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Govinda's Natural Foods Buffet

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 21 reviews )
Contact 520-792-0630
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711 E Blacklidge Dr, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 85719

Vegetarian and vegan buffet and mostly organic salad bar, operating since 1992. In addition to fresh baked breads you will find a varied range of dishes like pasta, spinach filo, tamale pie, lasagna, and more. Cozy interior plus patio. Thursday is all vegan night. Sunday brunch service. Open Tue 5:00pm-9:00pm, Wed-Sat 11:30am-9:00pm, Sun 11:00am-2:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Indian, International, Buffet, Salad bar, Take-out, Bakery, Catering

Reviews (21)

First Review by maynard7

Indian Awesomeness! - Edit

This place rules! They had SO many vegan choices, and it was a buffet, so we got a TON of food for a super low price. They had to roll my husband and I out of there. Just kidding, but it was seriously awesome and we ate a load of food. Everything I had, from the bread to the veggies to the dishes, was delicious. Great for WFPB as far as I could tell. Very clean filling food. Normally Indian food is a little to spicy for me,but not here. They really didn't make anything super spicy. All in all, this place was a really great restaurant to stop at for dinner while I was in Tucson.

Pros: Delicious food, and lots of it!, Not to spicy, Amazing price


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Thursday Night is Vegan Night - Edit

This is not a fine dining spot, but the food is delicious, plentiful and a great value. It's a buffet that's about half salad and half hot dishes. All was clearly marked and we really enjoyed the meal. This is not a restaurant to lounge around and linger. Maybe in the summer when the outside seating is an option it would be ok. But otherwise as the restaurant was busy it would have been too selfish not to move on when finished.

Pros: good value, delicious food, fast

Cons: cafeteria feel


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Good, but can be made to feel awkward - Edit

My family LOVES the food of Govinda's (we've been a bunch of times). You do have to be careful and ask (repeatedly) what is actually vegan and what has eggs/dairy in it. The cashier often doesn't actually know, but will happily say one way or the other based on what they seem to think you want to hear.

Getting take-out is the only way I'd eat here again. Why? Because their "all you can eat" buffet-style only is "all you care to eat" if you don't mind getting questioned and looked at weirdly. We NEVER waste food. Because of this, we always take teeny-tiny portions of a variety of things at a buffet until we know what we actually like. Then, we go back for a dish or two that we liked. Then, we go back again for dessert/last course. All in all, we don't actually take any more food than anyone who does it in one trip, we just make sure we want something so that we don't want to throw anything away... The people here don't seem to understand this, and they'll quiz you to make sure that you aren't wasting food. Takeout is just an empty container that you can fill to it's max. Because of that, it costs about 1/3 the cost to fill my family with takeout than to eat there in person for the same amount of food.

The fare really varies. Check their online daily menu before going. If it's something you like, you'll LOVE the place. If it's something you don't like, well, that's all that will be on the menu that night. They usually have vegan halava; it's great.

One room in the place is a no-shoes area. They also have a little store (fun!) and exotic birds in the courtyard to gaze at.

Pros: Excellent healthy food options, Courtyard, Fun little store

Cons: Made to feel like a person who wastes, Not 100% vegan, except Thursdays


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Auspicious - Edit

Well worth the price. Good place to go if you have meat eaters with you. They won't miss the meat; plus the buffet is sufficient for any appetite. Not my very favorite(just a personal thing). Recommend it to anyone for a healthy, inexpensive meal. Nice atmosphere also.

Pros: Inexpensive , Atmosphere quiet

Cons: Not Vegan necessarily


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Reliably good - Edit

Food is always reliably good. They clearly mark what is vegan and not, usually have vegan desert options and are so nice and accommodating.

Pros: All vegetarian, Salad bar, Nice setting

Cons: Sometimes weird food combinations


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amazing (in contrast only) - Edit

As far as the rest of Tucson, and the world goes, this place is pretty freaking awesome. The food is great, the prices are more than fair, and the setting is comfortable.

The seating area inside is rather small, but you can sit outside if the weather is right.

I am 100% vegetable fueled, and I had to ask about a few things, because the labels don't really tell you much... which is frustrating for the ones like me, which society calls "vegan"

I consider vegetarian to mean VEGETABLE POWERED! But here you have to really ask because the labels don't dictate about eggs, and you have to read and make sure the sign states dairy free or wheat free.

I would prefer a little more isolation between the use of animal(lacto) and vegetable food. I feel its a little tainted because they are so close and having to read labels to discern.

Pros: fair prices, soul filling

Cons: not clearly labeled vegetarian(vegan), no vegan desserts


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Love it! - Edit

I visited there twice for lunch on Thursday, which is their vegan day, and it was fabulous both times. The dishes are wholesome and delicious, so I felt absolutely no guilt gorging on it :) Their salad dressing are especially special. Can't wait to try the Sunday brunch...
Oh, and their outside seating is also nice - they have a pond, and birds, and two large parrots that can keep you company.

Pros: excellent food, good value, nice vibe

Cons: disposable plates


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GREAT natural food buffet, not typical indian rest - Edit

The food is very good here as many have mentioned. If you are coming expecting traditional Indian food, you might be disappointed. Several of the hot entree items have indian spiced flavor and are very mild and tasty. The full buffet is running just under $10, add a yummy samosa $1.50, add herbal tea sweetened with apple juice $1.25. That said, if you want to reduce the cost a little, you can opt for the bread, soup and salad bar portion only (no entree save about $2) They also offer a punch card for frequent patrons. I believe it's prepay for 5 meals get the 6th free. Show student id to get $1 off. The lunch buffet is the better option. There are just as many yummy choices as are on for the dinner buffet.

Pros: Super healthy food, Dairy/allergen labels, Wonderful gift shop


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Good food, nice place - Edit

We had the dinner buffet, and it was very good. Plenty of choices, whatever your taste. Usually, I am not a big fan of Indian food, but their food is good with a lot less of the heavy curry, or fried stuff. A good value, too!

Pros: Good food, Good value, Nice atmosphere


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memorable - Edit

Part Indian cult - Part Veggie buffet.

Run by the Hare Krishnas. Food was pretty good. You had to line up and wait for like 20 minutes before they opened it up. But it was like only $4.00! I liked the outside seating in the court yard. Just let them know you are vegan.

Pros: food, price, price

Cons: non-conventional restaurant


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My favorite Place to eat ! - Edit

Govinda's Natural Foods has been serving vegetarian meals in Tucson since 1992! The food Govinda's offers is wholesome, healthy, organic, and blessed. The restaurant has a spotless appearance with touches of charming and unique thoughtfulness such as mood lighting, exotic decorations from foreign lands, spiritual literature, a boutique, an outside dining area with a water fountain, a bird aviary, and Koi pond. All of these aesthetics add to the serene and peaceful atmosphere.

Both lunch and dinner are served in an all you can eat Buffet style. Many of the fresh vegetables served in the salad bar are not only organic but are also purchased from local growers. The salad dressings are all homemade and offer a variety of healthy flavors and tastes. The hot side of the buffet contains both brown and white rice, two yummy hot soups, fresh steamed vegetables, spiced just right cooked veggies, and an entree for dinner. In addition, homemade bread and sweet deserts are baked fresh daily. Also, there are always dairy and glutton free selections on the menu for those with in tolerances, and all day Thursday is vegan day!

I eat at Govinda's everyday except for Monday when the restaurant is closed. Stepping onto the property, instantaneously my mind relaxes. Once I make my way into the restaurant area, the meditative music permeating the atmosphere calms my body, and the aromas from the fresh food arouses my senses. I delicately fill my plate with my chosen selections of delicious food cooked with love and devotion and sit down at a table to eat quietly. Literally, every bite taken equals pure bliss, as I smile and chew thoroughly so as to enjoy the savory tastes! Dining at Govinda's Natural Foods brings my body, mind, and spirit peace.

Pros: Organic Veggies, All you can Eat, Peaceful atmosphere


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Amazing - Edit

I grow up to eating Indian food so the fact there's a place that has vegan Thursday night is just amazing to me, being most of the food would be cooked with yogurt. They have a pond and beautiful birds, they people their are truly kind hearted people. You can sit outside which is just a sight, their salad bar is one of a kind makes sweet tomatoes look like a joke. Their tea they have is one I've never tried. The best part is that it's a buffet one of my favorite's restaurants in town.

Pros: Buffet , friendly staff


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Try the Sunday brunch - Edit

It took me a couple of visits to warm up to this place. It's not totally vegan, except on vegan night, and the space for food options is small, so the night I went, I didn't feel like there were enough options for the price. But I've since fallen in love with the Sunday brunch and will get to Vegan night as soon as I can. The pancakes are amazingly light and fluffy, the tofu scramble and potatoes are tasty and they make a vegan hot salsa that is awesome. One of the turnoffs is that everything they serve on is disposable, which is due to the fact that they don't have a kitchen large enough to wash the amount of dishes that they would produce. Since it is a buffet, health codes require you to take a new plate each time you go up, so the landfill garbage that is produced is a little painful to consider. I did find out last time I was there, however, that they will allow you to bring your own plates and use the sink to wash them, which is a great solution. We're going to do that next time we go.

Pros: good food, nice Sunday brunch

Cons: disposable plates and wares, not all vegan


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Just Awwwwwwwww! - Edit

I invited a friend to join me on a Thursday for Vegan night fearing the unknown. Once I stepped in to this quiet, cozy little nook right off of 1st I realized it is the type of place you can go to alone... maybe would even prefer to visit alone! The atmosphere was so calming. I made my way to the cash register and was greeted by a friendly man. He was one of only two people I saw working there. I quickly paid, stopped by the cooler for some water then made my way down the buffet table. Being that it was vegan night I knew that nothing was off limits. I loved that for a reasonable price I would be able to try everything and go back for seconds if I wanted.
Really, it was like eating dinner at someone's house. It was a truly relaxing and delicious experience. I dined outside between the trickling fountain and the beautiful parrots. I will be going back again and again.
It may have been the time of day I went but it was super quiet... I would check it out before I took my loudest, most chatty friend there to eat with me!

Pros: Good Price, Great Food, Calming Environment

Cons: Step here and there, so be careful!, Super quiet, Item costing seperatley on buffet too


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Wonderful Vegan Options - Edit

After moving to Tucson, it was nice to find myself very close to another Hare Krishna kitchen. They have several vegan options nightly and also have a vegan night on Thursday. Most items are clearly marked each night. On the last vegan night we attended there were two items not marked, when I inquired, the attendant said they were pretty sure one of the items was NOT vegan and was not sure about the other and recommended to avoid it since the cooks had left and he could not verify. So ask if you are not sure on vegan night, and hopefully they will be as friendly as they have been with any questions I have had.

Sunday brunch is also wonderful with several options for vegans. No time have I eaten here and left hungry or unsatisfied. The food is a little more bland than Indian food you may be used to, but I would not call it bland.

I would recommend this highly if you like this kind of food.

Pros: Items clearly marked, Outdoor dining option, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Cost


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Great place! - Edit

Govinda's has a great selection of vegetarian/vegan foods in a buffet style. I was skeptical at first because their menu online reminded me of the ones they have for school lunches. When my husband and I finally went for the first time we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of choices we had to eat that were not listed on the online menu. We have also taken our omni friends here and they raved about it. I have been a little disappointed with the quality of the daily specials in the past, but there are always plenty of other items to try. We have been here so many times in the past six months we already filled up our punch card for a free (or discounted?) meal. The atmosphere is also very "zen" with a koi fish pond, fountains, and exotic birds, I'm guessing because it is run by Hare Krishnas.

Pros: variety, price, atmosphere


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Not bad... not brilliant - Edit

I went on a Saturday night. The place was virtually empty, which always concerns me. It was, however, slightly out of the way, being on a poorly-lit side road. The selection was fairly limited but what there was, was not bad. It was a little bland for my taste. As with other Indian restaurants in the US, they seem to cater for the lowest common demoninator! Also it was a little lukewarm. The grounds were nice and the people there, as with other Govinda's I've been to were very friendly. A nice addition to the Tucson veggie scene.

Pros: Good value, Healthy Food, Friendly Staff

Cons: Too Bland, Lukewarm, A Bit out of the way.


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Delicious! - Edit

The food at Godvinda's is absolutely delicious!!! AND, it's wicked cheap! All-You-Can-Eat for under 8 bucks??? Not bad at all. I went on vegan night (though, I understand they have a number of vegan options EVERY night), and felt like such a pig. Trust me, if you are vegan, you will NOT be disappointed. I don't remember exactly what I ate -- I had a little of everything; it was all so good.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, cheap


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A great choice in Tucson - Edit

I went there for Sunday brunch and was very pleased. The buffet only has a few choices, but they were all very tasty. Very healthy food with an Indian flair. Lunch $7.95 Dinner $9.95 Sunday Brunch 8.95 all you can eat. See their web site for complete details (especially the unusual operating hours). http://govindasoftucson.com/

Pros: Very good food, Exotic flavors


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