Buddha's Veggie

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 36 reviews )

5802 Macleod Trail SW (at 57th Ave S), Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2J 0P6

Serves meat, vegan options available. Chinese restaurant that was previously all veg, but switched to offering flesh meat since winter 2009. Separate veg menu and cooking. Menu includes various mock meats like veggie ham and veggie goose. Spacious interior with large round tables as well booth seating. Open Mon 11:00am-10:00pm, Wed-Sun 11:00am-10:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Take-out, Asian, Non-veg

36 Reviews

First Review by jasvir

Okay - Edit

Most items were fried or had high oil content. The tofu used was a soft silken tofu and did not seem like the best consistency in the dishes we chose. But it seemed like the best option in the area.

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Wonderful - Edit

Hot and tasty sweet and sour faux pork. The brown rice was al dente. The restaurant was fairly busy. My server was attentive. It wasn't health food, but I wanted an indulgence and found it.

Next time I'll bring one or two friends along, and try more
Re-visited, with my brother, veggie dumplings were delightful,
"Special Rice" was the best rice I've ever tasted, Vegetables in Coconut Curry very mild, incredibly tasty.

Updated from previous review on Thursday July 16, 2015

Pros: Fusion of a variety of asian cuisines, Gifted chef, Friendly staff

Cons: closed on Monday and Tuesday

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Great Selection - Edit

The veg menu is very large, so that is great. I tried the fried drumsticks and the veggie beef and broccoli with black bean sauce. The drumstick appetizer was actually really good. The veggie beef tasted fine, pretty much what I remember non-vegetarian Westernized Chinese food tasting like. Definitely pricey for what you get ($14 for the entree, plus an extra $3.50 or so for the rice!), but it was worth it to have nice vegetarian meal while staying in Calgary. I thought the service was fine, no complaints.
Updated from previous review on Monday July 20, 2015

Pros: Big Menu, Tasty Food

Cons: Expensive

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God it was good - Edit

This was the first restaurant I went to that catered to vegans. They had a menu for vegans and vegetarians and a menu for meat eaters. My food was awesome I was so impressed.

Pros: You can bring your meat eating friends , The selection is great

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Disappointing Food and Poor Service - Edit

I was anticipating delicious ginger meat-alternative and salt 'n' pepper veggies and somewhere, it went awry.

I will start off by clarifying that the woman serving us was alone, but there was only one other table. The service was very slow, regardless. We had to ask for water and she only came around once at the end of the meal to refill (although they were empty longer).

I had the "veggie ginger beef lunch combo", veggie spring rolls, and deep fried eggplant in spicy salt. I didn't like any of it, unfortunately!The imitation ginger beef didn't have the same taste of the ginger beef sauce, even, and there was an pleasant almost smoky taste to it. It came with rice and veggies. Not stir fry veggies. just boiled peas and carrots. Portions were generous enough, though it was working against me today! The spring rolls were a good texture, but I did not like the taste at all. I was with some omnivores, one of whom had ordered salt and pepper squid she reported was good! I wanted something similar so got it in eggplant.

It was definitely fresh, it came out steaming! Texture was nice and crunchy! But it was so salty. My friends tried it, and they reported it was much salter than the squid. Too bad! They said their meals were fine, though!

Pros: Options

Cons: Slow, Poor service, Food did not meet expectations

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Menu changes: daily & lunch specials, gluten-free - Edit

Buddha's Veggie has made some changes in their menu over the last few months. Some people have commented that they think the regular prices are high compared to other Chinese restaurants. Buddha's Veggie now offers a daily special (vegetarian or meat) for $10. The specials include ginger beef, sweet and sour pork, beef and vegetables in black bean sauce, kung po chicken, chicken fried rice, and shrimp with cashew nuts. Obviously, the vegetarian versions are fake meat. They have lunch specials, as well.

Someone commented that they found the gluten-free options to be far too limited. The menu now lists about a dozen gluten-free items, which are variations on tofu, mushrooms, almonds, and veggies. I believe that the restaurant increased the number of gluten-free choices fairly recently, perhaps because they were on the GF restaurant list in Calgary, and thus getting a lot of people requesting these dishes.

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Yummy westernized Chinese food - Edit

I eat at Buddha's about once every 3 weeks; whenever I feel like indulging in some greasy, satisfying Chinese food.

They have really delicious veggie ginger beef, mock fish dishes (my new fave), Singapore style vermicelli noodles, etc. They have a "meat" menu and a "veggie" menu so be sure you have the right one! Some of the dishes on the veg menu are NOT vegan-friendly (like the chow mein) so be sure to ask.

It's a westernized food, so there are lots of deep-fried stuff drenched in sweet/greasy sauces.

Service is really typical of a Chinese restaurant, I feel. Blunt. Not exactly graceful. Some may construe as rude. But there is that cultural difference. Don't expect your waitress to be super-attentive or personable. All this aside, the service is generally accurate and fast.

Prices are expensive for what you get (comparing to similar restaurants in Vancouver) but don't have much of a choice if that's the kind of food you want in Calgary.

All in all, I would recommend this restaurant to friends. It's tasty and good for a once-in-a-while indulgence.
Updated from previous review on Thursday October 24, 2013

Pros: tasty food, fast service

Cons: food tends to be oily, wait staff tend to be blunt

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Back to Buddha's - Edit

We had given up on Buddha's a couple of years ago. Inconsistent food quality, then a meat menu, spotty service and spotty hours. We were driving by, and thought we would give them another shot for lunch. What a surprise. The food was back to its old quality (delicious) and with the lunch specials, was fairly inexpensive. We tried it again the next week, and the same experience. We are now regulars again, and are loving our old favorites. A word of caution, we have not been back for dinner, so we have no idea how things are in the evening. But with the lunch specials every day, we may not even have to go back in the evening. If you haven't been there in a while, try it for lunch. It's great.

Pros: Great Food, Great Lunch Specials

Cons: Still a meat menu

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Delicious Dry Ribs! - Edit

I wasn't sure about this place at first, but I think I just wasn't ordering the right thing. The last few times I went I got the dry ribs, and they are amazing. They remind me of fried chicken, which I used to love before I became vegan. So now this is one of my favourite places in Calgary.

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So-so - Edit

I've eaten here a few times, and the food is good (actually, their veggie ginger beef is amazing), but the service is adequate at best, and they charge for water!!! I just asked for some hot water to drink and they charged $1.50.

Someone posted that because they serve shark fin soup he/she won't be going back, but the menu says they use mock meat - so don't let that keep you from going.

Pros: Veggie Ginger Beef

Cons: Service, They nickle & dime you!

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NOT Gluten Free Friendly - Edit

I having been going to Buddha's Veggie for years- it is a great place to take meat eating friends and I have always found them very accommodating. Having been recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease- my sister and I chose to go out for dinner to Buddha's Veggie expecting a restaurant that caters to vegetarians to be understanding of dietary restrictions. I was deeply disappointed by the rude response of our waitress- who seemed put out by my questions about which dishes could be made gluten free. (I understand that it is a limiting request- but so many restaurants are wiling to accommodate it these days- I was shocked that Buddha's Veggie was not) Sadly I will not be returning.

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Oh this place.... - Edit

I really want to love Buddha's but my tummy says no. Everytime I eat here its super amazing and worth the wait, price, etc. But about 45 mins after eating I get the poops. No idea what causes it. Probably my stomach reacting to a spice in the food. Everyone else I have talked to have never had this problem, but its not a one time thing for me. I have tried multiple times to enjoy this lovely place. My stomach just won't have it. Don't base the food off this. It is really good.

I haven't been since they started serving meat. I am disappointed that they have. It doesn't make sense to me.

Pros: Really good food, Kinda fancy inside

Cons: Expensive, My belly hates it

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So delicious! - Edit

I've been to this place three times and it's been great every time. Such a great place to go if you miss greasy chinese food and the greatness of ginger beef! I honestly think the ginger "beef" here is better than the actual real thing, because it's not difficult to chew... it's pure deliciousness.. The kungpo chicken is delicious as well. The service is very friendly and quick! Highly recommended!

unfortunately, they serve meat, but they cook the meat separately from the vegetarian dishes.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff

Cons: unhealthy food, serves meat

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Love it! - Edit

We have been going here for a little while now, knowing that it existed through Happy Cow(thank-you)!!!My whole family loves this place. My son(the only non-vegetarian in our home)says that he would happily be a vegetarian if he could eat like this everyday(what does that say about my cooking hmmmm!)our favorites are the dried ribs, ginger beef, and chicken chowmein, and well just about everything!!! Their shrimps were a blast from my meat eating past. Everythings a little greasy(fun!) And we love the service. The only draw back is consistantly the mushrooms do not seem fresh. Oh well, thank God this place exists...a place where veggies can order and not feel like we are aliens from another planet!

Pros: FOOD, Service, did i say food

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Good and Bad - Edit

Great food for your taste buds! I went with my mom and had a great time eating up all the yummy vegan food. Great for birthdays or a special night out. Only down side was that I noticed "shark fin soup" on their meat menu and so I will not be going back for that reason, but if you don't have anything against their meat selection then you will really enjoy this resturant. Cheers :)

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Buddha's Veggie - Edit

The food at Buddha's is pretty awesome if you are looking for deep fried comfort food. Super tasty!! The staff is always great. I am just sad that after all the years of being Pure Veggie they felt the need to add a meat menu.

Pros: vegan friendly, family friendly, great for large groups

Cons: serves meat , not the healthiest choice

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Horrible Experience. - Edit

I think the food is good but allot of it is over priced. Then again I find all the vegan friendly restaurants in Calgary to be allot more expensive then Vancouver so maybe this is a non issue. What really bothers me about this place is the rude communication skills of the employees. Maybe its a language thing and I'm being insensitive but I have had so many problems with this place over the years that at this moment I can't ever imagine wanting to go back.

We were driving into the city from over an hour north. When we were 15 minutes away I called and told the women on the phone that I was 15 minutes away and time was a little tight asking if I could pre-order. She said that I couldn't pre order I could only order ahead if it was pick up. Telling me I have to order when I get there. 15 minutes later our party arrives and the staff inform us that the kitchen is closed for half an hour so they could all have lunch together. WHY WOULDN'T YOU TELL ME ON THE PHONE WHEN I TRIED TO PRE ORDER AND TOLD YOU I WAS 15 MINUTES AWAY?? I needed to get to the airport and couldn't wait another 30 minutes to order.

What really bothers me is that they didn't take ANY responsibility for what they said on the phone. If they told me the kitchen was closing in 15 I would have tried to make alternate plans. When I asked then why I wasn't just told that, they just starred at me. Then one of the ladies said "How are we suppose to know when you're coming in." Which makes no sense since I did specify this on the phone.

On the up side I have to applaud them for having reasonable priced lunch specials now and the food is very good. I wish them no ill and I would love to see their business thrive but this was not the first time I have walked away super frustrated. Is it just me?


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Delicious! - Edit

Out of all the plates that my fiance and I have tried nothing compares to the perfection of the black pepper beef with Shanghai noodle! It's perfection in food form - The beef is so incredibly close to tasting real but actually better since regular beef dishes such as this tend to be stringy, fatty and chewy...not the case here! We love the chicken balls and although the ginger beef isn't necessarily my fav it happens to be my fiances top pick! Everything is always served fresh and it's just amazing how intricate the flavors are in every dish. Lots of TLC put into the food, highly enjoyable, so what if the prices are a little high, I really don't think they're THAT much higher then regular chinese food...it is specialty food and for intricate flavors/dishes like that I think it's worth it!

Pros: Incredible Flavors, Efficient service, Tons of options

Cons: Awkward location

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Great Location! - Edit

- Enjoy the dry ribs, ginger beef, and sweet and sour pork!
- Took none veggies there and they tried the fake meat and said it wasnt to bad.
- Service is fast and food is served hot
- Have used take out and food was ready on time
- Great location with parking

All in all we are happy with Buddha's and will continue going there.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, good service

Cons: room temp was cold, serves meat too

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Not a good change - Edit

Is it just me or has there been a decline in vegetarian/vegan places to dine in the city. Buddha's is now serving meat, and some others have closed all together......hhhmmm

Cons: serves meat, expensive, no parking

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Disapointed - Edit

I used to order from here at least one a month, but it seemed like, everytime I went back the prices kept going up and the portions got smaller, now they arent even vegetarian anymore! Oh well guess I dont need all that deep fried food anyway:)

Pros: food tasted good

Cons: no parking, difficult to get to, closed in the middle of the day

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New Changes - Edit

Buddha's Veggie Garden is now a "fusion cuisine" restaurant. I was surprised when I saw the changes, and worried that my favourite vegetarian Chinese food place (and I believe the only one in Calgary) had changed for the worse.

The new sign is a much needed change, as the previous one made it appear slightly sketchy. Also, the new decor is an improvement (though, in my opinion, not necessary.) The bowls are a bit deeper, so the food rests nicely in them (though, again, not necessary.) The pictures on the menu are also nicely updated. The previous ones often looked unappetizing due to the way they were presented in the pic.

The change to meat on the menu is tolerable. For vegetarians with friends who eat meat, this might be a positive change.. however, I always saw Buddha's as an opportunity to show omnivores that veg food can taste amazing! And fake beef can taste like real beef!

I hated the fish hanging from a net near the ceiling at the front desk. It seemed a huge juxtaposition to Buddha's previously veg status. And offensive to the vegetarians that frequent the place, to have huge sea bass staring at them while they try to eat "compassionate" food.

However, as always, the portions were huge and the staff were friendly and hospitable. I especially appreciated when, after ordering the chow mein, I was asked if it was okay that it had egg in it. (As a vegan, I was not okay and so quickly said so.) She offered the rice noodles instead and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and efficiently I could be accommodated.

I will definitely continue dining at this wonderful establishment and cross my fingers that they get rid of the fish.

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Nice - Edit

At this point, Buddha's is a veggie institution in Calgary. The food is pretty flavorful despite the limitations they work with (no garlic or onions!). It does tend toward the pricey side for Chinese food, but they do not cheap out on the ingredients.
It's a nice little restaurant as well, with good service.

Pros: Good food, Good service

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Less Food for more Money... - Edit

Since 5 years I have been going to Buddha's Veggie. By the time passing the food is less in quantity and quality, and more expensive. And they want you to pay and go out fast. Now the worst: Once I went there with my girlfriend; as my order was low of $30.00 We were asked to take it out!!!!!! That was my last time there and I will not go there anymore!!!!

Pros: Veggie, good

Cons: Less than before, Expensive than before, Greedy service

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paradise of choices - Edit

i'm from switzerland and we don't have anything like that there! before i came to calgary i checked out the vegan places here. when i saw the menu from buddha's veggie i nearly got a heart attack. a holiday to paradise of choice!!!!
so yesterday i went there with my friend and we ordered 6 or 7 different meals for dinner. i knew in advance that we wont be able to eat them all but i just don't know if i ever come to calgary. the waitresses were very friendly and helpful with what to order on the menu if there was no picture of it. just to know what we'll order. the sizes are really good for the price. we didn't have to wait long for the food. the atmosphere was very positive. they packed all the rest for us to take it home.i hope i'll get there another time during this holiday. i already marked the next meals i'll order ;)

Pros: all vegan, taste, options/choices

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Deee-licious! - Edit

We were not having the best time in Calgary, and headed to this restaurant after a long, hot, tiring day. I was a little apprehensive when we arrived - situated on a busy road, opposite a huge mall, it didn't look too appealing from the outside. But when we went inside, it was large, airy and very pleasant. And then I saw the menu! It doesn't usually take me very long to decide on a meal, but the choice here was amazing. All kinds of dishes, including noodles, rice, veggies, tofu and what semmed like a zillion faux meats!

I finally settled on veggie Won Ton soup and Veggie Beef with Broccoli in Black Bean Sauce whilst my partner had Golden Fried Dumplings and Pepper & Candied Veggie Steak. The food was delicious, really tasty, but I must admit we seriously struggled with the huge portions. They are not for the feint-hearted! We were so impressed with the choice available that we took a take-away menu to show our friends back home.

The staff were nice enough - pleasant, polite, and not too overbearing.

I doubt we will ever return to Calgary, but if we did, we would definitely eat here agin.

Pros: Great choice, Tasty food, Good value for money

Cons: Location

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grease fest - Edit

If you've been to China/Taiwan as a vegetarian, maybe this food will be delightful and reminiscent of your time there. Or maybe your looking to have a meal all fried or deep fried-still calling it vegetarian/vegan. This is not a healthy variety of food at reasonable cost place.

Pros: large tables, friendly staff, chopsticks!

Cons: closed 3-5? , too greasy, expensive

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