I'm including some restaurants that also serve meat, but offer incredible-tasting non-meat dishes.
If you love Indian food, this New Hyde Park restaurant offers some of the best on Long Island. Fully vegetarian, the food is also certified kosher. From mulligatawny soup to tempting samosas, the appetizers are well-prepared and lightly or heavily spiced to your liking. Entrees include many dosas -- large crepes filled with a variety of luscious stuffings -- and other tasty fare like the mattar paneer, a combination of tenderly spiced green peas with chunks of cheese in a rich, savory sauce. Save room for dessert. I personally recommend the badam halwa, a rich, sweet almond dessert topped with ice cream.
1627 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY
Originally a pizzeria with the usual meaty fare, 3 Brothers added a separate upscale vegan menu in 2009 including appetizers like Oyster Mushroom Scampi & no-meat, no-dairy, all-delicious entrees like Seitan Marsala and Eggplant Rolatini. There are savory pastas --whole wheat & gluten free available-- whole wheat pizzas with pesto and more. The cozy place is great for vegan dining with carnivore friends. There's also a wine list.
In 2011, they received PETA's award for the Best Vegan Pizza in the U.S.
UPDATE: In 2012, the Rockville Centre location was moved to Farmingdale. The new address is:
3 Brothers Pizza Cafe
75 Merritts Road
The current website is www.3brotherspizzacafefarmingdale.com
This is the old address:
3 Brothers Pizzeria
212 North Long Beach Road
Rockville Centre, NY
Hicksville is famous for its many Indian restaurants and boutiques. House of Dosas is totally vegetarian and you'll find many Indian families enjoying meals here. House of Dosas specializes in the food of South India and they'll honor your requests for mild or spicy meals. As the name implies, you're going to get a lot of dosas here. These paper-thin, large crepes can be ordered with fillings like onions and potatoes, or other tasty ingredients. Their delicious vegetable curries range from eggplant curry to vegetable khorma, cooked with coconut and mild spices.
House of Dosas
416 South Broadway
See my restaurant review of House of Dosas.
Port Jefferson's Tiger Lily Café has a '60's retro look to it, and they serve vegetarian food as well as non-veggie meals in a funky setting with psychedelic art. Music will be playing as you take your food and sit at a table with ornate decorations or amble outside in warmer weather to the cozy deck. Their juice bar features soy smoothies, protein shakes, fresh juices, wheat grass shots and more. If you need a caffeine fix, Tiger Lily's also serves Black & Tan, Mocha Blanca, Tahitian Vanilla Chai and Red Bull Chai at their Java Bar.
Tiger Lily Café
156 East Main Street
Port Jefferson, NY
Naturally Good Foods & Café is primarily a health food store, but there's take-out and you can enjoy your food at a few tables in the back of the store or at tables in the backyard. They serve breakfast and lunch daily year-round and offer a wide range of fresh juices and smoothies. Their muffins are freshly-baked and they serve multi-grain pancakes as well as sprouted grain bagels for breakfast. For lunch, there are salads, platters and even tuna for non-vegetarians. Kids can choose from choose from a tasty whole wheat peanut butter and banana wrap, grilled cheese on 7-grain bread, tofu doggies and more.
Naturally Good Foods & Café
38 S. Etna Avenue
Green Earth is another health foods market offering an informal setting in the front of the store for delicious, nutritious food. You can enjoy organic meals, fresh vegetable juices, smoothies and mostly vegetarian and vegan foods made on premises. I recently enjoyed an oyster mushroom burger with pine nuts, vegetables and more. There's an occasional turkey burger and tuna salad for those who prefer meat or fish.
Located in Riverhead, the café is a great place to go before or after you visit the nearby Long Island Aquarium, Long Island's wonderful, world-class aquarium or take an Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat Cruise.
Green Earth Natural Foods Market & Café
50 East Main Street
Located in Long Beach, Bob's Natural Foods is a well-stocked health food store with a cozy café in the back. Choose from delicious wraps like the avocado & hummus wrap, or a wealth of salads. In addition, there are 22 delectable smoothies to please every taste. You can also purchase organic juices, wheat grass and more.
Bob's Natural Foods
104 West Park Avenue
Long Beach, NY
OK, this isn't exactly a restaurant where you'd bring a date, but if you're in the mood for some quick, good vegetarian food, you can buy a meal at the deli in this health food emporium and sit on the small tables just outside.
Whole Foods Market, Jericho
429 North Broadway