If you are looking for a charbroiled steak and potatoes then you will drive right past the Sunflower Vegetarian Café in Vienna VA. If you do you will miss a great treat.
Our family first started dining at Sunflower Vegetarian Café about 5 years ago when it we discovered it had the best variety of vegetarian dishes in the Northern Virginia area. We are a mixed family of carnivores, vegetarians and vegans so finding a place where everyone could be happy was a challenge. Fortunately Sunflower Café fit the bill.
You can't help but smile when you walk in the door and realize that the sunflower theme is everywhere. From the real sunflowers out front (in the summer), to sunflowers on the table cloths and sunflower pictures on the walls you could feel as if you've hit upon the mother lode of yellow and brown. The staff is friendly, you will be seated quickly and your water glass will always be full.
Once you start looking over the menu though you forget the sunflower theme and you start trying to decide what you want to eat. Do you want your dumplings steamed or fried? Do you want your soup with Udon noodles or Jinenjo Sob? We never pass up the seaweed salad despite the fact that we always end up with the little seeds stuck in our teeth.
Then it is on to the main courses. With names like "Peace and Harmony, Popeye's Favorite and As You Wish Garden" you can't help but feel the Zen. The one dish that always satisfies the carnivores in the group is the General Tso's Surprise. Usually made with chicken in more traditional Asian restaurants, here it is made with nicely seasoned chunks of soy protein that you would swear is chicken and garnished with broccoli and carrots. My daughter never passes up the Almond and Blueberry Pie for dessert and you would never know that it has no dairy, no eggs or no honey in it.
If your family would like a little chance of pace then, head over to Vienna (Nutley and Maple) and be prepared for a nice treat. You won't find anyone asking "where's the beef" but you will see lots of satisfied diners with big plates of food.
Sunflower Vegetarian Cafe
2531 Chain Bridge Road