Food & Drink

Houston's Best Restaurants for Vegetarians

Published On 12/21/2015 Published On 12/21/2015
Pondicheri

Pondicheri

Upper Kirby

Though it’s not 100% vegetarian, this Indian fusion resto has plenty of plant-forward street eats on its menu, plus an always refreshing Meatless Monday special. Get paneer masala curries, smoked eggplant dosas, and black garbanzo buddha burgers before hitting their bake lab for some diabetes-inducing, chocolate-saffron-and-cardamom-laced sweets.

True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen

Galleria

TFK’s fresh/local/sustainable eats are completely crave-worthy and doctor approved. That means you can feel good about eating all the tofu chorizo burritos, butternut squash pizzas, and inside out quinoa burgers you could want. Also, you should get a “healthy” cocktail. Doctor’s orders. 

Doshi House

Third Ward

Locally roasted coffee and vegetarian goodness is the name of the game at this fan favorite cafe. Evening meals (after 5pm) consist of a rotating selection of globally-inspired vegan eats, including “not so” butter chicken, Creole-style red beans and rice, and Thai red curry; while lunch gives you the opportunity to smash things like vegetarian curried potato and muenster cheese panini or creamy garlic and mushroom soup.

Pepper Tree

Pepper Tree Veggie Cuisine

Greenway/Upper Kirby

Homestyle Asian fare goes fully vegan at this local veggie-first haunt. Get moo shu vegetable wraps, kung pao tofu, and vegan chicken curry; or hit their ever-popular buffet that is chock full of house favorites, plus things like chilled silken tofu, miso soup, vegan sushi, and house coconut cake.

Green Seed Vegan

Museum District

This plant-based cafe and juice bar pumps out bistro-style sandwiches and raw sides that will give momentary meat amnesia. Get hand-cut dill fries to stuff inside loaded veggie burgers and portobello mushroom “cheesesteaks,” dip crispy cauliflower nuggets in hot sauce, or go full beast-mode on a protein-packed kale and quinoa bowl.

Quan Yin

Chinatown

Vegetarian and vegans know this family-style Vietnamese spot is worth the trip to Asiatown. Their eggless egg rolls and vegetable pho are highly revered; and those looking for meat substitutes will be more than satisfied by their faux chicken, beef, and fish mixed with all things sweet, spicy, and hot. 

Coltivare

Coltivare 

Heights

Its name being Italian for “grow” -- this rustic pizza place and garden is fresh as hell thanks to the bounty of herbs and produce that come straight from its 3,000sqft side garden. Start with walnut gremolata-dipped arancini, local beets, or a pickled butternut squash salad before indulging in a satisfyingly rich, balsamic-glazed ricotta gnocchi or mushroom and cauliflower topped pie. Your meat-loving friends just may be convinced to skip the house salumi.

Indika

Indika

Montrose

This older, slightly more mature sister to the aforementioned Pondicheri boasts plenty of vegetarian foodstuffs in the form of progressive Indian eats. Get deliciousness like saffron-laced red beet soup, sweet potato samosa chaat, cashew masala stuffed egg plant, and black bean biryani.

Aladdin Mediterranean Cuisine

Montrose

Houstonians flock to this Montrose cafeteria-style staple, and it's not just for the fall-off-the-bone lamb shank. The colorful Mediterranean spread that awaits you as soon as you walk in the door also has plenty of stuff vegetarians will love, including but not limited to spicy hummus and creamy baba ghanoush, tabouli, crispy cauliflower, and falafel -- all of which you’ll scoop up with warm, freshly baked pita, and then some hot sauce, because Texas.

Shri Balaji Bhavan

Gulfton

This fully vegetarian fast-casual haunt brings the heat with South Indian fare that will have you completely OK with the fact that you’re not eating bacon. Snack on an excellent lineup of chaat, samosa, and puri and get a bigger than the plate masala or sag paneer dosa. Or, if you’re craving everything on the menu -- go for the thali, a traditional variety plate filled with all the good stuff. And mostly all of it will cost you less than a Hamilton.

Oxheart Restaurant

Oxheart

Downtown/Warehouse District

Husband and wife team chefs Justin Yu and Karen Man are changing the way Houstonians think about faceless food through an array of intricately plated, brilliantly intense plates. With dishes like mung bean pancake stuffed with braised mustards, potato, and miso, their seasonally inspired six-course Garden tasting menu remains the gold standard for how to eat without meat.

Green Vegetarian Cuisine

Green Vegetarian Cuisine

Bellaire

This San Antonio import impresses with a solid roster of of soul satisfying eats of the vegetarian, vegan, and kosher variety. Nosh on avocado eggs Benny smothered in chipotle hollandaise, falafel bowls with quinoa tabouli, “chik-n” parmesan, and 100% vegan cupcakes. And do it all on the cheap.

Cafe TH

EaDo

This tiny Vietnamese cafe has a cult following thanks to its great prices, energetic owner/chef/front of house man, and excellent grub, of course. Homestyle Vietnamese favorites like banh bot chien and tofu spring rolls make excellent starters; while vegan and vegetarian phos, curries, banh mi, and vermicelli bowls will keep you happy. And to make you doubly happy, it’s BYOB.

Ruggles Green Woodlands

Ruggles Green

CityCentre/Heights/River Oaks/Sugar Land/Woodlands

Meat-free eats run the gamut from soups and salads to burgers and pastas at these popular fast-casual cafes. Treat yo’self to honey-fried goat cheese & arugula salad, absolutely loaded portobello mushroom and black bean tacos, quinoa mac & cheese, and wood-fired local veggie pies. Then finish it white chocolate bread pudding because you deserve it.

Hobbit Cafe

Upper Kirby

If Bilbo Baggins were in Houston, he’d be all over this cozy, Shire-like cafe. The restaurant stopped being strictly vegetarian in the '70s, but you’ll still find plenty of plant-friendly eats in portion fit for at least a couple of hobbits. Get everything from black bean burgers and zucchini and eggplant enchiladas to The Shire, an avocado, tabouli and tomato sandwich. And because vegetarians like mimosas, there’s also boozy brunch.

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