Stamford is just an hour from a plethora of famous vegetarian restaurants in New York City. Although the variety and number of vegetarian restaurants are more in New York, there are plenty of great vegetarian eats right here in Stamford. Something unique many residents will note about Stamford is the lack of franchise and chain restaurants such as Applebees or TJI Fridays, instead there are numerous locally owned establishments.
As a vegetarian I am always looking for tasty, healthy options that offer something new besides the traditional salad bar. Vegetarians are often stereotyped as eating only salads or food that is lacking in taste. However, anyone who may have these preconceived notions about vegetarians could have their minds quickly changed by trying any of these Stamford restaurants that display the variety of options for vegetarians. Here are my top 5.
1. Myrna’s- Myrna’s serves authentic Mediterranean cuisine and delivers what she calls “The Real Taste of Lebanon”. The tables at Myrnas are always full and it’s for a reason. Myrna prepares everything fresh, and you can taste it from the first bite of hummus. Myrna also serves non-vegetarian food, but there are plenty of options for the vegetarian. If you are going for lunch you can get her vegetarian lunch combo with: hummus, baba ghannouj, falafel, grape leaves, taboule salad or a Mediterranean salad topped with falafel and served with rice and lentils. She offers a variety of 9 cold vegetarian mezza such as Labne or stewed green beans and 7 hot mezza such as spinach pie or sauteed fava beans. If you’re looking for wraps Myrna offers 5 vegetarian options including the falafel and five exclusively vegetarian entrees such as vegetarian moussaka or vegetables with couscous. Finally, Myrna has fabulous pizza’s and calzones. Visit her website at: http://www.myrnas.com/
2. Kits Thai Kitchen– If you’re looking for the sweet and spicy taste of Thai, Kit’s Thai Kitchen has fabulous Thai food. There are some other Thai restaurants in Stamford, but this restaurant in my opinion has the best quality food and great taste. The spring rolls with the sweet Thai chili sauce are a good starter. There are several good options for main courses ranging from noodle dishes to fried rice or curry. I have tried all the dishes and loved all of them and usually split two dishes with my husband. You can choose from 7 different noodle dishes and get tofu and vegetables or just one of the two over your noodles.My personal favorite are the thick drunken noodles, I am not a vegan so I like getting my noodles with egg which adds a really great taste. The fried rice, or kao pad kee mao is one of the most delicious fried rices I have had outside of Southeast Asia. You would be doing yourself a disservice to not get eggs in the fried rice. Finally there are five different curries which are made of a base of coconut milk which are equally delicious.My favorite is the massamam curry which is sweetened with cinnamon and cardamom and served with potatoes, peanuts and onions. Visit the website at: http://www.kitsthai.com
3. Dakshin- There are a few Indian restaurants in Stamford including Tawa and Meera which are also excellent, but it is the offering of South Indian food at Dakshin that makes the restaurants more than a typical North Indian establishment. Vegetarians and Vegans have always found a great selection at Indian restaurants, but it generally seems that most menus are carbon copies from the samosas to the mattar paneer. For those vegetarians who have not tried South Indian food they are in for a good feast. My top recommendation would be to try a dosa, which is a crispy thin crepe/pancake like dish made from lentils and rice flour and stuffed with spicy potatoes and peas. Additionally I would recommend the sham Savera (vegetable cups stuffed with homemade cheese served in a tomato chutney. Visit their website at: http://www.coromandelcuisine.c om/stanford_menu.html
4. Go Italian– There are countless pizza places within Stamford and almost all of them I have tried offer a great taste of anything ranging from Pizza Margherita to White Pizza. Additionally, many of the owners of the pizza places are of Greek origin and offer many vegetarian Greek options such as spinach pie, hummus or stuffed grape leaves. Brick oven pizza would be a great choice to try, I also really like Nick’s pizza.
5. Fiesta- This restaurant doesn’t really have many vegetarian options on its menu, but the two vegetarian items you can get are worth going to the restaurant. Fiesta is a Peruvian restaurant near downtown and is fabulous. When you sit down you are brought a basket of bread and a green sauce which I am yet to figure out what it exactly is, but it is very good. There is a great appetizer of Peruvian origin called Papas a la Huacacina. It is a cold dish with potatoes covered in a fresh Peruvian cheese sauce and boiled egg on the side. I like to use the green sauce to go with this dish. Finally the fried rice is phenomenal and once again I suggest you use the green sauce and pour over the fried rice. However, be careful with the spice level, if you ask for spicy you will get fire hot.
Finally, although it may not be in Stamford, there is a nearby restaurant in Bridgeport I have to suggest.
Bereket Turkish Restaurant- This is a tiny restaurant behind a gas station in Bridgeport but it has some of the most amazing authentic food I have ever tasted. The head chef is a very friendly older Turkish man who cooks all the food and delivers it with a smile. Definitely try the Sigara Borek (feta cheese rolled in phyllo dough and deep fried) and the Mujver (deep fried vegetable/egg patties topped with a yogurt sauce) of course the falafel are great. The homemade lentil soup is also very good served with the homemade pita bread. He seasonally serves a vegetable platter which is grown from the local garden, and tastes very good. Finally finish your meal with a tasty Baklava.
If you already are a vegetarian or just looking to add some spice to your typical dining session, I really think these above options would be a great start and all of them are anything but dull.