With the whole world going green and trying to make significant changes in their lifestyle to better our planet, the allure of vegetarian dining has seen a significant rise within the last few years. Gone are the days when vegetarian/vegan recipes were thought to be bland, boring or inedible to those new to the taste. In fact, vegetarian dishes have just as much flavor, maybe even a little more, and I for one, love a good vegetarian meal. You get all of the flavor and taste without the guilt and Atlanta has become très chic when it comes to hip and trendy places to grab a bite where veggies reign supreme. Here are the best places to go when you want to ditch the meat!
1 R. Thomas Deluxe Grill
A hands-down Atlanta favorite and the most popular vegetarian/vegan spot in town, R. Thomas is healthy, convenient and ridiculously delicious. Owner Richard Thomas opened up shop in 1985 and has successfully maintained one of Atlanta’s jewels. A late- night staple for years, their menu is superb with a myriad of choices that makes a decision difficult. The 24 hour oasis with the legendary outdoor patio, has something for everyone to savor, standouts include: the Southern range chicken dinner, organic salmon piccata, portabella melt, spicy fish tacos and the amazing signature quesadillas. After you have stuffed yourself with those great eats, save a little room for dessert because the banana chocolate chip cake is worth a few extra calories.
1812 Peachtree St. NW.
2 Café Sunflower
Since the mid-90s Café Sunflower has deliciously served Atlantans with their addictive healthy options that pack all of the punch and flavor of meat-heavy meals. With two locations in Buckhead and Sandy Springs respectively, diners have twice the fun of sampling some of the best vegetarian food in the city. However, the Buckhead location makes it onto our list because of the overall experience and popularity with patrons. They feature a myriad of vegetarian dishes from select corners of the world including: the Caribbean, Asia, the American Southwest and the Mediterranean. They also have many items that are gluten-free and are able to accommodate those with food allergies, these things are great to know to ensure that you receive that best dining experience possible. The food is absolutely stellar with several appetizer standouts such as the pita pizza, soy nuggets, black bean quesadilla and the fried green tomatoes. The entrees are definitely rave-worthy with highlights like Southern polenta Napoleon, Orzo eggplant lasagna, walnut crusted tofu cutlet, sesame chicken and the stuffed acorn squash. Regardless of how stuffed you may be, you must try the special vegan cakes for dessert that come in such flavors as, chocolate peanut-butter mousse cake, carrot spice cake and coconut layer cake.
2140 Peachtree Rd.
3 Dynamic Dish
As a diner I love to be surprised with my food options, which is why I am so fond of Dynamic Dish because their menu changes daily. You are always in for new and innovative recipes whenever you step in to eat. The trendy Old Fourth Ward neighborhood is where you can find this vegetarian paradise that will have you returning for regular visits in no time. The atmosphere is welcoming and very cozy, which is ideal given the cooler temperatures emerging. Their food is obtained from local and multi-cultural food sources and they only use the freshest ingredients. Even though their menu is always new, there are prior dishes that should be mentioned due to the sheer delicious factor they possess. The Georgia collard wraps stuffed with rosemary tofu, gruyere & red lentil millet cakes on tomato coulis with steamed Georgia mustard greens, roasted Georgia butternut in ginger lime butter with mild jalapeno topped with Dutch Goats gouda and served with Georgia black-eyed peas and the roasted fennel with Greek feta, Georgia purple hull peas with steamed mustard and turnip greens are equally delicious and healthy. The vegan cupcakes are a must; you can either eat them there or get them to go for a yummy treat later on. With classic flavors like strawberry, lemon and chocolate, you will want a dozen of each.
427 Edgewood Ave.
4 World Peace Café
Arguably the most unique entry on our list, World Peace Café has a few elements that set them apart from other vegetarian spots in Atlanta. They are owned and operated by the Rameshori Kadampa Buddhist Center and they were built with the donations of others and by volunteers. In addition, all of their profits got to the support of meditation classes and other special events designed to help people find peace of mind. Yes, World Peace Café is not just a restaurant, but a lifestyle. However, the food is the most important thing and their menu choices are some of the best in the city. The Classic peace burger (with lettuce, tomato, rosemary mayo and organic ketchup and served with roasted potato wedges), Cauliflower quiche (with cauliflower, Swiss cheese and select veggies), Grilled polenta cake with eggplant caponata (chilled caponata of eggplant with pistachios, olives, capers and raisins, served on a hot polenta corn cake) and the Mushroom stroganoff (baby portabella mushrooms in a rich sauce served over Pappardelle pasta) are expertly prepared and seasoned to perfection. Cap off your meal on a happy note by sampling the lovely dessert options featuring gingerbread poundcake, three layer chocolate almond cake or the blissful banana pudding. Get ready for life-changing food, atmosphere and lifestyle!
220 Hammond Dr. Suite 302
5 Green Sprout Vegetarian Restaurant
Serving up vast menu options and uniquely personal service, Green Sprout does an excellent job of providing tasty vegetarian dishes that are innovative, daring and delicious. Even though they serve beef, chicken, pork and shrimp in their dishes, they are all made from soy, potatoes and other non-meat products to ensure the vegetarian dining experience is authentic. As a decidedly Asian-themed restaurant, guests can expect familiar Asian dishes that pack a little more protein power than their non-vegetarian counterparts. Some of the vegetable-dishes worth mentioning are, the stir-fried broccoli with garlic sauce, stir-fried Yukon gold potatoes with pickled shir-li-hon and plum sauce, vegetable lettuce wraps with pine nuts and the vegetable moo shu (shredded cabbage, broccoli, bamboo shoots, black fungus, mushrooms and scallions served with four pancakes.) The fried rice and noodles options are some of the best I’ve tasted in Atlanta and are worth a try, but I warn you that becoming addicted is a quick and easy process.
1529 Piedmont Ave. Suite D