They're all vegetarian restaurants now.
An herbivore can assemble a three-course>"/>
Hungry for more Top 10 Lists? Check out our 'Best Of' Mobile App
They're all vegetarian restaurants now.
An herbivore can assemble a three-course meal of fried artichoke hearts, field greens with Anjou pears and a grilled marinated portabello mushroom at Met Grill, which proudly calls itself the source of "the best steak in town."
But vegans still can't waltz into any restaurant and ask for a full meal made without milk, eggs or honey. Fortunately, the following restaurants have the fake meat front covered. As always, the finalists are listed in no particular order, and credit goes to Erin Thompson for compiling our contributors' comments (and Gwen Elliott for her non-meat expertise.)
10. Bamboo Garden
Conveniently located for the theater-going crowd, this one-room Chinese restaurant serves two main dining constituencies--vegetarians and people who keep kosher--with a wide array of dishes featuring delicious fake meat. Yet carnivores who don't know from kosher seem to enjoy it just as much. Though almost anything tastes great deep-fried and glazed with sweet-and-sour sauce (e.g. sweet-and-sour "pork"), favorites like kung pao "chicken" are tasty, too.
9. Araya's Vegetarian Palace
Popular for its lunch buffet, the charming Araya keeps an all-vegan kitchen, so its dining room draws a diverse group of college students, animal lovers, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews--as well as eaters who aren't driven by dietary restrictions. The restaurant's decades-long history shows in its decor, a dark wood scheme that's a few leaves short of a fern bar, and its mastery of Thai cooking. The custardy fried tofu could pass for dessert, and the silky green curry is terrific. Many of the dishes made with meat substitute somehow taste meatier than the real deal, perhaps because Araya has cut out the bovine middleman and put stunning vegetal flavors straight on the plate.
Infused with the perfect balance of healthiness and palatable goodness, Chaco Canyon bursts with potential. In a world of processed foods and hormone-crazy dairy products, Chaco Canyon skips straight to organic and raw delights. On the menu are sandwiches, soups, grain bowls, salads, and smoothies without sugary fillers and dubious supplements. They also have raw entrees like an enchilada plate, pesto pizza, and green coconut curry. The decor strikes a note somewhere between an earth-toned refuge and Southwestern comfort, and the restaurant recycles or composts 90 percent of its waste.
Your cook may have a pierced septum, and your waitress may be heavily tattooed, but the food Wayward prepares and deliver is pure Americana (albeit vegan, free of hydrogenated oils and refined sugars, and organic when possible). A Reuben made with fried tempeh, sauerkraut, and nondairy Russian dressing is a fixture on the eclectic lunch menu, which also includes a seitan Philly sandwich.
6. Veggie Grill
You don't have to worry about pink slime at this southern California based vegan fast food chain. Veggie Grill's focus on all plant-derived ingredients and plant-based proteins (soy, wheat, and pea proteins, specifically, make up their "meat" products), make Veggie Grill an instant hit with the vegetarian community. And their Buffalo Wings, Crispy Chickin' sandwich, and VG Rollers (a blackened chickin' wrap served with salsa and a spicy aioli) are supremely tasty--even for omnivores.
Sitting atop the infamous sex shop Castle Megastore, Highline's not the kind of place you're likely to find by accident. Run by the owners of now-defunct Georgetown spot Squid & Ink, Highline has expanded from the vegan grub-only model to include a full selection of beer and liquor--not to mention some guitar-heavy tunes blaring through the speakers. Menu standouts include breaded seitan strips coated with buffalo sauce, mischievously called Satan Fingers; and the TLT, made with tempeh bacon and vegan mayo, which was ranked number five on PETA's 2012 list of the nation's top 10 vegan BLTs.
4. Pizza Pi
The whitewashed brick side of the U-District's Pizza Pi proclaims the establishment vegan in bold black. If you miss it, the friendly staff will remind you as you order: Everything in Pizza Pi is 100% vegan. But you could easily forget as you chomp into a St. Louis Pie. "Provolone cheese," onion, "bacon," "hamburger," and green bell peppers top the thin, crispy crust. Everything on the pie meshes with the other elements; these pizzas are simple yet well-thought-out, and the toppings are generously and evenly spread over the baked landscape.
Wallingford's Sutra is a mostly organic restaurant connected to a yoga studio, with its own garden and worm composting bins and communal tables arranged in a circle (cue the Lion King theme song). Meals take the form of four-course prix-fixe dinners that change every couple of days, and sweet-natured chef Colin Patterson builds up his dishes by piling flavor on flavor, claiming the world's pantry as his own. Salads (say, mixed greens with grilled peaches and slivered chiles) and whole-grain desserts like a blueberry tart with graham crust and vanilla glaze come through on the restaurant's promise of healthful, creative food in a serene setting.
2. Pure Café
That vegetarian food is somewhat underrepresented on Vashon--a verdant isle flowering with farm-fresh produce--is a little surprising, but Pure Cafe makes up for the divide with a wholesome menu serving everything from vegan soups and wheatgrass shots to quinoa bowls and gluten-free sandwiches. It's quintessential "hippie" food--the kind vegetarians love for its wholesome simplicity, and the kind carnivore-chowing folks can detox with after all that artisanal charcuterie at La Boucherie. Do not miss the amazing raw, vegan pizza with cashew "cheez" and sun-dried tomatoes.
1. Plum Bistro
Any restaurant that can unify omnivores and vegetarians alike through a dish called "Mac 'n' Yease" is doing something right. Plum Bistro, with dishes like smoky charred kale, the jerk-spiced Crazy Jamaican Tofu Burger, and its legendary alchemy of elbow macaroni, nutritional yeast, sunflower oil, and red pepper, sets an inspired and flavorful table for all.