Irregardless Cafe

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 16 reviews )

901 W Morgan St, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, 27603

Serves meat, vegan options available. Has some vegetarian and a couple vegan ones. Lunch menu is more veg-friendly than dinner menu.

Categories: Lacto, Ovo, American, International, Non-veg

16 Reviews

First Review by MichelleD

LOVE - Edit

Irregardless is amazing in my book. Lots of vegetarian and vegan selections, and they’re not crappy, limited things either. Awesome creative meals, always fresh and delicious. A great dinner option for me!

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special place! - Edit

Always has good music, always has friendly staff, and always has good food!! They clearly label their menu which I'm a huge fan of. Also, it's easier on my husband (nonveg) to order and enjoy.

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Worth Checking Out esp during Restaurant Week - Edit

The reviews on Happy Cow and in my own life, the feedback for Irregardless Cafe is mixed, but I do suggested checking it out. Sometimes my meal is awesome and I don't mind paying the expensive price tag for dinner (lunch prices are reasonable) BUT other times I'm like, "ugh I wish it was better."

Things to keep in mind when visiting: 1) Irregardless was the first vegetarian restaurant in Raleigh in 1975, but now they serve meat. 2) They are a farm-to-table restaurant so you may be eating veggies that were picked from their community garden that day. For vegan dishes, they tend to keep it simple whole foods. The food can be delicious and filling, but when you go, check out the menu, prices, and online specials beforehand (their online specials don't always match up to what's available). Last 2 times, I got the Woodline Pie and a salad with their "seitan"; I enjoyed both very much. Their seitan is more like soy/gluten meat. I think they purchase it from a local company that resembles chicken.

I have been there ~10 times in the last 3 years. I appreciate the affordable vegan 3 course meal they offer during Restaurant Week. During this time, they always have at least a vegan entree and dessert and if the app isn't vegan, they'll give you a side salad.

They have more than one type of vegan salad dressing and a THANK YOU to Irregardless for bulking up their salads with spring mix, raisins and sunflower seeds instead of sad iceberg lettuce. They serve bread at dinner and the only vegan bread is the whole wheat kind. They give out a bread plate at brunch but refused to give us the whole wheat bread because "they don't do that at brunch." Okay, then what will you do? :/

Why do I wish it was better? Well, 1) vegan brunch needs pancakes and waffles :D 2) Veggies that come w/ an entree tend to be too oily. 3) rotate vegan desserts. Branch out with vegan baked goods b/c there is potential. 4) the music is too loud for that space. With close tables, it's hard not to pick up other conversations or struggle to hear people at your table. 5) Can be overcrowded. If you like space, make a reservation and request a booth near the windows. 6) a little pricey for vegan dinner 7) I wish they had vegan butter for the bread.

I'll go again, but I'll request a table away from the music and I will continue to go during Restaurant Week when I can try some new dishes at an affordable cost.

Pros: whole foods, vegan options including "Restaurant Week", fresh

Cons: too loud when there is music, pricey

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Earnest attempt at becoming a vegan locale in the Triangle - Edit

The menu lists a good daily selection of vegan options: bites to entres and dessert. However two features need to change to send Irregardless up a notch in vegan circles: wait staff need basic training in how to attend a vegan client, and the kitchen staff need to mix the menu up at more often, more creatively.

Pros: one of too few vegan stops in the area, home made polenta

Cons: little vegan awareness training for the staff, vegan menu is tired and needs novelty

1 Response
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The Vegan Chemist 10 Jul 2017 - Hi Seamusmack,
I've been living in Raleigh for three years now and around 2016 they did change their usual vegan offerings. Also sometimes they have specials that are only for lunch or dinner, but they don't advertise the specials often enough so I don't know when they have them. They are one of the few restaurants in the Triangle that participate with vegan options for almost all or all of the 3 courses for Restaurant Week.  

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Delicious food and music, too! - Edit

A place for vegans and non-vegans to gather and there is music, too! The vegans choices were great including dessert!

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My go to place - Edit

My husband and I have been eating at Irregardless for years and love this place! I have Celiac disease and they have a good amount of gf/vegan options. I have only been disappointed once in a lot of years. If you are going on the weekend I would definitely recommend a reservation and realize it will be crowded and noisy. We love the live music on the weekends but often go for lunch or dinner during the week to avoid the crowds. I find the food and service to be great!

Pros: Knowledgeable on gf and vegan eating, Great food!, Good service

Cons: Crowded and noisy on weekends

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vegan options - Edit

Great menu with vegan, vegetarian, gf, and more. A favorite of mine! Great for groups with diverse eating habits and dietary needs.

Pros: vegan options

Cons: Jazz music nightly too loud for space. don't s

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High hopes, with poor execution... - Edit

We finally decided to try Irregardless Cafe. With a renovated restaurant and a newly vamped menu, we had high hopes. When we arrived we were surprised how noisy and busy the restaurant was, but again this gave us the high hopes that we would have a spectacular meal. Once seated we realized how loud it was, which is fine, but if you plan on talking to the person across from you during dinner, you may end up yelling! Really close tables, but again not a deal breaker for us!

We decided for a starter that we would get the Hummus Plate. When it arrived it almost resembled a scoop a tuna fish on a lettuce leaf, and once we tried it we realized it was very bland grocery store bought quality hummus, nothing special for the $7 price tag it boasted. For our main dishes my husband had an Asian noodle bowl with seitan and I had the shepherd's pie ($16 & $18 price tags). Both meals were completely disappointing. First the Asian noodle bowl - the plus of this meal was a very generous amount of vegetables, however the negatives were big, the rice noodles were spaghetti type noodles and worst of all the seitan that was the selling point for us on getting this dish was not seitan at all, but instead processed soy. The shepherds pie - the plus was the delicious side dish of asparagus, but the actual main dish itself resembled a lasagna of sorts with a baked crust on top and pureed, yes I said pureed vegetable filling resembling baby food inside with random whole carrots.

For a restaurant that has been open for so long, I am not even sure why they would still have vegan and veg options that tasted like this. For a $50+ meal it was probably the worst meal we have ever had in that price range.

Pros: prompt waiter

Cons: terrible execution of veg/vegan food, noisy, reservations are sort of a joke.

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meh - Edit

I want to like them. So bad. You see their menu - lots of vegan options. But none of them (that I've had) are actually good. I've been here several times, and I've never been impressed by their food or dining room. Sitting so close that when people sneeze, they sneeze on you/your food. Flavors are lacking (even with the new menu). Service is decent though.

Pros: good service, good location

Cons: bad food, horrible seating

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Nice Special-Occasion Vegan Option - Edit

If you're looking for a slightly more upscale restaurant in Raleigh for vegan food, Irregardless is the place. Their prices reflect the atmosphere, which is what has kept me from eating here on any regular basis (the prices, not the atmosphere!).

The food I've gotten has been very good. I've been to brunch twice and dinner many times. The vegan shepherd's pie is my favorite so far. The portions always seem quite hearty, too, which is nice; I had a vegan reuben sandwich that I couldn't finish because I got full -- and I have quite an appetite!

They have jazz musicians play almost every night, I think, which adds to the atmosphere. Their cocktails are also quite good; but again, a bit pricey. Overall, this is a good place to go if you're looking for a veg*n-accomodating restaurant for a special occasion.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday May 15, 2013

Pros: Good food, Good-sized portions, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Pricey

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Make Sure to Check the Specials - Edit

I've been here twice... once for a Sunday brunch and another time for a weekday dinner. Both experiences were great. I'm always excited when I see the specials chalkboard has numerous vegan items listed, in fact, most of the specials are vegan so they have rotating options.

It is on the pricey side but you do get good quality food.

They have local entertainment constantly playing which is a nice touch.

Pros: Rotating Options, Great wait-staff

Cons: Pricey

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Good experience. - Edit

Nothing too big to report. I'm a Vegan living in Raleigh, NC and we were in that neck of the woods. We were both hungry so my friend asked me where I could eat... Irregardless is where happy cow led me. It was in the middle of the weekday when we went so I can't really echo the noise complaint. It was pretty quiet. It's not a vegan restaurant so I wasn't surprised to see just a few vegan options, but as everyone else has stated, the options are clearly marked.

I had the black bean quinoa burger. It was nice to have one, most quinoa burgers you find have egg in them to bind the ingredients. It was served on a whole wheat bun with lots of guacamole. It was incredibly tasty! Dare I say it has been the best vegan burger I've had in Raleigh yet. I have eaten at Remedy several times and fiction once, but this burger definitely took the cake *to date*. And at 8.75, it was reasonably priced.

3 stars! (which is solid in my book)

Pros: clearly marked vegan options, french fries!

Cons: Few options, but its not a vegan place

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Better for Vegetarians on Sundays - Edit

I visited Irregardless Cafe with my brother and his wife. We picked it because I'm vegan, and we needed a place to eat brunch on a Sunday. When we got there, we found out that the only vegan option was a curry, which seemed to be very heavy and unappetizing for a brunch option. I had a pot of tea while everyone else ate.

In fairness, our waiter offered to talk to the cook to see if they had anything else that they could prepare for me, but he came back 20 minutes later to tell us that they could only offer the curry.

My omni brother and his wife liked their food, and my vegetarian (not vegan) partner had blueberry pancakes that he liked.

To me, this was just another place that seemed to have something I might eat, but it turned out that it didn't in reality. I read several online reviews that indicated that Irregardless had a variety of vegan options, so it was a pretty big letdown to drive all the way there to have an over-priced pot of tea. We won't be back.

Pros: friendly staff

Cons: noisy, scanty vegan options, long wait

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Great Food and Atmosphere (but noisy) - Edit

We ate at Irregardless Cafe because it's on-line menu showed that they have several vegan, gluten-free choices. The menu is clearly marked to show which items fit into these categories. We made an on-line reservation that didn't get added to their list, but they still seated us quickly (it was a busy Saturday evening). The live jazz was wonderful, the wait staff was very good, the choices were varied, and our food was delicious! We plan to come back at least once during our stay in Raleigh. The only negative was the noise level - it's a large open area with lots of tables tightly packed.

Pros: Good Food, Vegan/Gluten-Free Choices, Live Jazz

Cons: Parking, Noisy

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Decent Vegan Options - Edit

My fiance and I went to Irregardless while visiting Raleigh. The vegan items on the menu were clearly labeled, so that was helpful. There were something like 5 entrees that were vegan. I had the vegan pierogi with black beans and steamed cabbage and carrots which was quite good. My fiance has the vegan biryani which was a small rice pilaf and various veggies (portabellos, tomatoes, peppers) in a balsalmic glaze. I wasn't overly impressed, but it was not bad.
The atmosphere was nice.

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Nice atmosphere! - Edit

Very charming restaurant. Live music almost every night.

I had a squash dish with a side of rice that didn't have much flavor at all. It was one of only a couple of vegan options on the menu.

The salad I had beforehand was great though. Very YUMMY vegan dressing! The waiter was friendly and quick to point out what was vegan.

Pros: Atmosphere, Live Music, Local fresh veggies.

Cons: Food a little bland.

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