Laughing Seed Cafe

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 88 reviews )
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828-252-3445
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40 Wall St (at downtown), Asheville, North Carolina, USA, 28801

Cafe serving vegetarian cuisine with international flair, such as vegetarian sushi, sandwiches, salads, a raw tapas plate, fruit smoothies and elixirs, dinner plates, and Sunday brunch. Open Mon 11:30am-9:00pm, Wed-Thu 11:30am-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-10:00pm, Sun 11:00am-9:00pm.

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

88 Reviews

First Review by aglenn0

Perfect! - Edit

We were going to get a late breakfast, but decided to do lunch here instead and we were not disappointed. So many options for vegans, but also great dishes for meat eaters who are willing to compromise. Delicious vegan dressings (check out the sherry vinaigrette), great sandwiches, and good beer.

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We LOVE this place!! - Edit

We've been coming here for years. It's not always perfect, but it's one of the only places we've been to which has so many vegan options that it takes several minutes to make a decision. It's such a wonderful thing to have more than just a corner of the menu to order from that we keep coming back and trying new dishes. One long weekend during a visit to Asheville in October 2017, we ate there three times (breakfast once and dinner twice) and we ate happily.

Pros: Many vegan options!!, Great location near a parking deck & cool stores., Did I mention there are many vegan options?!!

Cons: Sometimes blah service., A bit pricey.

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consistently awesome - Edit

Been coming here since 2002. Always tasty.

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good food, not always the best service - Edit

I have had good and not-so-good experiences here. The food is delicious. Must specify for vegan. Service is hit-or-miss. I’ve had good luck at the bar. The drinks are tasty. I love the Bloody Mary.

Pros: good food

Cons: occasional rude service

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very disappointing - Edit

This was our number 1 eating choice when we first arrived. We were here for a late lunch. (About 2pm). First, they were out of herbal tea. We ordered the black iced. Then we asked for sweetener; 4 Times! I finally went in and asked for it from someone else. The waitress could have cared less, and the place wasn’t crowded. Then they had nothing we asked for. I way overplayed for a tiny bit of a mushroom and rice dish and my husbands dressing was such a tiny amount for his salad that it barely wet any of it. Repeated request for more dressing went completely unheeded. Would not ever go back again.

Pros: none, in our opinion

Cons: terrible service and mediocre food. tiny servings

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Good Times - Edit

I went to the Laughing Seed with two friends. The menu is fantastic. I ended up ordering a veggie burger which was fantastic. The menu labels everything that is gluten free or can be made vegan. Service was great and the space has a nice vibe. My friends were also very happy with their meals.

Pros: Great menu , Good service , Attractive space

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Delicious! - Edit

My husband and I went on a trip to Ashville and I was thrilled to find several vegan restaurants there. The Laughing Seed was our first stop. I got a raw vegan dish. Hubby got vegetarian fare. Both were incredibly delicious. We also tried Meade for the first time ever and really enjoyed that as well.
We liked the food so much we came back a second time.

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Great vegan food - Edit

We really enjoyed, food was really good. However on our third visit our server delivered our food with dairy cheese. He was quick to apologize & gave us some delicious dessert, and had our food remade. We were very understanding as this restaurant was geared more toward vegetarianism. We realized that even though we let him know we were all vegan, the next time we will Highly emphasize, over and over, how important it is for us to get our food delivered completely vegan as our little ones were with us and pretty hungry one of them bit into the dairy cheese quesadilla.

Pros: although not completely vegan they do offer great

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Not as Good as I Expected - Edit

Maybe I just had high expectations for laughing seed, or maybe I just ordered the wrong thing, but I had the jackfruit tacos and they weren't as good as I'd expected. The textures and flavors just weren't up to par with jackfruit tacos I'd had in the past. I'll probably go back and try something else, but we'll see if they redeem themselves.

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Excellent - Edit

Great atmosphere. Lots of vegan options. The service was super efficient and friendly. Food was amazing! Was a single diner, had no wait.

Pros: vegan options, peaceful atmosphere , great service

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Truly appalling experience - Edit

I stopped by the Laughing Seed Cafe for dinner with my family while visiting Asheville for the first time. We approached the host's stand and told the girl there that we had a party of 6; the server at the stand (girl with pink and blonde hair) rolled her eyes and then walked away. We then witnessed her go up to another server and that server then proceeded to roll her eyes as well. When she came back to the host stand I apologized for any inconvenience as I could tell there was a level of attitude, and she just said that in order for us to be seated she would have to move two tables together as though we should just leave, but did not make any effort to lighten the situation with a simple "no worries, just give me a moment to group tables together." After finally being sat, I ordered a Margarita. The Margarita came with a long blonde strand of hair in it. I asked for a new margarita and apologized yet again for any inconvenience. This time when the Margarita came, there was a black shard of glass in it. A shard of GLASS!?! I was appalled, but did not make a scene because I was with my family and this was suppose to be a nice evening and I did not want to ruin it. Instead I simply informed the server that there was now glass in my drink and I will just drink my water. She did not apologize or anything, she just grabbed the drink and left.

Shortly after, I got up to use the restroom and as I walked past our server, the blonde who initially greeted us at the host stand, I heard her say to another employee "there is that party of 6 that put glass in their drink and blamed it on me." I stopped and told her that I can hear her talking about us, and her response was to mock me word for word "oh I can hear you talking about us." I could not believe the level of disrespect.. I continued walking towards the restroom, ignoring her at this point, and once my back was turned towards her she called me, and I quote, "a f*ing fat a$$." Wow. Just wow...

Our party finished our meals and my mom left a generous tip regardless of the extremely unpleasant situation, however I attempted numerous times to reach out to management and have yet to hear back from them. I have written Joan a detailed email, attempted to call several times and even contacted their accounting department, yet I have not received so much as an apology. This is truly unacceptable and needless to say I will never return. Shame on that server and shame on Laughing Seed Cafe.

Pros: Nice atmosphere

Cons: Horrible treatment of patrons

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Best of Asheville - Edit

Laughing Seed has something for everyone. Amazing vegan menu and great drinks. I am currently thinking about the chipotle ranch.

Was in town to visit recently and couldn't believe how poor the service was. It was POURING down rain and we had our dog with us. They were kind enough to wipe off a table under some covering on the patio. You could tell we were not welcome right off the bat. Our server was an older woman I had seen a few years before. She was incredibly condescending and verging on argumentative. I was suspicious that was GF bread wasn't vegan so I tried to contact the bakery they source their bread from. They were closed and my server acted like she had never been asked if the bread was vegan. Thankfully the kitchen manager assured me that their bread is special order and is egg free. I am so disappointed that my favorite Asheville establishment left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I am hoping they were just having a bad day.

Updated from previous review on Tuesday February 16, 2016


Updated from previous review on 2016-02-17

Pros: Delicious menu, Gluten Free Options, Friendly Environment

Cons: Slow Service

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Be Prepared To Wait Forever - Edit

My family and I stopped by the Laughing Seed Cafe for Sunday brunch during a day trip to Asheville. I am very disappointed in the service. Our waitress was not very friendly and pretty much ignored us. After ordering, we waited for about an hour for our food, which showed no signs of showing up. Out waitress only came once during that whole time to refill our waters so we ended up just getting up and leaving.
It seemed like such a nice place too, very quaint and cozy on the inside, but the service and wait was enough to run us off before getting to try the food.

Pros: Nice Vibe!!

Cons: Staff not friendly, waited an hour and still no food , no parking

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Delicious food - Edit

We tried their sloppy Jo, fish filet, and pakoras. All were quite tasty. We had our pup with us, so we sat out on the patio. They gave her some water, which was lovely, but our waitress pretty much ignored us. Maybe because it was quite cold that day and she wasn't dressed for the wind. Despite that, we enjoyed the food and would try it again sometime.

Pros: Vegan, gf options labeled, Outdoor pet friendly patio

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Great Vegetarian Restaurant - Edit

Laughing Seed has been around a long time and I know plenty of omnivores who love it just as much as vegetarians. Their brunch on weekends is amazing and many things on the menu are available as vegan and are delicious. Great lunch and dinner menu and delicious smoothies. Highly recommend!

Pros: Awesome Brunch, Many Vegan Options, All Vegetarian Menu

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A Sure Bet! - Edit

Laughing Seed was one of the first restaurants we visited during our house hunting trips in Asheville. 10 months later in our new home, this has become one of our favorite, go-to spots. All food is fresh with really creative flavors. This is a vegetarian restaurant with many vegan and GF options. They are also super accommodating. If you come to Asheville and you don't go to Laughing Seed, you're missing out! Heads up - they're closed on Monday and Tuesday. Wed-Sat. is lunch and dinner and Sunday is brunch only.

Pros: Great variety, Fun location, Awesome Flavors

Cons: Can get busy

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fantastic! - Edit

We really enjoyed our meal here. Very tasty food, our waitress was helpful and knowledgeable about the menu and provided great service. The Reuben sandwich and the "raw" manicotti was excellent! I loved the raspberry/jalapeño lemonade! Wow! We'll be back next time we're in Asheville. I'll recommend.

Pros: good food, great friendly service, vegan gluten free options

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Not what I expected - Edit

I have eaten here on two occasions. The brunch on the weekend was a bit disappointing. Everything was overcooked and dry, the wait staff did not seem very efficient, the atmosphere was loud and hectic. On another occasion my lunch was ok, but nothing to rave about. The only thing that still makes my mouth water were the spicy fries. I hope my disappointing experience was an exception, I will try them again next time I come to Asheville.

Pros: Nice interior, Good location

Cons: meals were not hot, quality of the food was disappointing

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Cute and creative - Edit

I have been here several times and have enjoyed my visit each time. There are several vegan items as well as many vegetarian items that can easily be converted to vegan. The staff is wonderful, as well as the menu. I have had both their dinner and brunch, both of which are nom worthy. They have a lot of international dishes that are quite interesting.

Pros: Great atmosphere, Accommodating , Good food

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Fabulous! - Edit

This place is heavenly! I went with my omni boss on a business trip and we were both very impressed. I had raw vegan zucchini manicotti that was out of this world. The vegan sushi special appetizer was incredible. My boss had the V roll and loved it. I splurged on dessert and had a vegan cookie a la mode with the most wonderful vanilla vegan ice cream. The server was delightful and the atmosphere is lovely. Highly recommended.

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oh yeah - Edit

love it! nothing more to say.

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Best Vegetarian In the area! - Edit

This restaurant has been voted by locals for years as best place to dine for.vegetarian food. I agree. Always fresh and delicious. They offer some awesome smoothies and juices too. Have a nice bar where they made some cocktails also. Highly recommend eating here if you are in the area and looking for this type of food. Right downtown within all the city action. They have a nice outdoor patio to sit at during nice weather. Very popular place. Wait staff is attentive and friendly.

Pros: fresh, tasty, affordable

Cons: wait in high tourist season

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Great vegan lunch - Edit

As soon as I arrived in Asheville, it was already after 2pm, so the first stop was at The Laughing Seed Cafe. There were so many options on the menu, and everything looked good, but I had read about the raw manicotti online. It was freezing, so I thought it would be crazy to eat raw. I started with a cup of the cream of broccoli soup. It was so delicious! Once warmed up, I had the raw spinach pesto manicotti with cashew ricotta cheese. It was sooooo good! I tried a few of the jalapeno onion fries with vegan ranch which were awesome! Cute, casual cafe (upstairs from Jack in the Wood Celtic bar) with very friendly staff and good service.

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Full bar and drink specials, Nice cafe and friendly staff

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decent choice, elegant - Edit

It's a nice place. The pate of the day was spot on served with fresh warm pita. The bahn mi sandwich was just ok for the price.

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just okay - Edit

We took a family vacation in Asheville in June and this was the first restaurant we visited. The next day I forced my family to return for lunch so I could try the Banh Mi sandwich, which I regretted not ordering at dinner the previous night.

We tried some of the specials and we ordered many of the items from the standard menu.

Everything was just okay. Don't know what the problem was, exactly, but no one "loved" anything they ordered. Fresh vegetables in all of the dishes, but they lacked flavor and oomph. It is an expensive restaurant and for those prices the food should have been lick-the-plate delicious.

Sorry to post this vaguely negative review about a veg stalwart but I do think there is room for improvement.

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Great Place to Eat in Asheville - Edit

I had heard of and wanted to try the Laughing Seed Cafe in downtown Asheville. It was also highly recommended by several friends so we decided to have a bit of a late lunch/early-dinner. Well we were not disappointed. I had a sort of combination bowl (hot/warm) called the Harmony Bowl – Excellent! A LOT of food. Nancy had a veg-burger that was just OK. The best was the Jalapeno Onion Fries; try some!

Pros: Delicious Jalapeno Onion Fries, Good Service, Reasonable prices

Cons: Can be hard to find

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This is my favorite type of healthy/vegan place! - Edit

Awesome menu! I got a zucchini marinara dish which was amazing. They also have juices and smoothies and kombucha. But most awesomely they have tonics! The tonics are mixtures of awesome herbs for digestion etc.

Pros: Menu, Tonics, kombucha

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