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Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 11/16/2011

Where vegetarians can dine out on Thanksgiving


The savory salads, vegan pot pies and mac ‘n’ cheese are among the highlights on Everlasting Life Cafe’s vegan Thanksgiving menu. (Mark Gail - THE WASHINGTON POST)
Tofurky inventor Seth Tibbott, who grew up in Chevy Chase, would be proud. Vegans and vegetarians can dine well at many local meat-free eateries this Thanksgiving instead of having to assemble a meal from the side dishes bestowed upon them at a traditional turkey dinner. There’s no second-tiered treatment at these restaurants. Yum! All hours are for Thanksgiving.

Everlasting Life Cafe

This Capitol Heights cafe may not exude ambiance, but it has been dishing out its go-to goodies — savory salads (couscous, curried vegetables and oodles more), vegan pot pies and other edibles — for more than a decade. For Thanksgiving, head chef Elisheva Saunders (a vegan for more than 30 years) whips up her special menu of a stuffed vegan roast, squash soup, mac ‘n’ cheese and more. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Loving Hut

The newest vegan kid on the block, this international chain of more than 120 venues opened in Falls Church in March. The so-called cruelty-free cafe serves such American goodies as veggie burgers and sweet potato fries and Asian-inspired dishes such as fried rice. A vegan “turkey” and cranberry sauce will be served on Thanksgiving, along with scrumptious cakes from Vegan Treats, a Bethlehem, Pa., bakery. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Soul Vegetarian Cafe

Come to this comfort-food cafe on Georgia Avenue NW for a yummy vegan roast and cornbread stuffing along with its signature soul food — collard greens and yams. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sticky Fingers

This vegan “Cupcake Wars” TV show winner bakes everything from s’mores cupcakes and pumpkin muffins to savory sensations such as “Mac ‘n Teese” pasta. Order now for a full “Pilgrim Day” repast or an a la carte meal of garlic mashed potatoes, shitake gravy, rice-and-spinach stuffing and Gardein wheat gluten roast. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunflower Restaurant

This award-winning restaurant in Falls Church concocts its annual “Smoke Little Bird of Happiness,” a soy treasure brimming with walnuts, pecans, mushrooms, Okinawa purple sweet potatoes and more on “Tofurky Day.” To cap the meal: belt-loosening chocolate-cinnamon popcorn and homemade tiramisu.11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m.

The Vegetable Garden

Devour dumplings, California rolls, crispy black mushrooms and about 100 other tummy pleasers from the regular Hunan to Szechuan menu at this Rockville restaurant. Call in advance to reserve the special veggie faux turkey for dine-in or takeout. Noon-9:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Nov. 23 for order pick-up).

Vegetarian Society of D.C.

Don your best business-casual duds for an animal-friendly feast in the Hyatt Regency’s ballroom with roughly 250 other vegetarians and their pals. Sonal Goda, who organizes the shindig for the Vegetarian Society of D.C., says it’s an opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving with “like-minded people” and enjoy “a hearty gourmet meal and not having to worry about what you can and cannot eat.” On the menu: wild mushroom ravioli, pumpkin rolls and artichoke hummus. Online reservations close Sunday. Noon-4 p.m.$58; members $44; $36 ages 3-12. Price includes tax and tip.

Woodlands Indian Restaurant

This all-vegetarian restaurant cooks Southern and Northern Indian dishes, including tandoori paneer tikka, homemade cheese and veggies marinated in yogurt and roasted in a clay oven. An expanded weekend buffet will be offered for Thanksgiving. 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.

By Barbara J. Saffir  |  11:40 AM ET, 11/16/2011

Categories:  Restaurants

 
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