I just felt like highlighting some of the places that I’ve come to love on those days when I want to get out and let someone else make my food (I just had lunch so food is on my brain).
1. Chipotle – I LOVE Chipotle. I have for some time now and that love didn’t die when I stopped eating meat; I just changed what I order. I used to get a chicken bowl, now I just get a veggie bowl loaded with black beans and lettuce (and usually without rice). The Chipotle by my job even offers a meat substitute, but I prefer getting the veggie bowl cause then I don’t have to pay extra for guacamole.
2. Salad Creations – This is probably my FAVORITE place to go for lunch (there’s one close to my job). Anything you can think to put on a salad they have. Plus they have red wine and balsamic vinegar for those days when I don’t want a fatty dressing.
3. zpizza – I lived right by a zpizza for years and never tried it until after I gave up meat & dairy and learned they offer a dairy free cheese substitute. Now I love this place. Every pizza I’ve had here has been delicious. Like most other pizza places, they have online ordering and delivery.
4. Subway – When ever I want to spend no more than $5 on lunch, I go to Subway. The Veggie Delite does me right.
5. Veggie Grill – Every now and then I get the hankerin’ for a burger, just without the meat (and the fat and the cholesterol that comes with it). When I do, I usually go to Veggie Grill for lunch. While this isn’t my favorite vegan restaurant, it does have a number of tasty menu items that I enjoy.
6. Native Foods Cafe – Ok, THIS in my favorite vegan restaurant so far. If only there were one close to me… *sigh* Going to Native Foods is always a treat. It’s great for omnis and carnis alike. I’ve taken a few friends there and they all liked what they had.
7. “Ethnic” Restaurants – Why does it seem like every other type of cuisine is 20-times more vegetarian friendly than American cuisine? If going out, I love places that serve Thai, Greek/Mediterranean, Indian, Afghan/Pakistan, etc… Point being I can usually find some great “fare” at a restaurant that serves food other than American.
8. Burger Joints – So now that I’ve talked all this mess about American cuisine, I will say that most burger chains (think Red Robin, Johnny Rockets, etc) do offer a veggie burger. This usually isn’t my first choice of places to go (I’d much rather hit up Native Foods for a “Chicken Run Ranch Burger”), but if I’m with people who want to go to a burger place or if I want a burger, but don’t wanna make it and don’t feel like driving to LA or the OC, I’ll just settle for the nearest burger place that’ll give me a veggie patty.
So there’s my list. I’m sure this list will grow as I continue trying new places, but this is what it is for now.