The term “vegetarian” has long been abused and misunderstood.
Basically, it’s a dietetic choice to eat a plant-based diet and avoid meat. Unlike vegans, some vegetarians consume dairy products and eggs. Vegetarians want to eat healthy but perhaps still wear leather shoes.
Even if you normally eat meat, you owe it to yourself to dine at this iconic vegetarian restaurant, located in the delightful courtyard of the Hare Krishna Temple in East Dallas. Here the Ayurvedic art of cooking for the body, mind, and spirit fills the menu with Indian-inspired dishes that promote good health. The ever-changing lunch buffet is a favorite for nearby downtown workers.
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You can feed your mind as well as your body here. Alongside its other worldly kitchen, Cosmic has yoga classes, Zen readings, and meditations. The wide-ranging menu features spinach enchiladas, sautéed bell peppers stuffed with spicy potatoes and rice, and a Buddha’s delight with curried vegetables, dahl, a samosa, pappadam, rice, and naan. George Harrison would have loved this place.
This tiny restaurant in Richardson has been serving fine vegetarian food inspired by the western state of Gujarat (and some South Indian specialties) since 1991. A long list of appetizers makes it easy to take a group and order a nice cross-section of the menu. Definitely try the mysore masala dosa, a rice-batter “crepe” stuffed with potatoes and served with sambhar and chutney.
The menu features a wide variety of Italian and Mediterranean food. But most folks head here for the pizza topped with gloriously melty kosher cheese. You can also get falafel, hummus, calzones, or a “burger” (with three patty options) and an order of their famous Fino Fries, topped with either gravy, chipotle sauce, or more of that kosher cheese. It’s Snuffer’s for vegetarians.
Sundown at Granada
[inline_image id=”2″ align=”r” crop=”wide”]Check out Sundown’s kale-and-ale attitude before a concert. The owners also run the popular music venue next door, so they make sure there is something for everyone to eat. The menu includes filling vegan and vegetarian selections, plus grass-fed beef burgers and flatbreads with a gluten-free crust option. It’s comfort food for folks who want to know what they are ingesting.
Sheba’s Ethiopian Kitchen
Dallas is home to many fine, veggie-friendly Ethiopian restaurants like Sheba’s. Here you get exotically spiced red lentil stew and injera (a spongy flatbread) mixed with tomatoes and onions and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. The tikil gomen wot—cabbage, potatoes, and carrots cooked with garlic and turmeric—is hearty enough for all appetites. No one goes home hungry here.
International Buddhist Progress
If you are looking for a no-frills vegetarian or vegan meal, this cafeteria with community seating and paper plates is your place. The low-cost buffet has fresh stir-fried vegetables, savory rice noodle dishes, and mushroom soup. Keep in mind: the kitchen doesn’t use any onions or garlic. They’re considered “mind-altering.”
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A once-small gathering in Reverchon Park of vegans and vegetarians who wanted an animal-friendly alternative to the Midway, the Texas Veggie Fair now draws more than 10,000 people to a full day of chef demos, yoga, kids’ activities, speakers, and vendors hawking planet-conscious clothing, housewares, and pet supplies. And there is food, lots and lots of delicious, veggie-based food. This year’s fair—the sixth–happens October 17.
Vegan is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle choice with a dedicated philosophical and political agenda. Vegans do not consume any animal products. This means no meat, eggs, or milk, and also no wool, goose down, or leather. It is a healthy way to leave a smaller footprint on the planet and support animal rights.
[inline_image id=”4″ align=”r” crop=”tall”][inline_image id=”5″ align=”r” crop=”tall”]This small spot attached to Hong Kong Market Place features Vietnamese vegan cuisine. Expect oodles of noodles and dishes spiked with pungent spices served with tofu and soy. Pho is made with a broth of carrot, onion, celery, ginger, leek, and star anise. The swirling zucchini noodles, red bell peppers, and sweet and green onions will calm your nerves.
Be Raw Food and Juice
The organic food here is eaten “live”—meaning everything is uncooked. Raw salads, wraps, soups, noodles, and “rawsagna” retain all of their natural vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. The menu includes gluten-free items and some of the best desserts made without dairy products. The cafe also offers healthy eating classes.
This place is the McDonald’s of vegan food. They don’t serve Big Macs, but the popular spot has more than 180 restaurants worldwide dedicated to plant-based diets and sustainable living. The menu is full of great soups and a save-the-planet curry that will knock your non-wool socks off.
You could eat a whole meal here and never know you were eating vegan. Start with one of the organic microbrewery beers or wines, and enjoy wraps, sandwiches, and burgers made with a choice of soy protein, portabella mushroom, or cashew/quinoa as the patty. Spiral also has an excellent bakery.
Sykamore Vegan House
We really shouldn’t tell you about this spot because it’s so teeny-tiny. Breakfast and lunch specials run around $7, while dinner plates can range up to $12. Dinner options feature Asian-American favorites such as crispy golden orange soy chicken and sweet-and-sour soy chicken, as well as Malaysian and Thai dishes.