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Fresh salads being made at the Sutra farm. (Photo Courtesy: Sutra)

5 of Seattle's best vegetarian restaurants

I was a vegetarian for seven years and a vegan for one week. (Turns out I like brunch with butter and eggs WAY too much to keep up the vegan lifestyle.) But what I learned during those seven years and one week is that Seattle is an amazing place to eat fantastic vegan and vegetarian food. I recently began putting meat back in my diet, but I still eat plenty of meatless meals because they're healthy and just plain delicious.Whether you're a vegan, a vegetarian, a pescetarian, trying Meatless Mondays, or just want to make sure a visiting friend or family member can eat at the restaurant you're visiting, there are lots of great reasons to try these five vegetarian Seattle restaurants.

Sutra. If you're not a vegan or a vegetarian, Sutra is probably what you imagine all vegetarian restaurants to be like. There is only one seating each evening, communal tables, and before you start eating your five courses, Chef Colin Patterson gives a sort of prayer/blessing that thanks all of the farmers who grow the lovely food you're about to eat.

But what you're probably not imagining is how absolutely divine the food is. I love cheese and I maintain that the vegan Pecan Cheese Tamale with Pomegranate Mole I had at Sutra is one of the best dishes I've ever had in my whole life. Unfortunately, you'll never get a chance to try it because Sutra's menu changes every two weeks, never to be repeated. However, every time I've visited it's been a delicious, unique, and very relaxing experience.

1605 N 45th St
Seattle, WA 98103
Best for: Dinner
Neighborhood: Wallingford

Moonlight Café. There are plenty of ways to eat vegan or vegetarian at many Asian restaurants, but Moonlight Café goes above and beyond. There are two full menus at this Central District favorite, one for meat eaters and one for vegetarians, so it's a great place for a mixed crowd of eaters. Try the vegan General Tso's "Chicken" or the vegan "Chicken" Pho if you've been missing meat and want a really great, tasty substitute.

Moonlight Café.
1919 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98144
Best for: Lunch or Dinner
Neighborhood: Central District

HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Cafe. HeartBeet (formerly Thrive) is a vegan restaurant, store, and juice bar all wrapped up in one healthy package. They serve lunch and dinner and mostly raw dishes, including a fantastic Mighty Thai Salad made with colorful shredded cabbage, carrots, basil, Medjool dates, cashews, and a spicy sauce. The balance of sweet, salty, and crunchy is perfect. I like visiting after eating things like Thanksgiving dinner or a plate full of holiday cookies.

HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Cafe
1026 NE 65th Street #A102
Seattle, WA 98115
Best for: Lunch
Neighborhood: Roosevelt District

Wayward Café. Wayward Vegan Café is the vegan version of a greasy spoon diner. This is where you go to eat when you haven't had butter or meat in ages and you just want to stop feeling so darn healthy all the time. Breakfast is the time to visit this Seattle favorite because of its huge menu filled with all of the usual favorites you'd find at a regular diner. Try the Country Fried Steak smothered in country gravy and served with golden hashbrowns and seasoned tofu. It'll definitely fill you up all day.

Wayward Café.
5253 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Best for: Breakfast
Neighborhood: University District

Café Yumm. This is a newcomer to the Seattle vegetarian scene, but Café Yumm is definitely worth a try whether you're vegan or a die-hard meat eater. I first discovered Café Yumm while living in Eugene, Oregon, a great mecca for all vegans. Café Yumm is known for its Yumm Bowl covered in Yumm Sauce. The sauce is absolutely addicting. I want to cover everything in it. It's also vegan. You can choose what you want in your bowl, so meat eaters can add chicken, while vegans can skip the sour cream.

Café Yumm
717 Pine St
Seattle, WA 98101
Best for: Lunch
Neighborhood: Downtown

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