Astoria is a great place to be a vegetarian - more and more vegetarian options are finding their way to the menus throughout town. Here are some of the best places to find vegetarian dishes in Astoria.
Mundo has one of the best, most varied menus for vegetarians. Its signature dish, red sonja, is a protein-packed, delicious meal -- on the menu as an appetizer but plenty for a light dinner -- made with red lentils and spices, with portions to be wrapped in accompanying lettuce leaves (don't forget the squirt of lemon!). The rest of their appetizer menu is chock full of vegetarian options as well, from an amazing carrot dip, to the grilled halloumi, to the wonderful falafel.
Its salads are all vegetarian and there are a couple of entrees for vegetarians, including a revamping of the manti into a veggie version, tiny Turkish dumplings stuffed with spinach and yogurt.
The Queens Kickshaw's menu is 100% vegetarian - truly unique, even for veggie-friendly Astoria. And the food is really top notch. Its well-regarded grilled cheese sandwiches are artfully prepared with delicious salad sides. These sandwiches are all excellent, but the Gouda really stands out with its inventive combination of salty, sweet, and spicy.
The Kickshaw also offer cheese plates made from both pasteurized and raw cheeses. Each cheese comes with bread and a condiment that matches the cheese. You can eat it all with one of its excellent cups of coffee, or even with a craft beer or glass of wine. The sides -- especially the tomato soup -- are also delicious.
Seva is Astoria's most popular Indian restaurant, and there's a reason for that. Seva serves consistently delicious Indian food at reasonable prices. There's a section of the menu devoted specifically to vegetarian and vegan dishes, which is a hit parade of classic vegetarian items - saag paneer, malai kofta, and channa masala, just to name a few.
Apart from the dedicated vegetarian menu, there are vegetaian appetizers and soups, and all the desserts are vegetarian (but not vegan). The extensive kinds of naan are also vegetarian.
Seva offers both lunch and dinner specials, which are very reasonably priced, and both contain great choices for vegetarians.
Il Bambino, Astoria's most favored panini spot, has many vegetarian items on the menu, despite its love of pork. The vegetarian panini and crostini also tend to be on the less expensive side of the menu, too. Il Bambino's flavor combinations are excellent, so vegetarians should find something truly delightful there.
Il Bambino also offer cheese plates, with cheese sourced from Murray's Cheese in Manhattan. And the olive bowl, though simple, is a satisfying appetizer. The salads and tapas are terrific small plates. You could really make a meal out of that alone. Dishes that have stayed on the menu for ages -- because they are smash hits among Bambino's customers -- include the chickpea panzanella and the baby string beans. The roasted carrot salad is also delicious.
Il Bambino has a terrific wine selection, as well as some nice beers, to go with all the gorgeous food. Desserts are also very good, including house-made brownies!
For something a little different, Wave Thai is one of the best Thai restaurants in Astoria for vegetarians. With its noodles, wok, curry, and fried rice dishes, you can get anything listed with a choice of vegetarian duck, vegetarian chicken, tofu, or simply vegetables. Its vegetarian duck in particular is a nice attempt at mimicking actual duck, all the way down to the faux skin dimples.
Wave Thai also has a selection of vegetarian items on the appetizer, salad, and soup sections of its menu. The sticky rice is some of the best in the neighborhood, and is vegetarian friendly as well.
Finally, even meat-oriented places serve veggie burgers, and Astoria has a great selection of veggie burgers for those eschewing meat. Sparrow Tavern, BareBurger, and 5 Napkin Burger all have something for vegetarians, not to mention awesome milkshakes, too.