• Vegan Vegan
    ( 21 reviews )

2 E Main St (at Montowese St), Branford, Connecticut, USA, 06405

Operating since Oct 2011, its all-vegan menu including beer, wine, desserts, breads, and raw food. Sources mostly sustainable and organic. Main entree prices range $18-22, handholds and other dishes less. No longer offering dairy milk for drinks. Open Tue-Thu 4:00pm-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 4:00pm-9:30pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Organic, Raw, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Catering, Fusion

Reviews (21)

First Review by Michael X. James

Home away from home - Edit

I live in NYC, but my mom lives in Branford, so this is my go-to place for plant-based dining. Lucky me! The dining is excellent and the Saturday Brunch is a dream come true. Do NOT miss the opportunity to visit and experience it for yourself.

Pros: Excellent food, Upscale dining

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Perfect Date Night ♥ - Edit

My boyfriend and I went last night for the first time and it was amazing. The staff was very sweet and the restaurant was warm and inviting. I suggest making a reservation just to be on the safe side. They offer indoor and outdoor seating. They have a very large bar menu and a large assortment of non-alcoholic drinks. The Dim Sum appetizer comes with two flavorful dipping sauce. I wish I could buy the sauce and keep at home because it's just that good. I also enjoyed the taco appetizer and it was also amazing. Make sure to save room for dessert. The Chocolate Torte is now my favorite dessert. I was sold with the brownie crust. After dinner we walked around downtown Branford. It was a perfect night. ps my boyfriend is not vegan- he got the artichoke kalamata olive wrapped in filo and a crabby patty. we both cleaned our plates. Thank you Gzen ♥

Pros: The entire menu is vegan

Cons: Expensive

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loveeeeee - Edit

G-zen has a large menu of delicious food items and u can't go wrong when u order anything. always fabulous. cozy atmosphere, friendly staff, and creative scrumptious meals And desserts!! happy place :)

Pros: food is 2000/10, friendly staff creative dishes decadent dessert

Cons: a little warm in there (went on very hot evening),

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My favorite vegan restaurant in CT - Edit

I love G-Zen! I usually always wind up ordering a special, but the nachos and grilled cheese are two of my favorite items on the menu! The nachos themselves are a meal though! I literally dream about the raw chocolate almond butter crunch torte, it's heavenly! However, I do not get it often, as it is $14 for a sliver.

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Amazing! - Edit

As a new vegan I've been trying to find more places to eat out that cater to my new needs. The food here was AMAZING!! I went to brunch with two other people and everyone enjoyed their food. I had the breakfast burrito with a side of sweet potato fries, the turmeric elixir drink (don't remember the exact name) and the lemon lavender "cheesecake" for dessert ( I was really hungry). Can't wait to go back.

Pros: High quality food, Lots of options , Friendly staff/welcoming atmosphere

Cons: Expensive

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Vegan Heaven - Edit

After 22 years at It’s Only Natural (ION) Restaurant, its masterful head chef sought new challenges, so he and his wife opened G-Zen, initially a sort of Neo-ION, as half its menu was the same, but with new and more imaginative though sometimes pretentious names. What could have been better than ION? Two ION’s!

Yet who can refrain from making comparisons? (Obviously not I). Many new dishes do distinguish it from ION, especially in recent years. For instance one entree here is all raw, with many side dishes raw too. Decor and dinnerware are more elegant and opulent than at hippie artsy ION. (You decide which better suits your personality.) I do prefer the “vibes” (yeah man, am a hippie) of ethnically-diverse and middle-class Middletown to that of predominantly Caucasian and affluent New-Haven-bedroom-community Branford, and prefer the trip to Middletown on scenic and lightly traveled Route 9 rather than on industrialized and truck-choked and traffic-jammed Interstate 95.

The food at G-Zen is outstanding, and it is primarily for the food that one chooses any restaurant. Every entrée is flavorful and often unique, if not invented by the masterful chef then surely perfected by him. The portions sometimes are small, but the nutritional standards always are high. So are the prices, especially of the desserts. In 2015, it cost $15 for a sliver. Add tax and tip, and that was $20, and remember, for a mere sliver. Clearly its intended clientele is the affluent bourgeoisie, a social class from which I am excluded.

Still, the lavish desserts and all the other prohibitively priced foods deserve the accolades bestowed upon it by others: it is delicious, nutritious, nearly wholly wholesome, mostly organic, much of it raw, beautifully presented, graciously hosted, and totally vegan. This very well may be vegan heaven!

Just ignore all the self-ingratiating hype on its website and DeFacebook page and menu, which should be taken with a grain of Himalayan pink salt. This is not the best veg restaurant in the entire Milky Way, which its tiresome hyperbole tries to bludgeon you into believing. This is the best veg restaurant in Connecticut, but CT is the third smallest state and its entire population is one-third that of just NYC’s. And NYC hosts several comparable restaurants. Fortunately NYC is far away, and even more fortunately G-Zen is close at hand.

G-Zen, no one loves your food because of all your hype. Rather, we love your food despite your hype.

Pros: the food!, the ambience, the food!!

Cons: the hype, the parking, the prices

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Best in CT (with an asterisk) - Edit

There are not a lot of vegan restaurants in Connecticut, so there's not much competition for the top spot. I have been a number of times. The service and atmosphere are outstanding. But the food is sometimes hit or miss. Last time, I had the Wheel of Dharma (udon noodle soup) which was to die for. My friend had the Kama Sutra (coconut curry veggies over rice) that had just one overpowering spice and was mostly tomatoes.

Bottom line, ask the waitstaff for recommendations. And if you don't get a winner the first time there, try again. The good stuff is *reallllly* good.

The desserts are excellent -- I've had the carrot cake, the coconut cake, chocolate hazelnut cake, and sundae. (not all at once!)

Pros: Great atmosphere, Good service, nice waitstaff, Some excellent food

Cons: Hit-or-miss on the food

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Ohhhhhhhh myyyyyy GOD!!! - Edit

I took my omnivorous boyfriend hoping he would like it as much as I did. The hands down winner....that vanilla cashew gelato!!! G-Zen, put it in a cookbook or sell it by the pint, PLEASE!
It's amazing and should be shared with the world. My sweetheart doesn't eat ice cream because it hurts him to digest.

Pros: Need I say it again? Vanilla cashew gelato!!

Cons: None to report

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best vegan food in CT - Edit

This place is fantastic. With the sad demise of Six Main it's now my favorite vegan place in CT, despite the trek to get out there. Great brunch options on the weekend, fabulous deserts, and good cocktails. Definitely spendy, but well worth it.

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Great Clean Food & Drink - Edit

Great place, Great staff, Awesome owners and the tasty food, desert, smoothies!
Great scenery, location and education talks from time to time!

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Great Food - Edit

I know happy cow says this is a vegetarian restaurant but it is 100% vegan. The food is absolutely, if you go there the raw tacos are a must. I've been here about 3 times and was always pleased with the service and food.

Pros: great service, awesome food, nice environment

Cons: none

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Not for my taste - Edit

This place has some good items in the menu. I went there several times, but every time I got out feeling pretty heavy. While the food is tasty, I can never finish my plates, they are just too dense! This is the only reason I give it three stars. Also, I find the place a bit dark; my eyes don't feel very comfortable.

Pros: tasty

Cons: a bit heavy, dark

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Raw organic vegan - Edit

My all time favorite restaurant in CT. They have a combination of vegan and raw vegan food. Organic wines and beer. NO diary, vegan cheeses. I had the best raw lasagna recently, heaven. (3/2014). My children love the nachos, g-zen sweet potato fries, root beer float(no diary. The staff are all excellent. I can't stay away. I love this place.
Updated from previous review on Saturday March 22, 2014

Pros: Organic, raw vegan, no diary

Cons: none

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G-Zen is worth every penny - Edit

I went with a friend, we shared the sweet potato fries and I had a salad that had an AMAZING pâté as the centerpiece. The portions are very large, the wait staff is friendly and informative, and overall I recommend Vegans and Vegetarians go here for lunch or dinner.

Pros: Menu, Quality of food , Wait staff

Cons: None

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Awesome place! - Edit

Food: 10. I went a little nuts ordering things since I had been so eager to go here and live 6 hours away! I got the following: the sweet potato fries, raw sunflower-based "cheese sticks", and the creole tempeh (which comes with cornbread, greens, and mashed potatoes). All were really good. My friend who I was with got chili and bruschetta, which I tasted and those were good, too. We shared the dessert special: a pumpkin doughtnut a la mode! We both agreed that was the best part of the meal! We were sad that they were out of the perogies the night we went, as we had looked at the menu online and had gone in wanting those very badly.

Price: 7. A bit pricey, but understandable given it is high-quality fresh, organic, and local food.

Atmosphere: 10. Very quaint and charming. It can be both casual or a bit fancy. Calming.

Staff: 9. Very friendly and helpful, but a bit slow.

Pros: Great selections, Great atmosphere, Great staff

Cons: Pricey

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way more than a VEGAN RESTAURANT - Edit

Basically G ZEN not only is the best Vegan food I have ever eaten....it is an entire experience. From the decor, to the music, to the menu and all the of the info that they provide, its is an amazing experience. I learned about their farm, organic juicing fasts that they offer & about the gmonkey mobile truck that they also run. I tried some RAW and COOKED food and was blown away by the quality and tastes. Everything is so fresh, organic and delicious. GZEN blows all the competition away and is the REAL DEAL.


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Great ION alternative - Edit

My husband and I ate here for a late lunch yesterday afternoon when we happened to be in the New Haven area. We've been to ION in Middletown a few times before and noticed some overlap between the two menus, so we tried to order items that we didn't remember from the ION menu. The waitress listed off some specials of the day, one of which was raw tacos with walnut meat filling. We ordered the appetizer version of this, which apparently costs almost as much as the meals we ordered off the menu ($12 vs. $14). It was so good though that it was definitely worth the cost. My husband liked it even though he typically hates raw food. It seemed to be some kind of great flavored walnut meat (which I wouldn't have known was walnut if I hadn't been told) guacamole, vegan sour cream, tomatoes and green onions served on a large leaf of lettuce. So yummy.

For entrees, we ordered the black bean chipotle burger and the tempeh ruben, both of which came with sweet potato fries. They were delicious, although the burger seemed a little dry to me. At some point the owner brought out a smoothie sample that was so good we ordered one to go for the long drive home. It was a some kind of peanut butter, cocoa and banana flavor. I'm not sure how frequently free samples are given out; we overheard one of the waitresses talking about how they expected the New York Times to visit that night.

The atmosphere was great and the seating was comfortable. We came pretty soon after they opened, and they seemed to get pretty busy not long after we arrived. The service got a little slow once it started to get crowded, but we were at a table by the window which was probably easy to overlook. Anyway, I would definitely recommend this place if you're in the area and have the money to spare :-)

Pros: great food, great desserts, yummy shakes

Cons: expensive

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I would absolutely suggest going to this place, even if you are not a vegetarian or vegan. The food was DELICIOUS, service was excellent, and the atmosphere was relaxing and fun. The menu has something for everybody, and the food lacks dairy and meat but not flavor! If you live in or near Branford and have not been to this place yet, it is absolutely worth the trip! One of the best new restaurants on the Shoreline!

Pros: Delicious, healthy food, Fantastic service, Cool ambiance

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