Seriously Delicious Foods
That Take Less from Our Planet
Coco is an inclusive and welcoming space, and our menu is deeply rooted in kindness. We offer delicious food and drink in an inviting atmosphere, and our dishes are familiar and unique, refreshingly plant-based, and as sustainable as possible. We offer our guests the joyful experience of gathering together to eat great food and indulge in delicious drinks while also practicing care for each other, our planet, and the animals with whom we share it.
We source as many of our foods and drinks as locally as possible. There are many good reasons to do so, but one simple one is that an in-season organic tomato grown down the road tastes better than one trucked in from afar, a coffee bean roasted ten minutes away makes for a fresher espresso - and an award-winning beer brewed by a neighbor certainly deserves to be celebrated right here.
For those offerings not found nearby, we import the best of the inventive vegan foods that we've sampled for years - from an artisan plant-based creamery in San Francisco, known for its standout truffle brie, to the crispest wine we'd tasted in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. And, of course, the most luscious Italian hazelnut chocolate we'd ever indulged in had to be part of our dessert menu.
Lastly, we believe there is a balance to everything. That is why our menu features a combination of fresh, locally-sourced superfood dishes along with a hearty offering of comfort food favorites and decadent desserts. At Coco, there are options for every person - and for every mood.
LOCAL & INDEPENDENT
Coco is an independent, family-owned business created by Tamara and Steve Lackey. They have traveled to over 35 countries - and most states throughout America - with a strong focus on visiting the top vegetarian and plant-based restaurants around the world. Along the way, they have been inspired by the sheer abundance of foods, imaginative dishes and beautiful presentations they have enjoyed over the years. On the all-too-frequent visits to cities and towns where there are few options, they also noted how many restaurants may offer one meatless option that is prepared with more of a focus on what is not in the dish versus how creative and delicious the dish can be. If this is how most people experience 'vegan food', it is no surprise that they do not choose to eat more plant-based dishes.
Establishing, designing and owning a plant-based restaurant, complete with creating a comprehensive menu of seriously delicious foods, has been a lifelong dream of Tamara's. When offered the unique opportunity to design and build a sustainable, eco-friendly restaurant from the ground up, to be housed within the LEED-Certified, brand new Gwendolyn Building in the historic neighborhood of Glen Lennox in Chapel Hill, they couldn't say no. The ability to more fully partner Coco Bistro & Bar with Beautiful Together (link out to BeautifulTogetherSanctuary.com), the non-profit they co-founded in 2014, made the opportunity even more appealing. A clear focus on community-building and events, as well as an opportunity to build out a full bar, was a big draw for Steve. To round out the family effort, their three children all have roles at Coco, from Server to Barista to Kitchen Porter.
& COMMUNITY FOCUS
As a sustainable vegan restaurant, we are dedicated to being eco-friendly in practice and via purchasing. In addition, all of our packaging is either compostable or recyclable - from our straws to our takeaway boxes, bowls, cutlery and more.
We source as much as we can locally, and we also believe in supporting small, sustainable businesses around the country. In terms of hyper-local, we make most of our foods in-house, from scratch. From our pesto and sauces to our spreads and dressings, from our baked goods and breads to our cheeses and desserts and more, we are able to offer the freshest, most flavorful foods when we make them in-house. We also choose to offer some baked goods from our extremely talented local vegan bakers, as well.
Part of supporting our community means respecting our staff. Coco is fueled by kindness, and that means internally, as well. Treating each other with dignity, kindness and respect pays off in more ways than one. Paying a living wage, which includes guaranteeing at least a living wage for our servers and baristas (independent of how busy we may be at any given time) creates not just a feeling of security for our staff but also an overall more enjoyable experience for everyone who is a part of what we do every day at Coco.