Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 52 reviews )
Contact
207-347-3111
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608 Congress St, Portland, Maine, USA, 04101

Pan Asian cuisine restaurant est. 2007. Offers a concise lunch menu and a more expanded dinner menu. Sample items such as crispy wonton, spicy green leaves salad, tofu and vegetable teriyaki, watercress veggie-duck. Uses vegetarian soy meats. Opened another location in Portsmouth in 2015. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm, Mon-Sat 5:00pm-9:30pm, Sun 5:00pm-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Thai, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Asian, Fusion, Pan Asian

Reviews (52)

First Review by csbench

I LOVE THIS RESTAURANT! - Edit

This is one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the US. I do travel quite a bit for work and have eaten in so so many bad ones. I look forward to my travels to Portland and always make the time to stop in at the Green Elephant.

I order too much food and create my own personal buffet with leftovers for the road. MMM MMM good.

Favorites:
Chive dumplings- Ok I had 2 orders last week
Singapore noodles
samosas
pad thai
brussel sprouts
everything

The staff is great and go early or late lunch to avoid the crowds. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough.

Pros: Delicious, Great service, Not a limited menu

Cons: Parking


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great restaurant - Edit

My family and i love this place. We come here whenever we are in the area or for special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, ect). The food is always good and so is the service.

Pros: Lots of vegan options (and most vegetarian dishes

Cons: Expensive. Doesn't take reservations.


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the best - Edit

I ate at the Green Elephant three times and picked up takeout another time while in Portland for a week. While the dishes may seem simple as the previous reviewer suggested, the quality of ingredients, preparations, and recipes was insurpassable. Each meal was delicious. filling and healthy. The service was always impeccable- friendly, prompt, and accommodating. The specials were truly special, and I could order off the regular menu forever and remain happy.

Pros: Healthy, delicious, satisfying, Friendly service, positive atmosphere, Not too expensive

Cons: Can be busy- but that's because its so good


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good food good service - Edit

They have a lot of vegan options. I ordered the Garlic and Ginger Tofu. It came out super fast. I thought it was just alright. The portions were great. I just wasn't very impressed with the taste or quality. I could have gotten similar results from a microwave asian dinner. I decided to try out their dessert and got the Chocolate Orange Mousse Pie (pricey $8). Oh My Goodness. It was so good, but super super rich. If you want the pie, order a light entrée.

Pros: a lot of vegan choices, good portions, friendly staff

Cons: average quality of ingredients and taste, pricey


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My favorite resturant! - Edit

Serves all vegan & vegatarian food! It's so good even my non-vegetarian family members love it!

Pros: all vegetarian and vegan, amazing food, great service


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A Portland favorite - Edit

Delicious food, good presentation, and friendly staff.


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Delicious and family friendly - Edit

Great place to bring non-veg friends; our GF relative was easily able to find options because there were many rice dishes, and the noodle bowls are all so satisfying and crowd friendly.

Pros: Omnivore Friendly, Fresh, Friendly staff

Cons: Slightly dark, casual atmosphere


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great vegan food - Edit

Great looking place with great atmosphere, ok prices and tons of vegan options on the menu. Also super delicious. Total recommendation!


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Great - Edit

Not much to add (what other folks said) - great food, good atmosphere, friendly staff. There may be a bit of a wait (especially Sat dinner). Most of the menu is vegan, but a few items are not.

Pros: Great/many vegan options, Good location/atmosphere, Friendly

Cons: Not all vegan, Popular (wait time)


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Excellent place - Edit

I came here a few weeks back with a friend and we each had the Tofu Tikka Masala! The combination of the beans in with the sauce and rice paired well. I would come back again just for that dish! It was that great, and the perfect portion size.

Pros: All Vege/ Vegan options, Delicious food , Easy to find

Cons: Parking, Small, Not that many options


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Amazing Food - Edit

This place has great, fresh tasting food and good service. It is very easy to get vegan substitutions.

Pros: wonderful taste , packed with veggies, not to sugary

Cons: should be more acurite with spice level


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Great Atmosphere - Edit

While visiting Boston we chose to take a detour up to Portland. We were so glad to find Green Elephant while we were visiting. We stepped out of the cold into a warm cute vegetarian restaurant. The menu is truly impressive and they have moderate GF options. My only complaint would be on any dish with mint. They don't skimp on it, it's overpowering. I had the Stir-fry Asian Vegetables & Tofu, it was slightly greasy however it was lovely. My husband had the Chinese Broccoli with Crispy Breaded Soy Filet and absolutely loved it!

Pros: Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options, Large Variety

Cons: Greasy / Minty


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Ummmm... fine. - Edit

Green Elephant was... fine. I had a spicy vegetable stir fry, and spring rolls, and a local draft beer. It was all... fine. Not amazing, not terrible.

The restaurant was hopping on a Friday evening. It's a pretty space, with very friendly and efficient staff.

The quality of the food was okay, the space was nice. I guess I'd go again, but it's a slightly higher price point than either Pom's Thai, or Sabieng, both of which have just as good of Thai / "pan Asian" food.

Pros: tasty, nice space, friendly staff

Cons: slightly spendy, nothing especially special about it


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Vegetarian food inspired by Thai cuisine - Edit

This restaurant is a vegetarian restaurant. It screams that very loudly. It is a stretch to say it is Thai, even if one considers how americanized Thai restaurants tend to be.

The food here is vegetarian, yes, but only about half is vegan. It's nice that the menu marks what is vegan, but then it seems pretty surprising how many dishes use dairy and/or eggs. At least it's marked! I guess I'm biased, but for Thai style food, I feel that if it's vegetarian, it should easily be veganized - this is not true for all vegetarian food, but for Thai? Yes. So, that is my disappointment.

The choices are varied and many if you are vegetarian. If you are vegan, eh, you have some decent choices. If you are gluten-free, eh, you have a few choices. They do use tamari if requested, so that's nice. Many noodle and rice dishes have rice as the grain, so, that's nice.

There is so much tofu though, so much soy, and tons of sodium/ tamari/ soy/ salt. It was overwhelming. Maybe I would've liked the food better but the salt overdose is out of control.

They try to source local produce, which is nice.

If you don't mind the salt, opt for the noodle dishes. Although not authentic, they do look quite beautiful and have good flavor if you can figure out the flavor after the salt. The rice is brown, so, that means tough to pick up with your chopsticks or fork, especially if you have a lot of liquidy-watery sauce on your plate.

Nice idea. Enter restaurant expecting vegetarian food and you will be fine, as long as you don't mind waiting for a seat. This place is packed! There is no other vegetarian restaurant in the area, so it makes sense it's super busy.

Pros: Vegetarian, Local produce, Vegan marked menu

Cons: Wait time, Salt overdose


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Bit of an oasis in Portland - Edit

We went on recommendation of a friend ( and Lad's was closed.) weren't sure what to expect, but the food was great. I had the Pineapple rice with the soy-meat. I've been to lots of great places all over with mock meats- so I was skeptical about ordering it. It turned out to be great.

Pros: Great service, Nice place

Cons: Portland in general.


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Good veg spot in Portland - Edit

I've only been here once. The food was fresh and flavorful, and it's unique as one of the few exclusively veg spots in Maine. It's great that they clearly label vegan options and warn you when there is egg in a dish.

Pros: Fresh food, Clear labeling of vegan options


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So good! - Edit

Can't say enough good things about this place - if you are in Portland, this is the number one veggie restaurant that I would recommend visiting. My husband lived two blocks from Green Elephant for a few years, and we ate here as often as possible. Their food is delicious, and dishes always include more veggies than I'm used to getting at other places. They have some nice touches to make things healthy, such as using brown rice instead of white rice as well. You can get many of their meals with tofu or a wide variety of faux meats. Their menu has tons of vegan options (including a vegan chocolate silk pie which my husband and I LOVE). Some of the vegetarian options are easily modified by just not including egg. The servers are so kind, and they always ask folks if they want egg in the dishes that include egg. If you like tea, they have agave nectar available as a sweetener. They have a huge list of organic, veg friendly beers and wines. I wish I was eating dinner here tonight...

Pros: Healthy, Delicious, Diverse menu selection


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Wonderful vegan options - Edit

I've been to Green Elephant a couple times and will keep coming back. The menu is very clearly labeled for what items are vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free. There are many options to swap out parts of each dish to make it vegan or gluten free too.
I've tried their vegetable masala and the peanut curry, both of which were creamy, packed full of fresh vegetables and soy and tofu, and generally just delicious.
I recommend trying the brussel sprouts as an apetizer. They are crispy and cooked in a really nice sauce. Great way to start a meal there!
The restaurant is also very cozy - great ambiance - with friendly and quick service.
Will most definitely be back!

Pros: Delicious vegan options, Cozy atmosphere, Very versatile menu


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