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Say What?

No, this page isn't about the life of carrots, peas and turnips. This is a little guide to "vegetarian living" in the Buffalo area.

Is there really such a thing?

Such a thing as what? And who keeps asking these questions?

If you're asking if there's such a thing as vegetarian living in Western New York, my answer to that one is: Sure, if you're willing to make somewhat of an effort.

For example, there are no restaurants with exclusively vegetarian menus in this area. But if you look around, you'll find a lot of places that offer some decent vegetarian choices. Likewise, all hope is not lost when it comes to preparing meatless meals by one's self. It's become easier to find vegetarian and "natural food" ingredients during the past several years, even in supermarkets like Wegmans. Hopefully this is due to consumer demand, and not due to corporate executives accidentally switching market research results somewhere between here and Berkeley, California.

Statistically Speaking

Approximately one to three percent of the U.S. population is vegetarian, according to surveys conducted by the Vegetarian Resource Group based in Baltimore, MD. This might seem like a tiny fragment of society, at first-- but in doing the math, I figure there should be several thousand vegetarians in the Buffalo and Western New York area.

What I'd like to know is: Where are all of these people? What has vegetarian life in WNY been like for them? And finally, would they be interested in joining a vegetarian group, if one were to be formed in the Buffalo area?

Veggie Shopping and Dining

I've found the following to be great sources for buying ingredients for vegetarian cooking, as well as prepared foods, in some instances:

  • the Feel-Rite natural food shoppes (local chain)
  • the Lexington Real Foods Community Co-op (Bflo.)
  • Best of Health natural foods (Kenmore)
  • Wegmans supermarkets (esp. ones with Nature's Marketplace)
  • some Tops supermarkets

Here are some of my favorite Buffalo-area restaurants offering good vegetarian options, listed by category:

  • Thai Restaurants
    • Saigon Bangkok (Town of Tonawanda)
    • Jasmine Thai (I and II)
    • The King & I (Cheektowaga)
  • Middle Eastern Restaurants
    • Amy's Place (Bflo.)
    • Teta's (East Amherst)
  • Indian Restaurants
    • India Gate (Bflo.)
    • Taste of India (Amherst)
    • India Garden (Bflo.)
    • Moti Mahal (Amherst)
  • Greek restaurants
    • Pano's (Bflo.)
    • Kosta's (Bflo.)
    • Athens (Cheektowaga)
  • Miscellaneous
    • The Poppyseed (Blasdell)
    • My Tomato Pie (Amherst)
    • Spot Coffee (Bflo.)
    • a whole lotta Chinese restaurants

Veggie Web Sites

For more vegetarian information, take a peek at these sites:

Vegetarian Resource Group (publishes the great Vegetarian Journal)
Veggies Unite! (lots of recipes here)
Toronto Vegetarian Society (super organization to the north)
VegSource (very comprehensive)

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