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Araya's Vegetarian Place

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 57 reviews )
Contact 206-524-4332

5240 University Ave NE (at University District), Seattle, Washington, USA, 98105

Thai vegetarian restaurant relocated here in Apr 2013; previously at 1121 NE 45th St. Offers an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet Mon-Sat. Dinner is a la carte. Food is all vegan. Has a separate bakery that makes both vegan and non-vegan goods. Their second location is in Bellevue. Open Mon-Sun 11:30am-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan, Thai, Buffet, Take-out, Catering

Reviews (57)

First Review by xbillyx

Vegan thai food? Yes please! - Edit

Now that I have been there several times, I can confidently give it 5 stars. It truly is amazing!

Thai food is usually off boundaries but a vegan thai restaurant? Any time!
We went there starving but the menu was so large it was hard to pick... We got the avocado curry, the cashew delight and the asparagus hunsa. All were delicious and super tasty. I preferred the hunsa but my husband preferred the avocado curry. That was so creamy and spiced just right although we could have handled more spices. Lots of veggies in all the dishes as well as tofu and seitan. The only con about the food is it cooled down pretty fast and that was a shame because it didn't taste quite the same once it was lukewarm/cool.
The service was great and the food came pretty fast considering the restaurant was busy.
Definitely will be back to try more of their yummy specialties. Would like to see sticky rice on the menu as well.

Pros: All vegan, Tasty, Easy parking

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Delicious Vegan Food - Edit

The choices were amazing, the atmosphere nice. Service was not friendly but the food was worth it. Delightful tastes and smells.
I would like to meet the owner, as she has emailed me and seemed to be a very friendly person, doubt she appreciates her employees ignoring customers.

Pros: Great choices, Delicious, Nice Atmosphere

Cons: Poor service, Unfriendly, Ignored my requests

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Om nom nom - Edit

Have only had lunch buffet twice now but oh my is it yummy and FULLY vegan! As new vegans this place has become a favorite for both my husband and myself. One of our comfort food places. We are eager to try dinner and regular items off the menu. We tend to overeat at the buffet [blush] and think having leftovers to take home will be more our speed. This has been a great find as we are not big fans of eating tons of faux or overly processed foods and prefer to eat at places that just make their normal cuisine vegan by omitting meat, dairy etc. Also, I feel like they keep their use of sodium in check. Unlike some other places, I'm not finding myself dying of thirst the rest of the day. The regular water they serve you tastes fantastic! I mention this because as long time filtered water drinkers at home, regular water at restaurants can taste funky to us and I am super picky, usually opting for a sparkling water when out. The water here is clean and fresh tasting and they bring you a carafe for the table.

We can't wait for them to re-open in Bellevue!!

Pros: Yummy, great deal, friendly

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Lots of noms, Great value - Edit

Lunch Buffet was very good, even better price. Not top of the line Thai if you break it down into individual dishes from the buffet (I didn't have anything but the buffet), but still delicious and highly enjoyable all around. You can add as much peanut sauce or hot sauce as you want and there is a decent selection, including sticky rice with coconut milk dessert. I was very happy here!

Pros: Price, Selection, Sauces

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Good food. Good Lunch Buffet. Cell might not work. - Edit

Good food. Good Lunch Buffet. Cell phone might not work inside the restaurant (metal building).

Parking on street. Nearby other veg. store and food places.

They might have some special-hour pricing.

Updated from previous review on Saturday January 03, 2015

Pros: Tasty, Not too expensive, Good buffet

Cons: Sometimes too sweet, Cell phone may not work, Select items pricey

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To die for. - Edit

This is one of my fav restaurants of all time. Thai food is my favourite cuisine and this place does it real well. The buffet is very fresh. The spring rolls are fantastic. Pad Thai is amazing. Everything is fresh. The food is keep coming out. If you are vegan and you like Thai food, you will love it.

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Good Thai - Edit

We only had the lunch buffet here. The selection was limited but what they had was pretty good. Nothing to brag about but a decent feed. The place is nice and clean and it appeared that the buffet was regularly attended to by the staff.

A tip: Bring your gas mask if you come to University Ave and don't want to get stoned on second hand smoke. Or breathe in deeply - whatever floats your boat.

Pros: Fair price for tasty Thai

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Best Thai! - Edit

Araya's is great. Their new location on the ave is classy but unpretentious. The staff is always friendly and the food is GREAT. The lunch buffet is such a good deal at only 10 dollars and the peanut sauce is so good that since I don't live in Seattle I like to get a to go order and freeze it at home.

The cocktails are fun and tasty too!

Pros: good value, delicious, friendly

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updated - Edit

Arayas is good. They will omit things you are not fond of. I think they buy dumplings and some other standards, so not everything is housemade. But it is very good and worth a visit. Like many places, it can depend on the day and who is working in the back or front. The Bellevue spot had great people up front.

Pros: Vegan Thai , ,

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Pretty good - Edit

Not the best Thai food I've ever had, but not the worst. It lacks authenticity a bit, especially when it comes to the lunch buffet. The décor is very pretty however and the overall vibe is nice. The waitstaff is not unpleasant. It is one of those restaurants that has not made a huge impact on me either way, but if I'm craving Thai food I will probably choose it because there's no other vegan Thai places around and it's easier than trying to ask all the questions and make all the specifications, at a place that is not vegan! Thanks to Araya's place though I discovered Aloe juice :)

Pros: decor and atmosphere is very nice, offers all you can eat vegan buffet

Cons: food is unmemorable, sometimes bland

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It's always the same - Edit

This is a great Thai Vegan restaurant, the food is very tasteful the peanut sauce is outstanding. We go for the lunch buffet about once a month we would go more often but, the only problem I have is they always have the same items and it gets very boring after a while.

Updated from previous review on Saturday March 29, 2014

Pros: Tasty, Cost

Cons: Buffet always the same

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Good except entrees - Edit

The appetizers and soups at this place are AMAZING!!! I can't vouch for the salad as I've never had salad there. I can caution people away from the entrees. While they serve GIANT portions, the entrees tend to be greasy with vegetable under- or over-cooked. Service is friendly, though at busy times they are understaffed. Don't come here at a peak time if you are in a hurry.

Pros: Parking, Lots of yummy options

Cons: Entrees, Slow service

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Cheap tasty buffet! - Edit

We weren't sure what to order when we got here so we got the buffet. Plus for some reason all the buffets we came across in Seattle are super cheap. Not like Edmonton where you pay literally double the price. Two of us ate an amazing amount of food for under $25 including tip.
The buffet was a great mix of different dishes, but the one that stood out was the orangey-red soup. It had mushrooms and onions and was just the right amount of spicy and citrusy. I want all of it.
We didn't try the desserts because we were determined to make it to two different bakeries after eating here but they looked good. I'll be back next time I am in Seattle.

Pros: Cheap buffet, The soup! , Beautiful bathroom deco

Cons: Weird to have to be 21+ for kombucha

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Excellent Restaurant - Edit

We ate at Araya's today for the third time. The dinners we had several weeks ago were delicious, rated very high by all three of us. A treat to not have to ask and specify about the ingredients of each dish. Today we had the luncheon buffet - it is fabulous! My non-vegetarian friend was blown away. I know we'll go back often. Thank you Araya for a wonderful restaurant.

Pros: food, wait staff, parking-easy

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Great Thai food - Edit

Buffet lunch is great! So nice to eat Thai food and not worry about fish sauce being in your food. Beware of the Thai iced tea- it is very good but very sweet.

Pros: vegan, delicious, buffet

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best vegan buffet anywhere - Edit

i travel lot and try lots of vegan restaurants in the cities that i visit. this is probably one of the best vegan thai restaurants in the country -perhaps the best. not just an excellent "vegan" restaurant, it's perhaps the best thai restaurant in seattle. outstanding flavors. service is acceptable -friendly/cordial. restaurant's clean. highly recommended.

Pros: excellent food, great location near other vegan haunts

Cons: service could be warmer

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Best Vegan Thai food - Edit

This place is great. The staff is super friendly and the food was Amazing. They also make there own fake meat and it is really good. I highly recommend this place.

Pros: Amazing food, Fake meat made there. , Good prices

Cons: Didn't like the location

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One of my favorites! - Edit

This is by far my favorite Thai restaurant. I have eaten at a lot of Thai restaurants but none beat Araya's! They say "vegetarian place" but they are actually vegan (although they may have dairy for their iced teas).

I have never had a bad dish here! My favorites are the fresh rolls, tom kah soup, pad Thai, bathing rama, and pa-nang curry. They also make fabulous Thai iced teas and interesting cocktails, along with vegan baked goods.

Additionally, I am both gluten-free and allergic to corn and they are always very accommodating. Many items are already gluten free and many they can make gluten free by request (like the fried rice). I bring many omnivorous friends and family here and they also really like the food.

One other thing I love about this restaurant is how the vegan message is conveyed. It is clear that this is a vegan restaurant and the reason is for the animals. They sell vegan stickers by donation and also provide informational flyers on veganism (such as "what about fish?") in the restaurant. They also recently hosted a vegan bake sale to raise money for charity.

This is an all around amazing restaurant and they also recently moved locations to a nicer space a little farther North. Definitely check them out!

Pros: Excellent food, Food allergy friendly, Promote veganism

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Vegan Thai in a great vegan neighborhood - Edit

Welcome to the vegan neighborhood, Araya, we've been waiting for you to open!

This is great vegan Thai in a beautiful new location next to Wayward Vegan Cafe, Vegan Haven grocery, and vegan Pizza Pi.

For Thai, go here!

Pros: Experienced staff and chefs, Good atmosphere and location, Curries: avocado, pumpkin, pineapple

Cons: You don't like Thai?

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Fantastic Vegan Thai! - Edit

Araya's is, hands-down, my favorite Thai restaurant in Seattle. There's no worrying about ingredients, everything is delicious, the staff is friendly but doesn't hover. Close to perfect.

Unlike most people I know, I don't really care for the lunch buffet...their menu entrees are a little more expensive, but definitely more variety. The buffet is a good one though, if that's your bag.

Pros: All vegan, scrumptious, helpful service

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Good Thai food - Edit

Lunch buffet is good. Be sure to get there early, though. Menu items are very good, though strangely their pad thai is disappointing. Service has never been great, but is sometimes okay (feels disorganized). For the prices, especially at dinner, I'd want better. Portions are decent. ... Note the buffet price went up - it's $8 + tax now.
Updated from previous review on Thursday July 13, 2006

Pros: vegan, buffet is good, location

Cons: service usually so-so, pricey

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Amazing buffet!!! - Edit

The all-vegan lunch buffet is such a treat. Tons of options and such good food. A cute little place with a friendly atmosphere. I always go straight to the spring rolls while loading up a whole soup bowl of plum sauce, then I go for the phad thai and pour peanut sauce on it, and I sometimes mix in a little of the other stuff as well to see what I feel like. While you don't have to load up all at once because it is an all-you-can-eat buffet, it is difficult not to!

Pros: Excellent food, Many options, Friendly

Cons: The buffet doesn't go all day

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Amazing Lunch Buffet! - Edit

Do not miss this gem! Araya's lunch buffet is full of delicious dishes...and everything is vegan! Fried rice, pad thai, soup, salad, noodle dishes, veggie dishes, spring rolls, fruit, and dessert. All for $9/per person, what more can you ask for? My husband and I went back up to the buffet line at least 3 times! Highly recommend.

Pros: Inexpensive, Cute university neighborhood location, Delicious ALL VEGAN food

Cons: Lunch buffet line gets long

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What you would expect - Edit

I'm a little worried when I see a vegan buffet - to me it seems somewhat ironic - but I decided to try this place because of the many positive reviews. In all, it was pretty much as expected, you get your fills-worth for ~$10, and food quality is what you would expect from a buffet. Nothing fancy, 8ish dishes to choose from, it was well worth the money but nothing spectacular. I'd go here again if I were really hungry, but I probably wouldn't take my friends.

However, I only tried the buffet, perhaps the menu items are tastier.

The service was very quick and pleasant, I was happy to leave a %20 tip.

Overall, there are no real "Cons" and a few nice "Pros", so this place is overall quite decent, but again, nothing spectacular.

Pros: Service, Quantity

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Great lunch buffets and excellent dinner menu - Edit

All vegan food. Huge lunch buffet and cheap. The staff is friendly and the food is delicious. Not a bad dish on the menu.

Pros: Friendly staff , huge lunch buffet, good value

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Good Food and Service - Edit

Upon arriving, we were warmly greeted and our server helped answer any questions I had about the menu. The buffet they have does not have an extensive selection to choose from, but it's good food for the price. The best part is they have vegan desserts! YUM :)

Pros: Decor, Service, Price

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Overall good! - Edit

I very much enjoyed what I had. The staff was friendly and the food was good! I'm not a big fan of buffets, especially when I see little fingers poking around, so I ordered off the menu and go the Spicy Noodles.

My only real complaint would be that the place needs a little updating and the bathroom was neglected.

Pros: Friendly Service, Tasty Food, Good Variety

Cons: Needs Buffet Police, Dirty Bathrooms, Remodel due

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Great Buffet! - Edit

The buffet has many good food to choose. The vegan spring rolls are yummy, the salad and the soup are tasty...
I will come back when I am in this area.
Friendly Service!

Pros: Good Value, friendly staff

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Good food, huge selection - Edit

I'm mostly raw, but a friend wanted to take me here. I really enjoyed it. The menu is huge. Incredible to have that many choices. Service and ambience were good, and I'd definitely go back.

Pros: Tons of choices, Delicious food

Cons: No raw dishes

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Huge Menu, Great Atmosphere - Edit

I ate lunch at Araya's yesterday, and thought the place was awesome. The menu is huge and the atmosphere and service is great. As an appetizer, the veggie tempura was fantastic. My husband's lemon tofu entree was pretty yummy (but didn't taste very lemony). I got the veggie beef with peanut sauce. The sauce was great, as were the noddles and veggies, but I wasn't fond of the veggie beef. If I go there again I will probably stick with tofu.

However, the portions are large and there were tons of options on the menu. They have a daily vegan buffet that sounds great, but I haven't tried it yet.

Pros: huge menu, all vegan, nice atmosphere

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Love - Edit

Used to live across the street from this place (more or less) and they were always good for a quick pick-up when I had the need for some Red Curry. The spring rolls are to die for, the thai tofu is one of my favorite appetizers, and the Phad Phrik King, my standby whenever we go there and I'm not sure, makes me wish we still lived by there. My one problem - the bean composition seems to have changed in recent years...they may be using a new supplier, but it's not quite as good as it used to be. But that's really just nitpicking on what's essentially an institution for Seattle vegans.

Pros: Great Food, Unbelievably friendly staff, 100% Vegan

Cons: Lunch Buffet can get boring, No Massamun Curry

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Good, filling vegan Thai. - Edit

I would fully recommend this restaurant. I have not tried the buffet yet, so I can't say if the other reviews on the buffet are correct, but in general buffet food is nothing to rave about, I don't know why it would be better just because is was vegan. I had spring rolls and spicy noodles and tofu, it wasn't excellent, but it was pretty good and I felt for where I was it was a good enough value. I went by myself, but I would recommend this restaurant to anyone going with a few people, I probably won't go back by myself. I enjoyed the atmosphere and all the Buddhas hanging out all over, it felt relaxed and peaceful and in the middle of Seattle that is not something I can say very often. Also for any real spice lovers, this place hooked me up with the best of them, I asked for the real thing and they did not disappoint.

Pros: tasty, filling food, atmosphere

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Excellent value vegan thai lunch buffet! - Edit

Araya's is my favorite Thai place anywhere. I love their set price, all you care to eat lunch buffet and try to eat there every time I am in Seattle. The University District location they have is fairly central and offers the highest concentration of vegan & vegan-friendly places in Seattle. If I was able to do so I would give Araya's a 4.5!

Pros: Good location, Lunch buffet offers great value, Nice ambience inside

Cons: Price is higher than would be ideal, On a busy car-filled street / no view, Not in Portland (my city!)

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The buffet was nothing to cry out about - Edit

We were excited to try a vegan Thai buffet and came here excited. Unfortunately, the spread was not that good and the taste nothing to cheer about. The Pad Thai tasted like sauteed noodles and not like good Pad Thai I've tasted. The spring rolls were mediocre and the peanut sauce tasted like peanut butter. There were a few other veggie/tofu dishes that were nothing out of the ordinary. The soups were also not too interesting and neither did they taste that good. Except for the price of the buffet, this was a pretty "blah" experience. Honestly, I would've rather paid more for a better quality meal.

Pros: buffet, vegan

Cons: taste, quality

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Good - Edit

I was super excited about Araya's as it was recommended to me by a friend (I'm from out of town). I liked it, but I really didn't think it was all it was cracked up to be. I had the lunch buffet and some of the food was bland and overheated from the buffet table. I would definitely go back to try it again- maybe I just went on a bad day.

Pros: Atmosphere, Buffet, Cheap

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awesome lunch buffet - Edit

The Araya's lunch buffet is a great deal on delicious vegan food. I particularly like their soups. The staff is always friendly and the environment welcoming. They also have vegetarian/vegan resources available.

Pros: all vegan, yummy buffet, good value

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Good value - Edit

This place is good value if you are hungry. The lunch buffet is $7.99. The food is not all Thai; more like an Asian fusion style. My one complaint is that all of the food was too salty.

Pros: Good value, All vegan

Cons: Too salty

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best vegan thai food - Edit

I were recently in Seattle and visited this restaurant.It is a family run business which makes it very homely and friendly.
The food was amazing > I was with 2 non veg people who said it was as good as any authentic thai food that they had eaten.
We went back the next day for the buffet which was also very good with a good selection of food to choose from.
It is worth the visit.

Pros: good food, good selection, good portions

Cons: none

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So Tasty! - Edit

My family and I love Araya's!! The buffet is affordable especially with the endless appetites my teens have. We live out of town but will make a special trip just to eat here.
Besides, it's VEGAN and how many places can you find that cater to us that way, specifically?

Pros: VEGAN, buffet, friendly

Cons: parking can be tricky

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YUM! YUM! YUM! - Edit

I have been going to Aryas for years! I was going there when it was in the U district and fell in love with it! Their vegan cream cheese wontons appetizer! Best vegan Thai place to go to and I have brought meat eating friends to partake!

Pros: vegan, excellent food, atmosphere

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amazing - Edit

i eat thai food locally usually twice a week. it was not until i went to Araya's that i found my favorite thai dish. avocado green curry. all i can say is that i now have my local thai place custom make this dish because it WAS THAT GOOD. great service. good tea. decently priced. parking on site. oh, i also had pineapple fried rice, vegan, and it was oh so tasty. but if you can only get one, get the avocado green curry!!!

Pros: avocado green curry, parking

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Best Veg Restaurant in Seattle! - Edit

I looove this place.. I never ever eat out unless its all vegetarian and worth it. This place has a wonderful atmosphere they have a lunch buffet that is only $6.95!! But you should get their early alot of people come. The staff is so friendly its a happy family owned business! They have been around for 20 years and once you eat there you know why! Looove Araya's! I haven't found a better place in town! I live over 40 minutes away and I still go there.

Pros: they offer Organic, all vegetarian, no hidden animal product, very friendly and caring staff

Cons: they could offer more dishes, bigger space

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Yummy - Edit

I really enjoyed this place. We were seated in a corner surrounded by Buddha statues, which was an experience in itself. I had the Phad Thai and some sort of stir fry with cashews and mushrooms in it, as well as the spring rolls. The brown rice was good, not like regular brown rice, this was actually really tasty. The only drawbacks were the slow service-she took our order right away but didn't check on us or give us our bill until at least a HALF HOUR AFTER we finished eating. I was also overcharged. The Phad Thai was delicious, they say they make the spring rolls there, but they tasted exactly like the ones I can buy in the freezer section at a health food store for cheaper! I will definitely return, even though I am still miffed about being overcharged. I would like to try their lunch buffet.

Pros: Tasty Food, All Vegan

Cons: Poor Service, Overcharged

1 Response

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yiggy Hi, Lettuce Muncher

My name is Yiggy.. I'm actually work at Araya's
I just became a member of this web site today.
I would like to apologize about what happened to you.
We didn't mean to ignore you, I'm not sure when
you were here in the restaurant .. if it's busy or
around 4:30pm. Usually we would try to do our best
to take care of all custumers as well as we can.

And I'm truely sorry about the over charge price.
That might be some mistake that we made..
We, all of use who work here are very honest.
we never try to over charge customers, unless there
is a mistake.

Yes, we did make our spring rolls here ...
Fresh everyday.... because we sold a lot of them each day.

Hopefully, you would come back to our restaurant again.
And truely sorry about what was happened to you before :D

Yummy Buffet! - Edit

I've been to Araya's several times in the past since I used to work next door, but I could never get my husband (he's a meat eater) to eat there until now. We both had the buffet and enjoyed it very much. The spring rolls and pad thai are my favorites. Keep up the great work!

Pros: All vegan buffet, Nice staff, Good value for price

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