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Vegetarian restaurants in New Jersey: do they exist?

I am a recent convert to vegetarianism and I am noticing that it doesn't look like New Jersey has a lot of vegetarian restaurants. Do they exist? I searched past chats on this website and didn't find a discussion that was similar. I love any kind of food: cheap/expensive/italian/mexican/indian/thai/chineese/czech/spanish/etc.. If there are not restaurants who specifically celebrate vegetables, I would settle for a vegetarian-sympathizer restaurant that has more than one choice for people on non-meat diets.

Thanks, in advance, for any advice offered.

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  1. Green Cuisine in Stone Harbor - More of a lunch place, with a wide range of creative veg sandwiches and salad plates. Some tuna and maybe chicken as a choice for carnivores, but the do a great sandwich based on a quite good hummus.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fpatrick

      we've been going to stone harbor for years but had never stopped into Green Cuisine until this year. What a mistake! this is a lovely restauarant (and very busy at lunch time). The sandwiches, quiches and so on all come with beautiful fresh fruit on the side. Prices are a bit higher than at other places, but considering that you're getting fruit instead of fries on the side.... We went twice this week-- I had a brie and avocado sandwich the first time and a great lobster roll the second. Good smoothies too.

    2. Kaya's Kitchen in Belmar is Vegan. I think Twisted Tree in Asbury Park is vegetarian

      1. http://www.vegetarianusa.com/city/New...

        funny, my neighbor just turned me onto the resto list at the bottom of this link. There are many more vegetarian/vegan resto's than I expected. Enjoy!

        3 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          The web link posted above is interesting. I think the info might be a bit old. Unfortunately, Down to Earth and Second Nature have closed. They are both sorely missed in Red Bank. (The woman who owned Second Nature now works at Dean's Market.)

          1. re: val ann c

            val ann c, thanks for pointing that out. I did note a few changes but overall I thought it was a helpful guide for the OP to do a bit of their own researching.

          2. re: HillJ

            Another site to check to search for vegetarian options by state/region is http://www.happycow.net/

          3. While it is not a vegetarian restaurant in the strict sense, you will find many vegetarian choices on the menu at Park & Orchard, in East Rutherford. P & O is actually one of the best restaurants in NJ (IMHO), and it has been recognized several times for the excellence of its wine list. The very casual nature of the place might lead one to think that it is not a restaurant of a high order, but that would be an incorrect assumption.

            Their menu (actually, they bring two different menus for each patron) provides a very wide selection of entrees, and the emphasis is on healthy eating. In addition to the chicken, fish, and pasta dishes, there are several vegetarian choices, so the only person who might not be pleased with the selection at P & O might be a hard-core beef lover.

            The prices are moderate, IMHO, and I believe that P & O is a good value for the money. The one caveat is that, due to the popularity of the place, it is a good idea to get there by 5:00 p.m. Otherwise, there could be a long wait for a table. Of course, if one wants to hang out in their bar area, there is an incredibly large selection of imported beers to choose from, in addition to their long wine list. But, for the non-drinker, I think that an early arrival would be best.


            1. Zen Palate just opened up in Princeton. The NYC locations were voted the number one vegetarian restaurant in the city. Awesome food!

              3 Replies
              1. re: frackit

                Frankly, if the food at Zen Palate in Princeton is anything like what we had the one time we went to the original location on 9th Av. in NYC, I would avoid the place like the proverbial plague. Horrible!!

                1. re: RGR

                  Maybe not...although I've never eaten in any of the NYC locations. I grew up on a vegetarian household, and have eaten at tons of vegetarian restaurants for many years. I was impressed with Zen Palate.

                  1. re: frackit

                    As the expression goes, "Chacun a son gout."

              2. Eurasian Eatery in Red Bank gets several favorable comments on this board. I haven't been there, but intend to try it. They are not strictly vegetarian, but they have a big assortment of vegetarian items. Here's a list of reviews from vegetarians: http://www.geocities.com/sfenster/din...

                Dean's Market in Shrewsbury and Ocean Twp has vegan soups and a nice little salad bar with vegan items. They have a small seating area, but it's more for takeout.

                Eurasian Eatery
                110 Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

                Dean's Natural Food Market
                490 Broad St, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702

                Dean's Natural Food Market
                Garden State Pkwy, Waretown, NJ 08758

                1. Any indian and thai restaurant has a plethora of veggie choices.

                  1. Wow, everyone. This is an awesome list. Thanks for the help. I appreciate it.

                    1. Jesse's Cafe in Long Branch is organic vegetarian.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tom porc

                        Thank you for posting!!! Stopped here for lunch today -
                        Although Jesse's Cafe has been in business for 22 years this was my first lunch.
                        Casual and Cozy.
                        They have a great menu and specials.
                        Enjoyed a HUGE Fakin Bacon Sandwich with a side salad. Yummy!
                        It exceeded expectations! Although an expensive sandwich and green tea iced tea 17.00. would return again.
                        PS. They only accept cash.

                      2. My wife is very interested in veggie-focused un-carnivore places, and we have been planning on hitting up Piquant Bread in New Brunswick which looks very interesting and has a very extensive menu. That might work for you - good luck.

                        1. My mom and I went to New Brunswick today, looking for Zafra Restaurant and were sad to see that it was no longer there. Not sure when it closed.... We ended up at Makedas Ethiopian where there were plenty of veggie - even vegan - options. I HIGHLY recommend it!

                          1. Here are a few choices in northern New Jersey:

                            Chand Palace, Parsippany: An Indian all-vegetarian restaurant that has some of the best Indian food I've had in New Jersey. The food is excellent! Be sure to try their outstanding dosas. Casual atmosphere, moderate prices and great service.

                            Veggie Heaven, Parsippany: An all-vegan Chinese restaurant, specializing in imitation meat and seafood dishes. Outstanding food and service, moderate prices. I love their Crispy Orange "Beef" and Boneless "Spare Ribs." All of their dishes are very good, and they have a wide selection, from "beef" to "shrimp" to "chicken."

                            Thai Nam Phet, Rockaway: A great Thai restaurant, with many vegetarian options available. A cute place with wonderful food. Their Pad Thai is outstanding!

                            1. Zen Palate Princeton NJ does serve up and Amazing Dish called Stir Fried Spinach Linguine.
                              I have also tried the Veggie Wonton Soup, Crepe de Fleur and grilled sesame tofu salad here and all were alittle bland. The Green Tea Iced Tea was quite refreshing.

                              Veggie Heaven - Montclair (Parsippany and Teaneck too) is a favorite - Vege Roast Pork is Amazing!

                              Sentosa Chinese - Brick NJ is another good pick I enjoyed the soy pasta very much! The Autumn Roll and Tofu Crepe tasted very similar and both fried but a yummy treat

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: shabbystorm

                                Last I was there a couple of weeks ago, Zen Palate in Princeton is closed. It was locked up and dark on a Fri evening, with a sign on the door that said they are going through "management changes". Don't know if they are back open or closed for good.

                                1. re: frackit

                                  I think the restaurant is currently for sale. Went once expecting great things, but it was quite below average.

                              2. I've not been there but while maintaining a local dining guide I came across Kaya's Kitchen in Belmar, which bills itself as "Fine Vegetarian Cuisine"


                                1. Took a road trip to Kaya's - Belmar NJ Today. It is a beach casual interior. Great Food! Really blown away by the depths of flavor in the dishes I tried.

                                  For lunch had the Southern Shitake Corncake - AMAZING and the Herb Crusted Tempeh Tower - Also AMAZING (Never even tried Tempeh before today). Green Tea Ice Tea. The rest of the menu is Super Creative. Definitely with how good the food was gives reason to return. Worth the trip!

                                  Also Asbury Park is really up and coming. Looks like by summer 2009 there will be new fun place to walk and eat from the shore all the way up Cookman Ave (kinda like Pier Village at Long Branch). The Twisted Tree will be my next adventure when I am in the mood for Vegan - when I was talking to some locals they sang their praises.

                                  1. Another Vegetarian Place on the radar is Su Healthy Cuisine Edgewater NJ, yes north jersey but in NJ based on the topic title.
                                    They never did get the web site up and running.
                                    The menu looks wonderful!!
                                    725 River Road
                                    Edgewater NJ

                                    Some of the selections that caught my attention when I picked up the menu after lunch at Sushi Cruise a few doors down:
                                    Five Spiced seasoned Edamame
                                    Orange Spiced Guacumole
                                    Erungii Mushroom Fries
                                    Spinach Pistachio Roll

                                    About 3 minutes down the road from Mitsuwa Marketplace

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: shabbystorm

                                      Spent the day in North Jersey and made it to Su for lunch.
                                      The restaurant is modern. Great music. Wonderful, mature, and impeccable service!
                                      They offered a Prix Fixe lunch menu, appetizer or soup and an entree for 11.99.

                                      Spinach, Shitake, and Baby Bok Choy wonton vegetable soup - Very Good - this was a HUGE bowl of delicate wontons full of flavor, surrounded by a happy mix of julienne vegetables, and delicious broth.

                                      Singapore Stir Fry Noodles with Smoked Seitan - Good - the rice noodles were a little over spiced for my taste but the smoked grilled Seitan was very good.

                                      Brought some Orange Gucamole and Natural Taro chips home for a snack, good but think I set my own expectations to high, or maybe the power of the menu description got me?!?
                                      Overall, good, and may return again one day.

                                      Went to Mitsuwa for a green tea ice cream for dessert :)

                                    2. Had lunch at Mr.Chu Vegetarian Cuisine 771 Bloomfield Ave West Caldwell NJ 07006
                                      This place is part of the restaurant dynasty Noodle Chu - Mr Chu - Bill and Harry Chinese
                                      Restaurants, all very good. All I can say is it was AMAZING! One of the best meals I have had in NJ! IMO better than Veggie Heaven and that place is very good.

                                      The preparation, service and food were outstanding! The place was packed for lunch
                                      They do not have a website.
                                      Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup - AMAZING!
                                      Cedar Pancake - Like a Scallion Pancake - Good
                                      Seaweed Bean Curd and Vegetable Roll Fried with Sesame Seeds with Spicy Sauce on the Side - AMAZING!
                                      Vege Chicken and Cashews - AMAZING!
                                      Cannot wait to return! Maybe next time will try the Soy Duck.
                                      It would be great to have ONE good Vegetarian Chinese restaurant in Northern Central NJ, there is definitely a need.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: shabbystorm

                                        Returned to Mr. Chu Vegetarian today.
                                        Vegetable Wonton Soup - Good - These were a heavier wonton wrapper, the filling and broth a little bland for my taste.
                                        Vege Chicken Lo Mein - Very Good - this was not a traditional lo mein noodle, it was a linguine noodle, sauteed with assorted vegetables and vege chicken.
                                        As a second visit to the same restaurant, the food was again, very good.
                                        However, enjoyed the particular selections I ordered during my last visit more.
                                        Overall - Definitely will be back!!

                                        1. re: shabbystorm

                                          Beyond bummed--Mr. Chu has closed. Don't think there is anything that compares. What a loss...

                                      2. Hi ohromujici, val ann c and a couple other posters recommended Zaitooni Deli in Red Bank. I am vegan so I understand the position you are in. The owner is Lebanese and is such a sweet lady and there are many vegetarian options on their menu (hummus, baba ghannouj, falafel, grape leaves, salad, lentil soup, mujaddereh, the usual suspects). Her food is authentic, I mean, I felt like I was back in Beirut when I bit into that falafel! Their site is www.zaitooni.com and I know there is a post here on Chowhound. I noticed someone mentioned Jesse's in Long Branch so I am definitely going to check them out so thanks for your post. I am always on the lookout for something new and accomodating for me in NJ. Best regards.

                                        1. I just realized the OP is 2 years old, but people have been responding to it. so here goes. I'm not a vegetarian, but there is a Kosher Vegetarian restaurant in Cherry Hill on Route 38 called Perlin's Kosher Vegetarian. I haven't been there, so can't comment personally. It did receive 2 good reviews on Yelp, however.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mschow

                                            Perlin's is one of my favorite places in the state - It is not a fancy restaurant, but they serve fresh kosher vegetarian food and salads. The Mushroom Bourekas are my favorite, have not seen these anywhere else in the state - Yummy!

                                          2. I highly recommend Madras Bistro (formerly Veggie Express) in Hackensack. It has some of the best Indian food around and is strictly vegetarian. The ingredients taste fresh, the spices are layered and distinct, and the food is a lot less heavy and oily than other restaurants in its category. The place is small and casual, but the food is reminiscent of fine dining and as good as or better than anything on "Curry Hill" on Lexington Ave in NYC. The rice pudding alone is worth going for.