Vegetarian restaurants may be hard to come by, but good vegetarian restaurants are even harder to come by. Worry not: whether you’re a vegetarian, you have vegetarian friends, or you maybe want to seriously give “Meatless Monday” a try, I have found the two best local restaurants with a variety of vegetarian options to please your palate.
Ambrosia Indian Bistro
The first restaurant on this short list is one of the best Indian food restaurants—and restaurants in general—I’ve been to. While it’s a little pricy and not entirely vegetarian, it is sure to impress omnivores and herbivores alike. Before you go, you may want to brush up on your linguistic skills, or else you might end up like me, hopelessly failing at trying to order something that isn’t easily pronounced.
Nevertheless, with an extensive vegetarian menu and even an impressive number of options for you vegans out there, the food is delicious. The appetizers, particularly the samosa, are fantastic.
As for entrees go, be sure to try the malai kofta: cheese and vegetable dumplings smothered in sauce that will appeal to your tastes, regardless of whether you eat meat. The aloo gobi is also impressive, though a little on the spicy side. In fact, there is a variety of spicy foods to choose from—just ask your waiter.
As for desserts, the galub jamun, perfectly sweet milk dumplings in a delectable sauce, is fantastic, and you haven’t lived until you’ve had some truly excellent coffee from Ambrosia.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more across-the-board, try Monterey’s Tillie-Gort’s. From veggie burgers to pastas to Mexican food alike, they’ve got it all, and you’re sure to be greeted with lovely service. It’s slightly more affordable than Ambrosia, but I must warn you meat-eaters that the only meat you’ll find is chicken, which can (sometimes) be substituted for its preferred vegetarian counterpart.
The place has a homey feel, and it’s obvious why it’s been rated “Best Restaurant for Vegetarians” in the MontereyPeninsula for 17 years running. From classics such as eggplant bruschetta and vegetarian paella, which happens to be my favorite, to more creative dishes such as the “No Meat Loaf,” which is packed with vegetables, cheese, breadcrumbs and other goodies, Tille-Gort’s has everything going for it.
The portions are fantastic, and the food always comes fresh and piping-hot; in fact, it’s often so hot it’s steaming, and you have to wait for it to cool down. There’s even an array of desserts available, though I’m often so full I can barely eat a bite. To put it frankly, it’s my favorite restaurant around, and ask anyone: I’m not easily impressed.