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vegetarian-friendly birthday destination?

I would like to take my younger sister out for her birthday. She is 12 years old and a vegetarian. Any recommendations? I don't want to take her anywhere too fancy or expensive, but I would like something special since it is for her birthday.

Boston, Brookline, Newton, Waltham, Watertown would all be good, but any recommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Veggie Planet in Harvard Sq?
    Mother India, in Waltham.

    1. For something unusual you can take her to an Ethiopian Restaurant. Fasika, Addis Red Sea, and Asmara are all good options and they have good vegetarian options.

      1. If she likes Thai food, you could try Khao Sarn in Coolidge Corner. It has a number of vegetarian options and has a nicer atmosphere than most other Thai restaurants. Another idea would be Trattoria Toscana in the Fenway - they make fantastic pasta (several of which are vegetarian) and the atmosphere is nice, but definitely not too fancy. However, it can be a bit busy on the weekend so I would suggest either going on a weeknight or trying to call ahead (I do not know if they take reservations - I have always just waited or gone on a weekday). Both of these places would be ~$10-15 per entree.

        1. A few others: Ten Tables does a four-course vegetarian tasting that looks superb (haven't tried it, but I love everything else at that place). Oleana treat vegetarians amazingly well. Tamarind Bay offers superb, creative Indian with a lot of great veggie options (it she does dairy, get the ghee-laden dal dish, unbelievable).

          1. If I was a 12 year old and a vegetarian, I would probably want to go to somewhere like Grasshopper. I was not so into fine dining at 12 years old. Also maybe thik about mexican food as an option.

            1 Reply
            1. re: David_A

              I was pretty timid about food and not very comfortable in fancy places at that age, either. However, I am indoctrinating a niece of mine; she has become quite adventurous and knows how to behave in nice restaurants. She really liked Upstairs at the Pudding (our first nice dinner out together, a few years back), and more recently Lala Rokh and Douzo. If only someone had started me out earlier!

            2. Za in Arlington makes fabulous salads and great pizza. Not stuffy at all. I'm not sure if they do desserts, but you could go up the road afterwards to the Chilly Cow, or to the Chai Cafe.

              1. Za is a nice option, and they have very yummy desserts in addition to their pizza and salads.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bear

                  Yes, my 12 year old semi-vegetarian friend loves Za, as does her 14 year old sister.

                2. Brown Sugar Cafe has a vegetarian section on the menu and they are good about cooking to order. I think she'd like the atmosphere - my kids and their friends loved Asian restaurants when they were 12 and 13.

                  1. most younger children i've encountered who are vegetarians are not that adventuresome. exceptions exist, yes, but that's been my experience. i'd suggest going italian. most places have existing veggie pasta items and can easily leave a protein off the dish. if you want a nice place, try mama maria or prezza, even davio's. for more casual trattoria toscano gets raves on here.