Top Vegan-Friendly Restaurants In Connecticut

July 30, 2014 7:00 AM

(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images for Girl Behind the Camera)

Vegans and vegetarians have a lot in common, but they are not the same. There are both obvious and subtle differences in what each will or will not eat, and knowing how to satisfy both – and also provide options for meat-eaters – is a challenge for many restaurants. Fortunately in Connecticut, there are many great vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Here are five of the most vegan-friendly restaurants in the Nutmeg State.

Claire’s Corner Copia
1000 Chapel St.
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 562-3888

Kosher, vegetarian and with vegan entrees, Claire’s Corner Copia has been a big hit with Yale students and grads for nearly 40 years. Founded in 1975, Claire’s offers amazingly affordable salads, sandwiches and entrees made with organic fruits and vegetables – including vegetarian and vegan burgers (made with a mix of grains, ground walnuts and vegetables). Founder and owner Claire Criscuolo has written four books on how to cook vegan/vegetarian, and she has vegan offerings for every meal. For breakfast, for example, she recommends the tofu scramble made with organic tofu, baby spinach, red onion, black olives and herbs, all scrambled up in a pan with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and lemon – and served with whole grain bread.

Related: Top Vegetarian Burgers In Connecticut

The Spicy Green Bean
225 Hebron Ave.
Glastonbury, CT 06033
(860) 657-3500

When one of the most popular items on the menu is entitled “Meat is Murder!,” the vegan and vegetarian diner knows they have come to the right place. The rest of the menu is also packed with similar quips along with claims of just how good or bizarre a particular entrée is. The Spicy Green Bean is famed for its veggie burgers – which are made almost entirely with ground vegetables and only just enough grain filler to hold them together. The restaurant is more than just a place to eat good vegan and vegetarian cuisine – it is a fun place to go, perhaps because as founder, owner and chef Kathy Denisiewicz puts it, “we’re all a little kooky in the kitchen.”

Naatiya Indian Restaurant
8 Mountain Ave.
Bloomfield, CT 06002
(860) 726-0126

To go vegan or vegetarian is to go Indian, and at the Naatiya Indian Restaurant in Bloomfield, the menu is spiced with such dishes from all over the sub-continent. While it does serve meat, chicken and seafood dishes, nearly half of the menu is aimed to satisfy the vegetarian and vegan dinners who make up much of its clientele. It even has a vegan dessert, gajar halwa, which is a sweetened combination of shredded carrots and raisins. There are samosas and fried chilies and many other vegan and vegetarian temptations, from vegan curries made with coconut milk to dishes like cauli poo milagru (cauliflower and peppercorns in ‘south-side’ Indian onion sauce).

Zaroka Bar and Restaurant
148 York St.
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 776-8644

While India is famous for vegan and vegetarian cuisine, so too are the nations nearby – and those as well as India are represented at Zaroka in New Haven. The menu includes dishes from Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, as well as from Rajasthan and the Punjab and Gujarat regions, and also offers some dishes common to India’s Chinese minority. Lamb, shrimp and chicken are on the menu, but many dishes are either vegetarian or vegan, many of them built around chick peas, potatoes, onions, okra and cauliflower, with sauces and spices from the region.

The Lime Restaurant
168 Main St.
Norwalk, CT 06851
(203) 846-9240

The nature burger is “naturally delicious” at The Lime in Norwalk, and is made without meat and served in a steamed whole-wheat pita that comes with enough raw vegetables to make a salad. This restaurants also makes a mean and unique “brown rice salad” which comes with the nature burger (and just about everything else at this “healthy, organic and natural food restaurant”). Regularly hailed as one of if not the best vegan/vegetarian dining spot in Connecticut, it is also one of the few that serves a “vegan soup of the day” as well as a vegetarian soup du jour. Chicken, salmon and other entrees are available for those members of the dining party who are not of the vegan or vegetarian persuasion, and while very tasty and satisfying, to go to The Lime and not eat vegan or vegetarian is like going to a famous seafood restaurant and ordering a steak.

Related: Top Vegetarien Spots In Hartford

Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at

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