BEST HARD-CORE VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT Minneapolis 2006 - Ecopolitan
When dining out as a vegetarian, sometimes we're thankful just to see a veggie burger on the menu, or something plain loaded with an impossible amount of cheese. Sometimes we're not even given a straight answer when asking about whether or not the "veggie" soup is vegetarian. At vegetarian-always-and-only restaurant Ecopolitan you don't even have to ask this question—but if you have others, they're happy to answer. Not only will your server be able to casually pick out gluten-free items from the menu, but he or she will be able to talk at length about why and how the wine is organic with no added sulfites, why a shot of wheatgrass is good for you, or just what the daily special is. This soy-free, processed-food-free, vegan, raw-food restaurant doesn't slack on any healthy lifestyle front: They have all their bases covered, from the filtered air to the enviro-friendly food-grade peroxide sanitation to the nontoxic caulk, glue, and paint used to construct the homey restaurant itself. Oh, and of course the food is surprising and lively—from the living pizzas made with sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat and herbs and loaded with things like avocado, spinach, and nuts; to the "Rawvioli" made with cashew "cheese," radishes, and ginger marinara. Many dishes are evocative of the "regular" dishes suggested in their name, and yet work as original stand-alone dishes themselves. So enjoy your fruits and veggies the way Mother Nature intended, naturally—impossible amounts of cheese and veggie burgers will still be waiting elsewhere for you.