Listen very carefully: You don't need to be a vegetarian to enjoy a vegetarian meal.
Just because there's no steak on your plate doesn't mean you'll leave your meal hungry, or your dinner won't taste good. If done right, an entree full of veggies, fruits and grains will surprise you with its complex, decadent flavors.
So just trust us, okay? And head to any (or all?) of the restaurants below. Your cholesterol levels will thank us later.
Philadelphia magazine: Govinda's Gourmet Vegetarian
1408 South St.
It doesn’t matter if you’re vegetarian, vegan, halal, kosher or just curious; you will find something on the menu at Govinda’s, and it will be really, really good. Looking for faux chicken fingers? They’ve got it. Just in the mood for some good grilled veggies? Check. If you’re in a hurry, check out Govinda’s To-Go, which offers take-out and delivery items like sandwiches, wraps and salads at wallet friendly prices.
Citysearch: Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille
772 Second St. Pike, Southampton
Take one glance at Blue Sage’s dinner menu, and you’ll be in your car, en route to Southampton in moments. A creamy green-apple pumpkin risotto is surrounded by wild, shitake mushrooms. A curried khorma of lentils, butternut squash and leeks is served with papaya relish. A Cubano supper of flaky plantain pastries stuffed with sunflower seeds is placed atop heirloom white lentil pilaf. We don’t know how else to put it to you: You won’t miss the meat.
611 S. 7th St.
Bella Vista’s Horizons serves up what it calls “new vegan” cuisine. While we’re not entirely sure what that means, the entrée list is full of creatively prepared dishes of meat-substitutes: pan seared peppercorn tofu, catalan tempeh, pacific rim grilled tofu. Two floors of dining means you can choose your prererence: 40-seat dining room and wine bar upstairs, 25-seat casual bistro downstairs. Horizons also offers a full drink menu, with vegan-approved wines, aged liquors and martinis.
AOL City’s Best: Kingdom of Vegetarians
129 N. 11th St.
Vegan Chinese food? But what about the General Tso’s chicken? Or peking duck? Or the Moo Shu Pork? Kingdom of Vegetarians manages to pull off classic favorites like these, but with tofu and walnuts in place of meat. Unlike many of its Chinatown counterparts, however, the faux-meat’s consistency is never grainy or chewy. Add to that a delectable—and cheap—dim sum menu, and going veggie will never have seemed so good.
Around Town pick: Mi Lah
218 S. 16th St.
Non-vegetarians are often put off by the plethora of seitan, tofu and other meat substitutes on vegetarian menus. We’ve chosen Mi Lah as our favorite because it’s the veggies and whole grains that take center stage here: Whether it’s grilled seasonal vegetables, risotto or polenta, Mi Lah’s entrées need no protein substitute. They’re sophisticated, flavorful and artfully presented. And we definitely love us some BYOB.
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