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Kardamom's avatar

What is your favorite vegetarian restaurant?

Asked by Kardamom (23672 points ) March 9th, 2014

I’m sure this question will have a limited audience, but I’d still like to know if you’ve found any great places, specifically vegetarian or vegan restaurants, but also if you’ve found any great vegetarian/vegan dishes in regular restaurants too.

I know you guys are spread far and wide, so let me know in what city and state you found these gems. If you can, please supply a link to their websites.

One of my favorite restaurants is in the city of Fountain Valley, CA. It’s called Au Lac. It started out as a vegan Vietnamese restaurant, but has expanded it’s menu to include gourmet raw foods. The food is exquisite.

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17 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

For formal dining in San Francisco, there is MIllenium. A wonderful place, they call themselves vegetarian, but I’d call them vegan: no eggs, no dairy.

And for vegan Mexican food, in the Mission, try Gracias Madre.

Kardamom's avatar

@zenvelo OMG! I want to get in the car and drive straight to Gracias Madre!

creative1's avatar

I like going to indian restaurants when I want some good vegetarian dishes. My favorite is Malai Kofta thats made with nuts, these are vege-balls in a thick sauce. So creamy and yummy over jasmine rice.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

self moderated

Brian1946's avatar

We really like Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park, CA.

Here’s their menu.

Lately I’ve been really vegging out: I’ve been getting the Italian salad with vegan “cheese” and the Mediterranean Plate.

Supermouse really liked this place too.

cookieman's avatar

There’s a great vegetarian, organic joint near me called Life Alive

I’m not even remotely a vegetarian and I love this place.

JLeslie's avatar

Ethos in Winter Park, FL is really good. Plus, Winter Park is so nice to stroll down the main street there and a beautiful museum at the north end with a huge Tiffany collection matched to none. Oh, and Mickey is just 20 minutes away.

I’ve eaten in many NYC restaurants that are vegan or have vegan or vegetarian dishes, but I couldn’t for the life of me tell you the names. My sister is vegan and lives there so I just go where she goes and I don’t need to pay attention much.

JLeslie's avatar

I should also answer babycakes is the best vegan bakery ever.

ibstubro's avatar

We are of a kin, @Kardamom, so I don’t feel bad about answering “Taco Bell”.

7 Layer Burrito or Fresco Bean Burrito or Rice and Bean Burrito. Cheap, fast and reliable.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Kardamom I’m in freaking redneck upstate NY. Do you think I can find a vegetarian restrauants.

thatturtle's avatar

The Laughing Seed Cafe in Asheville, NC is very good, or was when I ate there some years ago. I have not tried Dirt Candy in NYC yet, but look forward to giving it a try.

thorninmud's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Hey, you’ve got the grand-daddy of all veggie restaurants, Moosewood, right there (actually, I ate there once and was pretty disappointed).

The only strictly veg places I’ve eaten that I’ve really liked have been Indian. We’re lucky in Chicago to have a huge Indian community, so there are plenty of places that cater to traditional South Indian vegetarian diets (and don’t feel obliged to do the “tandoori” thing for westerners). There are easily a half-dozen places on a single street that we frequent, all of them good.

I appreciate the good motives behind American vegetarian restaurants, and I wish them all the luck in the world, but frankly I find that philosophy-driven cooking is usually pretty disappointing. You really want someone who’s a bit of a hedonist back in the kitchen cooking for you. Theoretically, there’s no reason that you can’t be both a hedonists and someone who is ethically conscious and is a skilled cook, but it seems rare for all of those stars to align. Too often, you get food that is heavy on good intentions, but not very…well…gratifying.

ibstubro's avatar

I agree, @thorninmud. Sometimes vegetarians become so divorced from real life/food that they accept mundane as the best that things can be. Nasty even. I still cook and serve meat, so I keep my finger on the pulse of good food. There should be aromas and zing to foods.

@Kardamom seems to ‘get that, but it can be a real problem in the vegetarian community, in my experience.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@thorninmud Ithaca is a little over an hour west of me, but I spent four years there. That was before I developed an interest in vegetarian foods so I passed on Moosewood. The reviews are pretty spotty though.

JLeslie's avatar

@thorninmud I agree that too often American vegetarian restaurants are less than satisfying. The “healthy” vegetarian, especially vegan, often develops totally different tastes to mainstream America it seems. Indian is one of the best cuisines for vegetarian. Mediteranean, anything from Arab, Persian, Greek, or even Italian also can be so yummy. I think the big difference is American vegetarian too often is “fake” meat and “fake” cheese, and the ethnic foods just do their dishes that happen to be veg.

I will say that now that I try to be more vegan, eating out is so difficult all too often. I go to so many restaurants that every single salad has meat in it. If you 86 the meat they don’t knock off a couple bucks, which I find annoying. It is getting harder and harder for me to eat out and not feel totally gross afterwards. Tons of hidden fat, usually butter, in everything. I hope more and more restaurants do attempt the vegan thing.

ibstubro's avatar

I’ve had th meaty salad problem before, too. A couple of friends wanted me to go out, and we headed to Olive Garden. They deemed it ‘too busy’, and we ended up at (they had is planned, I’m sure) Bob freaking Evans instead. There was literally nothing for me to eat. They suggested the chef salad, sans, meat at what, $10? I was sure they gamed me, so I just refused to eat anything.

Kardamom's avatar

@ibstubro I love Taco Bell’s crispy potato soft taco, for only 99 Cents.

We have some pretty terrific, little known, vegetarian Chinese restaurants in both Orange County and Los Angeles County.

One of my favorites is Happy Family in Rowland Heights.

Another great place is the Loving Hut in Alhambra.

And the town of Artesia is known for Indian food. I can’t resist and Indian buffet. One of my favorite Indian restaurants is called Woodlands in Chatsworth.

Although the best vegetarian burger and onion rings I’ve ever eaten came from this little old fast food joint (that used to be a Tasty Freeze in the 1960’s) called Covina Tasty

I visited San Diego some months ago and was thrilled to find this place called Mignon Pho + Grill that has a vegetarian pho on their menu. It’s one of the best soups that I’ve ever eaten at any restaurant, anywhere!

Another favorite eatery of mine is called the Veggie Grill in Laguna Niguel.

I almost forgot about Doomie’s Home Cookin’ in Hollywood. Best fake fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, ever! My veg friend from Colorado came out last summer, she ordered this dish and I thought she was going to cry, she was so happy.

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