Govinda's Vegetarian Buffet

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 12 reviews )

1030 River Rd, Eugene, Oregon, USA, 97404

Casual veggie food restaurant that's part of the Radha Govinda Temple Center. Get all-you-can-eat buffet or one serving plate by weight. Opened since 2007. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-8:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Indian, Organic, Buffet, Salad bar, Hare Krishna

12 Reviews

First Review by groovyvegan

good food - Edit

Love the buffet. Not too spicy. My friends liked it too.

Pros: Good prices

Cons: Not very spicy

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  Contributions +16

It Is not All- You-Can-Eat Buffet; Only for the Small Eater - Edit

My husband and I went to the Govinda's Restaurant weekly for almost two years after we moved to OR from NV.

When the owner started work there full time, he tried to sale us some health products; we did not buy from him. Next time when we were there, he came to us and told us we ate too much.

Because we are big eaters; that why we always go to the buffet. I have been eating buffet restaurant for over forty years, and this was a first time the owner told me I ate too much.

Pros: most vegan food, friendly staff

Cons: phoney business owner, false advertise

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Strange place, ok food - Edit

This place has a peculiar atmosphere and staff. Sort of low budget, no frills with some religious iconry sprinkled on top. Some might find it charming and homely. I found it odd, though not off-putting. It doesn't inspire confidence or a strong desire to linger and eat inside.

The food was decent and reasonably priced.

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Good food - Edit

This is a very convenient place to get good vegan food. I always ask what is not vegan, and invariably it is a dessert. Everything is good. The options seem to not change often, so this is not a place I would frequent weekly, but my husband and I are always happy we went there.

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Good food but not plentiful - Edit

We enjoy this restaurant with one exception. They seem to run out of food. One time we arrived at 5:30 (they open at 5:00), and we got the last of the beets on the salad bar. The folks after us were out of luck. Really? You don't have any other beets on hand? We were also there one night when the vegan entree ran out so that vegans could only eat the salad, bread, rice and soup. Now when we go, I typically only get the soup, salad, and bread so that I'm not paying for an entree that may run out. I suggest getting there early to be assured of an entree. Nice, friendly people.

Pros: Good food, Friendly staff, Easy to get to

Cons: Runs out of food, Never sure what you'll get, Inexpensive

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twovegans 22 Feb 2013 - Oops! I meant that "inexpensive" is a Pro, not a Con!  

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inexpensive, mostly vegan, fantastic - Edit

Hey, really nice, clean place; pay as you come in. There's a salad bar w some fantastic salad dressings. Then they have two soups, one of which is vegan. The only other non-vegan item was the halavah(sp). Filtered water at the end is also included, as well as 4 great breads, one of which is gluten-free. The hot bar had potato pakora (great), 2 rices, mixed veg that was fresh (as was the salad, but likely not og), a spicy chickpea selection, iddly(sp), sambar, 3 chutneys, a coconut sauce. Other than the coconut sauce I tried everything (that was vegan & well 2 of the 4 breads; but c'mon, I am just one man). Everything was truly excellent.

I felt relaxed and it was really nice actually to go out and not break the bank too. It was clean, the staff is exceptionally nice and patient.

For anyone that would say it is far, I would just say that in eugene nothing is far from anywhere else. I didn't go out here bc I hadn't realized how good it would be and we both love it and will frequent here. Don't make the same mistake I did, if that would hold you back...

I ate a lot of food and was full, but a light and happy full. That is rare bc I usually feel it more when I overdo it as one might at a buffet.

Updated from previous review on Thursday September 03, 2009

Pros: excellent food, variety, all can eat, clean, nice staff

Cons: all good

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kindlizard 23 Jan 2010 - since returning after initial visit I have found the hot food and soups vary greatly in terms of quality and excitement. recently had a very uninspired meal there that was filling but lackluster. I will refrain from going on, but suffice it to say that your visit may depend on what the entrees are on the buffet...  

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The Salad Bar is Where It's At - Edit

This place is pretty amazing and very unique for the area. The location is really out of the way and it's unfortunate they moved from where they used to be (near downtown and so much easier to get to). If you live up River Rd. then this doesn't apply of course.

The Salad Bar is an easy 10 out of 10, the tofu dill & the ginger miso are the best salad dressings you will ever taste imho. I don't like salad and never have, weird for a vegan to say I know, but the salad bar here makes my mouth water. The Homemade bread especially the carob buckwheat is an easy 10 as well. The soup is bland and under spiced, with way too many beans in every one of the soups. The actual indian-vegan items are really tasteless, the main course is almost always as bland as can be. This is pretty indicative of the usual indian vegan cuisine but it doesn't have to be. I know this guy knows how to spice stuff so why the blandness on the main items? Maybe he want's people to eat less of the main course items I don't know. I was also kind of disappointed to see a sign on the main items saying please take 1 or 2 tiny squares only, is this a buffet or not? The enchiladas aren't all that anyway so don't flatter yourself man.

All that being said, do yourself a favor and give the whole buffet a shot but you will definitely come back for the salad bar itself. They need to sell the dressing in stores so I can actually enjoy a salad at home.

I'm giving this place 5 stars just because of the salad bar and the bread. You can get just the salad bar & bread for 5.50 which is a steal for all you can eat and the quality of the veggies/dressing/bread.

Pros: Salad Bar, Salad Dressing, Bread

Cons: Main Entrees, Kinda Cramped, Location

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Great Place to Eat - Edit

We were visiting and luckily chose this place to eat. The staff is genuinely friendly and tries very hard to cook up the great tasting meals. Since it is a buffet, the food changes somewhat, but we ate here twice and it was similar both times. The salad bar is excellent, and the the curry is good too. If you like simple, tasty meals, this is a great restaurant.
We have a little daughter too, and she loved it too. Nothing was too spicy for her to eat.

Pros: Clean, Tasty, Wonderful

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Yummy Vegan Food - Edit

If you're looking for delicious vegetarian/vegan food in an informal setting, Govinda's is a great choice. The energy of this place is wonderful; it's very clean, and the owner is always pleasant and greets each customer as they come in.

Each time I've been there, the salad bar is crisp and fresh and the homemade dressings are delicious. As a vegan, I especially love that anything containing dairy is clearly marked. The pea dal is exceptional - and addicting!

While the selection is a bit limited, it is all very flavorful and obviously prepared with love and care. And you always feel delightful after eating there, no funky heavy post-restaurant blues. :-) The only real drawback is the lack of organic ingredients.

I've experienced very few restaurants that have such a consistent positive vibe. The building is small (it used to be a dairy queen) and sweetly decorated with framed Krishna prints. It's full of light, colorful, and clean. And it's inexpensive. One of my faves in Eugene!

Pros: vegan, flavorful, Friendly

Cons: not organic

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Excellent - Edit

My family and friends were visiting our friend at the University. Since it was our first visit to Eugene I looked up this website and found Govinda's - we are all vegetarian except one. We were all pleasantly surprised by our meal.

The veggies in the salad section were very fresh and varied - beets, sprouts, olives, on top of the usual fare of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. The highlight, however, was the salad dressings! There were 2 in particular, almond and sesame, which were so tasty. The very friendly owner was nice enough to share the recipe to both.

The hot section had few choices. I was the only one who took the greens and potato dish (I love greens and gave the potatoes to my 2 year-old). There was also brown and white rice, excellent dal and sambar, and to our delight, idli! It is my daughter's favorite food and was fresh off the steamer. There was also a coconut milk sauce which was a little bland but fresh. There were 3 homemade chutneys, coconut, plum and tamarind which tasted authentic and fresh.
The desert was a mix of 2 halvas, banana and almond, and we all relished it.
We all loved our meal and felt good afterwards. The food was simple, fresh and tasty. The restaurant was clean and simple. The service was prompt and friendly; the owner answered all questions patiently and was happy to talk about his food and passion.
I highly recommend Govinda's!

Pros: Healthy fresh food, Friendly owner, Very tasty

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Great for Vegans - Edit

The food is excellent, the atmosphere is great and the owners are kind and friendly. There's a great salad bar, usually two main hot dishes and two soups as well as various side dishes. The salad dressings and bread are made on the premisses. Everything seems to be made from scratch. I'm strictly vegan and appreciate how the owners label anything with dairy. They are open from 11:30 - 2 pm for lunch and reopen from 5 - 8 pm for supper. They are now open on weekends. I've been very impressed by the owners who are always friendly and cheerful. I've also witnessed several quiet acts of generosity on their part. While the owners are part of the Hari Krishna movement, no attempts are made to convert anyone. There are a few booklets sitting on a cooler, some Indian religious art work and Indian music playing but it's all very subtle and pleasant. At one time I worked for the health department and can say with some authority that I'm also impressed by the cleanliness.

Pros: excellent food, great value, friendly staff

Cons: small, short hours

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Good salad and vegan soup, mediocre hot food - Edit

Govinda's bills themselves as "all you care to eat buffet" and "80% vegan." All you can eat prices are $7.95 for adults, $6.95 for students and seniors (60+), and $4.95 for 12 and under. In addition, you can have just the salad bar for $4.50; Soup salad and bread for $5.95, or Soup and bread for $3.00. Bottled sodas, juices, chai, and herbal tea are all $1.05.

I like this place for the delicious salad bar, which unfortunately is not organic. Unfortunately, neither my omni partner nor I are impressed with the hot foods selections, which I'll discuss in a minute. The salad bar has the typical salad bar choices including shredded carrots, beets, red cabbage, sunflower seeds, and garbanzo beans. They also have lentil sprouts. What really makes this salad bar stand out are freshness of the ingredients, and the abundance of delicious vegan salad dressings. I especially liked the almond blend dressing. Other vegan choices include tofu dill, and sesame.

For a typical meal, they'll have two soups, one vegan and one not. I recommend the vegan mung bean soup. My partner recommends the vegan lentil soup, but not the dairy-containing broccoli soup which he found mediocre.

There is typically a vegan hot meal section and a dairy-containing one. The vegan one is often a boring casserole with vegetables. For one meal, they had vegan mashed potatoes which were lacking in flavor and could have used some garlic and salt. I did not like the vegan gravy at all, and I typically like vegan mashed potatoes and gravy. They also typically have white rice, brown rice, plain pasta, and tomato sauce. Their hot food is okay, but nothing spectacular.

They also offer homemade vegan corn bread, which is pretty good but not great, and another type of vegan bread. Sometimes they offer a baked vegan dessert such as an oatmeal raison bar.

I like this place for the salad bar and vegan soup, but the hot food is nothing special. And I would be more excited about the salad bar if it were organic.

Pros: Delicious salad bar, Reasonable Prices, Parking lot

Cons: Mediocre hot food, Not organic, No smoothies

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twovegans 19 Aug 2011 - I agree! Wish that their food was organic!  

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