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Aug 15, 2009 11:20 AM

vegetarian in Tempe, AZ

I need vegetarian/vegan fare in Tempe, AZ. Having never been to the area, easy to find would be a fantastic plus. I love out-of-the-way, hidden treasures; but not for this particular trip. Not too expensive with fantastic variety, preferably. Not in any way adverse to Thai, Indian and raw.

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  1. The only true vegetarian restaurant I know of in Tempe is Green on Rural (Scottsdale) Road and I have no first hand knowledge of it. I have heard - but again no first hand knowledge - that Blue Nile has some very good vegetarian dishes.

    Supreme Master Ching Hai in Phoenix at 32nd Street and Indian School is probably just 10-15 minute drive. I have not been there recently but was pretty impressed on visits a year or so ago. And, I am not vegetarian which may be good or bad I guess.

    1. Green is vegan. They are a bit heavy on the faux meats/cheeses (for me, an omnivore), but my vegetarian friends say theirs are good. I do like their salads, and they have a variety of sandwiches, noodle bowls, and vegan desserts. Udupi is in the same area, vegetarian Indian with some clearly marked vegan options. I haven't been in a while; last time their options seemed kind of non-traditional (lots of tofu in things, for eg), but again, vegetarian friends like it.

      There are also a lot of places in downtown Tempe and surrounding areas that aren't vegetarian per se but have lots of inexpensive vegetarian options for the college crowd: both Blue Nile and Lalibela (Ethiopian, I prefer the latter personally), Delhi Palace (okay Indian food), The Dhaba (much better Indian food but terrible service), Restaurant Mexico (IF you specify whole beans rather than refried and do not order Spanish rice; most other Mexican places here use lard in ALL their bean varieties and rice so make sure to ask), three good Middle Eastern places (Phoenicia, Med Fresh Grill, and Cafe Istanbul), the Cornish Pasty Co., and Essence Bakery Cafe (sandwiches, salads, and baked goods, largely organic). Essence also clearly marks items that can easily be made vegan; the other places on this list may be hard for strictly vegan eating, as they cook with butter (in addition to the more obvious cheese).

      2240 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Lalibela Cafe Ethiopian
      849 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Blue Nile Cafe
      933 E University Dr Ste 112, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Udupi Cafe
      1636 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Essence Bakery Cafe
      825 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Restaurant Mexico
      423 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Cornish Pasty Co
      960 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Med Fresh
      414 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Delhi Palace Cuisine of India
      933 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

      The Dhaba
      1874 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Cafe Istanbul & Market
      1310 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Phoenicia Cafe
      616 S Forest Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

      2 Replies
      1. re: bortukan

        I've always had excellent service at The Dhaba. My family and I went there once just after they'd closed between lunch and dinner, but the owner let us in and rustled up a chef who cooked all of our food and doubled as our server. It was a fantastic meal and we really appreciated them going the extra mile. They also have lunch specials each day that are an amazing deal, and I believe they usually offer 2 meat options and a vegetarian option. Great food, good prices, and very nice people.

        1. re: Inertia

          You're lucky! I really like their food too, but we've had the same clueless waiter nearly every time we've been. I normally wouldn't complain at a place this inexpensive, but the guy actually makes ordering a meal seem like a chore. It doesn't keep us away, but it's annoying.

      2. Most of these places are not entirely vegetarian, but will have many veg options on the menu.

        Pita Jungle
        1250 E Apache Blvd Ste 113, Tempe, AZ 85281

        Lalibela Cafe Ethiopian
        849 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

        Udupi Cafe
        1636 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281

        In Season Deli
        414 S Mill Ave Ste 111, Tempe, AZ 85281

        Whole Foods Market
        5120 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282