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Apr 12, 2009 06:32 PM

Restaurants that have good vegetarian options? D.C. area

We have friends that are coming to visit this week and need some restaurant ideas. They're vegetarian, sometimes they'll eat fish or shrimp though. Any recommendations for restaurants that have more than one or two options for vegetarians? D.C. or Md. area please.


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  1. If you will be near downtown Silver Spring, Lotus Cafe on Georgia Ave. (at Sligo Ave.) is great.

    Lotus Cafe
    8073 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD

    1. zaytinya. I'm a vegan and i found many delicious options there. Loud restaurant, long wait, but personally i found the food to be great.

      1. Italian Restaurants are always a good option for vegetarians. As confirmation, I looked at Ristorante Tosca's online menu. Of their six appetizers, four are vegetarian-acceptable. The pasta options include three possibilities, including one explicitly titled "vegetarian." Under the main dishes, only the risotto might be vegetarian, but your friends would have to inquire about the stock. If you add the house special ravioli to the count your friends would be doing well.

        Middle Eastern restaurants are another superb source of vegetarian meals. Checking the Zaytinya menu, you'll find there's a separate vegetable mezza category which includes 13 possibilities. When you add in the fact that five of the six spread are also vegetarian-friendly, you'll see why I recomend Middle Eastern restaurants. Remember, I haven't even listed the possibilities that will be found in the Salad, Pide, and Cheese categories.

        I assume you have your own favorites among these cuisines.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Indy 67

          You actually have to be very careful at Italian restaurants. Often they might cook with chicken stock or bacon fat (or throw some in without it stating on the menu). Just check with the server before ordering.

          Indian restaurants are good places for veggies.

          1. re: Jacey

            In terms of Indian, I recommend Heritage in Dupont Circle. They have lots of veggie items.

            Same goes for Ethiopian. I took my vegetarian cousin to Etete in January and he loved the food.

            I know some vegetarians that have found items to eat at Dino. And for pizza you can try Pizzeria Paradisio in Dupont Circle or Georgetown.

        2. I believe Rasika has a vegetarian tasting menu.

          If you're interested in cheaper options, there's a good selection of vegetarian and vegan places around town. Just had a vegetarian teen in town, and we had fun with her at Amma's Vegetarian, Java Green, Sticky Rice, Asylum, and she really loved Mitsitam and was thrilled with the 'shroom burger at Good Stuff (we didn't make it to Veg Soul)... but those might not be the kind of places you're looking for. Vegetate is fancier and sounds good, but I've never been.

          Also check for ideas.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mselectra

            (this is really late, but in case someone else happens upon this thread...)

            Rasika DOES have vegetarian tasting menus - 2 in fact, 4 courses and 6 courses. I just had the 6 course with wine for $105 (pretty spendy but...) -- the food was really terrific, and I have 4 leftover boxes in my minibar waiting to be breakfast. And I was really impressed at what a good job they did with the wine pairings ($45 of the total cost)...several of the wines were not good to me away from the food, but just lovely alongside. They also have a ton of vegetarian options and they sell them as entrees or sides, so it would be pretty affordable to try several things without spending what I did, but I feel totally satisfied. I was alone and they sat me at this bar that looks into the kitchen which was pretty interesting...better than the bar, where I meant to sit.

          2. If you're into Indian, try Bombay Bistro in Rockville. (Their vegetarian thali is impressive.) India Garden in Rockville is also very good.

            If you want an incredible vegetarian sandwich, try the falafel at Max's in Wheaton.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sean D

              I want to try that falafel, and I'm not vegetarian! Thanks for the rec's so far. Two options are set: One lunch at teaism (they want to do museums on Friday so this will work out well). And a dinner at 2Amy's one night (they love Neapolitan style pizza). So that just leaves one more meal.... Keep 'em coming.

              1. re: beauxgoris

                what are you looking for? Casual? Ethnic?

                I am a veggie and don't really like Ethiopian food, so I can't speak to that.
                Rasika is what I'd pick if I could - it's far better than Heritage.

                However, Passage to India in Bethesda is wonderful.
                I also think Lia's in Chevy Chase does very good pasta and other dishes.