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ISO Vegetarian Restaurants in Queens

  • d

Any recommendations for vegetarian restaurants in Queens, other than Quantum Leap, or the Sri Chinmoy restaurants, Annam Brahma or Oneness-Fountain-Heart. Thanks very much!

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  1. d
    david sprague

    I'm a big fan of Buddha Bodai, which is on Main Street, right by the botanic garden. Happy Buddha, also in Flushing, seems to get positive reviews here, but i haven't tried it....

    1 Reply
    1. re: david sprague

      I had a blah experience at Buddha Bodai, awful at Annam Brahma and good at Oneness. Linda's Organic Market in Kew Gardens offers vegan take-out.

    2. My vegetarian, East Indian friend says that the Hindu temple to Ganesh in Flushing has outstanding vegetarian food at good prices. Not sure if you have to sit through a ceremony first or if the food is sold separately.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cara

        The food is served in the canteen downstairs in the hall nextdoor. Also right nextdoor is Dosa Hut.

      2. I love Maharaja Sweets in Jackson Heights - 37th Avenue between 73rd and 74th streets. The Channa Bhatura, Baigan Bharta, samosas and palak paneer are all good. Their sweets and snacks that you buy by the pound are fresh and flavorful, too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JulesNYC

          Also highly recommended is their samosa chat, two samosas with thicker-than-usual crusts to stand up to the wet chana masala that it comes in. The raw red onions cut the flavors very well. I'd pass on the pakoras, as they taste clearly reheated.

        2. Happy Buddha in Flusing is an amazing Chinese vegetarian restaurant. Much better than anything in Chinatown, and reminds of me the vegeterian restaurants in Hong Kong.


          1 Reply
          1. re: bunnymeals

            To me the Happy Buddha prior to renovation was a much better restaurant food wise and price wise. Now, after a year's wait, the decor of the place is all airy and woodsy and clean...but the food is just as antiseptic. Gone are the home cooking feel and taste.

            Hong Kong has a great variety of vegetarian restaurants...the new Happy Buddha is sort of like the Veggie XP on Wanchai road at Burrow street on the 2nd floor, where as the old Happy Buddha is more like the namelss one just a few steps away, on Burrow street between Wanchai Rd and Cross lane.

            Anyhow, back to Flushing...Just last night I was walking on Main street (toward the direction of the botanical garden) on my way to some boiled dumplings (formerly Northern Pasta House on 40 rd) at the basement in front of where Q58 bus stop is( I can't remember the street name, but it's the street after 41st Ave). Before I made the right turn off of Main street, I saw a sign for Happy Family Vegetarian Restaurant right. It was in the basement at the corner. I walked down stairs, there was first a Sichuan stand (Cheng Du Tian Fu) then this familiar smiley face greeted me where the Happy Family vegetarian stand is. Tiny. seats 4, maybe. 3 dishes plus soup over rice for $3.50. Very simple menu that's Fuzhou style. I liked that one of the choices was braised dark bamboo shoot (dried and reconstitutded kind)which the vegetarians don't usually get because it's always cooked with meat and meat bones.

            The familiar face is the young woman who used to work at Soy Bean Chen's on Roosevelt. She happily greeted me and told me that it was the first day opening! She herself is a vegetarian, too.

            Best of luck to her!

            I hope she does well. Not many places for vegetarians to eat cheaply around here, or anywhere, really.

          2. Happy Buddha had closed awhile ago, then reopened last fall at the same Flushing address, having expanded/renovated. So if you haven't been there in the last year, you haven't been there. And they have free parking.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JanetG

              I was at Happy Buddha a few days ago, and was really disappointed, since I'd made the trip out specifically for that purpose. I had ordered grilled tempeh with organic vegetables and a miso/ginger sauce. I waited a long time for it, and when it arrived it was slabs of soft tofu instead of tempeh. Apparently, they had run out of tempeh and didn't bother to tell me or ask me if I wanted something else. I didn't want soft tofu, which doesn't agree with me and which I don't care for. The waitress suggested I taste the sauce before rejecting the dish, and it turned out to be thick and gooey with no heat and little flavor. I could not even detect ginger. I rejected the dish and ordered instead a noodle dish with black mushrooms and "soy ham," a mysterious and questionable ingredient with a vaguely sour, unpleasant flavor. The dish was salty and cheap. In terms of service, I had to ask for a glass of water.

            2. So sorry about your disappointing trip, but like going to any Chinese restaurant, it's just so much better to be open to suggestions - "Soy Ham" is made out of soy beans and is as authetic as it gets for Chinese vegetarian dish - there's also soy duck, and soy pork, etc with texture that mimics the meat equivalents. Tempeh and miso, however, isn't so much Chinese at all. For great tempeh, I would go to Souen in Manhattan. On a related note, I think Chinese restaurants should stop selling food to cater to non-chinese palette, because they just don't do those dishes well and it becomes disappointing to all customers. I don't understand what you meant by the dish was "cheap." Was it the price? Water - isn't it required by state law to conserve water that customers have to request it?

              1 Reply
              1. re: bunnymeals

                The food was "cheap" in that it didn't cost a lot. That was a good thing. I agree with you that it's good to be open to suggestions (I often ask for suggestions on this board). I also agree with you that ethnic restaurants should not attempt to cater to the palettes of non-natives. But if a restaurant is offering a dish, it should be well-prepared. Why offer bad food if you have it in your power to offer really good food?

                And what comes to the table should be what you ordered. They brought me something I hadn't ordered, without consulting me first. I didn't care for that.

                With respect to your question about water, I don't know the answer, you may be right. However, I am pretty used to being given a glass of water without having to ask for it, and as I noticed other customers being given water when they sat down, I assumed I'd be entitled to the same thing.

                Lastly, I've eaten at Souen and am not a fan. However, I have had great tempeh dishes at the two Candle restaurants, as well as Counter and Gobo.

              2. Great points. And I have to check out two Candle and Gobo, as I have not heard of these. I'm always not so thrilled with Souen or Counter either. I want something akin to Los Angeles' Real Food Daily. It's food that tastes great, not less because it's healthy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bunnymeals

                  When I refer to the "two Candles" I'm talking about the Candle Cafe, 1307 Third Avenue at 75th Street, and Candle 79, 154 East 79th Street near Lexington Avenue. Same owners. The Cafe is more casual, Candle 79 is rather upscale. 79 is especially good. There are also a couple of Gobo locations; the one I've tried is on 6th Ave. and 8th St. in the Village, and it's wonderful.

                2. Thai Chili on Broadway at 44th St. does some awesome vegetarian duck recipes, and they have veg versions of just about everything on the menu. 718 278 3010