Vegan food lovers, rejoice. Underground Vegan to open a new restaurant in Five Points South in 2021.

Great food that just happens to be 100% plant-based. That’s the Underground Vegan way. Photo via Underground Vegan

Early last October, Bham Now was delighted to learn that the Underground Vegan food truck had started visiting Birmingham and Hoover on the regular. Now, we’ve learned some great news for all you lovers of vegan food out there—Underground Vegan just announced that they will be launching a new restaurant in Five Points South!

Meet Underground Vegan

Khalilah Sowell, founder and owner of Underground Vegan. Photo via Underground Vegan on Facebook

When it comes to vegan eating, Birmingham is on the up and up, with restaurants like Slutty Vegan planning to open a new Birmingham location. Meet one of the newest vegan restaurants in Birmingham, Underground Vegan.

Launched in 2019, Underground Vegan is the brainchild of Birmingham native Khalilah Sowell. When she moved back to Birmingham in 2018, she found that The Magic City was sorely lacking in vegan food options. So, she decided to make her own.

We spoke to Sowell to learn more about her restaurant and plans for the future.

How did you get started with vegan food?

I was born and raised here in Birmingham, and like almost every teenager, I left my hometown for college in Washington, D.C. When I met my roommate, I found out she had been a vegetarian her entire life. I was shocked—I had never met anyone who hadn’t eaten meat! She taught me all about the plant-based diet, and I ended up falling in love with vegan food.

What are some misconceptions about eating vegan?

A lot of people think that vegan food is just lettuce and carrots, or salad with no dressing! But that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are sooo many options you can make, and you can still make the nostalgic meals you had growing up. Anybody can enjoy the food, whether they are vegan or not. In fact, about 90-to-95% of our customers aren’t vegan. We make great food that just happens to be 100% plant-based.

How did you get started with Underground Vegan?

When I came back to Birmingham to raise my family, I knew I wanted to introduce plant-based foods to my friends and family here. I started out doing pop ups at the West Homewood farmers market, and it took off. Through word of mouth, I started having huge lines of people who wanted to try it!

A New Home in Five Points South

Image may contain: people sitting, text that says 'COMING... 2021 UNDERGROUND VEGAN RESTAURANT'
Photo via Underground Vegan on Facebook
  • Upcoming Location: 2012 Magnolia Avenue South Suite R-3, Birmingham, AL 35205.

Now, Underground Vegan has found a permanent spot for their upcoming restaurant. In order to find the perfect location, Sowell partnered with Lyndsy Yim of Retail Specialists. After some searching, the team landed on a wonderful location in the heart of Five Points South.

Underground Vegan’s new spot is the former location of Iron City Pizza, who will be moving across the street to the former location of The Preservery.

“We are so excited to open a permanent location in Five Points South in 2021. We can’t wait to offer our dishes to so many more people and be open for longer hours!”

Khalilah Sowell

In the meantime, Sowell will still be running the Underground Vegan food truck. And stay tuned—during the holidays, Underground Vegan is planning to craft some speciality dishes that you don’t want to miss!

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  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.