Gallery: 10 Favorite Vegetarian Dishes of 2011

Samosa With Chickpeas at Punjabi Deli
Samosa With Chickpeas at Punjabi Deli
I recommend starting your meal with a samosa with chickpeas ($2.25). Although you can get a samosa on its own, if you order it with chickpeas you get something truly special. "You want yogurt and onions, right?" the man behind the counter asked, so of course I said yes. They cut up the potato-filled samosa and put it in the bottom of the bowl, then top it with spiced chickpeas. Then they top that with a dollop of thin fresh yogurt and some chopped raw onions. The result is an eye-opening combination of warm and cool, of crunchy and smooth and crispy. And unlike samosas at most Indian restaurants, this full bowl is enough food for a small meal. —Howard Walfish

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La Mulata from Caracas
La Mulata from Caracas
There is very little not to love about these deliciously satisfying arepas, which have basically become an East Village institution. Here's La Mulata, a deliciously grilled firm white cheese, black beans, sautéed red peppers, fried sweet plantains, and jalapeños (both picked and fresh, so be prepared for a kick!). With so many components no two bites are quite the same, but those bites with the most fried cheese are definitely my favorite. —Laura Togut

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Portobello Con Pesche from Eataly's Le Verdure
Portobello Con Pesche from Eataly's Le Verdure
Le Verdure is hands-down the best executed and most delicious vegetable-centric restaurant I've tried in New York. The menu changes seasonally so you can no longer find this particular dish, but every time I've been the dishes have all ranged between very good and incredible. The seasonal dishes that are always coming and going also tend to be the best ones. —Laura Togut

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Pickled Green Tea Leaf Salad at Cafe Mingala
Pickled Green Tea Leaf Salad at Cafe Mingala
Burmese food does not enjoy the same popularity in this country as Thai or Indian food. Burma (or Myanmar) is situated directly in between India and Thailand, and the food at Cafe Mingala showcases the best of both cuisines: the freshness of Southeast Asia and the spices of the Indian subcontinent. The Pickled Green Tea Leaf Salad leans a bit more towards the Southeast Asian end of things, and is one of the most interesting dishes I've ever tasted. In addition to the flavorful vinaigrette (lime, salt, no fish sauce) the salad is a study in textures. Each mouthful revealed a mix of different crunches: crisp shredded tea leaves, fried onions, sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, and toasted lentils. —Howard Walfish

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Lasagnette di Verdure from Bianca
Lasagnette di Verdure from Bianca
Bianca is one of my all-time favorite restaurants in the city. And if I had to pick a favorite dish, it would be this, with soft layers of eggplant and zucchini are drenched in an amazingly flavorful tomato sauce and then topped with a bit of slightly melted parmesan cheese. That said, the rest of their menu (especially the pasta) is delicious too. And the desserts. Don't forget dessert. —Laura Togut

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Egg Kothu Roti at Dosa Garden
Egg Kothu Roti at Dosa Garden
Whole wheat roti (a flat bread) is chopped up and stir-fried with egg and chilies. This dish featured a perfect combination of salty and spicy, and when topped with the tomato-based chili sauce it added sour and sweet. —Howard Walfish

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Calabro Mozzarella Sandwich at Earl's Beer & Cheese
Calabro Mozzarella Sandwich at Earl's Beer & Cheese
The piece of mozzarella was thick and chewy, slightly melted, and topped with miso mayo (which squirts into your mouth when you bite into the sandwich) and dill pickle chips (adding some crunchy texture and just the right amount of acidity). I was initially put off by the fact that it is served on an English muffin, but it's a match made in heaven in this case. The chewy texture of the muffin works quite well with the cheese. —Howard Walfish

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Kary Tuek at the Cambodian Truck
Kary Tuek at the Cambodian Truck
Chunks of tofu and vegetables in Cambodian curry, served over rice vermicelli and a piece of bread on the side. This is a great combination of spicy, savory, and sweet (thanks to the addition of coconut milk), and the thin rice noodles soak up the broth-like curry like a sponge. —Howard Walfish

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Bean Salad from Prince St Cafe
Bean Salad from Prince St Cafe
It's actually a tie between the bean salad and the homemade pasta with wild mushrooms, but the salad wins on can't-find-anywhere-else points as well as I-crave-this-all-the-time points. The amazing homemade balsamic with crunchy string beans makes this unique salad really stellar. —Laura Togut

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Welsh Rarebit from Tea & Sympathy
Welsh Rarebit from Tea & Sympathy
I love this pocket of Britishness so much, and while their teas and scones are all excellent, their actual food is just as good. My favorite dish goes back and forth between the rarebit and the cheese & onion pasty, so you should really just get both. —Laura Togut

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