The Best Restaurants For Vegetarian Food In Seattle guide image


The Best Restaurants For Vegetarian Food In Seattle

For restaurants that serve the best vegetarian dishes in the city, consult this guide.

You don’t need us to tell you that Seattle is serious about its seafood—but it’s also a pretty good place to be a vegetarian. Whether you want grain bowls, tacos, or you just want to get out of a tofu pad thai rut, these spots can help. And omnivores, this list is for you, too. Because vegetarian or not, when you want to eat some plants, you can do much better than a head of lettuce.

Looking for vegan food? We have a guide for that, too.


Frelard Tamales

Ringing in at a half-pound each, the vegetarian tamales at Frelard Tamales are massive and stuffed with everything from sliced jalapeños and cheese to spinach and corn. You can also add toppings that accentuate the fillings without getting in the way, like crema, limey guacamole, and tangy pickled carrots. And while you could order virtually any meatless masa-snuggled meal here and walk away pleased, you need the sweet potato mole. You’ll get a vegan tamal featuring fork-tender sweet potatoes and a nutty mole that’s rich while still letting the yams speak for themselves. They say “hey, I’m f*cking delicious,” by the way. 

Tomo truly excels in coaxing intense flavor out of fresh produce and dairy. We’re talking about plates like barley porridge with eggplant and dill pollen that tastes like a meatless Reuben soup, candy-like charred squash in a puddle of tangy cream with polka dots of dandelion and chilhuacle oils, and sunchokes roasted to the point of sticky caramelization with persimmon. Mushrooms become meaty, gigante beans become a bowl of cacio e pepe, and sea lettuce becomes royalty.

On first glance, the vegetarian headliners at this Fremont spot's menu seem to be waffle fries and nachos—and yeah, those are excellent in their own right. But the other meatless stuff at Tio Baby's is far from basic, too. Not only are there veggie dogs deep-fried to mimic a snappy casing and tortas filled with homemade soyrizo and al pastor-spiced mushrooms, but there are also non-boring salads. We see your sad mixed greens elsewhere and raise you watermelon jazzed up with mint and tajin, or pastrami-seasoned snap peas with thousand island. Whatever you do, just don't forget to add a side of queso and chips.

Tofu doesn't have a stellar reputation, but we're here to let you in on the fact that Tamarind Tree's lemongrass grilled tofu is phenomenal, and the best iteration of coagulated soybean curd in town. Eating it feels like driving a brand new convertible home right off the sales floor, without paying interest ever. It has a charred sear from the grill, and it’s flavorful with salty, grassy heat, even throughout the middle—a place that tofu marinade seldom reaches.

Some of the best pasta at this Wallingford Italian spot happens to be totally vegetarian—the Forest Floor Frenzy, complete with homemade pappardelle, a fistful of mushrooms, sherry-laced cream, and walnuts for crunch is a perfect example. Tube-shaped noodles in marinara topped with broiled mozzarella and fresh basil is another. And, you can always expect rotating specials sans meat, like gnocchi in roasted cauliflower parmesan sauce. Be sure to add on some fontina-stuffed saffron arancini to start, and don't be afraid of the actual bicycle suspended above you and your side salad.

Kamonegi in Fremont specializes in homemade soba and tempura, many of which do include meat and/or seafood. But some of the most fantastic options here are vegetable-based, like blistered shishito peppers with miso ranch, fried eggplant with dashi, curry seiro with mozzarella and leek, and outstanding kabocha tempura (that you can order without the duck glaze it usually comes with). Chase it all with habanero-infused plum sake, which happens to be made of plants, too.

Cook Weaver is a self-proclaimed “inauthentic Eurasian” restaurant that happens to have a vegetarian tasting menu. You’ll find dishes like stinging nettle dumplings with yellow split pea butter and taleggio, or a maitake mushroom steak with truffled mashed potatoes and roasted vegetable jus. Also, the walls are covered in an impressive mural of a Russian folk tale that was painted in 1930. Use that fact to show off anybody you bring here.

The vegetarian options in South Lake Union are few and far between, but we really like Kati’s entire menu. From garlicky fried jackfruit on sticky rice to pumpkin curry with tofu, it all makes for a tasty lunch. Say you’re in charge of planning a lunch and you want to do something kind-of-healthy without resorting to Evergreens—this is your spot.

If your friends eat meat, take them to Cafe Flora anyway, and maybe just conveniently forget to mention that the menu is 100% vegetarian. This place is a reminder that naturally meatless things like nettle risotto, cheesy mashed potato tacos, and Italian black bean burgers with sun-dried tomato jam and basil pesto aioli are tasty no matter what you think about tofu. And you’ll feel like you’re eating in a greenhouse.

Guanaco’s serves delicious pupusas, and they’re made to order which is the best way to eat these little stuffed pockets of masa. We like ours with cheese and roasted cactus, but you can get ones with beans, spinach, jalapeño, and/or loroco, which is a type of tropical flower similar to chard. It’s an ideal quick dinner before bar-hopping on the Ave.

Eggs And Plants serves great falafel, but that’s not your only vegetarian option here. You can also get a sandwich with fried eggplant or shakshuka-braised eggs, plus hummus, tahini, a citrusy cabbage salad, pickled vegetables, and french fries. Add a fresh mint lemonade slushie, and then start petitioning that henceforth, all sandwiches everywhere should come stuffed with fries.

Chu Minh’s BBQ “pork” bánh mì is a very delicious and convincing stand-in for the real thing, and it happens to be all vegan. Not only that, but they have nine different plant-based meat substitutes to fill your sandwich with, from “spicy lemongrass chicken” to “sesame beef.”

We could write sonnets about Kezira Cafe’s slow-cooked potatoes with carrots and cabbage. But we could also write some romantic stanzas about the yekik alicha too. And the garlicky green beans. OK, every vegetable in this fantastic Ethiopian restaurant is getting a love note. Kezira is a great place to scoop split peas up with injera, and while there are a ton of meat options, this is the best place in the neighborhood for vegetarians. Especially considering they have a $12 meatless lunch special with an assortment of lentils, potatoes, and greens.

We love what Homer does with things that grow in the ground. We’re talking about things like squash with tangy fermented poblanos and fried bread in a garlicky almond broth, grilled beets with pomegranate molasses, poppy seeds, and green tahini, and delicious mezze like hummus and labneh. Show up with a group, order a bunch of small plates, and get extra plates of puffy pita—followed by swirls of homemade soft serve in flavors like popcorn or salted date.

If you thought french fries were the best plant-based drinking food around, this spot in Ballard will make you reconsider. They serve vegan burgers, chick'n sandwiches, and Field Roast hot dogs that are actually tasty, like a breakfast-inspired version with hash browns, meatless chorizo, grilled onions, and chipotle aioli. Get some crinkle fries, too, and you're set.

Most of the dishes on the Itto's tapas menu are vegetarian, so you can build a mix-and-match meal of small plates like manchego croquettes, tortilla española, lima bean fritters, and eggplant-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese. Add some glasses of wine, and you’ve got yourself a romantic date night out (even if you’re still wearing the leggings you did a spin class in).

The Flora Bakehouse has a very aesthetically-pleasing rooftop that's perfect for spreading out at a picnic table with an iced cardamom rose latte and a croissant that will end up flaking all over the place. If you're hungry for something larger, this exclusively vegetarian bakery also serves breakfast sandwiches, frittata, and vegan burritos.

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