One of my favorite things about traveling is trying out some great dishes at local restaurants. I am a foodaholic at heart and I love nothing more than a great restaurant meal, especially at a local eaterie that isn’t local to me. When I first became a vegetarian, I had trouble finding these great out of town dining experiences, but vegetarian restaurants have come a long way since then and their new, hip status is making travel dining fun again.
HuffingtonPost.com posted a great article this week on the best vegetarian restaurants in the country. Some of them really piqued my interest. Maybe one of these is in or near your hometown or will figure into your upcoming travel plans. Here are just five that I really want to try.
Plant – Asheville, NC
Plant was recently ranked #2 among ALL restaurants in Asheville, which is saying a lot, since it’s a vegan eatery in the heart of barbecue country. But the menu sounds incredible.
The southern-influenced Jerk—grilled tempeh, smashed sweet potatoes, sautéed collards, and spicy serrano crudo—and the smoked portobello steak stand out
among the entrées, while desserts include gooey chocolate–peanut butter pie.”
Leaf – Boulder, CO
Leaf is interesting, in that it caters to both vegetarians and those diners who can’t tolerate gluten. They also grow a lot of their own food, which is something I love to see.
The farm-to-table menu, sourced in part by owners Lenny and Sara Martinelli’s nearby Three Leaf Farm, is primarily gluten-free. More than half its items, such as miso-glazed tofu and zucchini-noodle manicotti, cater to those diners avoiding both meat and gluten.”
Choices Vegan Cafe – Miami, FL
We’re heading to Miami to visit my husband’s parents over the holidays and I will definitely be making a stop at Choices. They have a great line-up of juices and smoothies,
such as Green Dinner (apple-kale-spinach-ginger-lemon), Sex A-Peel (apple-beet-cucumber-ginger), and CocoBliss (coconut-cacao-goji-almond butter-chia-agave). Pair yours with a salad, wrap, or sandwich also bursting with good-for-you grains, fruits, and vegetables—and come back over the weekend for the make-your-own-pancakes brunch.”
Crossroads – Los Angeles
Crossroads is within driving distance for me and I first tried it last year. If you visit LA, you must stop in. Unusual for a vegetarian restaurant, it’s extremely elegant and romantic, but the food is what makes it rock.
Mediterranean-inspired small plates like lentil flatbread, kale spanakopita, and chile- and cumin-spiced carrots invite sharing.” Indeed, they do!
Veggie Galaxy – Cambridge, MA
The really neat thing about this retro diner is that they also have their own vegan bakery on the premises, with pies, muffins and cupcakes all made for the vegan diet. They also do a neat riff on traditional breakfast.
Here, the classic diner concept gets a vegetarian makeover, with tempeh bacon, seitan chorizo, and black bean burgers alongside the typical omelettes, pancakes, and French toast.”
I’m really hoping to get to check some of these places out in the coming months. I’d also love to hear about any great local vegetarian restaurants in your neck of the woods!