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You wouldn’t think a place called Butcher & Bee would be vegan friendly – like, at all.

Surprise! It is. Don’t judge a book by its…title, I guess.

Since it opened on Upper King in downtown Charleston last year, I’ve had the good fortune of enjoying the hip vibe and totally awesome food of Butcher & Bee many times.

With its focus on local, “handheld comfort food,” the Bee offers at least one vegan option every day on their regular (ever-changing with the seasons) menu.

Their staff is super knowledgeable about the gourmet, yet unpretentious food. Need gluten-free? They can help navigate. Want to know how a certain dish was prepared? They’ll describe it to you in detail.

Foodie’s dream place right here.

Check out some of their regular menu items I’ve indulged in below (and wait ’til you see the pop-up dinner pics later)!

This is a perfect sandwich. Pulled squash BBQ with their own sauce was on their regular menu one week.

A beautiful, fresh side of Moroccan carrots in lemon vinegar

Delish quinoa veggie burger and fries

If that impressed you, you’ll be blown away by their special, all-veg pop-up dinners.

I went to one called “Lettuce Turnip the Beet” (how cute is that!?)  the other night with friends. They had a bumping DJ and cool crowd.  We devoured:

Mushroom tartare to start – savory, perfectly seasoned, and a satisfying texture.

Braised pink eyed peas – a Thai style dish with coconut, basil, and just the right amount of spice.

The okra and corn risotto – so fresh and yummy! I kind of hogged this one when I was supposed to be sharing. 🙂

Can I just say how stuffed I was at this point? That didn’t stop me from indulging in two vegan desserts (which I did share!). Almond panna cotta on the left – subtle flavor and amazing texture with a bit of tang right in the middle from the fruit. Rice pudding that wasn’t too sweet on the right. Heavenly.

For Valentine’s Day, the hubby and I went to their romantic, all-vegetarian dinner, which they made all-vegan for us. They don’t serve alcohol, but you can bring your own, so we brought a bottle of white to go with dinner.

I wish I could find the notes I took on each dish so I could go into more detail, but here’s what I have from (the very tasty) memory:

A one-bite app of seasonal squash with a maple drizzle and walnuts.

This was a mushroom paté loaf, I believe. It was so tasty, with a drizzle of truffle oil around it. One of my favorite courses that night for sure.

Phenomenal, fresh beet salad on a bed of mashed edamame was course 3. THE favorite.

This spicy, jambalaya-like dish was the main course and was oh-so-filling.

And, dessert. Yay! This was an orange-flavored cake with chocolate mousse on top. It was served with coconut ice cream and orange marmalade. My husband was on a no-desserts bet at the time, so I ate his and mine. Don’t judge!

So, wow, right? Check out B&B sometime soon. The best way to keep up with them is on their Facebook page where they post their daily menu and their upcoming pop-up dinners.

If I had just taken a look at its name and never taken a chance on their food, I would have missed out in a big way. So, when you’re searching for excellent vegan fare, don’t disregard a place just because of what it’s called. You just may be delighted!

To vegan surprises!