Vegan-friendly
Take-out

Offers tofu, tempeh, seitan entrees, soups, veggieburgers, beans, veggies. NOTE: has a strict fragrance-free policy. Open Thu-Sat 4:00pm-8:00pm. See Facebook for changes.


23 Reviews

First Review by mdb

veganicat

Points +231

Vegan
16 Sep 2023

Saucy and Sweet!

This is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Northampton. They are really good at sauces and salad dressings, on healthy veggies, pasta and rice. Lots of gluten free options, too. The deserts are vegan and delicious. Cute and cozy atmosphere, and good people working here.

Pros: They have really good tofu and serían from Bridge, Sauces are delightful, Healthy and cozy

Cons: Not fully vegan

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EABessel

Points +725

Vegan
02 Sep 2023

Please rewind

Everything was excellent, nothing to fault. Bela is reminiscent of restaurants I visited in the late-90s and early-00s, perhaps because it is of that era. Post-macrobiotic, pre-fake meaty, and very good at what they do. Fresh and real. Veggies cooked just right. Light, balanced sauces and gravies. Wonderful dessert. A healthy, wholesome feeling meal from start to finish. Highest recommendation.

Norcal2017

Points +344

Vegan
14 Jul 2023

Superb meal

Loved the special bulgar and chickpea salad, wonderful flavor.
The Italian sausage tofu pasta captured the flavor and texture of the familiar replaced meat option and I love the artichoke hearts. Spaghetti was the right pasta choice.
New chocolate ganache was rich and smooth. Coconut whipped cream was more like ice cream and a good add-on.
Hope to visit again from CA

Updated from previous review on 2023-07-14

Pros: Lot of quality choices, Cute but small establishment but glad for dine-in

Cons: Bit of a wait for the food

kale_queen

Points +443

Vegan
28 May 2023

Love it!

Great food, and really friendly staff! Everything can be made vegan.

Rhaphyz

Points +127

Vegetarian
05 Jul 2019

Excellent food and service

The foods was delicious and it felt healthy. The servers were very nice. I highly recommend the coconut cake with lemon frosting, it’s so delicious. It’s the best coconut cake that I have tasted so far.

kmbump

Points +101

Vegan
11 Jul 2018

Vegetarian Home Cooking

Finally, a vegetarian restaurant that doesn't buy in to serving fake meat! Plus they use alive Rhapsody tempeh, pure and organic tofu (no additives) from The Bridge, and brown rice cooked from the whole grain. No shortcuts or cheap ingredients here! Plus, most items are already vegan! We had a tempeh and veggie dish with Thai basil sauce (mild) and a spicy tofu and veggie dish with black bean chili sauce, both with brown rice. Nice side salad with sprouts and chickpeas with a cashew green tea dressing. We took half our meals home to save room for peanut butter pie and chocolate coconut almond cream pie served with coconut ice cream. Desserts have sugar, and are not overly sweet. Can't wait to go back!

Pros: Menu index clearly labels items with no dairy, Most items are already vegan, Great creativity, wholesome, tasty food

Cons: Cash only, Water not great although filtered, which is good, A little hot on a hot night

veganri

Points +558

Vegan
27 May 2017

Old Timey Veg Food!

Bela is welcome throwback to the early days of vegetarian food - nothing fancy or trendy - just solid eats with lots of vegetables, rice, noodles, tofu, tempeh etc. On our visits, we've had the curries, stirfrys, and cutlets... Most recently we had a phenomenal sweet pea and mint soup along with BBQ tempeh, kale and rice noodles. We also had the simple and delicious Cindy Special - a veg cutlet with steamed vegetables smothered in vegan gravy - 1/2 the price of this item goes to a local hospice! Being vegan I just wish they were all vegan.

Pros: Fresh!, Not trying to be too fancy or trendy!, No fragrance policy!

Cons: Not Vegan

foodfirst

Points +776

Vegan
02 May 2017

A great find for a relaxing dinner

Great vegetable curry dish from the blackboard on my first visit and pasta with tofu Italian sausage, as well as a plate-sized green salad both times. I elected to have the curry served with rice (which was of the whole-grain brown variety). For the pasta dish I chose whole wheat pasta from among three options on the menu board. The salad was a good deal in my opinion for about $5. Sides such as steamed vegetables were available. The main dishes were both scrumptious with the vegetable-packed curry getting the nutrient-density award and the pasta dish the most flavorful—a perfectly executed dish. The curries on offer varied from night to night. The atmosphere and offerings were appetizing. The intimate size and background music allowed the place to gurgle with quiet conversation.

Updated from previous review on 2017-05-02

Pros: tasty, fresh, well-prepared dishes, many healthy dishes emphasizing vegetables, nice intimate space and pleasant atmosphere

Cons: some (clearly marked) dairy-containing items, parking tight on the weekend

nafanc

Points +1615

Vegan
04 Feb 2017

Good lunch

I stopped here for a quick lunch when I was passing through the area. The place has a cafe-like vibe - very welcoming and relaxing.
I ordered the cutlet with potatoes. It came with a nice salad full of sprouted legumes and nice veggies; the dressing was excellent as well.

The cutlet wasn't quite what I expected. I thought it would have a chewing, meaty texture, but it was more like a veggie meatloaf. That said, it was still good, and the gravy was really tasty.

Pros: Good food, Relaxed atmosphere, Nice service

Delve

Points +302

Vegan
06 Jul 2016

Yum, Yum, Yum!

This is a small, cozy, and clean restaurant. Great vibe inside with extremely helpful staff. The food is mainly local and organic. Their tofu and tempeh is also made locally (when possible). Absolutely delicious and fresh meals. I ordered a vegetable stir-fry with tofu & brown rice. It wasn't your usual Chinese restaurant standard fare..it was flavorful, not overcooked, fresh...I want some now just thinking about it. My companion ordered a dish off of the 'daily special' board. He wanted to substitute two items and was able to by making a donation to a charity, So basically, if you'd like to substitute an item you may do so, but a small donation ($5.) will be added to the bill. You will be informed of this and able to agree or change your order to something else. The owner/chef is all alone in the kitchen and although it didn't take an enormous amount of time for us to receive our food (but could have on a busier night), it is one of the reasons there is a donation-for-food-substitution rule in place. Also, I should add, there is a sign on the door asking persons who are perfumed to not dine there due to the chef's severe chemical allergies. That was an a-ok rule by me. Just a heads up for all you eau de toilette lovers out there. (Cash Only Place)

Pros: incredibly fresh food, super knowledgeable/helpful staff, clean clean clean

Cons: Cash Only - I suppose could be a con

MarcRiel

Points +11

Mostly Veg
23 Nov 2014

Wonderful Food

A great dining experience. Great food at a very reasonable price.

Pros: Very friendly

Cons: Cash only

HappyGardener123

Points +154

Vegan
16 Apr 2014

love it here!!

I love Bela! Great variety and an ever changing menu. Most items can be made gluten free as well without losing quality or flavor. Hearty meals and very reasonably priced.

peacerunner

Points +39

Vegan
19 Feb 2014

Best Food in the WORLD

Something new every day! Interesting combinations of spices and ingredients. Price is very reasonable. Atmosphere perfect!

ranchboy

Points +27

Mostly Veg
17 Jun 2013

Best vegetarian restuarant around!

Always fresh food and generous size portions. It's a must try when you're in town visiting.

KerryGoesVegan

Points +67

Vegan
24 Apr 2013

Amazing food

I don't think I have had food this good as a vegan or as a omnivore. Ate here with my husband and son and had a HUGE variety of options to choose from. I am a really good cook, and wish I could cook have as good as Bela's chef. Normally I have been finding sandwiches or the occasional pasta. Here there was a mouth-watering extensive list of specials on the wall, and then the regular menu! All three meals were outstanding. The chocolate almond coconut pie was incredible.

Pros: Excellent food, Great value, Outstanding staff

Cons: It's not in my neighborhood or state!

conniex721

Points +136

Vegan
02 Jun 2012

Cozy and Filling

Bela has a really adorable atmosphere and feels like sitting in someone's lived in dining room. The food was delicious - I had a special tempeh and zucchini with black bean sauce. The coconut almond chocolate pie (vegan) was amazing. I'm really impressed that most of (if not all) of the food is locally sourced and that the desserts are all made in house. There aren't a TON of options, but I'd rather have solid staples and creative specials that use in season food than a huge range of dishes that aren't made well or with quality ingredients. If I were to get really picky, service was a tiny bit slow, but done very nicely and we got water refills and were checked on! Only complaints would be convenience - it's cash only and any substitutions come with a fee (which is donated to charity). Also, everything is clearly labeled for people with allergies, gluten-free, or vegan!

Pros: Good quality food, Cute atmosphere

Cons: Fee for Substitution, Cash only

sglcklch

Points +2815

Vegan
09 Jan 2012

Cute place, simple yet solid food

My partner and I visit Northampton few times a year. Been meaning to check out this place but for some reason they were always closed when we were in town. Last evening we finally caught them open so we went right in and managed to grab ourselves the last free table.

The menu was basic but nutritionally comprehensive. For entrees you can choose to have some kind of veggie burgers or a plate of protein (tofu/tempeh/seitan) with greens tossed with your selection of sauce and plain rice (brown/white) on the side. I got one of the specials - tempeh and kale with a Mediterranean glaze, which was truly delicious. I don't know how they prepared the kale but it was the tastiest bunch I have ever had! The sauce was just amazing, thanks to the staffer who suggested I should get this as opposed to the Chinese hoisin-plum glaze. My partner ordered the Harvest Burger off the regular menu. It was a thick, hearty patty, crispy on the outside but totally bland, mushy on the inside and had no seasoning whatsoever, which was disappointingly inconsistent given how flavorful my dish was. The bread and the roasted potatoes on the side were decent though. To round off our meal we shared a piece of homemade apple walnut cake drizzled with caramel sauce topped with vegan whipped cream. Just the right amount of sweetness, great texture, perfect! We "grilled" the staffer quite a bit before picking this one as all the desserts were vegan and we just didn't know which one to get :)

It's not a big place but the setting is really cute and cozy. Service was nothing short of friendly and cordial. Ordering was a breeze because everything was clearly marked according to dietary restrictions, plus the staff was also very forthcoming with recommendations and suggestions. My only pet peeve was that the room felt a little stuffy and needed to be better ventilated.

Pros: healthy & tasty, staff, all vegan desserts

Cons: needs better ventilation

ReviewTeam

Points +60

Vegan
20 Jul 2011

Stale '70's taste

We've been there three times with hopes that each time would be better. However, the veggie protein had a stale '70's taste that one always remembers (Veggie from '75-'06. Vegan now). The third visit was to get some take-out food, which they declined to do. The waitress would have gotten a nice tip. Now, we don't got there anymore.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday July 20, 2011

Pros: Vegetarian, street parking .75¢ hour

Cons: price for what you get, uncomfortable chairs

Sarah P

Points +8511

Vegan
31 Dec 2010

Good choice for comfort food

I go to Bela when I want a good, healthy, tasty, spicy, satisfying meal to my liking. Their stirfries are cretainly the specialty in my opinion. Although their menu and specials may not seem to be anything special the cook knows exactly how to work a stirfry with perfect-tasting finishing sauces that I cannot replicate at home. Sometimes even if the specials look good I order the regular stirfry on the menu because it is so wholesome and delicios. I have several friends who do the same, though the specials are always good and the burgers on the menu are always well-liked.

All specials are well-marked as to ingredients and level of spice, and staff are always very friendly and kowledgeable. However, you cannot expect to substitue anything on the menu unless you offer a donation to the charity of the month that is indicated on the board.

The desserts are always all vegan, and although I have only had dessert once to attest to its deliciousness, people always rave about them. The lunch portions are cheaper if you arrive before a certain time.

Bela offers very good, from-scratch cooking at a fair price. The seating is limited and can be crowded at times, but the ambiance is enjoyable.

Pros: Healthy & delicious, Perfect portions, good value, Kind friendly staff

Cons: No substitutions easily allowed, Cash only

Kenneth Robinson

Points +48

Vegan
16 Jun 2010

Solid performer

Bela's basic menu doesn't change much. Nothing is wildly imaginative or gourmet. But, what they do they do well. Plenty of vegan options and the menu is clearly marked as to dietary content. It would be nice if they changed up their menu from time to time.

This a small restaurant and it can be quite crowded during prime dining nights and times. Cash only. Menu items are sometimes sold out, so have a back up selection picked out. Staff is always friendly and helpful.

Desserts here sound good but i've never had one. The portions are generous and I never have room for dessert. Even my non-veg family likes going to Bela.

vegman444

Points +70

Vegan
21 May 2009

The good and the not so good

Bela is a nice, quaint place. They have a lot of vegan options, although their menu is in need of an update. It's been pretty much the same for a long while now, and if you're a returning customer you're faced with repetition. The tofu/veggie stir fry is the usual over salted, 'we need to satisfy the vegans' fare, with not a lot of imagination. The seitan is VERY salty, so beware. But these are just personal tastes, and not the biggest problem. Here is the biggest problem with Bela--they constantly run out of things. It's to the point now where we just don't suggest anyone go there because we know they will not have many choices. Here's an idea, Bela--ORDER MORE FOOD!

Prices are reasonable, service is good, but there's another problem--their hours are impossible. They claim to stop serving at 8:45 or so (?! Hello????), but if you get there at 8:25 you may or may not be served...this is seemingly dependent upon the mood of the cook, the moon, the stars, what they've run out of--it's pretty annoying.

So, if you get lucky and they have what you want, and you can be there by around 6pm, all may work out just fine. Good luck!

Pros: Many vegan options, Nice servers, Good desserts

Cons: ALWAYS RUN OUT OF MANY ITEMS, Over sauced/salty food, Time to change the menu!

Jaxxy13

Points +25

Mostly Veg
13 Jul 2008

Loved it :)

Bela is an awesome little spot. Its set back away from all hustle and bustle its a quaint with its kind of old style diner atmosphere. I had a veggie patty and miso with sprouted whole grain bread, both were delicious and the prices are very reasonable.

Pros: healthy and flavorful, great value, friendly and effecient

Cons: a little cramped

mdb

Points +15

Mostly Veg
31 Jan 2008

Mmm...Bela

Bela is a terrific spot. They do have a way with greens and tempeh - so much so that the first time I went there I swapped my pasta meal with my husband for his collards and tempeh dish because the flavors just popped.

Soups and dessert are also yummy and I've found the staff to be friendly and helpful.

Happy, healthy eating.




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