By Beth Whitman, on May 26, 2013

All veggies, all the time

I became a vegetarian 23 years ago for health reasons and don’t regret the decision at all (and yes, I get plenty of protein).


Naturally, then, I’ve spent quite a while seeking out the very best restaurants in my hometown, Seattle. Over the years I’ve had vegetarian meals that are so good they bring tears to my eyes.


Here are some of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Seattle:

Torta Ahogado Sandwich at Cafe Flora


Café Flora

This is undoubtedly one of Seattle’s most popular vegetarian restaurants. Not only is the food good, but the atmosphere is bright and inviting, with an atrium that has a bubbling water fountain and lots of light.


My favorite meal at Café Flora is their weekend brunch. I usually start with a vegan cinnamon roll and move on to a tofu scramble or biscuits and vegan gravy. But I’ve been known to order their Torta Ahogado (a marinated tofu sandwich) if I’m looking for something heartier.



This raw-food restaurant in the Roosevelt neighborhood seems to have a steady stream of customers despite their high prices. But there’s good reason for the amount of business they do. The menu is extensive and includes everything from starters of stuffed mushrooms and spring rolls to huge bowls filled with the raw goodness of grains, kale, veggies, hummus, and cashew cream.


If you’ve got room in your tummy (I made room!), top it all off with a fresh fruit juice or smoothie.

Viewfinder Tip: Order a large grain bowl for a few dollars more and you’ll likely have enough left over for another meal or two.

Silence Heart Nest

I’ve always liked this smallish restaurant in the Fremont district for its hearty and affordable breakfasts. Servers, clad in saris and always smiling, offer up a wide range including omelets, pancakes, waffles, and veggie sausages. Arrive a little later and you can enjoy lunch, including comfort food with clever names, such as “neat loaf.”


The restaurant was opened by followers of Sri Chimnoy, an Indian spiritual master. You won’t find Indian-inspired food but you will find some religious materials around the restaurant. I’ve never felt pressured to become a follower.


Chaco Canyon

With two locations in Seattle, Chaco Canyon is all vegan and has a daily raw food menu. I often have lunch here because one of their locations is near my home. I also have been known to stop by for a Chocolate Chip Muffin, Cowboy Cookie, or slice of Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie.

Chaco Canyon chefs serve up sandwiches, grain bowls, salads, soups, and all-day breakfast, as well as juices and smoothies (which are a tad more affordable than the ones at Thrive).

  • Buddha Bowl at Thrive

  • Thrivelicious Bowl at Thrive

  • Waffles, eggs, and veggie sausage at Silence Heart nest

  • Fried Yams at Cafe Flora

  • Crispy Chicken’ Plate at Veggie Grill

  • Vegan Carrot Cake at Veggie Grill

  • Bali Bliss (tempeh) at Veggie Grill

  • Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter PIe at Chaco Canyon

  • Tofu Scramble sandwich at Chaco Canyon

  • Mighty Mofo (reuben) sandwich at Chaco Canyon


Plum Bistro

This spot on Capital Hill is one of the most recent additions to Seattle’s amazing vegan food scene and one of my favorite go-to places for dinner. What I love most is that it leans toward comfort food with dishes such as Mac ‘n’ Yease, Curry Yam Fries, and Gourmet Burgers.

It’s not cheap (a Tangy Pepper Seitan Burger will set you back $16) but the food is delish.


Veggie Grill

This restaurant is actually part of a chain with locations in California, Oregon, and Washington. The first time I read their menu, I didn’t understand why they were called Veggie Grill because there were a number of chicken items listed. But then I realized that it was faux chicken made from isolated soy protein and vital wheat gluten.


The food is very hearty and could really be called “transitional,” meaning perfect for meat eaters who want to dip their toe in the world of vegetarianism. My hubby (who is already mostly vegetarian) says this is now his favorite restaurant in Seattle. I’d agree.


What kinds of cuisine do you seek out when you travel?