kind of a transitional area. We arrived just after noon on a Saturday, and the parking lot was empty, so we thought at first they were closed, but fortunately they weren't.

The inside is kind of hippie chic, and you order at the counter, after which the food is delivered to your table. Since we were the only customers at the time we arrived, we were able to have a great conversation with the staff (very friendly), who gave us the rundown on all the menu items and helped us decide what to have for lunch.

Hubby ordered a glass of the fresh watermelon juice--ice cold and delicious! He also ordered the Original Live Burger, and I ordered the Bar-B-Que Portabella sandwich. Both sandwiches were served on Ezekiel buns and came with kale chips and a small side salad.

The food was really bar-b-que portabella was every bit as satifying as any pork sandwich I ever had at Corky's, but without the guilt!

We finished off our lunch by sharing a slice of the Live Fruit Pie. This was really more like a fruit tart in a wedge-shaped dish. The filling was a pureed mix of mango, beets, and pear (I believe), and there was a crust that tasted like possibly dates/nuts/maybe coconut. It was so good!!!

We left there totally satisfied and wishing we lived closer so we could visit there more often. By all means, when you're in the Memphis area, check out Belewa's. They have free wi-fi and play some great tunes on the sound system. There are picnic tables on there outside deck, so it's a great place to hang out!

Pros: Fresh, fresh, fresh!, Friendly staff, Quirky fun place

Cons: Too far from where I live :(, Limited parking

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Bites of perfection - Edit

Drove to Memphis from Nashville for a concert I'd been looking forward incessantly for weeks and stopped here for dinner. When we got our food I forgot about the concert and experienced pure food happiness. The BBQ portobello buyer and Jamaican brew was perfect and the fruit pie was unbelievable. Worth the drive by itself!!

Pros: Food, Service

Cons: Distance from me

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

great food, great place, great people - Edit

Wow! We walked in to Balewa's and everybody who worked there was so friendly - we also got to say hi to Baslewa and he was so nice and very inspiring. The food was excellent and cheap. I had the Live Burger, which was great, and the key lime pie (raw I believe) was supreme. If you're vege or vegan or just want healthy food - make the trip to Balewa's!

Pros: cheap, healthy, delicious

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Memphis' Finest - Edit

Balewa's got it going on here. Raw Vegan Cuisine. Got to be one of the healthiest restaurants in Memphis or in the hundred mile radius, probly until you reach st. louis or nashville. I got the signature live burger with tomato, onion, mustard, walnut paste, etc. Delicious. It was warmed, probably up to or below 118 degrees. It came with some mung bean,lentil sprouts,lettuce and some baked blue corn tortilla chips. I also got some delicious "un-cookies". Also got something called Rejuvenac, a probiotic drink like kombucha, but made from sprouts. it was acidophilus instead of the usual kombucha cultures. delicious. Supposedly healthier than kombucha. Delicious. Had plenty of seating. Played laid back reggae music from satellite radio. The men's bathroom walls were a trip. Local art and paintings on the wall. Balewa's a cool dude, knows his stuff in the raw vegan world.

Pros: everything

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Back in business - Edit

The first time I sought out Balewa's I had to send notice to this site that it was closed. I'm happy to report that a year later, I finally got a chance to enjoy Balewa's tasty raw vegan creations in his new Crosstown location. If your previous raw food experience is limited to salads, don't be afraid, just go anyway and try it out. Yummy and healthy. I took non-vegans and they both loved it.

Pros: raw, vegan, friendly owner/chef

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

Very good! - Edit

Thanks to Happy Cow, I was able to locate this guy and his tasty, vegan food! Though Belewa's was a little hard to find, it was well worth the search. Simply said, he was a great guy who makes great food!

Pros: Great, vegan food, Great guy, Healthy and tasty

Cons: Hard to find, He deserves more space

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Pretty Good - Edit

We had falafel and a hummus plate here, and each (two of us) got a vegan smoothie (have to ask for dairy-free). It was all good. I liked the authenticness of the greek food.. I mean, greek people are making it and bring it out to you. It's pretty cool. The little bit of food we tried was all very good... probably the best falafel I've ever had, too, as far as falafel goes.

Pros: very yummy, authentic, good smothies

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Just dropping by - Edit

A while back when driving from Chicago to New Orleans I stopped by Belewa's Vegan Gourmet for lunch. While it isn't exactly what I think of when I think 'gourmet', it is a fantastic place to get a bite to eat. I met Belewa and he was very friendly and outgoing. It seems he often takes the time to talk to people visiting his restaurant. He asked me how I found out about him and I told him Happy Cow. He asked me not to write a review if I didn't have anything good to say. No worries there, Belewa!

The food is really good and incredibly affordable. I seem to recall all of the dishes being between about 4 dollars and 8 dollars. I had the live burger and my friend and I shared the chili quinoa. Both were very good, very healthy, and as I already mentioned, shockingly affordable. (Where else do you find raw food so inexpensive?)

Before we left, we grabbed a couple vegan almond vanilla cupcakes. We didn't eat them until an hour or two later due to the fact we were so full after our lunch. Though we were several hundred miles south of Memphis by that point, we joked about turning around and going back for more. Absolutely amazing cupcakes.

In short, I really enjoyed my stop at Belewa's Vegan Gourmet and I highly recommend it for anyone.

Pros: great food, very inexpensive, healthy

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great Food, Great Service, Great Guy! - Edit

Belewa himself prepared our food. My girlfriend is not typically a huge fan of raw food, but thought the barbecue burger was incredible and I definitely agree! The Quinoa Chili was also incredible.

The small little stand inside a food market is a great place to grab a bite to eat and have a wonderful conversation with the owner, Belewa, who will personally prepare your food. A long-time vegan, he has a lot to say.

I would very highly recommend this place. It's the only 100% vegan place in Memphis, the food is healthy and great, and it's very inexpensive!

Pros: 100% Vegan, Healthy Delicious Food, Wonderful Conversation

Cons: Not a thing!

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

great food - Edit

Went by there today and tried the raw burger- it was delicious. The owner is super nice!

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Jackpot - Edit

As a vegan, i thought moving to Memphis meant certain doom: bar-b-que and fried chicken as far as the eye can see. Belewa (buh-LAY-wah) is a Memphian anomaly with his vegan -almost all raw- food.

The building he serves out of is co-leased by a convenience store, mediterranian restaurant, and smoothie bar. Look for the sign that says Sean's Cafe.

Belewa has about ten items on the menu and all get my approval. I think trying the Liveburger is a good place to start. He also has a carrot salad, soups, quinoa, and lettuce wraps. Prices about $4-8. They regularly stock vegan deserts now too (cookies, baklava, etc.) and Belewa is very enthusiastic about the lifestyle, if you want good conversation.

Pros: delicious, vegan, oasis

Cons: short hours

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

it good. - Edit

i went there earlyer today, and i loved it. the man who ownes the places is a vegan himself and so is his wife and daughter, who's raised vegan. i traid the ras-salad, and it was soooo goooooood! i also baught a date-roll and a a sandwish wish some carrot-thing in it. also really delicius! and the man was so nice and relaxed! if it wasn't because im normaly living in denmark, i would defently go there again and again!

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Delicious Healthy Food - Edit

I went here a few months ago and ordered the live BBQ burger and the spice-sea (a nori roll stuffed with quinoa and spices). The burger came with a side salad. We waited while the owner personally prepared our food for us. We were not disappointed! My favorite part about the meal is that it was filling and left me feeling good about what I just ate. I only hope I can return many times to support this man's much-needed business in this city.
To find Belewa, head straight back toward the main counter and take a left. He has his own counter set up behind the back aisle where the few tables are.

Pros: healthy, tasty, nice service

Cons: inside a nonvegan place, not well advertised, not all menu items may be available

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Live Burger - Edit

I went to Belewa's today with friends and was surprised to find this restaurant tucked inside of Smooth Moves. The live burger was tasty and filling. Portion was just enough and came with blue chips and salad. I will return

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

A surprising find! - Edit

It was a surprise to find this little cafe tucked in the back of what looked like a convenience store. The owner has been vegan for 23 years and has a particular interest in raw/live foods. The menu is small, but we found good options. The signature dish is the Live Burger, which is surprisingly hearty. It comes with blue chips and salad. I also ordered a bowl of the raw soup (very spicy), which I enjoyed but my company did not (more for me). I had a cold and it cleared out my sinuses pretty quickly. We also tried the BBQ portobello burger which, to my surprise, wasn't as satisfying as the Live Burger. Prices are very reasonable around $6-$7 for an entree.

Pros: in Memphis, healthy, cheap

Cons: in Memphis, small, hard to find

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to Memphis Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details / Review guidelines
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has CLOSED: Balewa's Vegan Gourmet closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 872 times.

Keep HappyCow Growing Strong!

I would like to support