Top 5 Vegetarian Restaurants

If you've resolved to be vegetarian this year, or just to eat less meat, you might feel daunted about where you can go out to eat.  Rest assured, many restaurants specialize in vegetarian cuisine.  Here's my Top 5 vegetarian restaurants in the U.S. 1. Candle Cafe, New York City, New York

For organic, farm-to-table vegan cuisine, check out this New York staple.  Located on the Upper East Side, the restaurant's animal-friendly offerings are locally-sourced, sustainable and eco friendly.  Try the Tuscan Lasagna for a fantastic twist on a comfort-food staple, and finish with a slice of decadent Chocolate Mousse Pie.

2. Chrissie Hynde's The VegiTerranean in Akron, Ohio

Vegan and vegetarian food isn't just for the coasts.  Chrissie Hynde's vegetable-focused restaurant caters to meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.  While you enjoy the Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Broccoli and Lemon Parsley Pesto Cream Sauce with a side of Sauteed Wild Mushrooms, your companion can dine on Chicken Picatta.

3. Greens Restaurant, San Fransisco, California

Greens Restaurant was a pioneer in early vegetarian cuisine by placing meat-free food on the same playing field as high-end dining.  Not only is the restaurant in the vanguard that elevated vegetarian cuisine, Greens takes cues from the Zen Buddhist movement, and partners with a farm.  Start with a fall sampler, to enjoy the cornucopia of fresh produce at Green's. Then order the Rosemary Crepe for your main course and finish with the delicious Blackberry Quince Crisp.

4. Sweetpea Baking Co., Portland, Maine

This sweets-centric company is 100% vegan and specializes in gluten free, soy free and nut free baked goods.  This doesn't deter wheat-eating cake lovers, however.  Their Black Forest chocolate cake entices a loyal following of dessert lovers.  You can make a whole meal out a visit to Sweetpea: try a bagel or soup and then finish with a cupcake or a doughnut.

5. Karyn's on Green, Chicago, Illinois

At Karyn's on Green, the global menu offers satisfying and inventive vegan cuisine.  This earth-friendly restaurant serves inventive food that makes you forget there's no meat involved.  For a twist on your expectations, try the Raw Pasta with zucchini, beech mushrooms and cashew basil pesto.  Finish with the Banana's Foster or Sweet Crispy Polenta.