CLOSED: Shankara

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 12 reviews )
Hours

Closed

Contact
484-330-6405
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201 E Third St, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, 18015

Re-opened after brief exposure Mar 2016 this is all vegan, Asian fusion cuisine restaurant with an organic juice bar. Hosts open mic and other events. Est. since Feb 2014. Reported closed, Aug 2017 - now sells at events only. NOTE: Closes restaurant to tour festivals and hosts events over Summer. Check Facebook for updates.

Categories: Vegan, International, Juice bar, Asian, Fusion, Indonesian

12 Reviews

First Review by nlukas51

CLOSED - Edit

Went for brunch about 3 weeks ago and found that it looked to be abandoned for a year.

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Incredible - Edit

Sunday brunch buffet was phenomenal. Tofu scram, indian style seitan with cabbage, veggie sausage, potatoes, beans, waffles & pancakes! Huge bowls of fresh greens and fruit with homemade dressings. This place was like a dream!!!!

Pros: variety , delicious , healthful

Cons: tad pricey

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Excellent Restaurant - Edit

I have eaten there a half dozen times in the last couple of months and will continue to go there any time I am in the area. Agreeing with others, the food is imaginative and delicious with large portions. I especially love brunch with whole wheat and gluten free pancakes, homemade sausages, roasted potatoes, scrambled tofu and some Indian options.
A couple things that others have not mentioned, are that Wendy always includes some raw salads on your order or on the buffet. Also she uses really good quality ingredients including whole grains, organic and non gmo. Also organic local veggies and pure maple syrup for the pancakes. There are so many other much more expensive vegan restaurants that serve white rice and breads, and use (crappy) commercial wraps, sauces, and frying oils. Wendy's food is truly healthy and delicious and worth much more than she charges.

Pros: excellent food, healthy food, nice friendly atmosphere

Cons: hours can be a little sketchy

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Great Service & Food - Edit

The owner is so amazingly nice and is always available to talk. She cooks all the food herself, so any accommodations are easy if asked for. All organic produce from farmers market & local farms! Food is delicious and prepared really nice! It's in a perfect spot of Bethlehem to stop by if in town. Also sells odd foods such as bars or whole fruit at counter. Sells brunch in Sunday with waffles, which are amazing! Overall a great experience if you like fusion and fun!

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Amazing - Edit

Had brunch here while visiting the area a couple months ago... plenty of delicious sounding & creative menu options to choose from, excellent staff, HUGE portions, absolutely awesome food, and a really wonderful ambiance with live music. It doesn't get any better than this. Trying to find excuses to be in the Bethlehem area in the future just so I have a reason to go back to Shankara!
Updated from previous review on Monday December 14, 2015

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Almost 5 stars - Edit

What a treat to have a high-quality vegan restaurant in downtown Bethlehem. We've been 3 times now and while the food is delicious, the pricing is a little confusing and the final can be steep if you don't order correctly. We would recommend no more than 2 small plates along with the base plate. That's more than enough food for a hungry person and will total around $32 per person. The hearty base plate - typically greens and a grain - is simple but tasty. We've had tofu teriyaki, sweet potatoes, chick pea curry, coconut-crusted tofu, pancakes and vegan sausage (brunch), and a number of other dishes. You can probably skip dessert unless you're a big fan of Vegan Treats. The restaurant is BYO but there is a corking fee. Bon appetit!

Pros: great food, excellent variety, creative cuisine

Cons: pricing structure a bit confusing, not the most consistent hours

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good food, not so great prices, wonky hours - Edit

Definitely recommend breakfast here, generous portions and you can tell the food is fresh and skillfully prepared. It's a great space with a cool vibe minus the regular menu that stipulates "no sharing." BOO. That kills is a bit for me as does the hefty price tag, but if you're vegan and/or GF looking for something special on a weekend morning or a splurge of a meal out in the lehigh valley, you should check it out.

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A lovely experience - Edit

This is a newer restaurant. Reviews were few, even not so hot, on HappyCow so I was slightly hesitant. I drove by and saw NO ONE inside. I considered not even bothering thinking it really must not be so great. I took a risk (driving thru PA; had a long drive ahead of me still) and was pleasantly surprised. I was seated upstairs where - voila! - there were customers & warmth on a very chilly night (thus, no one on the 1st floor). It's a tapas style dinner but SO generous, I had a lot to bring home. The ginger mushrooms - amazing. The coconut tofu - how does she do it? I was truly stuffed and had leftovers but still wanted the pumpkin cheesecake. (Bad!) No regrets. It was warmed/toasted JUST to perfection, dollop of frosting, and so indulgent, again, no regrets. Next time I go through Bethlehem, will stop in. A lovely experience indeed. (All that was missing was a bottle of wine! It is BYOB.)

Pros: Large portions, Zen atmosphere, On the main street

Cons: Steps are a little sketchy - be careful!

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We'll Be Back.... Many Times! - Edit

My wife and I have eaten twice at Shankara, once as a sit down dinner upstairs and the second time for the buffet on the main floor. We loved both. The sit down dinner was warmer and more intimate, served in their upstairs dining room. It was a unique dining experience for a few reasons. For one, sharing is recommended. The dinner was offered as a base dish of greens and grains. This night was Jasmine Rice and Quinoa over Field Greens. Then you get to choose from a lot of options to add to this. We chose Trumpet Mushrooms is a Cranberry Clove Reduction (which you would think was sweet, but it was deliciously savory), Garlic Crusted Tofu and Kale, Black Sesame Purple Slaw (which was warm, not cold) and a scrumptious Lentil Dahl. (Its full name I forget.) Everything was incredible, unusual, delicious, and an adventurous eating experience.

As far as our second visit, I can’t even begin to list everything that was served on the buffet. There were 12 hot choices, 6 cold choices, a variety of teas, and desert (but we were too full for desert because we stuffed ourselves). Chef/Owner Wendy kept bringing out new dishes while we were eating.

Chef Wendy Landiak is an artist who uses unique combinations of international flavors that take you on a culinary journey to places you’ve never been before. I’m an amateur cook myself who loves experimenting and creating new dishes. Whenever I eat somewhere new I’m guessing the spices and ingredients. Chef Wendy had me stumped.

Frankly, I was a little hesitant on our first visit to Shankara. I was expecting Indian food and there is only a small selection of Indian food that I like. Was I mistaken! Both about the food and also what I knew (or didn’t know) about Indian flavors. I can’t describe our sit-down dinner as coming from any certain part of the world. It was totally and completely unique and delicious. The buffet lent itself more so to hints of Indian flavors, but again unique, with unique fusions of Indian/Japanese and what seemed like it might have been Indian/French, other flavors I could not put a name to and some that certainly were Indian in nature. My wife and I loved everything.

Friday nights are buffet nights on the main floor. If you come on a Saturday night, as we did on our first visit, don’t be surprised if the main floor is empty. Dinner is served upstairs.

Shankara is almost an hour from our home and totally worth the drive.

Pros: Delicious Food , Excellent Value, Unique Experience

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less than impressed... - Edit

We were hoping for a vegan food experience at Shankara when visiting Bethlehem recently but were disappointed. First, I called Tues to make a dinner reservation and the voicemail said they were closed on Tuesday nights. But the next day, we stopped by and there was a poster in the window about special Tuesday night evenings at the restaurant - we would have gone had the voicemail been updated for this event. When we did stop by wed. afternoon for lunch, we were too close to closing time and the owner couldn't make anything for us. We were left with a couple of desserts, which were good but not really what we were hoping for. As for the location, we cycled past it because the street appeal is not there - very little signage, not much done to the exterior - overall, not very inviting. All in all, a less than satisfying experience.

Pros: vegan cuisine offered

Cons: little exterior appeal, limited hours

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A party in your mouth - Edit

Shankara is one of the most delicious vegan restaurants I have been to. It's a very relaxed environment and the staff is very friendly. The only downside is that it's a bit expensive.

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one of a kind! - Edit

owner/chef wendy is a genius. her culinary skills and creativity are amazing and it shows in her creations at shankara and anywhere else you might find her. i have visited shankara a few times for her outstanding brunch and just the other night for her over the top tapas style dinner. it was amazing! the options were plentiful, covering several continents - in short, a flavor explosion in my mouth. the food is organic and locally sourced whenever possible. the staff, is super friendly and attentive. the space is comfortable, relaxing, and spacious. on top of all this, wendy also supports local artists by hosting a variety of events on a regular basis, including yoga! shankara is so worth a visit!!

Pros: flavor, seasonal rotating menu, atmosphere, creativity

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