Editor's Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.
Anyone who is a vegan or vegetarian knows that it’s important to have a few good restaurants in your back pocket that both you and your omnivore friends would enjoy. After coming to the University of Richmond, I had to completely start from scratch and build up an arsenal of my go-to sites in the city of Richmond. Luckily, this area is full of trendy locales, and on my hunt for my favorite restaurant, I’ve discovered many plant-based options. Here are my honest reviews of them:
Lolita’s, located in Carytown, has both an extensive menu and an aesthetically pleasing dining area. On their dinner menu, there’s both vegan and meat tacos available. I tried the vegan chorizo taco, which along with the meatless chorizo had fried avocado. The fried avocado balanced out the spiciness of the chorizo and created an interesting texture combination. Their guacamole and salsas were fresh and flavorful, but I did have to pay for chips and salsa, which seems pretty atypical at a Mexican restaurant. All in all, I liked Lolitas’ food and atmosphere, and would give it a 9/10.
Another popular locale for UR students, Toast’s close location to campus on Three Chopt Road made it easy to pop in for a weekend brunch. There are not too many vegan breakfast options, but there are plenty of vegetarian options and a few vegan meals on the lunch menu. I tried the thai wrap with sweet potato tater tots. It cost a bit more than a vegetable wrap would at Tyler’s Grill, but it did come with a choice of a side. The wrap had a great balance with the fresh crunchy vegetables and sweet vinaigrette, and the tater tots were amazing with the house-made ketchup. For its proximity to campus and great food, I give Toast a 6/10. I hope it adds some vegan options to the brunch menu.
Sabai brings together a menu of authentic Thai food and a fun atmosphere. The lighting
and swing bench seats were a perfect backdrop for fun pictures with my friends, and each dish had enough food to split with another person or two. There were plenty of meatless options on the menu, though they were not marked whether or not they were vegan or vegetarian, so that’s a question to ask the waiter. I got the classic pad thai, which was light and flavorful with the fresh bean sprouts and green onion, as well as filling with the large portion. With the reasonable prices, I had to give it a 8/10, docking two points for the lack of menu denotations stating if the dishes are vegan/vegetarian.
This UR students’ favorite had plenty of plant-based options for dinner. I visited the Carytown location, but there is also one in Short Pump. There were plenty of labeled vegan and vegetarian options, and I ended up sharing the hummus plate as an appetizer and having the teriyaki bowl for my main course. The hummus and pita to dip with it were incredible, but the teriyaki bowl was just okay. The teriyaki sauce was yummy, but the vegetables were not cooked very well, even though they were the main focus of the dish. As for the prices, they were fair considering the freshness of the ingredients, but I was given less food than I would have expected for the price paid. I give The Daily Kitchen a 6/10.
All in all, Richmond is a great place to be if you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet, and has plenty of good places to go and eat with your friends, whether they share your dietary restrictions or not. Overall, Sabai and Lolita’s were my favorites, but I’m excited to keep on exploring the Richmond food scene.
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