Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Texas >
Apr 3, 2007 06:53 PM

Vegetarian in El Paso, Texas

I'm new to Chowhound, so I don't know if this is an acceptable thing to do. I'm a vegetarian in El Paso, Texas, and I noticed that when I searched for "el paso vegetarian" I didn't easily find recommendations. So, I thought I'd offer up a few of my own. I live in the Central part of town, so there's a good possibility I don't know other vegetarian-friendly places further away. I'll break up the suggestions by food type:

Mexican: This food often is cooked with lard, or beans can be cooked with a ham hock or some other meat added to the pot. Some places that don't use lard or meat in the beans (at least the last time I asked):
1) Delicious Mexican (on Fort Boulevard) has great burritos.
2) Kiki's (on Piedras) also has great burritos.
3) Casa Jurado (on Cincinnati or Doniphan) has good Calabicitas (squash) enchiladas and good tostadas.

4) La Posta (in Mesilla, NM) is a fun place to go, and I'm pretty sure their beans are vegetarian.

Pho Tre Bien (on Viscount) is fantastic. Amazing Vegetarian Spring Rolls. It has many tofu dishes, but be sure to ask about the broth in the soups. And there may be fish sauce in some of the dips, such as the one served with the spring rolls.

1)True Thai (on Fred Wilson) closes early, so I've only managed to go there twice.
2)Bangkok Pepper (on N. Mesa) is surprisingly quite good. They have a good selection of tofu curries.
3)Singapore Cafe (on N. Mesa) can be decent, but overall is rather hit or miss. They recently added brown rice, which is nice. Their Ginger Tofu is good. Also, they can make a coconut-based Tom Kha Gai soup vegetarian upon request. The same thing goes for most of the rest of their dishes.

Absolutely not recommended is the new Pei Wei Diner (an offshoot of PF Chang's) the vegetarian selection is really limited. And they have the worst tofu I've ever tasted. Yuck. A very unpleasant dining experience.

Sam's Chinese (on Yandell) is the best locally-owned place I've found. The Shanghai Tofu is nice, especially when paired with the Asparagus with Black Bean Sauce.

Italian (Pizza):
1) Ardovino's (on Cincinnati or Resler) has great 'gourmet' pizzas and a nice ambiance. Their marinara is vegetarian. Obviously, you can order any pizza without meat. The "Joanna's" is the local favorite. And the "Garden Greens" salad doesn't have meat in it.
2) Ardovino's Desert Crossing (in Sunland Park, NM) also has great pizzas, which they cook in a wood-burning stove. Be aware that they are very traditionally Italian, and some of their sauces aren't vegetarian, but the marinara is. They also have other vegetarian dishes, but I'm a creature of habit and never order them.

1) Thyme Matters (on Mesa) has a good selection for vegetarians. I'm partial to the Risotto with Truffle Oil and the Corn Poblano Chowder.
2) GeoGeske (on Stanton) has had one vegetarian dish on its menu since opening, as well as a few sides. Their margarita french fries are quite delectable. This restaurant's a decent option if you're dragged there by non-vegetarians.

These are all the places that are coming to mind now. I hope this is useful information for someone.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Very helpful-am planning a trip soon to El Paso and know nothing-how far are these places from Shadow Mtn. Drive area-what area are they in??Can you help me to visualize this please???I love vegetarian food also-but in Texas I will indulgence in barbeque and ribs.

    2 Replies
    1. re: marlie202

      are there any juice bars/smoothies places??cafes?sit and read and hang out type places with good coffee and snacks??

      1. re: marlie202

        Hi, Well the vegetarian-friendly places I mentioned are really all over, but some are located on the Westside, which is where Shadow Mountain is. I'd just google whichever places seem interesting to you.

        As far as coffee shops go, El Paso is unfortunately really lacking. I can think of five independent coffee shops on the Westside/Central area. The first is called Cactus Cafe. It's on Mesa St. Another one, with less character recently changed names, but I think it's called Kinlay's. It's close to UTEP at Kerbey and Mesa. But, really, it doesn't have much personality. It's virtually a mirror image of Starbuck's (one of which is literally across the street from it), but with terrible tasting coffee. I hate to say it, but it's true. Close by is another place called Il Vicino. It's on Boston b/w Stanton and Mesa. It's really cute, but I honestly have only been once, so I don't know much about it. There's also a nice place downtown called Lumenbrite. Unfortunately, it has limited hours that basically follow a normal work day, 9 - 5. But, if you're planning on seeing the EP Art Museum, which I'd recommend, it'd be a good place to stop by. Lastly, also downtown, there's a really quaint, comfortable coffee/sandwich place called Pike Street Market. It also has limited hours; I think it closes at 2:30 or 3:00. One perk, though, is that all their coffee and espresso drinks are half price the last hour they're open.

        I only know about one smoothie place (it's very possible there are more). It's a chain called Keva Juice. It's on Mesa between Robinson and Cincinnati. I personally don't like it because their smoothies aren't very natural. They use sorbet, or some other artificial sugary-something (I can't remember what exactly) in them. That turned me off.

        Hope this helps.

      2. Another Vegetarian Restaurant in El Paso:

        I can't believe I forgot it in my first post.

        El Paso has an Indian restaurant called India Palace (on Mesa). The proprietors are a really lovely bunch of people. And the food's quite good. As is to be expected, there are plenty of good vegetarian options. They also have a very reasonably priced buffet during the day.

        1. A friend of mine reminded me that I should mention that Kiki's Mexican Restaurant serves excellent spicy, but not too spicy, black beans (also vegetarian). They're great. I don't know any other restaurant in El Paso that serves black beans.

          Also, he wanted people to know that GeoGeske serves a mean Mac and Cheese. I've tasted it. It's decadent to be sure.

          1. There's a nice new restaurant in El Paso called "Ripe" (on Redd Rd). ( It was opened about four months ago by a brother and sister team.

            It has a kind of a deli-counter style. Basically it has simple staples like grilled sandwiches, pizzas, as well as a variety of sides made with somewhat more creative or gourmet ingredients. Also, every day there's a different dinner special in addition to the normal menu. I believe they have breakfast options as well. There are plenty of vegetarian-friendly options.

            It has a comfortable, almost homey atmosphere. The decor is stylish and tasteful. It's a nice place to hang out. It doesn't seem like the kind of place that would discourage people from lingering, so I think it could probably serve as another El Paso coffee shop.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ailbheca

              The local Ripe Eatery and Market was a nice touch of fresh and simple cuisine that made for an excellent lunch option (Turkey Pesto Panini with a cup of the soup du jure - already lost the name, but began with a "M." Thanks for the suggestion. The dining area is cozy, but I do recommend a rental car, although I did make it from UTEP up to Ripe and back via the "14" on the Sun Metro. Two hours of sight seeing along routes I might otherwise have never traveled.

            2. For Vegetarian Tamales: Go to Gussie's Tamales on Piedras. There are very tasty Green Chili and Cheese tamales for vegetarians. All her tamales are popular with vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ailbheca

                I LOVE tamales-thanks for a great rec. Ripe is also a wonderful rec-I checked out their site. Here in NYC I buy tamales from Mexican people who sell them at a weekend flea market--they are delicious-they serve them with a spicy avocado cilantro sauce-which I believe is an original recipe-wonderful. Thanks for all your recs and if you think of anything else-please let me know