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Best Vegetarian Restaurants

Julia Shyy, Copy Editor

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With the changing times, new trends arise in culture. Recently, many students have been choosing to lead a vegetarian lifestyle. Whether it be for health, ethical or religious reasons, a plant-based diet has become largely recognized and practiced today. Here are a few local restaurants that highlight the rise of vegetarianism.

 

Chop’t

For salad lovers, Chop’t, located in Vienna, is a company specifically focused on serving salads and healthy items.

“It’s basically like a salad bar, and you can put whatever you want in it,” senior Komal Desai, who has been a vegetarian her whole life, said.

The restaurant has a variety of options ranging from pre-made salads, wraps and bowls to specialty drinks and fun snacks. Before serving, all salads are chopped and mixed. Meals are around $8 to $10 and come with a slice of sourdough bread.

“They have so many options to choose from, and you can build your own personalized salad,” Desai said. “It’s a great alternative to places like Chipotle or Cava.”

Not only does Chop’t specialize in salads and nutritious items, but it also advocates a go-green message that emphasizes recycling in the community. Anything from napkins and take-out bags to plastic bowls and water bottles are recycled.

“I highly recommend it for vegetarians or anybody who wants to eat a healthy meal,” Desai said. “It’s a good place to start getting into tasty salads and trying something new.”

 

Naked Lunch

Located in Herndon, Naked Lunch is a local foodie destination that specializes in vegetarian bowls.

“The atmosphere is great, and it is even attached to an organic supermarket,” junior Becca Pierce, who has been a vegetarian for over a year, said. “They have a lot of options, but my personal favorite is the ‘Crowder Bowl’ because their tofu is amazing.”

Similar to a Chipotle-style system, customers can quickly order food based on their personal preferences, or they may choose to select a pre-made bowl from the menu. For only $8 or $9 a bowl, customers can easily create a hearty vegetarian meal.

“I really like that it’s completely vegetarian, vegan-friendly, organic and sustainable,” Pierce said. “All of their disposable silverware and containers are biodegradable, and they compost any leftover food.”

Customers can eat comfortably knowing their food comes from a reliable, healthy source.

“Their produce is fresh and locally grown,” Pierce said. “As a vegetarian, it is especially nice because I’m able to order whatever I want on the menu.”

 

Whole Foods

Whole Foods is a supermarket chain that features organic and healthy foods with no added artificial ingredients. All items are wholesome, high quality products. At the Fair Lakes Whole Foods, shoppers can find groceries, as well as an abundance of healthy prepared foods and a sports bar style restaurant. Stop by the salad bar and build your own bowl or swing by the freshly wood-fired pizza stop for a delicious slice of cheese or veggie pizza. Then, pick out a freshly made gelato or a slice of cheesecake from the bakery.

“[Whole Foods] is my go-to place,” senior Julia Brunner, who became a vegetarian for health reasons, said. “I go there all the time for my health foods. Because I can’t eat gluten, it is hard to find food options that apply to my needs, but there’s so much that I can get there to fit my diet.”

Whole Foods has a wide range of options that can provide customers with an array of meals. There are also a few buffet-styled items that allow customers to personally create their own meal. These buffets feature anything from Asian to Mexican-inspired food, and prices are determined based on the weight of your filled container.

“Even if you’re not vegetarian, there’s a good option for everyone,” Brunner said. “I think Whole Foods is amazing. It’s food shopping and eating all-in-one. I’ll go there to get a Larabar, then afterward I’ll grab a fish taco or a veggie burger.”

Upon walking in, rows and rows of groceries and produce are displayed. Moving further through the store reveals the range of options of meals and snacks.

“I tried going vegetarian for a while,” senior Katherine Henriquez said. “Eating at Whole Foods made it an easy adjustment and transition because there were just so many options to choose from.”

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Best Vegetarian Restaurants