Settling into the new normal of ordering take-out, picking up curbside and doing delivery might take some getting used to, but one thing is for sure — there is something for everyone. Restaurateurs are not skimping on quality with to-go orders; in fact, there is even more thought and attention put into menus than ever before, including lots to choose from when it comes to dishes of the vegetarian variety.
Looking to score some festive vegan snacks or a juicy Beyond Burger? Check out this list of must-try meatless dishes from nine Houston restaurants.
- Verdine — Stephanie Hoban has long been known for slinging meatless eats out of Wanda, the affectionately-named food truck where she operated Ripe Cuisine, a mainstay at local coffee shops and produce markets, and now, at her restaurant Verdine in the Heights. This week marks the brick-and-mortar’s one-year milestone. While celebrations are on hold, the young chef has managed to keep her restaurant running with a menu of vegan finds available to-go or for delivery from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. On the temporary all-day menu, there is a cheeseburger made with Beyond meat and presented with traditional toppings, tacos loaded with jackfruit carnitas, and white cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese with herb “parmesan” bread crumbs. Call 713-876-4768 to order or use Favor or UberEats for delivery.
- Paulie’s — The Italian restaurant made the switch to takeout and is offerings its full menu with a hefty selection of vegetarian dishes. Try pastas like Canestri alla Funghi with creminis and shiitakes tossed in marsala cream, or the fusilli with pesto. The grilled portobello sandwich is enhanced with red bell peppers and pungent goat cheese and is accompanied with Italian potato salad. Or opt for pizza, like the garlicky Rocco topped with spinach, tomato, and feta. Call 713-807-7271 for pickup or delivery (the restaurant is delivering within a three-mile radius with a $25 minimum order).
- Govinda’s — Check out this vegetarian restaurant’s daily carryout menu, featuring the option to purchase a single meal for $8.95 (45% off the usual price) or a family pack for four for $29.95. Offerings vary from day to day but consist of house favorites like saag paneer, lentil dal, peas and paneer with basmati rice, and a sweet dish like custard pudding. Regularly scheduled programming ensues, as Wednesdays and Sundays are still reserved for a strictly vegan menu. Call 832-831-9951 or order on UberEats.
- Verandah — During these uncertain times, Verandah chef Sunil Srivastava is offering comfort through curries. Beginning April 7, in addition to being able to place an order to-go from Verandah’s full menu, the restaurant will feature “Curry-To-Go Tuesday” listing aromatic curries stewed to perfection — among them, Subz Moilee, a vegetarian curry with broccoli, carrots, beans and cauliflower. Pro tip: There are plenty of vegan and gluten-free offerings offered a la carte daily. Call 832-886-4291 to place an order.
- Pondicheri — Chef Anita Jaisinghani cooks vegetarian gems like spring vegetable curry and saag paneer (slow-cooked spinach) served with carrot roti. Not only is the menu at Pondicheri available for pick-up or delivery, but she is also offering pantry and freezer kits to aid in preparing dishes at home. For $5, purchase a turmeric rice kit and learn how to prepare long grain basmati rice with ingredients for up to four quarantine-mates. Order online or call 713-522-2022.
- Snap Kitchen — Visit one of the over-sized kiosks around town and discover a wealth of meatless menu items, packaged and conveniently ready to heat at home, including lentil bolognese, veggie taco hash, and spicy dan dan noodles. Don’t forget breakfast-to-go. Snap Kitchen’s phone number is 713-526-5700.
- Local Foods — Snacking at home may just be the new national pastime. For that next snack, leave it to Local Foods and its vegan cashew chili con queso, one of the restaurant’s “Everyday Vegan Features” — and one that can surely stand against any non-vegan variety. There is also a Frito pie with vegan chili, pico de gallo, and more vegan queso. Find Local Foods locations in Upper Kirby, Heights, Tanglewood, and Rice Village. Order online for takeout or delivery, and call 713-521-7800 to get free home delivery with a $50 minimum order.
- Mala Sichuan Bistro — Mala’s full menu is available for pick-up or delivery via third-parties including Favor and UberEats. Find a range of spicy vegetarian eats, like basil eggplant with string beans and the sautéed baby bok choy (kick it up with red chilis). An adventurous choice is the house special funky cold noodles with grinded garlic and a spicy sesame-based vinaigrette. Find Mala in Katy, Chinatown, and Montrose.
- Dish Society — In addition to its many a la carte meatless options, this farm-to-table favorite has created a family-style grain bowl for $30, large enough for three adults or two adults and two children. The family feast is served warm and is a blend of farro, quinoa and leafy kale — chunky with roasted butternut squash and broccoli — topped with toasted pepitas and pickled onions, then tossed in a house miso vinaigrette. Order online for curbside pick-up or delivery, with Dish Society locations in Galleria, Katy, Memorial, and the Heights.