OpenTable Announces Top Restaurants for Vegetarians

By OpenTable, Special for  USDR

In celebration of World Vegetarian Day and Vegetarian Awareness Month,OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), today unveiled the 52 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of  Columbia.

Featuring many of the restaurants that helped establish the vegan and vegetarian eating movements, such as Moosewood in Ithaca, New York, and Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, as well as newer vegetable-centric eateries that have moved plant-based cuisine into the mainstream, such as Al’s Place in San Francisco and Vedge in Philadelphia, the complete list features winning restaurants in 14 states and the District of Columbia. California has 15 winning restaurants, followed by New York with 13, Pennsylvania with six, andMaryland with four. Illinois, Oregon, and Washington all have two eateries. Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina,Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin are also  represented.

Vegan restaurants represent 21 spots on the list, as do vegetarian-friendly eateries; vegetarian restaurants account for the remaining ten. While most of the winning restaurants have deep ties to growers and emphasize seasonal, farm-to-table dishes, a host of global cuisines proved popular, including Afghan, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, and Shojin. A significant percentage of honorees easily accommodate diners with gluten allergies or sensitivities.

More than half of the award winners were founded in the last five years, with seven winners opening their doors in 2015 alone, such as Plant Food and Wine in Venice, California, and Encantada Restaurant in Baltimore. Landmark vegetarian restaurants also dot the list, with some having been in business since the seventies, including Blind Faith Cafe in Evanston, Illinois, and Irregardless Cafe inRaleigh, North Carolina. Standout restaurants skew heavily toward providing an upscale casual dining experience as opposed to fine dining, though several winners cater to this  affinity.

“Whether these restaurants serve vegan, vegetarian, or vegetarian-friendly fare, fruits and vegetables are given the star treatment at each establishment,” said Caroline Potter, Chief Dining Officer at OpenTable. “From omnivores seeking to indulge in the best of the season’s natural bounty to diners who prefer a sustainable, meatless diet, eaters of every appetite can discover delicious plant-based dining experiences at any of these outstanding  spots.”

Of the vegetable-forward food movement, Matthew Kenney, renowned chef and CEO and founder of Matthew Kenney Cuisine and culinary academy added, “The market is blossoming all over the world for plant-based cuisine. It’s just expected now that all progressive restaurants will have a vegetarian tasting menu or vegan items on the  menu.”

The OpenTable data science team used natural language processing techniques to identify all semantically related phrases that refer to the concept of a vegetarian or vegetarian-friendly restaurant. For each restaurant, they then identified reviews that contain these key phrases (qualifying reviews). A final score was assigned to a restaurant based on a combination of three scores: the percentage of qualifying reviews, a score based on the sentiment expressed in the relevant portion of these reviews, as well as the “overall” star-ratings associated with these  reviews.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 52 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America according to OpenTable diners. The complete list may also be viewed at  http://www.opentable.com/m/best-restaurants-for-vegetarians-and-vegans-in-america/.

2015 52 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in  America

A Single PebbleBurlington, Vermont
AgrodolceSeattle, Washington
Al’s PlaceSan Francisco, California
Blind Faith CafeEvanston, Illinois
Blossom-ChelseaNew York, New York
Blossom on ColumbusNew York, New York
Cafe CloverNew York, New York
Cafe GratitudeSan Diego, California
Cafe MannaBrookfield, Wisconsin
Candle 79New York, New York
Candle Cafe WestNew York, New York
Charlie Was a SinnerPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Civico 1845San Diego, California
CrossroadsLos Angeles, California
Departure Restaurant and LoungePortland, Oregon
Dirt CandyNew York, New York
DovetailNew York, New York
Encantada RestaurantBaltimore, Maryland
EquinoxWashington, D.C.
FARMiCiAPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Firefly RestaurantSan Francisco, California
FloraJenkintown, Pennsylvania
French Meadow Cafe & Bluestem BarMinneapolis, Minnesota
The Gadarene SwineStudio City, California
GatherBerkeley, California
Gracias MadreWest Hollywood, California
Green ZebraChicago, Illinois
Greens RestaurantSan Francisco, California
The HelmandBaltimore, Maryland
The Herb Box-Old TownScottsdale, Arizona
Irregardless CafeRaleigh, North Carolina
Kajtisu, New York, New York
Mi Lah VegetarianAmbler, Pennsylvania
Mizuna Restaurant and Wine BarSpokane, Washington
Modern LoveOmaha, Nebraska
MoosewoodIthaca, New York
Natural SelectionPortland, Oregon
PalaNew York, New York
Plant Food and WineVenice, California
Ravens Restaurant-Stanford Inn by the SeaMendocino, California
Sage-A Plant Based BistroCulver City, California
SahaSan Francisco, New York
The SpringsLos Angeles, California
Sticky RiceBaltimore, Maryland
Sublime –Fort Lauderdale, Florida
SunCafeStudio City, California
Sweet 27 Bar and RestaurantBaltimore, Maryland
V-Note Organic Wine Bar & Vegan BistroNew York, New York
V StreetPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Vatan Indian RestaurantNew York, New York
VedgePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
WassailNew York, New York

Diners can read more about the 52 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America, including the OpenTable Connected kick-off celebration of World Vegetarian Day at Plant Food and Wine held on September 30, 2015, by visiting the OpenTable blog. For perspectives on plant-based dining from culinary professionals, visit our restaurant industry blog, Open for  Business.

About OpenTable Restaurant  Reviews
Originally launched in November 2008, the OpenTable Reviews program helps diners find restaurants that best fit their dining occasions.  Only diners who recently honored an OpenTable reservation are invited to submit restaurant reviews. Visitors to OpenTable can access reviews for thousands of OpenTable restaurant partners across the United States, Canada, Germany and the UK.  The OpenTable Reviews program has generated more than 34 million restaurant reviews by verified diners, establishing OpenTable as one of the largest and most trusted sources for restaurant  reviews.

About  OpenTable
OpenTable, part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 17 million diners per month via online bookings across more than 32,000 restaurants. The OpenTable network connects restaurants and diners, helping diners discover and book the perfect table and helping restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back. The OpenTable service enables diners to see which restaurants have available tables, select a restaurant based on verified diner reviews, menus, and other helpful information, and easily book a reservation. In addition to the company’s website and mobile apps, OpenTable powers online reservations for nearly 600 partners, including many of the Internet’s most popular global and local brands. For restaurants, the OpenTable hospitality solutions enable them to manage their reservation book, streamline their operations, and enhance their service levels. Since its inception in 1998, OpenTable has seated more than 885 million diners around the world.  The Company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and the OpenTable service is available throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the  UK.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.