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Feeding a Vegetarian in Dallas

I am headed to Downtown Dallas for a business meeting next week. I have been charged with selecting a moderately priced restaurant for a group dinner (12 of us) that has a few vegetarian options for the one token vegetarian. I've perused other forum and have found two potential options, the grape and hatties. Open to comments on these for choices for this scenario as well as other options. Thanks in advance for the help!

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  1. Without a doubt, try Kalachandji's. It is in the Krishna temple near Fair Park, which is a stones throw from Downtown. Wildly crazy atmosphere, cool vibes and excellent food. I have been going there since my college days, and it has gotten better each year. They will not try to recruit you, and this place is nearly free as far as costs go. You will have these people talking for years to come.


    If you do not wish to go all vegan, try a nice Thai restarant. They always have vegan choices. Try Royal Thai, decent enough and close.


    Their website plays a musak version of Reunited by Peaches and Herb. Maybe they have a peach herb tea?

    4 Replies
    1. re: DallasDude

      Wow. A real Blast from the past for me. I used to go there as a student in Dallas. Graduated 15 years ago and haven't been back. This place will be a hit with all but the most uptight. Go there, and report back.

      1. re: DallasDude

        I don't think you can do a business dinner for 12 at Kalachandji's. In fact it's about the last place in Dallas I'd recommend...maybe second to last after Fuel City. Royal Thai is probably a better suggestion. Hattie's imo is a little small for 12. Maybe Kavala.

        1. re: luniz

          Last summer, A/C was not working too well at Kavala. Can you imagine?

        2. re: DallasDude

          I second Kalachandji's. Their food is fabulous. We've been going for 16 years. Last time we went, their evening Sunday uber cheap buffet was no longer there, but their regular offerings are still amazing. Their tamarind tea is wonderful. The atmosphere is worth the trip. Be sure to take off your shoes and step into the temple, even if a service is going on. It's a delight.

        3. If the other 11 of you would care to be "adventurous", you might want to look into The Spiral Diner.


          1 Reply
          1. re: CocoaNut

            The Spiral diner is awesome as well.

          2. I'd recommend the Grape. The food there is very good and it's also got a great atmosphere for a business dinner.

            Someone suggested Kalchandji's. I'm not a vegetarian but go there once a week to eat. The food (especially their soup) is very good. Definitely not a work dinner atmosphere, though, and no seating for a party of twelve.

            1. For vegetarian...Cafe Izmir on Greenville has a great vegetarian platter/dinner. You can mix and match for 12. Part veggie/part meat. However, you would be just fine going to an Indian restaurant, like Cheetinaad Palace. India Palace is fancier, but I don't think as tasty. Tillman's has vegetarian options. You could also do Italian, like Mia Piaci or Nonna. My friend always does his dinner meetings at Mia Piaci. Even La Duni has a great tomato, hearts of palm, avocado salad. Thai food would definitely fit the bill. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to name a restaurant without a single veggie option.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jindomommy

                Love the Izmir, it doesn't get mentioned enough here. I am not sure it will be possible to get 12 in without a proper reservation.

                As far as India palace goes, i took 7 people for a business luncheon there today and it was quite good. Everything was fresh and consistent. Even the folks that have never experienced Indian LOVED it.

                I must go digest now... nap... mmm.

                1. re: jindomommy

                  Mia Piaci's menu and atmosphere was sounding like a solid and rather safe choice for our varied group. but it looks like this is about a 25 minute drive from downtown. Is there a place with similar menu and quality food that is closer to downtown? Thanks.

                2. A while ago Scott did a report on veggie dining at nicer restaurants on www.dallasfood.org. I would go look there.

                  1. Thank you! Thank you! I was hoping for just this...to hear it like it is. I appreciate your time in writing these notes. I feel like i have a few options now. If anyone else has a spot for us, please send it my way.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: walker_wendy

                      I've never been, but have heard good things about Arcodoro Pomodoro. Sometimes with the large groups, you don't necessarily go for tastiest. Rather, you just try to appease everyone a little bit. How about Steel? That's another place that hosts a lot of business dinners. Italian is such a crowd pleaser. There's also Adelmo (a little pricey) and Bellini's off Oaklawn. Bellini's is pretty good for the price, but not really anything special. It's a step up from Maggiano's. My friends really love it. I'm just picky about Italian. The exterior is totally unspectacular, but it's quite nice inside. Nice bread basket with olive oil and vinegar. The dishes are all pretty solid. I like Mia Piaci better, but would not hesitate taking a group of 12 to Bellini's. I've gone there with large parties. Plus, it's pretty convenient to downtown. You are also close to Mi Cocina in Uptown (my husband has had hundreds of business dinners there or at least that's what he tells me when he comes home smelling like a margarita ;-) and Monica's in Deep Ellum. Although, I would not do a business dinner at Monica's. I'd do Steel, Bellini's or Mi Cocina. If you want to discuss things, Bellini's is not quite as lively as Steel and Mi Cocina. Good luck.

                      1. re: jindomommy

                        Arcodoro Pomodoro is delightfully delicious, and has some wonderful vegetarian.

                    2. I, always being that token veg-diner, would look at Bolsa on Davis. Or the Cliff Cafe at the Belmont Hotel...actually Cliff Cafe would be my number one.

                      The veg only restaurants - Kalachandji's, Spiral - would be miserable for the other 11 diners. The Grape would be good, but I thought they were known more for their romantic atmosphere.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: pepper131

                        I am definitely not a vegan, and even spoke up for dining on guinea pig if available in Dallas (reminds me of O Brother Where Art Tho when they dined on fresh flame-broiled gopher "One third of a gopher would only arouse my appetite without bedding it down"). However, i enjoy visiting Kalachandji's 4 or 5 times a year. The food is fresh and delightfully Vedic.

                        I try to take a new soul each time I visit, so i can enjoy their take on the place. My first visit was in college when I actually stayed over night for a research project. That's a tale for another day, to be sure.

                        1. re: pepper131

                          I like Bolsa, but I wouldn't do a business dinner there. It can get pretty crowded and the entrees are not exactly inexpensive. I live very close to Cliff Cafe. We used to go there when they first opened, but I find the food really inconsistent and the service even more so. A definite "no" for a business dinner. Don't get me wrong...I am happy that Cliff Cafe is here. It fits a much needed niche for the neighborhood. I just don't think it's anything close to spectacular outside of it's biscuits.

                          1. re: jindomommy

                            I pop into the Cliff Cafe for breakfast and lunch and haven't had a problem like you mention. But I've been going there only in the past couple of months.

                          2. re: pepper131

                            I'm not a veg and love these places. everyone we have taken to Kal's has LOVED it.

                          3. Well, the deed is done. We ended up at Cafe Izmir. Was a bit loud but actually the atmosphere helped loosen the group up. Food was quite good and it just kept coming. All we're very happy. The service was outstanding. I felt like we had 6 waiters, someone was always around. The first course came right away and the rest of the dishes were timed perfectly. Was thankful for the valet parking as it made it easy for all to just unload and not have to deal with street parking. thanks again to all for their time and recommendations. I have a feeling i will be headed back to dallas for additional meetings. I will have to keep some of these others in mind. Thanks again and happy eating (and drinking!)!

                            1. Not downtown but can anyone comment on Bliss?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: lgss

                                We ate at Bliss Cafe recently. They serve raw, vegan, gluten-free food. It's near Park Lane Station on the Red Line. (Be careful crossing the street as we nearly got hit while crossing with the pedestrian signal.) The place is tiny, about 20 barstools (plus patio for summer) but food is tasty and service friendly. I had the Primavera Bowl and my husband had the Red Chili Sesame Linguini.


                              2. I have to suggest Afrah's on Belt Line. It's delicious and they have the best falafel and hummus. Definitely worth checking out. And, they make delicious baklava!