Veg out: The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Marin

Pearl Zhong

Whether you’re a vegetarian, a vegan, or just want to go out for a meatless meal, the Bark has you covered on the top vegetarian restaurants in Marin: Cafe del Soul, The Plant, Veggie Grill and Lotus Chaat & Spices. These restaurants were reviewed based on quality of food, vegetarian/vegan options, ambience and price.

 

Cafe del Soul (⅗)

The Cilantro Lime-ilicious ($7.00) was freshly
The Cilantro Lime-ilicious ($7.00) was freshly “made with love.”

Neighboring the Shoreline Highway is Cafe del Soul, a locally founded restaurant in Mill Valley. Cafe del Soul has a wide assortment of wraps, salads, soups, bowls, smoothies and freshly-pressed juices that are all, as written on the takeout bag, “made with love.” Everything on the menu starts out as a vegetarian dish, and customers can choose between tofu and chicken options. I ordered the Cilantro Lime-ilicious($7.00) which consisted of feta cheese, brown rice, spinach and cilantro lime vinaigrette wrapped in a wheat tortilla. Although served in filling portions, the wrap was much too overpowered by the taste of lime, and the tofu lacked flavor. Despite this, the food was served quickly by the restaurant’s attentive staff. Succulents line the wooden countertops and tables, giving off a modern rustic design and a casual ambience—perfect for a quick fuel up.

 

 

Veggie Grill (⅘)

Veggie Grill was recently introduced to the Town Center in 2014, and is another restaurant that serves an array of diets. Unlike Cafe del Soul and The Plant, Veggie Grill offers meat upon customer request and all dishes on the menu are free of meat, dairy, eggs and animal products. Meat alternatives are made from soybeans and wheat, and chao cheese, made from tofu and coconut, substitutes as a vegan option, according to the menu.  I ordered the vegan cheeseburger ($9.95) with a side of fries, and the chao cheese, despite being thinner in consistency, tasted surprisingly similar to dairy-based cheese. Although slightly greasy, the vegan meat was well-seasoned and complemented the vegan cheese, chipotle ranch, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles nicely. Compared to the four restaurants, Veggie Grill’s ambiance tops the list, as chic ceiling lamps work well with with the modern orange and green color theme.

 

The Plant (5/5) 

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Nestled in Strawberry Village, The Plant is an organic, vegetarian-friendly cafe that prepares its dishes with fresh, locally grown produce. Many of the dishes served are vegan and gluten-free, and substitutes like tofu and vegan meats are also offered. The Avocado & Grapefruit salad was both nutty and tangy, as arugula, macadamia nuts, fennel, grapefruit and avocado were thoroughly tossed in a nut dressing, the refreshing taste compensating for the higher price of $11.25. Much like Cafe del Soul, The Plant’s interior is homey and laid-back, a good choice for informal, delicious dining.

 

Lotus Chaat & Spices (4/5)

For those who enjoy Indian Cuisine, Lotus Chaat & Spices is an excellent choice for quick and traditional dishes. Similar to the other restaurants reviewed, all of the items on the menu begin as a vegetarian dish, branching off to a variety of meat options if desired. In addition, most dishes can be prepared vegan or gluten free upon customer request. The Pav Bhaji ($9.99), consisting of a potato vegetable curry served with bread rolls, was served very quickly. Although the portions were small, the curry tasted well-spiced and had an even consistency. As for ambience, Lotus Chaat & Spices was very casual, with traditional Indian paintings and designs lining the interior.