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Veggie Options in Northern VA?

He there everyone! I'm fairly new to the boards, so please forgive me if this has already been answered before (and please redirect me...).

Although I am not myself a vegetarian, my wife is and we have been running into a problem of finding limited options for her when eating out. She's not very keen on having a salad or steamed vegetables every time we go out, so we've been experimenting around. Ethnic foods seem to be the best option much of the time, but even then she's usually limitted to 2-3 options at best. Restaurants don't have to be purely vegetarian, but just a decent selection and good food. (The Helmand in Baltimore, for example, is amazing, but an hour drive to get there relegates it to a 2-3 times only per year location)

We've tried Sunflower Restaurant (in Vienna?) and she liked it, although I was not as impressed. Are there any standouts in the McLean/Arington/Vienna/etc. areas that have good selections of vegetarian dishes? Eggs and milk products are ok, but seafood is still not a vegetable, apparently. I live near northern Arlington and I don't mind driving 20-30 minutes for a good place, so Bethesda and Reston are also fair game, for example.

I realize that this is a very broad question with a broad area, but I just want to know if people want to chime in on their own personal favorite veggie dishes and veggie-friendly places around here.

Thanks,

Jeremie.

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  1. I really like Aladdin's (sorry, I keep repeating this but it's good, inexpensive food). My husband gets his meat and I get good vegetarian options. There's a branch in Shirlington.

    http://www.aladdinseatery.com/

    At Rio Grande, I get the grilled veggie fajitas and really like them. My husband has been happy with what's he's gotten there, meat-wise, but I can't vouch for any of it.

    1. Try Saravana Palace - all-vegetarian Indian with a massive menu; everything I've tried has been good to delicious. In Fairfax; http://www.saravanapalaceva.com/.

      In terms of Northern Arlington, try the shopping center on Lee Highway with the Harris Teeter on the end. There you'll find:

      1) A Chinese restaurant with an extensive mock-meat and veggie-friendly menu (don't recall the name);
      2) Pie-tanza, with plenty of veg-friendly pizza, pasta, and salad options;
      3) Taqueria Poblano, with delicious veg tacos, burritos and sides

      1. Thanks for the pointers - I'll be sure to try Alladin's, Saravana, and the Harris Teeter area.

        We actually went to Rio Grande once, but have had to rule it out due to minor details. I don't know how picky you are about everything being 100% no-meat, but my wife has a zero-tolerance policy on food preparation when it comes to meat. Rio Grande did not pass the zero-meat test, even on their "vegetarian" entree.

        As a meat-eater, I thought the place was fine. However, we have not returned.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Haplo.wm

          I'm not a vegetarian so it doesn't bother me. I try to minimize meat but don't avoid it. It's good to know about Rio Grande, though, since I have friends who are vegetarians and some who are vegans.

        2. Faccia Luna has a pretty good selection of vegetarian pastas (with the option of adding meat), and they also have pizza. We go to the one in Clarendon but there's also one in Alexandria. http://www.faccialuna.com
          We like Delhi Club in Clarendon. As typical for Indian restaurants, it has a selection of vegetarian entrees. www.delhiclub.com

          1. Saran Foods, all-vegetarian Indian on Lee Hwy, near George Mason Dr.
            Willow, next door to Rio Grande in Ballston, has a few vegetarian options.
            Jaleo in Crystal City (or downtown) has several excellent vegetarian tapas choices.
            And if you go downtown, both Zaytinya (Middle Eastern tapas) & Rasika (upscale Indian) are good choices.

            1. Thanks, everyone! This gives me a lot to work with. I'll let you guys know if any of those particularly standout from the rest!

              The main issue with Rio Grande is that they make their rice using chicken stock. I guess this makes it taste better, but renders it rather un-vegetarian. I think there may have been some issue with their tortillas, too, but I can't recall exactly. It's been a while.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Haplo.wm

                At Rio Grande they use lard in their chips and tortillas.

                My favorite vegetarian restaurant in Vienna is Sunflower vegetarian restaurant. http://www.crystalsunflower.com/

                There is also The Vegetable Garden in Rockville. http://www.thevegetablegarden.com/

              2. for good casual veggie try Clare & Don's Beach Shack in the center of Falls Church, on Lee Highway between Argia's and the State Theater. they offer a surprising array of tofu dishes in a fun atmosphere
                vegetarians should also be aware of Than Son Tofu in Eden Center, delicious cheap fried tofu in onion or lemongrass-pepper flavors

                1. I usually go to one of the many Indian restaurants in the area when dining with vegetarian friends, and often find the vegetarian entrees to be some of my favorite things on the menus. Since you mention Vienna, I used to frequent a place called Aarathi when I worked in Tysons Corner (if memory serves correctly, it even had an all vegetarian buffet). I haven't been in a while, but I think it still gets good reviews. I also really like Bombay Curry Company on Mt. Vernon Avenue (on the border of Arlington and Alexandria).