Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Phoenix >
Dec 18, 2009 02:26 PM

scottsdale/tempe w/vegetarian

i will be in scottsdale for the car shows and some golf at the end of january. my buddy is a vegetarian. we need a few places to eat, maybe one or two southwestern, where he can get a good vegetarian meal. thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Try Fresh Mint on Scottsdale Road for Thai food, Udupi further south on Scottsdale Road for Indian food.

    Macayo's is the local mini-chain of Mexican places, they are not vegetarian, but they do offer veg dishes -make sure to tell the waiter specifically that you are vegetarian. (I have had the kitchen get it wrong sometimes.) I like the spinach & fresh cheese enchiladas. Also, each of their locations has completely different decor. The Scottsdale Road location is one of the largest. Macayo's is one of the few places that doesn't put lard in their beans. I have not been able to find a veg-friendly mom& pop Mexican place. Mexican food can be difficult because lard can be in tortillas, sauces, beans, rice, etc.

    Z Tejas Grill, out of Texas, another mini-chain, has good food with more of a Texas slant in terms of choice of chile peppers. They make all their drinks with fresh juices, no mixes. They are a great place to go on Sunday afternoon because of their Bloody Mary bar. You get your alcohol in a shot glass and an empty tall glass, you then choose between several rimming options, fresh tomato and lemon juices, hot sauces, Worcestershire, and veggie garnishes.

    Udupi Cafe
    1636 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281

    Macayo's Mexican Kitchen Scottsdale
    11107 N. Scottsdale RD, Scottdale, AZ 85254

    Z Tejas Grill
    7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

    Fresh Mint
    13802 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

    Udupi Cafe
    1636 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lisa Shock

      Via Delosantos is probably the most veg-friendly Mexican I know of in the Phoenix area. It is not exactly convenient to Scottsdale or Tempe, however.

      Via Delosantos
      9120 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020

    2. Fresh Mint & Udupi are good recs if everyone in your party is willing to eat vegetarian. Neither offers any meat dishes at all. The same is true of Green, also near the Scottsdale/Tempe border.

      I'm not a huge fan of either Macayo or Z Tejas, but I understand why they're recommended, especially if your friend would be concerned about lard in beans. A lot of your choices might depend on whether your friend is content to eat meatless (no flesh, but maybe some lard, broth, gelatin, etc.) or whether he prefers food that is truly vegetarian.

      Here are some other ideas, all in Tempe, which is more veg-friendly than Scottsdale due to the presence of ASU's main campus.

      Cafe Lalibela -- Ethiopian with many vegetarian choices
      Blue Nile -- similar to above
      House of Tricks -- Mediterranean/Southwestern/French amalgam; great patio setting; always two or three good vegetarian dishes on the menu
      The Dhaba -- nice Indian restaurant; better atmosphere than most and no buffet (a plus in my view)
      Caffe Boa -- the new chef has implemented a meatier menu, but there are still two or three vegetarian entrees on the menu.
      Cornish Pasty Company -- upscale hot pockets with good draft beer. Numerous vegetarian options on the menu. A fun place.

      House of Tricks
      114 E 7th St, Tempe, AZ 85281

      Caffe Boa
      398 S. Mill Avenue, 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

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

      Fresh Mint
      13802 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

      The Dhaba
      1874 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

      2 Replies
      1. re: silverbear

        I will second Cornish Pasty Company -- pretty much their entire menu of comfort-food pasties are duplicated in vegetarian form. Plus, $4 drafts -- Boddingtons as well as a host of other UK favorites, a very cozy pubby atmosphere, and open late; I think you'd both enjoy it. I like it enough that I am there almost every week for lunch.

        Also, you really can't mention Tempe and vegetarian without dropping Pita Jungle as an option. Healthy and tasty middle-eastern food, beer and wine, boho artsy vibe, and doesn't break the bank.

        1. re: themis

          There's a Pita Jungle not too far from Westworld, et. al., across the street from Desert Ridge at Tatum and the 101. Not sure where you're staying, but none of the auctions are in Tempe, so that will require a bit of a drive.

      2. Silverbear mentioned Green in Scottsdale, which is vegan. To an omnivore like me, some things there seemed kind of odd (especially in texture), but not necessarily in a bad way; vegetarians seem to love it.

        If you end up in Tempe, Restaurant Mexico has some vegetarian options-- ask your server for advice. Their tasty whole pinto beans are lard-free (but not their refried beans; Spanish rice is cooked in chicken broth). Clare burros or enchiladas (whole beans and avocados with green tomatillo sauce and white cheese) are popular with vegetarians I know.

        1. A definite thumbs-up for Fresh Mint. As an omnivore with a vegetarian (sometimes vegan) boyfriend I've eaten at a LOT of veg-friendly places in the Valley and Fresh Mint is my favorite. I'm usually not a fan of fake meat, but theirs is quite convincingly meat-like (in some cases if you didn't know it was fake you probably wouldn't guess). I'm especially fond of the citrus "spare ribs" (yummy sauce!) and Mushroom Wonder (I think that's what it's called).

          Green is often recommended but it's hit-or-miss for me. Their fake meat is much stranger, esp. texture-wise. And I can never quite get behind vegan cheese (tho' the cream cheese, as in the "crab puffs," is pretty good).

          If you're up for a little drive, Chakra 4 Cafe in Phoenix is a little pricey but good. And Sapna Cafe near downtown Phx usually has both veg and non-veg offerings that are tasty.

          1. I would call ahead to Noca. Tell them you are dining with a vegetarian on the reservation and ask them if they can organize something special. You will eat great and I'm pretty sure he will too.

            If you guys like pizza, Humble Pie is a good option. They have plenty of vegetarian options and a nice Burrata salad.

            3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

            Humble Pie
            21050 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050

            Humble Pie
            117 Main St, Duncan, AZ 85534