My parents and grandmas still live in Jonesboro, so I go home often to visit. And when I'm there, my parents and I almost always go out to eat or get takeout. When I first went vegan in 2004, finding vegan options in Jonesboro — town of about 70,000 people — wasn't easy. Of course, I can make do anywhere, even if it means just eating fries and a salad. But that's no fun! Thankfully, as Jonesboro has grown in the past few years, so have the vegan options. They even have two health food stores now! That's more than I have in Midtown Memphis, which is home to ZERO health food stores (there are a couple Whole Foods and Sprouts stores out east, but they're a 20-minute drive from my house).
Anyway, I thought it'd be helpful to compile a short list of vegan options in Jonesboro just in case anyone on the internet happens to be searching. I've definitely had Jonesboro transplants, many of whom move there to work at ASU, email me when they first move there to ask where they can eat.
You'll find the most vegan options in one place at the Stem & Spoon Cafe inside the Truck Patch health food store. It's a small lunch counter offering sandwiches, juices, and smoothies. They also have a killer salad bar.
Stem & Spoon's Foxtail Sandwich comes with roasted zucchini, tomato, onion, bell pepper, avocado, chao cheese, and pesto vegan mayo on sprouted grain bread.
Check out the salad bar! My mom and I often stop in here for massive salads. I've been known to go a little crazy and end up with a $15 salad since it's weighed by the pound, but if you're careful, you can avoid that.
My personal fave place to eat is Uncle's Maddio's. It's a build-your-own pizza chain that has vegan cheese (Daiya) and tofu as topping options. We eat there a lot, and I always pile on all the toppings (can you see a theme developing here? I can't control myself in a build-your-own environment!).
There are a couple Thai places — Sai Thai and Thai Taste. I haven't tried Sai Thai yet, but my best friend Sheridan (who also hails from Jonesboro and visits her family there often) and I recently checked out Thai Taste. Our server immediately understood that we were vegan when we asked for no egg in the summer rolls, and she even wrote VEGAN in big letters on our ticket for the chef. We split an order of the Tofu Summer Rolls with peanut sauce. Very good!
For my entree, I opted for Drunken Noodles with Fried Tofu. These had a nice level of heat, and I loved all the veggies.
No matter where you are in the country, you can probably always count on finding vegan options at Chinese restaurants. My parents and I are fans of Oriental Express, where I often order the General Tso's Tofu.
UPDATE: A commenter on this post says Oriental Express often uses oyster sauce and chicken broth in some dishes that appear vegan, so be sure to ask. Some restaurants will gladly leave oyster sauce if asked.
And sometimes, I add an order of Vegetable Tempura.
We also hit up Chin Chin Express a lot because my parents love their chicken. Chin Chin doesn't have tofu, but the Vegetable Udon Noodles and crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls are fantastic.
Chin Chin is an Asian fusion place, so they have a mix of Chinese and Japanese food. I typically also order the Avocado Rolls.
You can also find vegan sushi options at Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, Hiro Japanese Cuisine, and Sumo Japanese Steakhouse. Fuji has Tofu Inari, so it has my heart as the best place for sushi in Jonesboro!
My mom LOVES Mexican food, and we typically go to Pepito's or Kandela Grill. Pepito's has a vegetable burrito that can be made without cheese. I get nervous about the beans in Mexican places, for fear they're cooked in lard. But this burrito is bean-free, just veggies! I don't have any pictures of it, sadly. At Kandela Grill, I always get the Vegetable Fajitas because they include SO MANY veggies in their mix — mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and more.
There are a number of other options that I haven't explored, including an Indian place called Tandoori Restaurant. My parents don't like Indian food, so I'll have to try that on my own.
As for grocery shopping, there's the aforementioned Truck Patch. Also, Jonesboro just got a Natural Grocers location, and they carry all kinds of vegan products, including Miyoko's Creamery Vegan Mozz and Farmhouse Cheddar, Good Lovin' dips, Gardein products, Bee-Free Honee, Little Secrets vegan M&Ms, and more!
If you read this post and know about other options I didn't mention, please let me know in the comments! I'm always looking to try new vegan things in Jonesboro. Also, I should note that, any time you're eating out at a non-vegan restaurant that has veganizable options, there's always a chance they've snuck in some butter or some other undesirable thing. I don't stress much about that when I'm eating out, so I don't ask many questions. If you're more strict, you may wish to double-check some of the things I mentioned (just don't tell me what you learn because I'm happiest with my "don't ask, don't tell" approach! No vegan police!).