Restaurants with good vegetarian options?

vegan seitan dishCD asks via Twitter:

Can anybody recommend Albany area restaurants that use local ingredients and have a veggie friendly menu?

We checked to clarify that CD was looking for vegetarian options. Or as CD responded:

Vegetarian options from local sources. #NoBagSalads

It seems more restaurants are offering vegetarian options, though the choices aren't always engaging. That said, some spots have given it a surprising shot. 677 Prime, the fancy pants steakhouse, recently had a vegetarian tasting menu -- we tried it, and while not every course was a hit, there were some interesting dishes. (The best dish involved carrots prepared a few different ways -- it was really good.)

And that points to one of the reasons to be curious about vegetarian options, even if you're not a vegetarian: going meat free often prompts a different, more interesting take on food.

So we're curious to hear about people's vegetarian favorites. Got a suggestion for CD? Please share!

Earlier on AOA:
+ Vegan dishes worth trying -- even if you're not a vegan
+ Hungry for Shades of Green


Mingle and New World Bistro both have excellent vegetarian (and vegan) menu options, proudly sourced locally.


The Hollow is hands down the best mix of vegetarian options without going ethnic. If you go ethnic I would recommend, Kinnaree, or one of the vast Indian restaurants around town.

I don't know how local the ingredients are, but my veggie favorites (my partner and I are both veggie and moved to Albany last year) are Parivar on Central in Colonie (an all-veg Indian cafe and grocery store), and, to be perfectly honest, Bombers. The latter probably isn't really what you're looking for, but I can't recommend Parivar highly enough. Looking forward to hearing other suggestions!

New World Bistro Bar! There are also lots of other vegetarian friendly ethnic restaurants (Van's, all the Indian places, Pho Yum, etc.) but it's hard to know if they procure their ingredients from local sources.

My favorite vegetarian pick is Parivar. The whole place is vegetarian south Indian street food. But their ingredients are not local.

Neither is the vegetarian food at Ala Shanghai. I called in advance for a special vegetarian feast, and as usual, Lanny and his team came up with something that exceeded expectations:

Looking for interesting vegetarian food sourced from local farms is a more difficult task.

Sweet Sue's can do lunch and brunch with seasonal, local produce sourced from the Troy farmers market. Her place is small, but very cute, and has delicious desserts as well.!lunch-gallery/c14s0

The crowd favorite will be New World Bistro Bar. Many will probably direct you to Antipastos in Clifton Park as well. The former does indeed have some good stuff, but I found the food from the latter to be inedible.

Placid Baker in Troy always has a great vegetarian sandwich option. I eat meat and opt for it sometimes.

I agree with the Mingle and New World options. Tara Kitchen in Schenectady has some great options, as does Ali Baba in Troy.

The Placid Baker on Broadway in downtown Troy sources locally and usually has veggie soup, salad and sandwich options. Not open for dinner, though.

For lunch I'd recommend Dali Mamma in downtown Albany

From the Garden on lark street is a good choice. They're ingrediants are local and veggie friendly.

The Pump Station has a bunch of good veggie options.

There are of course lots of vegetarian friendly Indian, Mexican and Asian places around.

The Hungry Fish Cafe comes to mind. Sarah Fish is opening a new venture, Cafe Congress, in Troy, and I'm sure that will also have lots of vegetarian options. She sources everything local, and even house-makes all the condiments and sauces!

Mexican Radio is very veggie friendly and they use some locally sourced products. Lucas Confectionery in Troy has a changing menu, but always features some vegetarian bites.

i agree with so many of the awesome choices above. if you don't mind driving the 30 minutes out of albany, in chatham there is Our Daily Bread which is great for veggies!

and there is a picture of my sweet veggie sandwich on my blog post about chatham:

I ate at The Hollow Bar on N. Pearl this week for the first time and was amazed by the selection of vegetarian dishes on the menu -- much more than I would expect from a bar food-pub type place. Have no idea how much is locally sourced but it was all tasty.

check out tara kitchen in schenectady, great lunch and dinner menu w/ ample vegetarian and vegan dishes, priced well too

Moon and River Cafe in Schenectady has one of the most extensive vegetarian menus around, covering many different cuisines. Be prepared to stay awhile, as it is all prepared on one small cooktop.

Vans on Central Avenue in Albany (off quail) is a fantastic Vietnamese place. They use vegetarian fish sauce for their veg friendly dishes. You MUST try the vegetarian broad noodle dish that has tofu and seitan. So addicting.

Carmen's Cafe in Troy has fantastic vegetarian and vegan options! Chef Chris gets some of his veggies from the community garden on the corner- doesn't get any more local than that!

Thanks for all the suggestions! Now I've got lunch & dinner plans for the rest of the summer :)

Persian Bite in Schenectady, Tara Kitchen in Schenectady, Van's Vietnamese in Albany, Mexican Radio in Schenectady, Pho Yum in Albany, New World Bistro in Albany.

Don't forget X's to O's bakery in Troy (97 4th St). They use as much local and organic stuff as they can for their super lunch specials & soup. They also have an awesome brunch by the pound every other weekend.

Ali Baba's on 16th street, not local, but great veggie shwarma and cold salad plate.

The Troy Farmer's Market on Saturdays has the local Mexican ladies' food booth, Thunder Mountain Curry also makes an awesome veggie plate in the summer. The Jamaican restaurant also has great veggie specials. The market itself also has a great atmosphere.

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