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June 21, 2011 8:16 PM   Subscribe

What are the best vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Bloomington, Indiana? What else should I be sure to do while I'm there for a conference this weekend?
posted by gerryblog to Travel & Transportation around Bloomington, IN (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: When I visited this year, family took me to Farm Bloomington. It was awesome. While much of the cuisine does include meat, there was definitely plenty to eat for this vegetarian and certain dishes can be made vegan. Menus here.
posted by jeffmshaw at 8:21 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: Bloomington is a very open-minded (read: liberal) town with tons to veggie options. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. My favorite places are Roots, which is all vegetarian/vegan, and FarmBloomington, which is operated by Chef Daniel Orr of Food Network fame.

Bloomington is also (believe it or not) known for its Tibetan food. Snow Lion and Little Tibet duke it out for the top spot, I personally prefer Little Tibet for its delicious mo-mos.

You're in for a treat.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 8:23 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: Don't miss the Runcible Spoon.
posted by RogerB at 8:32 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Most places in Bloomington are pretty vegetarian-friendly, and we've got at least two strictly vegetarian restaurants: Roots, as mentioned above, and The Owlery, which opened recently. I haven't been there yet, but I've heard it's good. Still, most of the non-chain places in town will treat you right. For example, Upland Brewery has a segregated vegetarian fryer, so you can get vegetarian fried yumminess to soak up your beer. I think there may also be non-fried foods there, but I'm not sure I've ever tried them.

We really should do another meetup soon. It's been over a year, people!
posted by asperity at 8:35 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, and another recent arrival is Feast, which always has interesting veg stuff on the menu. I like their vegetarian island pie.
posted by asperity at 8:39 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: As far as other stuff to do, I'm never disappointed just wandering around the University's campus and marveling at the architecture. The art museum is world class. The Lilly Library is interesting as well. The student union is labyrinthine. The "strip" (Kirkwood, IIRC) down to the "square" (where the courthouse is, and where some of these restaurants are) is pretty much the archetypical college-town environment.

There is, at least as of a year ago, a gaming shop called The Game Preserve on the square that's pretty great, if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by brentajones at 8:52 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: The Owlery is fantastic. I recommend the tofu fish!
posted by streetdreams at 9:45 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: Seconding Little Tibet. I've heard a lot of good things about the other places on this list too, especially Roots.
posted by naturalog at 10:37 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: There's also three Indian restaurants in town with a good variety of veg. options (though they do serve meat dishes as well.) I'm partial to Shanti, myself, though Amol India is pretty solid too and Taste of India is just a shade behind that (but still good.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:50 AM on June 22, 2011

Best answer: Seconding Runcible Spoon. I had brunch there about a year ago when I was in town for an overnight and it was FANTASTIC.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 6:35 AM on June 22, 2011

Best answer: Fun fact: The reason for Bloomington's Tibetan cuisine is that the Dalai Lama's brother lives in town.

I have family in Bloomington and have been to a couple of good places, but I can't remember off the top of my head the actual *names* of any of them. There's a little cafe near IU that has fish in a bathtub that was really good. Also had some pretty incredible Indian food someplace. This answer is in no way helpful, except that if you ask a local about the place with the fish in the bathtub, they can probably give you the actual *name* of it.
posted by sonika at 9:13 AM on June 22, 2011

Best answer: AH! Looking at the Yelp review - The Runcible Spoon is indeed the place with fish in the bathtub.
posted by sonika at 9:15 AM on June 22, 2011

Best answer: I should add that unless the conference is longer than a week or so, you will not want for restaurant choice. Pretty much every building on both sides of Fourth St. on the block between Dunn and Grant is an interesting ethnic restaurant of some kind, and there's a similar number of eateries on Kirkwood between Indiana and College (albeit more spread out.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:16 AM on June 22, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks all! We've been to the Runcible Spoon, Roots, the Owlery, and FARMBloomington, with another day and a half to explore Little Tibet.

Great town you have here! Really enjoying it.
posted by gerryblog at 6:59 PM on June 24, 2011

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