Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America

Plant-based Cuisine Proves Popular at Long-Running and New Restaurants; California and New York Eateries Lead, Followed by Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The Luxonomist. 16/10/2015

In celebration of World Vegetarian Day and Vegetarian Awareness Month, OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), unveiled the 52 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Moosewood 1
Moosewood Restaurant. Click for more information

Featuring many of the restaurants that helped establish the vegan and vegetarian eating movements, such as Moosewood in Ithaca, New York, and Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, as well as newer vegetable-centric eateries that have moved plant-based cuisine into the mainstream, such as Al’s Place in San Francisco and Vedge inPhiladelphia, the complete list features winning restaurants in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

Sublime 1
Sublime Restaurant. Click for more information

California has 15 winning restaurants, followed by New York with 13, Pennsylvania with six, and Maryland with four.Illinois, Oregon, and Washington all have two eateries. Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina,Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin are also represented.

Al's Place
Al’s Place Restaurant. Click for more information

Vegan restaurants represent 21 spots on the list, as do vegetarian-friendly eateries; vegetarian restaurants account for the remaining ten. While most of the winning restaurants have deep ties to growers and emphasize seasonal, farm-to-table dishes, a host of global cuisines proved popular, including Afghan, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, and Shojin. A significant percentage of honorees easily accommodate diners with gluten allergies or sensitivities.

Al's Place 3
Al’s Place Restaurant. Click for more information

«Whether these restaurants serve vegan, vegetarian, or vegetarian-friendly fare, fruits and vegetables are given the star treatment at each establishment,» said Caroline Potter, Chief Dining Officer at OpenTable. «From omnivores seeking to indulge in the best of the season’s natural bounty to diners who prefer a sustainable, meatless diet, eaters of every appetite can discover delicious plant-based dining experiences at any of these outstanding spots.»

Vedge 1
Vedge Restaurant. Click for more information

Of the vegetable-forward food movement, Matthew Kenney, renowned chef and CEO and founder of Matthew Kenney Cuisine and culinary academy added, «The market is blossoming all over the world for plant-based cuisine. It’s just expected now that all progressive restaurants will have a vegetarian tasting menu or vegan items on the menu.» 

Vedge 2
Vedge Restaurant. Click for more information

The OpenTable data science team used natural language processing techniques to identify all semantically related phrases that refer to the concept of a vegetarian or vegetarian-friendly restaurant. For each restaurant, they then identified reviews that contain these key phrases (qualifying reviews). A final score was assigned to a restaurant based on a combination of three scores: the percentage of qualifying reviews, a score based on the sentiment expressed in the relevant portion of these reviews, as well as the «overall» star-ratings associated with these reviews. The complete list may also be viewed here.


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