Shandal's Vegetarian Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 26 reviews )

520 Capitol Ave, Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA, 06606

Casual cafeteria-style set up featuring Jamaican cuisine using wheat gluten, soy, and veggies. Offer dishes like "rasta pasta". Usually approximately 15 dishes from which to choose, generous portions. Has 5 small tables for dine-in. Open Mon-Sat 11:00am-8:00pm.

Category: Vegan, Fast food, Take-out, Caribbean, Jamaican

Reviews (26)

First Review by positivelou

Best hole in the wall you can find! - Edit

It says vegetarian but all the food is vegan! I love this spot so much. The food is always fresh and hot. Shandal is very friendly. The place is always clean. It's a bit small so don't plan on eating in. Though he has added a patio set outside to sit now that it's getting warm out! Definitely check this place out. You will not regret it.

Pros: delicious food, always clean, very friendly owner

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Great comfort food - Edit

Echoing the other reviews, this place is completely enjoyable regardless of whether you eat meat or live vegan. Let him choose the popular items for you in either a four or six item tray. Several items were surprisingly good and I would not not have considered them. Put your faith in his choices. Most people probably get takeout but we ate at the two tables inside. My family will definitely return.

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Tastey - Edit

Taking a break from meat and dairy. Excellent food and a great host you will not be disappointed. The food is prepared with love, a must if you are in the area.


Pros: Good food , Friendly

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Fabulous Meal - Edit

I have been living in Bridgeport for a very long time, I have driven by this place a million times, I am currently kicking myself for not stopping here earlier!

Tired of eating plain salad and pasta or rice and plain vegetables while everyone has big beautiful meals I looked for a vegetarian place close to home. This place came up time in again so I drove down a few days ago.

I walked in to a mighty small but cool restaurant. The owner greeted me with the brightest biggest smile I have ever seen. Immediately felt at ease and happy.
after a quick conversation I decided to pick 4 items to bring home and devour.

Rasta Pasta, Sunshine "chicken", barbecue tofu, and a Spanish looking rice w/beans.

Now let me tell you quickly this is not a vegan restaurant where everything is raw and fresh veggies and sprouts and lettuce and what not.

I could simply call it vegan comfort Jamaican soul food.

It was quite good, quite filling, 100% vegan & it totally impressed me!!

I absolutely loved the barbecue tofu the sauce was delicious not too spicy a beautiful hint of sweetness and spices. I devoured the rice. Oh so delicious. The Rasta pasta was definitely my favorite & The sunshine chicken was good. It reminded me of a meat dish I used to get from a local Spanish place. Very soft meat with spices , Green peppers, onions, olives, that you put over rice. I know it sounds funny to compare it to meat but it is called sunshine chicken.
While I enjoyed this – I must say I probably will not order it again. I prefer the barbecue tofu and the Rasta pasta the best.

I would love to go back on a day when they had the macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes.

I got quite a bit of food and a Snapple for under $10. I had enough left over for a complete meal the next day! I was very happy. it took me so long to get there!

So if you are in the area and you want some good comfort food with a kick and fabulous service definitely check this place out

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AMAZING comfort food! JUST GO! - Edit

The food here is consistently amazing. Great comfort food. Everything there is wonderful. The place is small, hardly any atmosphere but who cares? Try the "ribs" the "chicken" with pepper and onion and please don't forget scoops of mac and cheese or the yummy mashed potatoes. Just incredible, you won't be disappointed!!!

Pros: Incredible food, unique flavors, comfort meets vegan

Cons: small place

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disappointed - Edit

Went out of my way to go here for lunch based on all the great reviews but at 12:30 on a Friday they said they we be ready in 20-30 minutes. I didn't have the time to wait so I never got to try it. Hopefully I'll be out this way sometime again but I think I'll call first.

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Amazingly Fantastic - Edit

I went with friends who have been there several times before and kept telling me I would love it.. well Friday July 18th I went and was blown away.. 5 stars would be a bad rating.. 100 stars for me,., every dish was crazy good


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Great variety and great price - Edit

Excellent food, excellent price and friendly service. Worth the visit!

Pros: variety, price, quality

Cons: limited seating, limited parking

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So delicious I almost stopped breathing... - Edit

Absolutely fantastic. Laid back atmosphere, pretty cheap for the amount of food you get. I got the 9 piece sampler and got a pretty good scope he has to offer. The food was all so delicious I just kept on stuffing my face and almost forgot to breath. That's right, it's so yummy it might kill you! I'm salivating just thinking about it.

Pros: Delicious

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Can't wait to go back! - Edit

Everything I tried here is great. Do yourself a favor and get the $8 large sampler (gets you a choice of 6 options out of the dozen or so they offer). Super-friendly chef/owner is great to talk to.

Pros: Inexpensive, Tasty, Friendly

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Jamaican Homestyle - Edit

Buffet style and unpretentious with a lot of character and personality. The Chef was friendly and explained all that they offered and even the people hanging outside were friendly.
Great food, I especially liked the Curry chicken & potatoes. The BBQ Tofu was delicious and prepared the tofu in a unique way that it had more texture similar to Seitan. Okra! Cash only. Parking available on street

Pros: Food, friendly staff

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Awesome Food!! - Edit

After reading the reviews posted on this site, I decided to check out Shandal's last night and see what all of the excitement was about. Well Let me tell you, it was amazing! After telling Shandal that this was my first time there, he described all of his offerings and gave me suggestions. I had my food "to go" and I was shocked at the weight of the container, it was so full and all for 8 bucks!! The BBQ tofu was the best but the curry chicken and beef stew weren't far behind. The best part is that I will have enough food for the next two nights!! Definately worth checking this place out.

Pros: Awesome Food, Huge Portions, Cheap

Cons: Not so great neighborhood, Parking is hit or miss on the street

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OMG, I Love This Place! - Edit

I work for and in the city of Bridgeport where this wonderful eatery is located. I went Vegan and thought my days of eating out were over and would have to fast on water if I forgot my daily brown bag from home. I found "Shandal's" from this site one day and decided to try (the runner up would be 6inch veggies on whole wheat from Subway) which I was sick of and kept giving in to adding cheese to it for more 'flavor' then I would feel guilty afterward even though I didn't do this often...I guess it was more like a "one night cheese stand".
Firstly parking sucks!!!!! Then I walk in to the tiniest little narrow 'hole in the wall' and my heart sank ;( I passed 2 tiny 2 seat tables and walked up to the counter (bout 4 strides) and saw a man standing over his food lines up behind glass, in stainless steel containers in a warming countertop. It looked yummy so I said "Hi" and had the most wonderful conversation w/ the nicest man! I tried the large plate which enables you to pick like 6 different things because I wanted to try it all! THE BEST PART IS it was only $8 ! Holy crap, I thought Vegan food was supposed to be expensive :) I don't think it's organic but I've never asked. I now go to lunch here from work 2-3x a month and brown bag the rest (salads or leftovers) THIS FOOD IS AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS! Instead of Mc'd's, Bk , etc I now eat here. Please don't judge a book by its cover (like I almost did) Location is not the best but it is clean and so freaking good. My faves are: Bbq tofu (only tofu I can & will eat), mashed potatoes, lo mein noodles, 'chicken' w/ peppers & onions, and rice! Darn it...Now I'm hungry!

Pros: Best vegan food I've ever had, inexpensive, nice owner/server

Cons: parking, location, square footage

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Tasty!!! - Edit

the food at Shandal's is delicious. the best vegan food I ever tried in CT. The place is small and nothing impresive but you need to try the food is so tasty, even my husband who doesnt like tofu said that everything was amazing. We also drive 35 minutes to get there , but it was worth it.

Pros: inexpensive, tasty, friendly service

Cons: far from home

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Inexpensive and Delicious Vegan Food!! - Edit

Shandal's is amazing. The restaurant is so small and seemingly out of place in downtown Bridgeport, you'd never guess the wonderful food that awaits you when you enter. Shandal is so friendly and helpful, and he's a mighty fine cook. Everything is vegan, and there are so many different choices. The prices have gone up to 8 bucks for a large tray and 6 bucks for a small tray, but it's still a great value. The first time I went I got the 8 dollar tray so I could try more foods and it was enough for 3 meals! I enjoyed everything, but my favorites were the BBQ tofu and the mashed potatoes. The BBQ tofu has an amazing flavor, not too sweet, not too spicy, and when you order it with the mashed potatoes he takes the BBQ "drippings" and pours them on the mashed potatoes like gravy. Soooo good!!!! And as some other reviewers have pointed out, you have to order the mashed potatoes not only because they are so creamy and tasty, but because Shandal has this super-cool way of scooping them into a little ball. You get 6 different items with the 8 dollar tray, so it's easy to try everything and figure out what you like best. He also gives good recommendations for what goes with what. The only complaint I have (and this isn't Shandal's fault at all) is that the place is so tiny - there are only a couple of small tables with chairs, so it's difficult to dine in. I hope enough people find out about this great food so he can open up in a larger location and have some more seating!! You will not be disappointed with Shandal's.

Pros: All vegan, Inexpensive, Many different delicious choices

Cons: Not much room for dine-in

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Food for the body and soul - Edit

My Fiance found this place by accident on the way back from a family party a few years ago. We have been going back every weekend since. It is far away from us (a 30 minute drive) but it is more than worth it. The food is spectacular and you can't beat the price! The owner is also a great person who's singing adds to the atmosphere. Everything is good, but my personal fav's are: Lomain, curry "chicken", "chicken" with peppers and onions, okra, and sunshine tofu. The best part is that I can have them all in one meal!

Pros: the best food!, price, large portions

Cons: too far away

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Amazing food - Edit

I have eaten at Shandal's about 6 times now and it never gets old. Shandal is an exceptionally positive human being who greatly appreciates everyone who dines at his establishment. All the food is fresh and everything tastes amazing. I have been vegetarian for 21 years now and I wish that places like this existed back 15 years ago. You can literally gauge your face and stuff your stomach and not even feel the least bit bloated or gross.
Mon - Sat noon to 8pm and closed on Sundays!
The barbeque tofu is to die for!!
Shandal puts a lot of heart and art into his technique!

Pros: great selection, great price, great hospitality

Cons: limited seating

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delicious food that's good for the soul - Edit

Everything we had was awesome. Okra, shells with beef, sunshine tofu, bbq tofu, lima beans, chicken with peppers. Amazing food and super friendly chef/owner.

Pros: amazing food, good vibes, inexpensive

Cons: just wish i lived closer

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