Fiction Kitchen

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 50 reviews )
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919-831-4177
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428 S Dawson St, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, 27601

Pop-up turned 50-seat full service vegetarian restaurant in 2013. Colorful space, focus is on local produce. Sunday is brunch. Menu is vegan by default with vegetarian add-ons. Parties of 6 should call ahead. Open Tue-Thu 4:30pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 4:30pm-11:00pm, Sun 11:30am-3:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, International, Beer/Wine, Fusion

50 Reviews

First Review by TraciH

Wonderful food and atmosphere! - Edit

I've been here for dinner and for brunch many times. The food and service are always amazing each visit! I've brought a few omni friends and they have loved their dishes as well. Love the hipster-y atmosphere as well. Try to visit during week days or less-busy times as the seating space is limited so wait times can be a little long. Overall, one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants I have been to!

Pros: Great food, Friendly staff

Cons: Long wait

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Best vegan dessert! - Edit

Although they are labeled as vegetarian, most (if not all) their menu items are vegan. Many are also gluten free, or can be made gluten free. The salted caramel chocolate torte was the best vegan dessert I’ve had!

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Best food in the Triangle so far - Edit

You can’t go wrong here, everything I’ve tried has been delicious. Great place to take your non veg friends and family.

Pros: Seasonal options, Able to accommodate large parties, Menu options for gluten free, vegan and vegetarian

Cons: Can have long wait times

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Best Vegan Chickn and Waffles!! - Edit

We have been visiting Fiction kitchen for years and recently they have upped their game - their Chickn and waffles dish is AMAZING - for even non-plant-based appetites. Worth a visit anytime you are near Raleigh!

Oh and the desserts are fantastic (esp the cheesecake!)

Pros: Vegan options are delicious, Vibe is very cool (urban, artsy)

Cons: Packed Often (because they are so awesome!), Not next to my house ;)

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every single time they get me. - Edit

Great food and friendly staff. They never disappoint.

*update: went back for brunch (second time going this week... I'm ashamed), and it was delicious!! Get the chicken and waffles, and the farmer plate! Everyone at the breakfast counter had the same thing we did!

And, pro tip, go early on the weekends! We got there about 5-10 minutes early only to find a line already forming! You know the food is killer when the like is already popping before the doors open. It was quick friendly service, even when full!

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everything was delicious - Edit

The best vegan pulled pork. Every entree, side and appetizer were excellent.

Cons: moderate

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Best vegan BBQ! - Edit

I live in Florida, and when I'm in the area visiting this is always my first stop after the airport. I wouldn't dream of missing the chance to eat here! I've been during the week and on weekends, and it's always busy. The longest I've waited for a table is 35 minutes, but worth it in my opinion. The servers are really nice and helpful.

For starters I've ordered the Bread + Spread, the Locavore Salad, and the Grilled Romaine Salad. The Bread + Spread was quite tasty, along with the onion jam. I ordered the Locavore salad upon suggestion by my server and it was incredibly good! For some reason I felt intimidated by the Grilled Romaine Salad , but once I started eating it I fell in love!

For the main course I always order the Eastern NC Style BBQ Pulled "Pork". It is unlike any version of pulled "pork" I've eaten and it's by far my absolute favorite. It's soy based and local. Their vegan cheese offerings are superb.

Finally, every dessert I've ordered has been amazingly delicious.

I'd give 5 stars if this was a strictly vegan restaurant.




Updated from previous review on 2017-08-04

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Impressive food! - Edit

I had the eastern NC BBQ pulled "pork" and the taste and texture was exactly like regular pulled pork...no lie I'm being legit serious. I also had the oyster mushrooms and they tasted like oysters. The food was incredible. So it is mind blowing how innovative Vegan cuisine has become. Plant based meats are definitely the future.

Pros: Incredible service, Excellent food, The smashed potato tastes AMAZING

Cons: Nothing

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Worth going vegan for - Edit

My Goddaughter is considering becoming a vegan like me. I'm so excited! Decided to take her to Fiction Kitchen. It worked! She loved it! Thanks Fiction Kitchen! Great flavorful food!

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Best vegan meal I've had in a long time! - Edit

I was in Raleigh for a night and two of my non-vegan friends wanted to try this place with me. I'm so glad we did because everything we tried was amazing!

We started with one of the special appetizers, the pickled plate. It featured okra, green beans, beets, pickles, and some kind of dip with crackers. We also ordered the corn chowder, lettuce wraps, and one friend ordered the tacos while I had the chicken and waffles. Everything we tried was so flavorful and beautifully presented. I had never had chicken and waffles before going vegan, and my friends said that this may even be better than the real thing. I order the smashed potatoes as a side, and OMG the best potatoes I've ever had. It was like mashed potatoes, but seared!

I can't wait to come back, and hopefully, it will be on a Sunday. I need to try everything on the brunch menu!

Pros: Flavorful and creative, Presentation, Variety of menu options

Cons: Lack of seating, Brunch only on Sundays :(

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Creative and delicious food, family-friendly place! - Edit

This is one of my favorite places for Sunday brunch or dinner any night of the week. The menu options are delicious and creative! I especially love the farmers market specials. The menu slightly changes seasonally and I am always delighted by the new dishes added (and sad for the ones that have left the menu).

The menu is marked with options that are or can be gluten free and almost everything on the menu is vegan. I always have so many options! I love dinner, but my favorite time to visit FK is for Sunday brunch. The options are amazing and they make tempeh bacon and tofu scramble like no one else! They are must have items during your brunch dining. And the free-to-be pancakes!!!

If you are looking for dinner, bring a lot of people so you can share one of everything! If you are unable, make sure you have the cheese plate, featuring homemade cheeses paired with nuts and local jelly. And save room for dessert. The chocolate pie is out of this world. Two words: caramel sauce!

This place is great for families. They have high chairs and the staff is so friendly to kids. They are even willing to customize sides or plates to make them kid friendly. The wait staff always says hi to my son. It is a bit noisy there, so no one can hear if he cries or complains.

My only complaints are that I wish the place was closer to Durham, there was more seating, and that Sunday brunch didn't require arriving 30 mins before opening to get a seat.

Pros: Delicious and creative food, Family friendly, Friendly staff

Cons: Not enough seating

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Food is great, atmosphere is meh - Edit

I've been here probably 20 times in the last 3 years. The food is spectacular. The chef knows flavors and is knowledgable in vegan food skills. The staff is friendly and helpful. I would take anyone here to experience quality and creative vegan food. The prices are reasonable. I respect this restaurant for their "local food revolution" motto. It's really the only decent place to get a vegan brunch in the entire Triangle. THANK YOU!

All that being said, the noise level can be unbearable. Some of the tables (I'm thinking the 2 person tables up against the half wall they convert into 3 by adding a chair) are the worst tables you can sit at because you hear *everything.* And they are really too big for 2 people so you could end up sitting pretty far from the person across you and not hear them well. The only way I can avoid the noise is by arriving before they open. You have to do this anyway b/c of the limited seating.

Speaking of the limited seating, if you are hungry, don't go on a whim. This restaurant is so popular that people fill it up within minutes of opening. There are only 2 tables that accommodates parties of more than 4 and one of them is by the seating area where everyone is waiting. If you're waiting in this area, you are seated about 3 feet and can hear the conversation. I usually only go during the week for dinner or I’ll arrive towards the end of brunch (although you risk them being out of some dishes). If you don't like feeling crowded, rushed, or talking loudly over the noise, prob not the place for you.

Over the last 3 years that the portions sizes have gotten smaller or they are inconsistent. The desserts are amazing, but the slices are too small for the price. To those not familiar with vegan desserts in other vegan friendly cities, the price:size ratio is large. This doesn’t stop me from ordering them because they are so good. I do wish they would rotate their desserts though. Their dessert specials are amazing although rare and usually not advertised until right before dinner service.

I will continue to support Fiction Kitchen, but alas it cannot be on a frequent basis like my stomach desires. I hope they do something about the acoustics because it really holds me back from saying I truly enjoy the FK experience.

Updated from previous review on 2017-07-10

Pros: amazing vegan food, great service/staff, vegan brunch

Cons: loud, small dessert portions (comparison to others), limited seating

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Non-Vegans will love it! - Edit

I've been to Fiction Kitchen 2 times so far and I love it. Most recently I came with a group of omnivore's and they all loved the food and said they would want to come back. I've had the Chik'n and Waffles, those were ok but I most recently tried the Tinga Tacos with bulgogi seitan, and that. was. so. GOOD. I also highly recommend the Grilled Romaine Salad. The desserts here are on a whole other level of amazingness, the tres leches cake is mind-blowing, and all of their gluten-free "cheesecakes" are really good too.

Pros: Beautiful Restaurant, Amazing Food, Everything's Basically Vegan

Cons: Parking

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It will fool carnivores - Edit

This place is amazing and they really know how to handle fake meat. I took my extremely carnivorous boyfriend there to convince him that vegan food didn't have to be disgusting and he LOVED the "pulled pork". I'm working on trying everything on the menu and so far it's all delicious! Remember to save room for dessert too because the vegan peanut butter cheese cake is to die for! The only complaint is that unless you get there right as it opens, you will wait up to an hour or more for a table, but they do take reservations on Valentine's Day!!

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Good Food - Edit

I went on a weekday, and was greeted by friendly servers. I had the Smoked Farmers Collective Carrot and Split Pea Soup garnished with olive oil and smoked paprika. It was a chilly November evening and so the warm soup tasted great! I also had the Eastern NC Style BBQ Pulled "Pork" with smashed potatoes and black beans with chipotle buttermilk and cilantro. The pulled "pork" was a bit too sweet from my liking but it was delicious and filling, I couldn't finish my plate!

Would recommend, definitely returning on my next visit to Raleigh, NC!

Pros: friendly staff, excellent food, nice vibe

Cons: Parking

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Great first vegan meal in Raleigh - Edit

Pretty good meal. Had the fried oyster mushrooms, the seasonal risotto w/ a side of the Carolina BBQ, and the peanut butter cheesecake. The portions are HUGE, so I had to take some of my meal home. The oyster mushrooms were delicious and very flavorful. The risotto was runny, and didn't have as many vegetables in it as I would have liked. If I were to do it again,
I would get a different entree (the noodles looked amazing). The peanut butter cheesecake with pretzel crust was very good, but the pretzel crust was sticky sweet. I will definitely go back, because I want to give them another shot. The bartender was also very nice and helpful, as I was sitting at the bar.

Pros: Very good meat substitutes -- try the Carolina BBQ, HUGE portions , Friendly staff

Cons: A little pricey , Hard to walk in without a wait on weekends, Can run out of daily special

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Good food, awkward seating - Edit

The food is amazing! Love the vegan chicken. I agree with the reviewer that it wasn't very kid friendly. Our kids were knocking over glasses of water, antsy in their seats. The seating is limited and terrible (awkward and uncomfortable). We first arrived on Valentines Day and were turned away because we didn't have reservations. But they don't take reservations any other time of the year and it can get busy quick. The wait staff is a little snooty. But maybe because we had kids. We will eat there again though.

Pros: Amazing food

Cons: Uncomfortable, limited seating

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Great food, take your non-vegan friends too! - Edit

TLDR: both I (full vegan) and my cousin (full carnivore) enjoyed our dinner. Lots of flavor, portions large enough to be filling but not make you miserable. It is within easy walking distance of the downtown hotels. Will visit again!

Long version: I was in town for one night of a week-long company trip around the Carolinas, got in touch with a cousin in town. We met up for dinner, she asks "What are you in the mood for?" After a week of eating afterthought salads at steak joints, I asked for "Anyplace vegetarian or vegan". Turns out, my cousin knows the owners of Fiction Kitchen and thought of it immediately! We got there just ahead of the dinner rush, got a table right away. Started with the 'cheeze' sampler platter, very good. The 'blue cheeze' was about as close to the way I remember dairy blue cheese tasting as any I've had since going full vegan. The peanut noodle bowl was fantastic too, so refreshing to eat good vegan food again after so many sad little salads at meat-eating restaurants!

Cons: Not fully vegan. Why not?

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Wonderful food - Edit

This restaurant represents the epitome of vegetarian and vegan fare at its best. Try the vegan biscuits! Also the root vegetables...

I feel so happy and full when I live this enclave of deliciousness. I've been several times and loved every visit, just prepare for a huge crowd on holidays.

Pros: changing menu, fresh food, tasty creative dishes

Cons: mock meats, for those who dislike them, small seating area, parking can be hard to find

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It's good, but... - Edit

Amazing vegan food, probably the best east of Asheville, which says a lot if you're from NC.
We're a conservative family (yes, conservative vegans exist,) and sometimes I feel uncomfortable with all to which my young child is exposed. If you are a conservative family too, be aware that this restaurant isn't, nor is it family oriented, but the food is great.
No reservations, so it can take a while to get a table. Dessert portions are crazy small- waste of money.

Updated from previous review on 2016-07-23

Pros: Amazing Local Ingredients, Amazing Vegan Options

Cons: Not Child-Friendly, Dessert Portions are TOO SMALL

3 Responses
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stbenjam 25 Jul 2016 - Just curious, what exactly wasn't "family friendly"?  


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neutralneutrals 15 Aug 2016 - I laughed aloud, because I know for a fact that this is an ultra family friendly restaurant and there are always young children when I visit. Why was politics injected into this?!  


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VeganSince2009 18 Jul 2017 - I have a toddler and we bring him with us here frequently. It is very family friendly. They have seating for kids, the wait staff is very friendly toward children, and allow customization for food for kids. Let's be honest, you are uncomfortable with the tattoos, piercings, and that there are LGBTQ owners and staff. I am not understanding why you injected politics into your review.  


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finally - vegan cornbread - Edit

Quit cornbread after going vegan - finally dream come true - found the vegan cornbread here!

Pros: good selections, thoughtful ingredient combination

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Truly delicious - Edit

Had an excellent meal here with great service. Tasting plate with vegan cheeses and tempeh pate to start - absolutely lovely flavours. Then the pulled pork for main which was great too. For dessert the delicious chocolate ganache. Amazing - really enjoyed the food here. Would definitely go back.

Pros: Service, Food

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Delicious and amazing - Edit

This is probably the one thing I miss about living in Raleigh. The customer service here is unmatched to any restaurant I have ever eaten at. The brunch is off the chain. The dinner service is verging on romantic, the menu is amazing. Plenty of allergy free options, wish they were open for lunch!

Pros: Large / seasonal menu, Outstanding Customer Service

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amazing food - Edit

so many great vegan options! loved everything i have eaten here.

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breakfast was good, dinner not so much. - Edit

I've been to this restaurant twice, once for breakfast and once for dinner. The breakfast was good, although the serving size was a little too large for me. I had to put my pancakes in a to go box.

Dinner was pretty disappointing. This restaurant needs to get a chef who knows how to prepare mushrooms.

I got the soup with chicken of the woods. The chicken of the woods was dry and bad. It tasted like they may have used the core part of the mushroom that is tough. Even if that was not the case, the preparation needed to be improved somehow.

I also got the fried oyster mushrooms. There was something off about them that made them less than enjoyable. The breading that was used to fry them did not have a good consistency. It seemed like the mushrooms may have been dipped in breadcrumbs. In any case, the breading was grainy and hard while the mushrooms inside were not fully cooked. The oyster mushrooms were also grey, when usually they are white. I don't know if this was a result of the frying or what.

Pros: good breakfast

Cons: bad mushrooms

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4+ Vegan Dining - Edit

I went here on Mother's Day earlier this year, and ate here a couple other times. It's almost always crowded here. I've had brunch here before which was alright--I had pancakes here which had too much cinnamon in them. The vegan / gluten-free quiche here wasn't the best either, it kind of had a funky taste..but everyone has different taste buds, so don't write this place off just because I personally didn't like some of their food options. Their food is pretty good overall. They'd pretty much be an all vegan restaurant if they didn't carry eggs , milk, etc. as options for brunch/ breakfast foods. I don't like how they're trying to cater to people who are still contributing to cruelty at a restaurant that is mostly veg to begin with. At least the majority of their food is vegan so that's a plus if you want to look at the positive side of things. They also have a pretty large variety of gluten-free foods as well. I like the set-up of this restaurant-- the art on the walls mainly depicts non-human animals / has something to do with animal liberation which is fitting. It can be noisy if there's a large crowd of people together, since the tables are pretty close together and the restaurant is very spaced out, but all places have 'noise' / get noisy with large crowds so that's to be expected. It is a little on the pricey side--I wouldn't say expensive, but moderate. All in all, I'd check this place out--the food is pretty good (mostly vegan) with variety on their menu, and the set-up is pretty neat.

Pros: Food is decent overall , Nice artwork on walls and location, Unique set-up/ dining area

Cons: Feels a bit crowded/ noisy, More on the pricey side, Eggs, eh, why not be all vegan?

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Awesome Food, Okay Atmosphere - Edit

I have to start off by saying that I've loved every single thing I've eaten here. My favorite has to be the chicken and waffles - I never had it before I went veg, but all my friends who've gone with me (veg and omni alike) have tried it and loved it, too. This is really the best thing about Fiction Kitchen - there's something for everyone!

While I love the food, and the service is wonderful, I'm not a huge fan of overcrowded spaces, which describes Fiction Kitchen to a tee. Sure, long waits mean that the food is just that good, but the noise level and the bustling atmosphere just isn't my scene. If I'm craving their food, I'll brave the line, I'll even sit at the bar, but it's enough of a bother to me that I don't go there as often as I might otherwise.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, great portions

Cons: noisy, crowded

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