LEXINGTON, Ky. — When customers walk into The Social Vegan or up to the window of Moody Mike’s food truck, they can hear sizzling on a stove that could be confused for meat, but everything that these two businesses sell is 100% plant-based.

What You Need To Know

  • Moody Mike's and The Social Vegan are two Black-owned, fully-vegan spots in Lexington

  • Both places offer a large variety of vegan foods like burgers and food with "chicken"

  • The owners of each spot hope to change the narrative around plant-based diets

  • Veganism is a growing trend among African Americans and in the city of Lexington

Antoine Harris and his wife, Michael Harris, are vegans that noticed a previous lack of options and they came up with the idea for Moody Mike’s in 2018.

“We talked about it for years, wanting to cook and have our own business, so when we got the opportunity to buy a truck, we just ran with it,” Michael said.

The food truck serves up chicken dumplings, beer-battered burgers, and totchos... all of which are vegan.

“We’ve done Jamaican beef patties, we’ve done Cuban sandwiches… there’s just so much that we’ve done, it’s just unreal,” said Antoine. “We’re basically foodies and we have our own truck and we let everybody see how much foodies we are and give it out to the world.”

The Social Vegan is another Black-owned restaurant in Lexington that offers food and alcoholic frozen drinks.

“We’re the gateway to the vegan lifestyle and showing that vegan food can be extremely flavorful, it is just not boring, but we bring the plant-based diet... we bring it to life,” said Frank Hall, the owner of the restaurant.

Among the reasons that Antoine and Hall became vegan was for their health. 31% of non-whites reported eating less meat versus 19% of white people, according to a 2019 Gallup Survey.

African Americans are considered the fastest growing demographic of vegans.

“It’s good to see that type of growth within the community, like I absolutely love it, and I love showing everybody exactly what we do so that way they can have a step in to going into veganism,” said Antoine. 

Even though the inspiration behind opening both of the restaurants was a lack of vegan options in Lexington, the city is now considered the tenth best city in America to follow a plant-based diet.