So you meet someone new and decide to go out for a bite to eat. Then it happens. You hear the “V” word. He or she is a vegetarian. Yikes. What’s a sworn, hardcore meat eater to do? Is it a deal-breaker? Not necessarily.
Fortunately, there are more options than ever for carnivores and vegetarians to break bread and have a civil meal at some of the best vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Anaheim. In fact, you can find some of the best vegetarian dishes at places you would least expect.
The following list serves as a solid guide of places to eat that satisfy both meat and vegetarian diets. Now, if only you meat lovers could get past the disapproving glances from your date.
If you want to ease into your uneasy communion, the Den is a good, friction-less destination where you both can find something right up your alley.
It’s a casual, funky, charming location right on Center Street Promenade with vegetarian dishes that include the Quinoa Veggie Burger, Vegetable Lasagna, and Vegetarian Chicken Enchiladas. They also have several good vegan options—including the Vegan Chicken Wrap, hummus and pita, and a green salad.
Carnivores, on the other hand, will feast upon the Cubano Press with slow-roasted pork, spiced ham and pepper jack. Or the Carved Roast Beef Sandwich smothered with provolone, caramelized onions and horseradish aioli.
Next up is ADYA in the Packing House, a hip, vegetarian-friendly food bar serving up inventive Indian street food and craft beer. Here a clever vegetarian could probably fool a devout carnivore into ordering a vegetarian meal and he or she would be none the wiser.
There’s the Pav Bhaji, a very meaty tasting veggie Sloppy Joe. And there’s also the Kaathi Rolls which are griddled wraps served with Chutney, some with chicken or lamb, but some vegetarian. They also have some nice kebabs and curries with Tandoori Chicken and the classic favorite Chicken Tikka Masala for something a little more hearty.
Just across Farmers Park from the Packing House is Umami Burger. This is carnivore heaven with a large menu of burgers with some very interesting flavors and ingredients. The word Umami can be translated from its Japanese origin as a “pleasant savory taste” and is considered there as one of the five basic tastes (in addition to sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness).
Their beef burgers include the anything-but-basic “Umami” with parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and Umami ketchup. There’s also the Truffle Burger, Sunny Side, and the popular Manly, plus ahi and turkey burgers.
But their Falafel Burger will satisfy any diehard vegetarian with its falafel patty, beet infused couscous, crushed avocado, romaine, and tzatziki. There are excellent salads too, including the Roasted Portobello and the Truffled Beet.
If you really want to do your vegetarian friend a solid you should probably take them to Healthy Junk. Close your eyes and point at the menu and you’ll find some kind of vegetarian or vegan option that’s guaranteed to please.
Most of their dishes contain some kind of meat substitute, possibly with a funny name, like the Philly Chez Stake. They also have “Junky Tex-Mex” tacos with “meaty” crumbles, “Fish” Tacos, and a “Better” BLT with “Bacon.”
One dish both carnivores and vegetarians alike can agree on is the Bunny Love cake with freshly grated carrots and vanilla frosting for dessert.
Find directions to check out the vegetarian-friendly restaurants listed above.