The Hot List: Get your 'veggie' on

Freshfit Cafe in Nags Head serves health-oriented breakfast and lunch options.

Avenue Waterfront Grille

Once you catch your breath after taking in the panoramic view of Shallowbag Bay, sit down and take a look at Avenue's eclectic menu.

You'll find some fine vegetarian choices.

One is the “Hippie,” a house-made veggie burger that's loaded with hummus, baby arugula and creamy chimichrri, served on toasted multi-grain bread.

If pizza is your thing, the gourmet “Margherita” should be just the ticket.

On a garlic-olive oil base, it's enriched with house-made mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes and basil.

There are also a number of salads to choose from.

Food Dudes Kitchen

  • Where: 1216 S. Va. Dare Tr., milepost 9, Kill Devil Hills
  • Info: 252-441-7994,

Yep, the place is as hip and laid-back as it sounds.

It's a cozy space that feels just right.

And vegetarians will find much to love at Food Dudes.

A popular item is the roasted veggie quesadilla, filled with Monterey Jack cheese and served with black beans, scallions, and sour cream.

There's also a chipotle-black bean veggie burger that's packed with cucumber relish, mixed greens, tomatoes and spicy mustard and served on multi-grain bread.

You also can go the salad route.

Thai Room

  • Where: 710 S. Virginia Dare Trail, milepost 8.5, Kill Devil Hills
  • Info: 252- 441-1180,

The family-owned business on the beach road has a well-earned reputation for their wide range of Asian-themed vegetarian dishes.

And you can choose how spicy — mild, medium or yikes! — you want them to be.

Among the intriguing combinations are noodles and rice with tomatoes, cashews, pineapple, green peppers, olives and broccoli.

And the hits keep coming.

There's fried rice, vegetable curry and stir-fried vegetables.

You can mix and match with the other folks at your table.

And, of course, the leftovers can be packed in one of those slick containers for later (midnight snack, anyone?).

Ocean Boulevard Bistro and Martini Bar

  • Where: 4700 N. Virginia Dare Trail milepost 2.5, Kitty Hawk
  • Info: 252- 261-2546,

Housed in a one-time heritage hardware store, the fine-dining restaurant on the beach road is known for its elegant interior, excellent service, great food and lively bar scene.

And there are several intriguing vegetarian dishes on the menu.

We'll choose two.

First up is the Falafel on Warm Pita, which features grilled summer vegetables, feta cheese, olives and tomatoes seasoned with lemon tahini sauce.

Then there's the grilled vegetable platter, which includes braised greens on a sharp cheddar cheese and scallion potato croquette (a bread-crumbed fried roll) flavored with vegetarian horseradish and tomato puree.

Freshfit Cafe

  • Where: 7531 S. Virginia Dare Trail (Nags Head-Manteo causeway), Nags Head
  • Info: 252-715-6444,

The cafe and juice bar, which sits on the Roanoke Sound in Nags Head, caters to vegetarians, as well as vegans and folks on a gluten-free diet.

There are also some meat and seafood items on the menu.

It's a communal space, with four tables sitting an on checkerboard floor.

There's also bar seating and tables on a deck overlooking the water.

Selections include vibrant salads, wraps and sandwiches.

The signature dish of the health-conscious restaurant is the Buddha Bowl.

And its vegetarians — and vegans go wild.

You choose a protein (pan-seared tofu, grilled tuna, etc.) and a green (kale, spinach, etc.) with four other sides.

Seventeen sides are listed on the menu, including fruits, peppers, mushrooms, corn, black beans, sunflower seeds, and olives.

Please Note: This is not a "Best Of" list. Rather, it's a recurring feature in which we list places and things that help make the Outer Banks a great place to visit — and an even better place to call home.

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