Thursday, August 18, 2022

A Quick Vegetarian Tour of Oxford

A handcrafted Manhattan with brandy-infused cherries at Ravine. Photo by Tad Wilkes
A handcrafted Manhattan with brandy-infused cherries at Ravine. Cocktails are always a good vegetarian option. Photo by Tad Wilkes

The South is not a place for vegetarians who are faint of heart and Oxford is no exception.
Oxford has zero vegetarian restaurants. Great meat-free meals exist here, but finding them takes research. Menus at ethnic restaurants usually list more vegetarian dishes than all-American spots, with their obligatory pasta dish and house salad. Delicious though their spicy or exotic foods may be, not everyone loves Indian and Mediterranean food. It doesn’t make sense to the rest of us, but that’s OK, there are plenty of meals for you too.
For anyone looking for an entrée in town, here’s our rundown of area restaurants with large selections of vegetarian dishes or recipes that go above and beyond. Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, every dish on our list is worth a try.
Sometimes we miss a fantastic meal that’s hovering just under the radar, so please add any I’ve missed in the comments.
Maharaja. Indian restaurants have more options for vegetarians than most other places.
With 14 vegetarian entrée selections, listed in their own section, Maharaja gives Indian food lovers more options than most any other restaurant in town. From Samosas to Aloo Gobi and Channa Masala, Maharaja gives you a reason to come back.
Petra Café. Hummus. Labneh. Dolmas. Falafel wrap. The menu at Petra is limited for vegetarians, but when you have a craving for Mediterranean, it’s a must-try. The atmosphere is serene and relaxed, so it’s a nice way to spend a late afternoon.
Volta. Oxford is home to not just one, but two Greek/Mediterranean restaurants, both of which have delicious food. When you’re at Volta, try the Greek Pizza (kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, onions, mozzarella and feta cheese) or the Black Bean Wrap (quinoa, black beans, and veggies topped with ziki and grilled onion).
Tequila’s (and all Mexican). The beauty of huge menus is that the chances go way up that some of those selections will be meat-free. Mexican restaurants are always a safe choice for finding some vegetarian offering. All the standards are available in vegetarian form at Tequila’s, from fajitas and quesadillas to enchiladas. Bonus, it’s all collated in its own section.
Rice & Spice can make most dishes vegetarian. Photo by Andy Knef
Rice & Spice can make most dishes vegetarian.              Photo by Andy Knef

Rice & Spice. Tofu is an option with most dishes, and if you love noodles or rice, it’s a good place to try. The Drunken Master is a popular dish as are all the curries, along with crispy spring rolls. If any restaurant in town has more vegetarian dishes than Maharaja, it’s Rice & Spice.
The Blind Pig. The Southern Belle is a sandwich that’s near and dear to most anyone who tries it. You won’t walk away hungry, with an ingredient list like this: Grilled portabella mushrooms, provolone cheese, roma tomatoes, onions, green leaf lettuce, pesto and mayo on a toasted sourdough hoagie roll.
Big Bad Breakfast. Most John Currence restaurants are dedicated to delicious meals based on meat, lots of it. But at BBB, you’ll find all sorts of breakfast options, and the Vegetarian Skillet tops the list. It has it all, just look at this mouth-watering ingredient list: Zucchini and squash, spinach, onions, bell peppers, tomato, steamed new potato hash, fresh herbs, two eggs scrambled with goat cheese and swiss.
Mink’s on the Park. Two sandwiches here give vegetarians delicious options, and it’s a great quiet atmosphere for lunch. Victoria’s Garden is filled with cucumber, tomato, avocado, roasted red peppers, olives, spinach, red onion, mayo and mustard. The Southern Star combines avocado, red onion, red cabbage, lettuce, tomato, mayo and spicy mustard.
Ravine. The pasta dish is a special combination, and carb loading couldn’t be any more delicious than at one of Oxford’s most special restaurants. Its dedication to local, fresh ingredients is part of the new wave of cooking that is making Oxford such a mecca for chefs and food lovers. The house fettuccine pasta comes with butternut squash, spinach, mushrooms and lemon sage cream. Ravine also has a nightly vegetarian offering.
Gretchen Mae Stone is HottyToddy.com associate editor. You can contact Gretchen about this story at Gretchen.Stone@HottyToddy.com.

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