Being a vegetarian is hard, which is why I only do it sometimes, when I feel like it.
But not every bar and restaurant provides fantastic vegetarian options. For many pubs, you’ll be lucky to get a veggie burger which disintegrates when you glance at it or a quesadilla which makes your seasonal depression come back.
Don’t worry, though. I’m here to spice up your life with some hot veggie recommendations.
“But Josh, isn’t unhealthy to eat out all the time?” Who are you my doctor enough with the questions.
Claire’s Corner Copia: Fire Island Sandwich
Claire’s entire menu is excellent and has a ton of amazing vegetarian and vegan options. However, the Fire Island Sandwich maintains a special place in my heart because it does something vegetarian cuisine has a hard time doing: making a really good, satisfying sandwich.
Technically, it’s more of an open-faced sandwich drenched in cheese. But I count it.
It also does the buffalo chicken-like flavor very well. Did I mention it’s covered in cheese. Or vegan cheese, if you’re better than me.
The only downside is they don’t serve it with fries, but it’s a pretty huge sandwich and you’re not likely to walk away thinking you missed out on a pile of fries.
Location: 1000 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510
Order online: https://www.grubhub.com/restaurant/claires-corner-copia-1000-chapel-st-new-haven
Ninth Square Market Too Caribbean Style: Combo Plates
First of all, great name.
If you consider the quality of a restaurant by the sheer quantity of words, this is definitely one of the best restaurants in New Haven.
This lil’ hole-in-the-wall across from the Abandoned LiveWorkLivePlay Dream Parking Lot serves a variety of Caribbean-style vegan food and it’s all shockingly good. You pick a few proteins for like 10-12 bucks and you get this huge plate full of stuff. Last time I got these things which were not pork ribs but they were so much like pork ribs I was like am I… is this okay?
Location: 89 George St, New Haven, CT 06510
Order online: https://www.caribbeanstylevegan.com/
Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant: Lunch Buffet
Did you know that the unassuming Ethiopian restaurant right next to downtown stalwart Prime 16 actually has a very good lunch buffet for something like 12 bucks on weekdays?
And did you know that a fair amount of Ethiopian food is quite good, quite vegetarian, and also you get to eat that delicious sponge bread?
There’s just something about eating with your hands that makes you realize you’re nothing but decaying organic matter on a flying space rock.
They have meat dishes as well if you’re in mixed company.
Location: 176 Temple St, New Haven, CT 06510
Order online: https://www.grubhub.com/restaurant/lalibela-ethiopian-restaurant-176-temple-st-new-haven
They also have a food truck that’s probably somewhere.
Normally, when you’re at a bar they have some basic hummus and old carrots and you order it to be healthy and you eat it and it makes you realize you really didn’t need to put on real pants for this.
Yet Rawa has mastered a seemingly basic dish and elevated it to something I actually order out at a restaurant. It’s that’s good.
It’s not some fancy garlic-and-pepper-with-artichokes-and-heirloom-kittens or whatever hummus.
It’s just plain, awesome hummus.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try out Rawa’s dip sampler. They’ve got baba ganoush. They’ve got mujaddara. They’e got some avocado dip that isn’t Middle Eastern at all but who cares we all love avocados.
Location: 838 Whalley Ave, New Haven, CT 06515
Order online: https://www.rawainc.com/online-ordering
Rudy’s: Meatless Nugget Wrap
If you create a product called a Meatless Nugget Wrap, I will eat that product. If only to respect the absolute audacity of creating something called a Meatless Nuget and charging money for it. Goddamnit I’m in.
You know what? Pretty good, actually. And you get frites. With the aioli sauce.
Which means you can get Samurai Sauce which is the best sauce and there will be no arguments at this time.
Location: 1227 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06511
Order online: https://www.grubhub.com/restaurant/rudys-1227-chapel-st-new-haven
Food Mart on Whalley Ave
I don’t exactly know what this corner store is called, but it’s my corner store and it’s on Whalley Avenue and it sells two egg-and-cheese sandwiches for three dollars.
Let me repeat that. This store sells two egg-and-cheese sandwiches in the year 2022 for three dollars.
Is it the greatest egg-and-cheese sandwich you’ve ever had in your life? Well, I don’t know you. But, no.
Still, for three bucks. Are you kidding?
Good place to buy Rap Snacks, too.
Location: 538 Whalley Ave, New Haven, CT 06511
Order online: LOL
Honorable Mention: Firehouse 12
Okay, so people have been telling me to eat at Firehouse 12 for a long time. Which I haven’t done. Because Firehouse 12 was like one of my spots back when I was a professional Elm City Drunk. So it’s like… I don’t know, not a restaurant in my brain?
People tell me their vegan menu is bomb, though. People tell me things. So you should check it out.
Location: 45 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06510 though their website says they might be closed?? Idk.
Order online: https://firehouse12.eatzy.com/menu
What do you think? Did I miss anything? Do you just hate vegetables and need some kind of Meat List? Are you upset it isn’t just a list of pizzas?