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May 24, 2010 08:21 PM

Buddhist Vegetarian Chinese/Taiwanese in Sunset Park/Bay Ridge or elsewhere in Brooklyn

Is there a Buddhist Vegetarian Chinese/Taiwanese place on or near 5th Ave in Sunset Park/Bay Ridge? I'm looking for the type of place that one can find all over Taiwan.

If not, are there any Chinese (any region) places in that area that are particularly vegetarian friendly?

Failing that, are there any places elsewhere in Brooklyn that would fit either of the previous descriptions?

I am taking some friends who were big fan of the Greens restaurant in Brooklyn Heights before it closed down. I read somewhere that a new restaurant called Vegetarian Ginger opened in the same place, but it seems to have mixed reviews. Can anyone who has been to both Greens and Vegetarian Ginger give a rundown of how the two compare?

Vegetarian Ginger
128 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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  1. Hi fellow Vegetarian Chinese lover. There are three places on Flatbush Ave. that I know of offhand. There is Dao Palate which is vegan pan-asian cuisine. Their address is 392 Flatbush Ave. Also, Vegetarian Palate more of a traditional Chinese restaurant that serves an entirely vegetarian menu. Their address is 258 Flatbush Ave. There is also Zen Vegetarian House, they are a Chinese takeout joint and the deliver all over Brooklyn, I think they can cater also. Their address is 773 Flatbush Ave. in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood.

    Vegetarian Palate
    258 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

    Dao Palate
    329 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

    Zen Vegetarian House
    773 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11226

    6 Replies
    1. re: sfynyc

      Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I'll forward them on to my friends. I'm actually now in Taiwan, aka Vegetarian Chinese heaven, but I'm sure they'll appreciate checking them out.

      1. re: Condimentality

        Is Taiwan really vegetarian Chinese heaven? Wow, I'd love to get more information about that! Any recommendations?

        1. re: round2

          Many practicing Taiwanese Buddhists are vegetarian, so there are many restaurants here that cater to them. Most neighborhoods that are near a Buddhist temple will have a vegetarian buffet restaurant or something more formal. They are actually a great option for non-vegetarians as well, as the food is quite cheap, tasty, and relatively healthy.

          The only one that I can really recommend is located next to the big Foguang Shan building in downtown Yilan. I often got bento boxes there, and they were consistently very good. As far as bigger cities go, I can't really say as I have spent most of my time in Taiwan up to this point in Yilan.

          1. re: Condimentality

            Would be a destination to dream about...

          2. re: round2

            Taiwan? Well, yes and no. There are many hole-in-the-wall vegetarian restaurants, clearly marked. They tend to be pretty standard fare, centered around fake meats (soy, wheat gluten). Much of is is simply to oily/greasy for me. There is also some that is attractively spiced and quite enjoyable. It's all cheap, so, you win a few, you lose a few. Most of these places are clustered around large temples.

            There are also a FEW nice, elegant, large (all relatively speaking) restaurants. These are geared toward visitors who may be Buddhist. More money, of course; nicer surroundings. Not a long, unsteady table in a sweat house, shared with 30 fellow diners as with the holes-in-the-wall.

            Panama is another place with similar restaurants, albeit without the religious over- unter-tones.

            1. re: Unk

              Not entirely true - a good few of Taipei's vegetarian restaurants are near the universities and they are not hole-in-the wall joints either.

      2. I bring Wild Ginger on Smith St. to your attention because there. I've never been there and I'm not sure if the Pan-Asian thing fits your bill. There is surprisingly little discussion of it here but there is one mention of its being someone's favorite.

        Wild Ginger
        112 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

        1. By the way, Fifth Avenue Vegetarian Delight, at 718 5th Ave. in Sunset Park, has a vegetarian menu but is not a vegetarian restaurant. Not unlike many Chinese places in Park Slope and environs, it does have a "vegetarian" menu but some vegetarians (don't judge) tend to avoid places where the sauces and prep and cooking surfaces might not be as vegetarian as they'd be in a totally vegetarian place.