Someone asked me to share with him my top 5 or 10 favorite restaurants with vegetarian fare. True to my form– here is my “brief” reply:
Over Easy on Hollywood
Marikarios (for dinner, too)
Tsoi’s Asian Bistro
For breakfast I can go with a group of friends to Over Easy on Hollywood and order plenty straight from the menu, though I’d need to be a bit more vigilant if I were looking for vegan—plus they have the GOOD Royal Cup coffee!
Continental Bakery—downtown or in Mountain Brook is always a winner for anyone, meat-eater or vegetarian.
Golden Temple is a great place for lunch. They have a different daily special which I’d almost always recommend. The regular sandwiches are delicious, too. I don’t think a meat-eater would miss it, but there will be no meat on the menu.
Zoe’s has great vegan and vegetarian choices right on the menu and they do not feel like an after thought, which is always nice. Newks has a few good veggie items, though I think it would be quite boring for a vegan.
Organic Harvest in Hoover has a nice lunch counter. They are a bit slow but you know your food is fresh.
Bottletree is actually not my top favorite. The service is less-than-stellar and most of the time what I’ve eaten there I know I can make at home and I’d like it better. That said, I don’t always make it at home. Plus, they have a veggie dog with pimiento cheese that is worth dealing with the grumpy staff.
I like to go to restaurants for dinner where I don’t feel like I’m choosing from the two (or fewer) vegetarian options on the menu. Also, I like for everyone else to be able to order “normal things”.
DoDiYo’s will usually have plenty of vegetarian options for entrees and appetizers. The meals are definitely not afterthoughts, but very good stand-alone dishes. Seems a good portion of those dishes are also vegan. My favorite is the Imam Baldi, an eggplant dish.
While Jackson’s does not have a ton of vegetarian dishes, they do have at least one per category. I put it on the list because they have a great Portobello “cheese steak” sandwich that is very tasty. I had an unexplainable craving for a Philly cheesesteak one night and this fit the bill!
Nabeel’s is always a winner. Sometimes their nightly special will even be vegetarian, though rarely vegan. You can probably do some tweaking to find a vegan meal on the menu.
Chez Lulu always has great choices and, of all these restaurants, I’d say their wait staff is the most knowledgeable when it comes to asking vegetarian and vegan questions about the menu.
Highlands rarely has a single meat-free item on the menu, but they will make you anything with the ingredients they have that night—and that includes a lot of veggies.
For “ethnic” ideas, I think La Paz has some tasty veggie choices for a Mexican flair.
Tsoi’s Asian Bistro on Rocky Ridge has a bazillion tofu and/or veggie dishes. I like their spicy eggplant, General Tso’s tofu and their Tofu Panang.
Surin West used to be a big favorite of mine. I haven’t been in a while, but their Tofu Panang and Tofu Larb were my favorites.
Marikario’s on Southside has an extensive vegetarian Mediterranean menu.