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Earthen Jar

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 17 reviews )
Contact 734-327-9464

311 S 5th Ave, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, 48104

Small restaurant offering a vegetarian buffet where you pay weight. Dishes are primarily Indian. Open Mon-Tue 12:00pm-4:00pm, Wed-Sat 11:00am-8:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-4:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Indian, Buffet, Take-out

Reviews (17)

First Review by mephitine

Great vegan and gluten free food ! - Edit

I loved eating at the Earthen Jar. Nearly everything is vegan and clearly marked about what it contains for gluten or allergies, how spicey it is etc.. It is a casual restaurant, and Indian buffet style only with a wide choice of dishes that change daily. I paid $12 for my meal with the mango soy lassi and I think that was quite reasonable compared to other restaurants in the area (and for once I was spoiled for choice on what to eat). Each dish was a different lovely flavor - I tried some of the cold dishes such as the chick peas (very spicey and with mint, yummy) and 2 of the dals. They had some dishes I had never seen at Indian restaurants before, such as ones made with black eyed peas and another with okra and both were quite good. I love that they have brown rice in addition to the traditional white basmati. Then the desserts were about 90% vegan gluten free choices so I could not refuse to try one. They also now have a wide selection of teas, some are non-caffeinated. I loved this place !! May get crowded in cold or bad weather as about half the seating is outdoors.... but they also have take out available.

Pros: Wide choice for vegans/gluten free, Lovely owners/Ayurvedic health store too, Flavors all distinct and lovely

Cons: Small inside room (has outside seating), Plastic forks (wish they used re-usable)

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Best Vegetarian Restaurant - Edit

THis is my favorite vegetarian restaurant in Ann Arbor. It is also the best vegetarian and vegan food that I've ever had - and I LOVE indian food.

Everything is clearly labeled if it is vegan (and almost everything is vegan).

The owner is a very nice couple. She does ALL of the cooking. You can taste the love.

I just wish they would open a 2nd location in the Detroit area.

Pros: Best Indian food, fairly priced

Cons: too far from me

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Good food. Not clean. - Edit

First visit there & staff was very helpful as I'm new to Indian fare. Thought the food was very good and really enjoyed the oppertunity to sample many different items. I enjoyed most of what I tried.
Quite disapointed in the clenliness of the restaurant though.
I really couldn't enjoy my meal.
In the future I would only get take out from this restaurant.

Pros: Good variety, Good oppertunity to sample new items

Cons: Dirty & unkept

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Pleasant place with delightful food - Edit

The Earthen Jar is a resonable yet wonderful place to enjoy a casual meal. The owners are sweet and kind. The buffet offers many great indian dishes. The majority of the food is vegan. Every thing is well seasoned and delisious. The resturant is steady with customers. The decore is just O.K. and they dont serve decafe tea but I realy like this resturant.

Pros: Kind owners, Great food, many vegan options

Cons: O.K. decore, no decafe tea

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YUM!!! - Edit

This small restaurant located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor offers delicious, authentic ethnic foods, the majority of which are vegan (and all are vegetarian). After discovering this restaurant a week or so ago I went back twice more and stuffed my face each and every time. Some mentioned that the prices can add up quickly, but I piled my carton high -- it is a self-serve restaurant that charges by weight -- and it hasn't cost more than $10 each time (without dessert), plus I had a good portion to take home with me. My favorites are the vegan macaroni and cheese, vegan lasagna, curried potatoes, scrambled tofu, all of the lentils offered (especially the spicy ones), and the vegan cookies (of course!). If you are looking for a great place to get some healthy, flavorful food, head to the Earthen Jar. It has surpassed Seva as my new favorite restaurant in the area, which is remarkable to say the least!

Pros: ethnic food, prices by weight, one man show

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Eat as much or as little as you want! - Edit

Don't worry about going hungry here -- start small and take until you're full! It has awesome options, but the place is pretty small. Forget about getting a seat if it gets busy, but waiting is definitely worth it.

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Tasty potato salad - Edit

The potato salad, lentils, and the spicy chickpeas are always good, hearty options at this buffet-style restaurant. Other reviews have mentioned that it's easy to rack up an expensive dinner here, and that may be true given the heft of some of the meal selections. If you're watching your wallet, just be mindful of what you put onto your plate. If your only goal is to eat a tasty, healthy meal, however, there's little fault to be found with this place. Bonus points if they happen to have pankora during your stay -- those things are excellent.

Pros: Locally owned, Total vegetarian, Totally tasty

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Tasty but not as cheap as you think - Edit

The buffet foods are pretty tasty and each is labeled as vegan or non-vegan, spicy or mild, and the primary ingredient. Most of the dishes are pretty oily, but you can't taste the oil in the flavor. It looks like it'd be a cheap meal (I think it's $4.99/lb), but it actually adds up pretty quickly -- I usually spend ~$10-12 for dinner without a drink etc.

Pros: fast, buffet, authentic

Cons: not as healthy, small space

1 Response

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Jeffrey 31 Oct 2009 - Hi Gretchen, I liked your review. These pay by the pound places can fool you into spending way more than you bargained for!

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love it! - Edit

I have been going to Earthen Jar for about four years, and I can't believe I haven't written a review yet! This is such a wonderful little place. The food is outstanding (especially the yellow lentils), the owner is so kind and accommodating, and the place is just full of Ann Arbor charm. A little rundown, a little hippie-ish, but genuine. Food is $4.99/lb, plus there are some items that can be purchased separately like cookies and drinks. Definitely try the soy mango lassi, as it's possibly the most delicious thing there. Lots of vegan choices, and everything is clearly labeled (if you're not sure, just ask whoever is working. They all know what is and isn't vegan). It's mostly Indian food, but with some international choices like tofu, lasagna (dairy and vegan), and vegan mac 'n' cheese on occasion.

Earthen Jar just started having breakfast/brunch on Sundays, from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. This offering includes some American and some Indian choices.

Pros: food

Cons: tiny

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Love them!!!! - Edit

If you need something in a hurry, they never fail! This is a very "New York City-ish" type of place that we are lucky to have here in Michigan.

Pros: pick your own portion, convenient

Cons: only for people who like Indian food

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Delicious and cheap! - Edit

This place is amazing! A nice sized buffet, mostly vegan but everything is clearly marked, and the dairy dishes are easy to spot. The owner is very nice and helpful/proud of his food without being pushy. I went three times on my last visit to Michigan, can't wait to go again-- and I live in the vegan haven that is San Francisco!

Pros: GREAT FOOD!, Warm, relaxed environment.

Cons: Disposable eating utensils., Ask for a reusable plate/fork and knife, You just have to wash it yourself.

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I'm addicted! - Edit

I was a visitor to Ann Arbor recently and couldn't get enough of the Earthen Jar's food! The food is delicious and filling (huge selection that's mostly vegan - all vegan items are clearly marked, as are the "spicy-ness factors"), the staff friendly and helpful. I'd eat there daily if I lived there (but I live in Wyoming! Bummer.) I'm having serious sag dal and potato dumpling withdrawal!

Pros: Lots to choose from, Delicious food, Friendly staff

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"Mmmm" - Edit

Very delicious and intensely flavorful Indian food. Limited buffet choices, but enough to tempt me into loading up my tray and ringing up a hefty bill. Tiny little place, you'll miss it if you blink, so keep your eyes open. Right next to Jerusalem Garden, where you can get the best (and cheapest) falafel for miles around. So if you're with friends who can't abide Indian food, take them to Jerusalem Garden and pop next door for a take-out box at Earthen Jar for yourself. You'll be glad you did.

Pros: Great food, Good selections

Cons: Priced by weight, Can add up fast

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