Need a Restaurant Reboot? Visit Luna’s Living Kitchen

Luna’s Living Kitchen … Perfect for a restaurant reboot. 

Kale Lemonade from Luna's Living Kitchen

Kale Lemonade – Luna’s Living Kitchen

Location: 2000 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203 (Atherton Mill in the South End)

Website: www.lunaslivingkitchen.com
Phone:
(704) 333-0008

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8:00am to 9:00pm, closed Sunday

Interesting Facts for Newbies: Did you set a new year’s resolution to eat healthier? If so, Luna’s Living Kitchen is the place to visit. Luna’s is a raw, vegan restaurant located in the South End with a devoted following. Luna’s is a great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner with friends or to pick up cold-pressed juices for a detox cleanse.

Rating Scale (1-5: 5-Excellent, 4-Very Good, 3-Good, 2-Okay, 1-Bad)

Availability & Promptness (Reservation, Wait Times, Available Seating)
Rating: 5

Notes: I have never made a reservation at Luna’s but ever since they have moved across the parking lot to their bright, airy new location, I have never had to wait for a table. There is a wide variety of seating options – sit with friends at a low booth or table – inside or out – or take a seat by yourself at the bar.

Aesthetics & Cleanliness (Décor; Cleanliness in Parking Lot, Bathroom, Visible Work Areas, Tables)
Rating: 5

Notes: The décor at the new Luna’s Living Kitchen space is minimalist and clean. Every time I step through their doors, I want to take a deep, calming breath. There is a constant buzz of activity but the space always feels relaxed and inviting.

Courtesy & Professionalism (Staff Appearance; Welcoming, Knowledgeable, Friendly)
Rating: 5

Notes: The staff is an eclectic mix of really friendly young people prepping the food, preparing smoothies and juices or bringing the plates to the table. The clientele is even more eclectic with, perhaps, fewer neck tattoos. Business suits, yoga pants worn by women who actually just finished doing yoga, moms with way more fashion sense than I – but this is a place with no judgment – flaunt that ponytail and come on in. Pull up a seat, sit down, you are among friends. Friends who are willing to pay 9 bucks for a really good smoothie.  

540602_551399738234155_1102139976_nServices & Amenities (Outdoor seating, entertainment)
Rating: 4

Notes: If the weather is nice, a seat on the patio overlooking the train tracks is a really nice spot. There is no scheduled entertainment but you could people-watch to your heart’s content all day long.

Value & Affordability (Price equals level of Quality)
Rating: 4

Notes: It is really easy to spend a lot of money at Luna’s so it is best to know that going in. After my first visit, I was so overwhelmed with the menu and the concept that it took awhile for me to go back. Don’t let this happen to you. Bring a friend and split a veggie burger in a collard wrap. Buy an entrée but maybe just drink water with it. If you are budget conscious in any way, this restaurant might throw you off at first but you get what you pay for. Luna’s sources locally wherever possible and almost everything is organic and sustainably grown. The portions are also generous – depending on what I order, I usually find myself bringing home half for lunch the next day. I think that the prices are worth every penny – that being said, know that their smoothies are 8 bucks and organic, cold-pressed juices are even more. Cheap food is cheap in more ways than one – when you eat at Luna’s, you leave feeling better than when you walked in. On the menu and on their website, you can read the following statement: We believe that health, beauty, and art can be served on a plate. We believe that sustainable food supports sustainable wellness and sustainable relationships.

Family Friendly (Kids menu, kids eat Free, play area, complimentary entertainment like coloring book, available highchairs and booster seats, family bathrooms, nursing rooms)
Rating: 4

Notes: While there is no kids’ menu, if your kids are adventurous eaters, they will love it here. My daughter is gluten and dairy free so eating here is a dream come true. Only the items on the menu marked with an asterisk contain gluten. How often does that happen? Almost an entire menu of gluten-free/dairy free goodness? Because Luna’s is a vegan restaurant, it doesn’t serve anything with dairy products. Want a smoothie? It will be delicious and made with almond milk or hemp milk. Embrace it. It’s good. And if you don’t tell your kids, they’ll be none the wiser.

Customer Service (Friendly, Knowledgeable, Efficient)
Rating: 5

Notes: I have always had pleasant interactions with the staff at Luna’s – either at the bar grabbing some cold-pressed juice to go or at a table for a business meeting or a gab session with some moms. During busy times, it can take awhile for food to come out but that has happened only once or twice and it was usually because our table overloaded the bar with smoothie requests.

Quality of Food (Taste, Temperature, Timeliness, Correct Order)
Rating: 5

Notes: Luna’s deserves nothing but a 5 for the quality of their food – no preservatives, no refined sugars, no dairy, no animal products – and most of the menu is raw. Raw as in uncooked. It took me a little while to grasp that concept. So you mean the lunasagna is uncooked? (Order that, by the way!) And vegan? But I taste cheese!!! Yes, cashew-basil cheese. Trust me, it’s the bomb. I have a few menu favorites – the lunasagna, the rawco taco salad, any of the veggie burgers (one of the few cooked items) – but I try to branch out once in a while and try something new. I have yet to be disappointed.

Overall Experience
Rating: 5

Notes:

If you need a restaurant reboot, get out to the South End and try Luna’s Living Kitchen. Go in with an open mind and ready to broaden your culinary horizons.

Recommendations:

I definitely have my favorites! On a hot day, you can’t go wrong with the kale lemonade or freshly made gingerale. For sides, I love them all – cauliflower rice, kale salad, broccoli salad – they are all delicious. When I am feeling hungrier, I go for a veggie burger wrapped in a collard (fire and brimstone is my go-to!) or the rawco taco salad. For a quick pick-me-up in the morning or afternoon, I love the Cacao Cacao smoothie with a shot of espresso. You really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose so grab a friend and head over to Luna’s Living Kitchen for a unique restaurant experience.

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Erin Brighton

Erin Brighton

Mom to 5. Passion for food. Preferably local & delicious. Director of the Char Meck Food Policy Council. Food blogger. Summer Bostonian.