• Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 17 reviews )

85 Ferris St, Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA, 06605

Feminist collective restaurant and bookstore since 1977. Offers seasonal vegetarian menus using fresh organic produce. Sunday is brunch. Self service casual atmosphere. There's no cash register and no waitressing. Place your order with a woman seated behind a desk after making your choice from the blackboard menu, and bus your own table when you are through. Open Tue 11:30am-2:30pm, Tue-Thu 6:00pm-9:00pm, Thu-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Fri-Sat 6:00pm-10:00pm, Sat-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, International, Organic, Beer/Wine, Take-out

Reviews (17)

First Review by will-travel-for-food

Is it worth it? - Edit

So so pricey. A cute concept but I really can't get past how pricey this place is. I've been to dozens of vegan places. Some vegan and 100% organic/gluten free and yet this place remains most expensive one I've been to.

Cons: expensive

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My favorite place! - Edit

Although it should be easy it is actually very hard for me to put into words how special this place and the women who work here are to me. To start with, the food is always wonderful. The owners Selma and Noel are very passionate about food and go to great lengths to learn new recipes and techniques. They use a lot of their own grown vegetables and fruit as well as from the local farmers markets. The women they hire are clearly treated as part of the family and they bring along with them their own influences on the food. The restaurant itself is more charming and unique than any I have been to. It is warm and inviting. Selma and Noel are both very talented when it comes to gardening and landscaping which shows all around the restaurant . Outdoor brunch on a warm Sunday is one of the best times to visit. At Bloodroot you bus your own dishes. It really doesn't take much effort to do this and I find myself picking up after myself in other establishments now. You really get a personal touch at Bloodroot when Selma comes around to every table to interact with guests. She is always willing to share stories and recipes. My wife and I love this place so much we decided to have our wedding here and it was unforgettable. Bloodroot and the women who run it will always hold a very special place in our hearts.

Pros: The whole experience

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Bloodroot, Bridgeport - Edit

I have visited this restaurant a few times when visiting family in CT. I think the food is really nice, but given the building (basically a sparsely furnished hut) and its location (Bridgeport) its rather expensive.
I was also speaking to a couple of the women who work there and they said that, despite the food prices, they were only paid minimum wage and they struggled to make ends meet.
As there didn't seem to be any tipping (as its essentially self-service) i thought that the owners should have paid a little more. Just my 50c.

Pros: Great food, Friendly staff

Cons: Expensive, Poorly paid staff

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feels like school cafeteria - Edit

Better service at a soup kitchen. In others words no service. I don't mind the cat, the prices, food or the area. When I was there a elderly man who could hardly make it back to the counter after he ate to return his tray with plate and utensils was told by a woman from in the kitchen that he had to put his utensils in a certain place. Is this how feminists want to be pictured. It came off as rude or mean to me. I thought that was very sad. Maybe because I'm Italian, or maybe because I just love people, man, woman, rich, poor, old or young. I'm not sure if you can be called a restaurant without hospitality. Even self serve should have hospitality. The vibe here felt like they were doing you a favor. To bad for a nice setting and the only veg option around. They just don't care and it shows. I am woman, so I can say this, even feminists can be feminine, which means show some love and kindness and care. I do not like to write unkind words, but I just hope new owners will change this. I don't think present owners can change, they've been making it work for them for years and years.

Cons: rude, inhospitable, not a way to view feminists

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Just not worth it - Edit

I visited a total of 3 times...I wanted to like it but the food here is just too overpriced for the overall quality of taste :(

Pros: Food made within, Unique building, Sits near water

Cons: Taste is bland , Prices

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Unique experience - Edit

Charming self-service restaurant with very good food that varies seasonally. Many vegan options. delicious vegan bread but no vegan margarine :(

Pros: Good food, Great atmosphere

Cons: Pricey

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A must if you are in the area - Edit

Charming old-school '70's collective atmosphere with sincere owners and delicious food. Don't go here if you are expecting to be fawned over by waitstaff or if you have your heart set on cutting edge cuisine. It's mostly macro, in a nice comfy space where almost everything is self-serve. The night we were there, almost everything was vegan. Strongly recommended.

Pros: homey atmosphere, friendly owners, tasty food

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Still my favorite place! - Edit

I have been going to Bloodroot since 1978 and it is still my favorite restaurant. The ingredients are fresh and usually local (sometimes grown in their own garden), the dishes are creative and we always leave feeling well nourished in body and spirit.

Go there and relax, check out the book store, and enjoy the beautiful quilts and woven items made by the Bloodroot women. Selma and Noel are incredible, multi-talented women and I am happy to support a local business that promotes things that I value.

Pros: warm, inviting atmosphere, home cooking, almost everything is or can be vegan

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Unique in CT - Edit

My wife & I have been coming to Bloodroot for over 25 years. We don't come frequently, but when we do, it's always an experience, since there is nothing like it in CT.
Vegan it's not, nor does it pretend to be. The food quality varies between good and excellent, and everything is always as fresh as possible. I note multiple complaints (in previous reviews) about price, but remember that since there is no real "service", a tip is not in order-- and this reflects a savings of 20%. Slow? Most everything is made from scratch-- of course the service is slow! "Expensive" is subjective. For the quality (and the experience) we've never thought that the pricing was out of line, and we've never left the place hungry. Picky about mismatched glasses & sivlerware, non-existent waitstaff or the occasional feline visitor? This place isn't for you. Go while you still can-- the place won't be there forever.

Pros: Unique experience, Good food, Great setting

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I love everything about this place - Edit

Bloodroot is probably the most unique restaurant you're going to go to in CT. Of course most of the chef owner type of places are unique, it's just that Bloodroot does things you rarely see when you go out in CT.

How the system works at Bloodroot:

You come in and order off a blackboard. Vegan items have a * next to them. You pay the woman (Selma, usually) at the desk by the door. She will ask your name and write it on the slip. You can pet the cat if you like. You take your slip to the service window (there's a different slip for drinks and for food) and you leave it there. You can pick out your silver from mismatched silver at the window and you can pour water into a mismatched glass at the cupboard next to the kitchen door. Now sit down. If you ordered drinks they bring them out to you. Nobody knows why they serve you your drinks and you serve yourself for everything else. When you hear your name called, go up to the window and take your food on a tray to the table. They somehow figure out when to fire the next course if you're having more than one course, but when you get to dessert you have to tell them when you want it. When you're done, bus your own table and take off.

What to Expect:

The food is incredibly fresh with an emphasis on seasonal items. The menu changes 4 times a year and from week to week there are different items offered. Definitely order soup and bread along with your meal. I've had several dozen different soups here and they are all excellent. Never ever skip the soup! The salads typically are entree salads (I think a small tossed salad is typically available as well). The entrees are incredible. My favorites have been the mac & cheese, spicy thai chicken, green tomato pie, spanakopita, spring rolls, and so many others that I don't have space to mention. Never skip dessert! Try the vegan ice cream, coconut cake, chocolate devastation cake and pies.

Overall thoughts:

Selma and Noel do things their way and that's a big part of the experience. Go with an open mind, explore the book store, talk with Selma about what she's reading, admire the handcrafted clothing and other items, check out the pictures on the wall, buy a calendar or recipe book and go back often. It's a new experience every time and the food is as good as you're going to find anywhere. In fact, it's better.

Pros: Excellent Food, Interesting Atmosphere, Constantly changing menu

Cons: Nothing

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Self Service, WHAT - Edit

This place is a little expensive to be self service. I thought I may have to wash my own dishes. There is a cat that wonders around the restaurant. I am a sanitation observer, and that did not sit well with me. The dessert was OK. They took FOREVER to cash my check.

Cons: Takes forever to cash checks, Cats in the restaurant, expensive

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Somewhat pricey but worth it! - Edit

Bloodroot is within 5 minutes of my apartment so my fiance and I eat there whenever we can afford it! The food is almost always delicious, and it is obvious that the produce is fresh. In particular, the soups are wonderful - they always have a selection of at least 3 different soups and I've never had a bad one. The homemade bread is also delicious. If you want to keep the price down, order the soup/salad/bread combo. The entrees can get fairly pricey - usually between 13-20 bucks, and the portions aren't huge, so if you like to eat a lot, you may feel like you didn't get enough for your money. But they make up in quality for what they don't have in quantity. Almost every entree is vegan or can be, and the entrees change on a regular basis. The last time I went there I had quinoa with butternut squash and sauteed brussels sprouts. Delicious!! The portion was small, but I didn't mind because that meant room for dessert! I highly recommend the vegan Chocolate Devastation Cake, and their fall seasonal dessert, vegan apple pie. The ordering may seem a little confusing for a first time visiter - you go up to a desk and tell one of the owners what you would like to order, which you find off of a chalkboard above the kitchen area. Then she writes everything down, you pay, and bring the slip over to the kitchen. They call your name when your order is ready and you bring it to the table yourself, and when you're done you bus your own table. Some other reviewers have complained about this, but I think it adds to the charm of the restaurant - it makes it feel more like you're eating at a relative's house. The decor is perfect - various old photographs on the walls, knit blankets hanging from the rafters, antique mismatched tables and chairs. There is also a bookstore with an excellent selection of books pertaining to feminism, vegetarianism, and so on. The owners and employees are so friendly and accomodating. One more thing - they do brunch on Sundays, which I like even better than the dinner. The tofu scramble, home fries, and vegan pancakes are all amazing. Overall, this isn't a place most people can afford to eat at every day, but when you can afford it, you have to check it out.

Pros: Fresh, organic produce, Delicious soups, Friendly staff

Cons: Expensive, Small portions

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Nice Try but... - Edit

I agree with a lot of what has been said in prior reviews (based on going to Bloodroot twice). For starters, yes it is very true that the food is expensive and comes in VERY small portions. Both times I was there, the menu wasn't very creative or unique. Last time I went, I got some sort of grilled cheese sandwich... it was small and yet somehow cost about $8! Trust me, there was nothing fancy about it. I was not too impressed taste-wise either time there. And yes, the service is slow. I don't mind having to serve myself, so that's not a major complaint for me. The staff was friendly both times, and I do really like the overall message and beliefs of the place. Oh, and yes, it is at a pretty location on the water.

Pros: Authentic/genuine place, Down-to-earth feel, Nice location

Cons: Expensive, Small portions, Slow service

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I can't believe I didn't write a review sooner - Edit

This was the first veggie restaurant that I ever went to, and I have been back many times over. I love this place for the relaxed atmosphere, the feminist ideals, the decor and most of all the food. I believe in their organic and seasonal menu. Although this restaurant would be out of my price range as a daily eattery, the food is worth every penny. You can taste the fresh, local ingredients. Personally I feel that most people eat out too often, instead of eating fast food everyday, people should be save their pennies for nourishing food like this. Also, I'd like to add that I think the portions are perfect. The last thing that I like is feeling bloated after I eat out. Here, they serve you just enough so that there is no waste. For my fiance (who has a bad habit of skipping lunch), I order a side of freshly baked bread. From what I remember, it was only a dollar extra.

Pros: amazing food, great atmosphere, shared values

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Expensive, slow, not 100% vegan - Edit

I've only been to Bloodroot twice. Both times the service was slow. They write your bill out by hand and use an archaic credit card machine, so I'd recommend bringing cash to avoid the headache of such a slow process.
Prices are expensive and portions are very small. I paid $15.00 for spinach gnocchi, and the plate contained 5 little gnocchis in a flower-petal design. I thought they were joking around with that ridiculous portion, and although gnocchi is dense, the dish certainly didn't fill me up (and I'm easily satisfied). One expects that from a 5-star gourmet restaurant in Manhattan, not a little funky place in Bridgeport where you bus your own table..
which brings me to the service: there is none. You fetch your own silverware and napkins and bus your own table like many self-service restaurants/cafes, but this one takes it one step further: they don't even bring you your food. Food slowly appears on the front counter and you must go up and fetch it yourself. Since none of our dishes appeared in sync, the majority of our dinner was spent fetching plates. We also ordered tea, and we had to obtain our own tea cups from a china cabinet, gather our own sugar, lemon, and everything else--Why they couldn't include these on the tray with the tea pot is beyond me. I understand they're going for a funky "you're dining over someone's house" kind of feel, but honestly, I can wait on myself at home for free, and even over someone's house, the food is usually brought to the table..
which brings me to the food: it was good, but not excellent. Even though the plates appeared on the counter as they were done rather than in sync, the food still managed to be lukewarm. Overall, the dishes were pretty bland, and we all found ourselves reaching for the salt.. and we are people who never add salt at restaurants. Also, I'm vegan, and they only had a few vegan options, so why bother?
Atmosphere is nice though, and the house is right on the harbor.
Overall, it's a fun place to visit just for the weirdness of the experience, but if they want to be a viable restaurant with repeat customers who value food/service/price over novelty, they need to make some changes.

Pros: atmosphere

Cons: expensive for what you get, you're your own waiter, slow kitchen

1 Response

vegiebeth 22 Feb 2013 - Wow felmotes, you need to chill out a bit! The women who own and run Bloodroot are Luddites. They prefer to use simple things rather than modern technologies. Go in with a different more relaxed attitude and maybe you will enjoy it more. No rushing, no worries. The food they serve is made from fresh, in season ingredients and you will be well nourished after a meal there. True, you have to pick up your meal at the counter and return your dishes when you're done, but you didn't have to cook it or wash the dishes. They have no worries about being a viable restaurant with repeat customers. They are celebrating their 35th anniversary this month and I am one of many who have been dining there almost since the beginning.  

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Nice place. - Edit

I like Bloodroot very much. I just wish all of their offerings were vegan. They have been making an effort to offer more vegan items in recent years, and hopefully they'll make the transtition to 100% vegan soon. There's a pretty comprehensive feminist/vegetarian bookstore inside the restaurant, and the food is wholesome and delicious. I absolutely love the portrait of the cat that hangs above the kitchen!

Pros: nice women, tasty food, lovely spot

Cons: not 100% vegan

1 Response

felmotes 22 Feb 2013 - If they went 100% vegan, I'd definitely give them another try. The only 100% vegan restaurant I know of in the area is Ahimsa in New Haven. Would be great to have another.  

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Reviewer Avatar

nice atmostphere - Edit

i have been going here since i was a teenager. i now live in CA and still go whenever i go back to CT. gorgeous location on the water. very cute inside - old photos on walls and mismatched antiquey furniture. good food. but it would be nice to have more vegan options and not to have to serve yourself (hard to carry some babies and food at the same time)!

Pros: cute, vegetarian, on the water

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