It’s not just tofu anymore. Vegetarian dining in eastern CT.

In a world teeming with cheeseburgers, steak and bacon, it can be hard to find a good vegetarian meal. Far too many restaurants offer only pastas as their vegetarian alternative, which isn’t conducive to the waistline if eaten too often. And plain old salads just don’t fill you up.

We’re lucky in eastern Connecticut, as some vegetarian treasures have popped up all over the region. In downtown New London, we have the unique Mangetout Organic Cafe, a very cool addition to the city’s artsy atmosphere. The cafe offers breakfast, lunch and entrees, as well as some delectable desserts. Their salads aren’t just lettuce and cucumbers – try the Tuna Salade Nicoise, or the Greek Rice Pilaf salad for something different. They also make a mean falafel, as well as numerous other wraps and panini.  Tofu, tempeh, and vegan dishes prevail here, and everything is fabulous. Guaranteed to make a believer out of anyone thinking of going vegetarian.

In Norwich, the exquisite Spa at Norwich Inn’s restaurant, Kensington’s, has a wonderful selection of vegetarian meals including soups, appetizers, and salads as well as entrees. The maple roasted butternut squash and pecan bisque is to die for, and the baked Portabella appetizer is an amazing choice. Their entrees include a vegetable creation of the day, four-grain Polenta, and a vegan cassoulet (smoked mushroom and potato dumplings).If you’re a Pisco vegetarian (fish-eating), there are a number of seafood dishes to choose from like baked cod, seafood Scampi, or salmon.

If you’re looking for a casual vegetarian dinner and you’re in the Mystic area, Pizzetta is the way to go. They offer a number of vegetarian options for their pizzas, as well as gluten free crusts and dairy free cheese. Choose from pizzas like Veggie Pesto, White Greek, Spinach Leaf, or Veggie Garden, or create your own from their list of veggie toppings. Great salads here too!

If you’re up north a bit, stop by the Willimantic Brewing Company for some vegetarian chili, the best in the area, in my opinion.

Take heart my veggie friends – there’s a meal in eastern Connecticut with your name on it!

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