Ethiopian food. Daytime buffet features 4-5 dishes plus injeera bread and soup and is available til 4pm. Dinner is a la carte menu. Free Wi-Fi. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan, Ethiopian, Buffet
288 Monroe Ave (Alexander)
Rochester, New York 14607
585-325-1831
Now Open

Mon-Sat 11:00am-8:00pm

more-less
reviews

Reviews

First Review by sashwap
NolanGuiffre
NolanGuiffre
  • vegan
Contributions
+31

Holds a Special Place in My Heart

5
Posted on 06 / 16 / 2015

I stumbled across Natural Oasis serendipitously, and it was my introduction to all-vegan restaurants. The food is absolutely incredible and very unique. Lunch offers a small buffet style, and dinner allows you to choose from a good-sized variety of Ethiopian dishes. It is perfect for bringing a group of friends and trying a little bit of everything! The staff are absolutely wonderful, and I try to stop by every time I am in the area.

Pros: Extraordinary Food, Inexpensive, Wonderful Staff
gwild
gwild
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+415

delicious and affordable

5
Posted on 03 / 08 / 2014

Outstanding
We started with coconut milk chai tea with agave. It was wonderful on a cold rainy day.
Each dish cost $4 and it was suggested we order 2 or 3 dishes per person.

Everything was served with injera, an Ethiopian sourdough flatbread made with teff and barley.
We had Lentil stew, risotto with caramelized onions Brussel sprouts and cashew cheese, pizza with shiitakes baby spinach and roasted garlic, salad with arugula and spinach, and Gnocchi with roasted cauliflower.
The only item I didn't like (but my husband did) was the Bhaji. It was broccoli dipped in a chick pea batter and fried.

For dessert my kids had the chocolate carmel Ice cream with coconut milk maple and agave. It was a huge hit.

Each member of my family picked a different item as our favorite. We all agreed we love the food and will certainly be returning.
The service was quick and our server was very friendly.

When we first arrived we almost didn't go in as the place looked a bit sketchy. I am sure glad we did.

Pros: delicious , affordable, Quick service
Cons: Needs redecorating
kecors01
kecors01
  • vegan
Contributions
+18

Delicious!

5
Posted on 01 / 21 / 2013

My husband and I LOVE this place. The owner is very friendly and the food is delicious. During the day and on monday evenings food is served buffet style; Tuesday through saturday you order off the menu. Each item cost $4 and we usually pick 6 items to share between the two of us, which is fun because we each get to have variety. The stew and the lentils are the most amazing thing I've ever eaten; I could seriously eat those every day. It's also nice to go somewhere that is all vegan, thus we can eat anything on the menu.

Pros: Excellent food, very friendly owner/staff, small, charming atomosphere
Cons: parking (car pool if going with friends)

raphalla
raphalla
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+273

basic

3
Posted on 10 / 19 / 2012

The lunch buffet started at 11am and it seems like there are always around 4-5 dishes plus a soup. I wasnt hungry at the time when i was there, so i did a take away. It was $5.99 per pound. The dishes are very common, tasted good enough though. There were yellow rice, lentils, vege soup, stew haricot beans with cabbage, stew turnips and beets and another carrot dish. The dishes were so common that, i wont bring my meat eater friends to go there for experiencing vegan food. But i myself wont mind to walk around one mile from down town to eat there, just because of it is vegan. The staff was friendly and ambience was good though.

Pros: vegan, ambience, staff
Cons: basic
Meggie and Ben
Meggie and Ben
  • vegan
Contributions
+1464

Unique, yummy food

4
Posted on 01 / 06 / 2012

All vegan food, loved being able to try a little bit of everything and go back for seconds!

Pros: Great food
pinkbubble
pinkbubble
  • vegan
Contributions
+53

good food

3
Posted on 04 / 18 / 2011

I loved that I could try a bit of everything as it was all vegan! Some of the items were better then others, like I wished I took a lot more lentils! Staff is very nice.

Pros: all vegan, nice staff
Cons: always the same thing, some items don't taste as good
vegan2009
vegan2009
  • vegan
Contributions
+26

good food

5
Posted on 04 / 05 / 2011

I love this place this is the best vegan food I have ever tasted the food is so good and warms the soul. I miss the place. Please try the goodness.

Pros: excellent food, healthy, friendly staff
Dave-a-roni
Dave-a-roni
  • vegan
Contributions
+35

Nice place to drop in and eat

3
Posted on 04 / 04 / 2011

I went here about 2 years ago...

Very friendly staff, they do not bother you. The food looks like poop on a plate, but... I have to say it was very delicious and I enjoyed most of it. I can only say that because I know NOTHING about Ethiopian food, this was my 1st, and I would most certainly go back.
The only thing I didn't like too much was the atmosphere, it looked kind of thrown together like they didn't know what to do or where to put what. That could use some improvement for sure.


Aravis94
Aravis94
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

Yummy!

4
Posted on 03 / 04 / 2011

I went here for the first time a couple of weeks ago for the lunch buffet. Though there was only a 5 dish selection with brown rice and spongy flat bread called injera as side options, everything was incredibly delicious! My particular favorite was the lentil dish. It was such a relief to know that everything there is vegan, a lot of times vegetarian themed restaurants will pile on their dishes with dairy products. The atmosphere was warm, casual and open. And the staff were all very friendly and welcoming without being overbearing or annoying. I am definitely looking forward to trying their dinner menu!

Pros: All Vegan, Warm Staff, Cozy Atmoshphere
Cons: Not many selections for lunch
PeterV
PeterV
  • vegan
Contributions
+15

A hard review to write

2
Posted on 01 / 05 / 2011

I was really excited to try this place based on the reviews on Happy Cow. I have never been sadder to write a review of a vegan place. I love Ethiopian and eat it a lot, I think that was my least favorite.

First, all the good things: The lentils were tasty, as was the vegetable lentil soup. The Collard Greens were also pretty good. These were all mild but well spiced. There is brown rice with the buffet if you are not into the injera or want it with your dishes. The place is all vegan, a super plus for me.

Now for the things that I was not big on. The Injera. The most important foundation for all Ethiopian food is the injera. The best injera is fresh and warm. The first injera I got here was cold and falling apart. It was the end of the basket, so I waited for more to come out, when it did, the first thing I did was go get some. This was cold and crumbly too. Apparently, they do not make fresh injera during lunch. If the injera was good and fresh, I probably would have given this place 4 stars, maybe. Good injera goes a long way.

There were 5 dishes out in the buffet. One of which was not good at all, I really am not sure what it was but it was super salty and the flavor was not something I enjoyed. The lentils were good. The collards were good for while but after a few bites something changed, it may have been salt too. The potatoes and beets were alright, good color, not much flavor. and the pureed vegetable and lentil soup was really good for a few bites but for the whole bowl, it lacked a certain pizzaz in flavor.

There is also no service at all during lunch. You come in and do your thing and pay on your way out. I could have totally gone for a drink but no one offered anything, so self serve water it was. Lunch costs $9.70 ish and i just gave him $10 for everything. That is pretty reasonable for a lunch buffet. I wonder if they raised the price a few bucks if they could have good food and a server. If they had a liquor license, I would have totally dropped money on a beer or 2.

Overall, I hope lunch is different than dinner. But based on my experience, I will not be back and will go to Abyssinia for all my Ethiopian needs in Rochester.

Pros: All vegan
Cons: no fresh injera, salty food, no service
Foodking24
Foodking24
  • vegan
Contributions
+15

great little place!

5
Posted on 11 / 09 / 2010

My wife and 2 children went here for lunch after finding ourselves in Rochester for the morning. The food was really good, especially the lentils!!! Everyone loved it! Well priced, cozy atmosphere!

Pros: homemade, 100% vegan, yummy
Cons: none
Alli
Alli
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+36

Wonderfully delicious!

5
Posted on 06 / 25 / 2010

My husband & I have been here quite a few times, all without disappointment.

The food is wholesome, flavorful, & comforting. We've had the buffet all but 1 time, as they have reportedly started serving dinners. We will have to try that in the near future!

The owner is a total sweetheart. A genuinely nice man who cares about his customers. He & his wife (who is more behind the scenes) have put a lot of TLC into the place.

The ambiance is of the relaxed, cafe sort, since the restaurant is at the back of a health foods store. Very cute though.

We always feel that the food is satisfying & healthy. Writing this is making me hungry for it. Yum!

Pros: Delicious, healthful food, Friendly service, Fast service
Cotufa
Cotufa
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

Fantastic!

5
Posted on 02 / 06 / 2010

This is a fantastice place to eat! The food is Vegan when possible local and organic. The people that run the restaurant and the chef are very warm and friendly. I have eaten in places all over the world and am not easily impressed, Natural Oasis impressed me.

Pros: great food, friendly staff, 100% vegan
Cons: none
snowy11480
snowy11480
  • vegan
Contributions
+73

Healthy and Delicious Cuisine!!! A Must Try!

5
Posted on 10 / 19 / 2009

What can i say - I ADORED this restaurant! I went on a weeknight for dinner and they weren't that busy but the food was fresh, home cooked and so tasty!! I think the buffet (from what i could tell on the menu) is at lunch time and at dinner you order off the menu. The nightly menu is decided upon daily and you pick/choose your items - each one was four dollars while i was there. I picked two dinner choices and then a dessert.

My first choice was a risotto stuffed squash with a fruit glazed topping - so delicious. Second I had a mung bean and rice dish with spices that were the perfect combo - very filling too. then I had a dessert called Chocolate Fennel Pudding. I was hesitant because i hate fennel seed but this was incredible! the fennel taste was very mild.

This place uses no refined products (like white sugar) and uses local ingredients as much as they can. I was SO impressed and wish we had a place like this near my home in PA. Its an all vegan selection of menu options and the staff are helpful and friendly. And its a healthy vegan restaurant at that! For my whole dinner with tip was 15 bucks. I would highly recommend people give this place a try - the outside appearance of the building needs some help. don't let it keep you back though - go on in and give this place a try! they also do fresh juices, smoothies, coffees, and baked goods!

Pros: Healthy Vegan Cuisine!, Affordable Prices, Friendly Staff
Cons: parking is tough
sashwap
sashwap
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+34

WOW!

5
Posted on 04 / 25 / 2009

This place is an undiscovered gem in Rochester. The Ethiopian cuisine is simple, hearty, healthy, and very tasty! The lentil soup is amazingly flavorful, and the four other main dishes (plus a rice and veggies dish) are all superb as well. The best part is using injeera (a flat bread that tastes a bit like sourdough, roughly equivalent to an Indian restaurant's naan) to soak it all up!

The owner is a very nice guy who recognized my girlfriend and I only the second time we stopped in. He always seems very gracious, attentive, and friendly.

The selection has always been the same every time I've gone there. I for one like the consistency, because it's something I can always count on, but that might be a con for some.

Pros: delicious, feel-good food, lots of space, nice atmosphere, all you can eat
Cons: small selection, small parking lot, no waterslide

 

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Last updated: 2012/12/06

 

Added: 2008/12/01

 

Added by: sashwap

 

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