Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 26 reviews )
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703-319-3888
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2531 Chain Bridge Rd (at Nutley St), Vienna, Virginia, USA, 22181

Extensive Asian cuisine menu featuring mostly vegan food. Some dishes are made with mock-meats, and there are some Japanese dishes. Non smoking. No alcohol. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-10:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-10:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Macrobiotic, Asian

26 Reviews

First Review by marija

Our new favorite place - Edit

The food here is amazing! The general tso tasted unreal, just like Chinese fried chicken, but better! The environment is lovely. Cozy atmosphere with cute sunflower motifs everywhere. The staff is polite and attentive. Overall, after eating here, we feel relaxed, our tummies our satisfied, and we can't wait to keep coming back!

Pros: Lots of vegan options, food tastes amazing

Cons: Want to eat here every day!

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Been coming here for 20 years - Edit

I've been coming to Sunflower for 20 years. It is still my top favorite restaurant anywhere, and not just because it's a mile from my house! The food is seriously amazing. It's very expensive, but totally worth it. I have tried most of the menu but I keep coming back to Sweet and Sour Sensation, Songbird, Orange Imagination, and Adventure in Tempeh Land - my top favorites.

Pros: Amazing options, Super fast takeout

Cons: Expensive, No delivery

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Best Neighborhood Food - Edit

Whatever you do, order the Cold Basil Rolls for an appetizer. Trust me. Other favorites are Kale and Burdock, and Songbird. All of the staff are lovely people, and we love to support this business.

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General Tso's - Edit

I had the vegan General Tso, tasted just like chicken General Tso.

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Vegan Chinese Food - Edit

The proprietors are Chinese- they take your orders in English, but chat among themselves in Mandarin. That's why this place has mostly Chinese vegan food.

Anyhow, the menu is extensive with so much to choose from that you'll need a good amount of time to decide. If you have food sensitivities or allergies, they can easily accommodate to find you something tasty.

This is the first Sunflower, so maybe that's why it doesn't have as many dim sum dishes. Who knows? All I know is that they have radish daikon cakes, noodles and green vegetables. You can order fake meat galore, but be careful because a lot is deep fried- they are generally soy and/or wheat based. They have some salads and soups, but I'm pretty sure people come here for the fake meat dishes (most come with brown rice).

They have a few desserts, but they are not that interesting. Maybe the tiramisu is exciting- the price is awesome.

People here are nice, prices are decent for the D.C. area and the food is fresh. For the type of restaurant food they aim to serve, Sunflower does a solid job taking care of your needs.

Pros: Large menu, Allergens considered and accommodated

Cons: Far from DC

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Good Selection But A Bit Pricy - Edit

I've been to Sunflower a few times and each time the service was great. The prices seemed a bit high compared to other veg restaurants in the area, but at least you're able to customize your dish however you'd like. Rice not being complementary was a little disappointing. Nonetheless, I'd go back every once in a long while.

Pros: Good Selection, Excellent Service

Cons: Too expensive to be a regular thing.

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Good lunch deal - Edit

Was there for dinner couple of years ago, thought it was too expensive. Went back for lunch recently. Prices reasonable, large selection, food and service good. Asian style vegan/vegetarian a little better food than loving hut chains by 1/2 star in my opinion.

Pros: choices , service

Cons: dinner prices high , long week from Vienna metro but 2 near bus line th

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Good Fast Vegan Food - Edit

Sunflower was the fastest vegan restaurant I have ever been too. Tried it for the first time recently and was overwhelmed by the large menu, which was a bit chaotic and confusing. Had the golden nugget, which reminded me of spring rolls. It was served atop a bed of rice and steamed vegetables. It was covered in a think brown sauce, which was heavy and there was too much of. The side salad was good though, and had a tasty Miso/ginger dressing. Overall the meal was satisfactory and I would go back to try other menu items.

Pros: fast service, gluten free options, large menu

Cons: too much sauce, large menu

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Interesting, at least - Edit

I visited Sunflower last fall, but I just got a HappyCow account, so I'm reviewing now.

When a friend learned that I'd be in Vienna one day, she recommended Sunflower-- not because it was the best vegan restaurant, but because she knew I was unfamiliar with the area and wanted to choose something near where I'd be, anyway (NVCC's Annandale campus).

1. The atmosphere was kind of weird-- chintzy little sunflower dolls and stuff all over the place. Kind of cute, but not really the environment I want when I'm eating.

2. It was nice to go to a vegetarian restaurant, as I'm from a small city where there is no such thing. I loved knowing that I could eat almost anything on the menu!

3. I started with the iced tea and the Cold Basil Rolls, and they were great: the tea was sweetened with maple, which I adore, and the rolls were refreshing and delicious. I love anything maple or basil, though, so I might be biased.

4. I found the entrees we ordered much more disappointing. I ordered Popeye's Favorite, and I didn't eat much... I thought it was gross. Everything seemed to use too much salt and pepper. My husband, on the other hand, got the Golden Nugget dish, and his was MUCH better. It still didn't taste particularly healthy, but it was fun to eat, and I ended up stealing a good bit of it. :)

5. We finished with the Avocado and Lemon Pie, and we were really disappointed. We nibbled at it, but it was weird and unpleasant. This was our first experience with a vegan pie, and it made us hesitant to try others. But what could we expect from an avocado pie? I blame this on myself.

I know I make it sound like a bad place, but it's not. Next time I'm in Vienna, I'll visit again-- I'll just stick with the dishes that sound similar to things I order elsewhere. I don't love every dish at ANY restaurant, so I can't blame them for that!

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Reliably Excellent - Edit

We've been going to Sunflower for over 15 years and can always count on a great meal. There are plenty of dishes that do not have fake meat though many do. I have introduced many non veg eaters to popular dishes and found that they always like them.

Pros: Many Choices, Great Sevice

Cons: Not Cheap

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Sunflower rocks! - Edit

I absolutely love this place. The staff are extremely friendly, service is quick, and the food is always delicious and generously-portioned. Particularly yummy is the General Tso's (available both vegetarian and vegan) which seems to be a favorite at this place (even meat eaters love it.) Their menu is huge and features a really nice variety of dishes. I have trouble choosing because there are so many options! I can't recommend this place enough.

Pros: Friendly staff, Delicious food, Tons of vegan options

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Yummy Veg - Edit

Great place for vegetarians and vegans...as well as meat eaters if you can convince them to go one whole entire meal without meat. :) The Curry Supreme is my all time fav.

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Tasty, but not necessarily healthy - Edit

We've struggled to find good vegan-friendly offerings in the suburbs, but our family liked every dish we had at Sunflower. My teens still rave about it. The only thing that keeps us from going more often is that it can be a bit oily and high in sodium.

Plus, we've been trying to get away from faux meats, and that's the basis for most of their dishes. Also, the atmosphere is a bit kitschy. Cute, but the explosion of sunflower-themed items can get a bit overwhelming.

Pros: Tastes great, Good service, Completely vegetarian menu

Cons: Seems high in oil/salt, Kitschy atmosphere

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Good appetizers, Mediocre entrees - Edit

I've consistently enjoyed Sunflower's appetizers, but have been consistently disappointed by their entrees. There aren't that many vegan options in the NoVA area, so I still eat here once in awhile, but it's not healthy and the entrees are mediocre (except for some of them, which are actually bad).

Pros: Inexpensive, Mostly Vegan, Good appetizers

Cons: Non-vegan items on the menu, Mediocre to bad entrees

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Great! - Edit

One of the best vegan-friendly restaurants in the D.C. area. The fake meat dishes please most non-vegetarians too. Most items are vegan, and the ones that aren't are clearly indicated on the menu.

Pros: great food, very vegan friendly, great service

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yum - Edit

i love this place, the kale and burdock and the gen.tsao's are my favourite, and the cold basil rolls and the fried in breadcumbs nuggets (forgot their name)..
and unlike most people who have reviewed here, i totally love the deserts, i used to love the avocado pie the most until i tried the chocolate cake which is amazing...... i would eat them both if i could. my brother had the pumpkin pie and i was surprised to find that i liked that. personally i would buy a couple of take away pies and have the chocolate cake on the spot, because the pies last and they have a yummy sauce drizzled over and around which makes them even better. in short, i love the deserts here as much as i love the rest of the menu!

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wonderful food, consistently - Edit

i eat at sunflower pretty regularly. the food is delicious and consistent, and they adapt the preparation to your requirements (for example, if you want less salt or less pepper).

favorites include spinach wonton soup, vegetable lo mein, kale and burdock, general tsao's surprise.

i've tried the dessert pies, but haven't found anything that i've liked.

Pros: delicious, adaptable, friendly

Cons: dessert pies

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My Favorite Restaurant! - Edit

The Sunflower is turely the best restaurant I've ever visited. The atmosphere is great, as is the food. For appetizers, the fried "chicken and the mock eel are great. I recommed Popeye's favorite and curry supreme as main dishes. But, be warned: the desserts are AWFUL! Other than that, everything is wonderful!

Pros: Great Food, Nice Atmosphere

Cons: Bad Desserts

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Ingredients NOT Healthy - Edit

Don't believe their "healthy cooking" nonsense. They fry in chemicals. Sunflower Restaurant cooks using shortening which contains Methyl Silicone (MS) and Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). TBHQ is a preservative, and doesn't belong in the human body. I discovered cannisters propping open their back door. Previously, I'd taken them at their word they avoided chemical nasties. I'm furious I fed my kids that stuff once a week for a couple years. They violated my trust, that they were indeed using healthy ingredients. In fact, they are not.

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Hands down best veg restaurant in the world - Edit

The Sunflower is hands-down the best vegetarian restaurant I've ever been to. Seriously. The food is amazing. Yes, the best veg restaurant in the world is in the Virginia suburbs outside Washington, DC.

The owners and people who work there are very nice and know my wife, best friend, and me by name. :)

I grew up outside DC and would go to the Sunflower roughly three times a week. Every time I go back to DC I go there. I crave it and miss it.

I highly recommend the Fried Chicken appetizer and the following entrees: General Tso's, As You Wish Garden, and Sweet and Sour Sensation. General Tso's and the fried chicken are the best things on the menu.

Pros: Amazing food, Very friendly staff, Cute atmosphere

Cons: Not 100% vegan (extremely close)

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Great appetizers! - Edit

I love the appetizers so much that I rarely order an entree. Do not miss the fried chicken. The almond-berry pie is also good if you have room for dessert. The staff is always pleasant -- it is clear they practice the compassion reflected in their menu.

Pros: good appetizers, vegan dessert options

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My First Vegetarian Restaurant - Edit

I am a Vienna native and remember when this restaurant location was regularly changing hands. As a teenage vegetarian I was thrilled to see Sunflower take over, but worried it wouldn't last long. The food was so good so I took advantage while I could. Now over a decade later, I eat here every time I'm in town. It's still there and still just as delicious. Everyone I know loves it (actually, my 90 year old grandmother-in-law does not, but the elderly are set in their ways). My husband always orders the General Tso's Surprise. I like to try everything I can. Visit this place. You're going to like it.

Pros: Yum!, Fresh ingredients, healthy

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Excellent restaurant! - Edit

I love this restaurant, the food is delicious! The tempeh sandwich is my favorite, my significant other likes the veggie tempura because it has avacado in it. Great place, I highly recommend it.

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A place to energize your soul and your palate - Edit

I first came across the Sunflower restaurant in Vienna(another Sunflower opened in Falls Church, VA in the summer of 2007, and it is also wonderful ) in July 2006 after a Tao practice gathering nearby. I found the food to be energizing (the uncaffeinated Japanese mu tea and the "Raw World" are two examples), tasty (meat eaters can't believe the "General Tso's Surprise" doesn't have any meat in it), and full of healing ingredients (burdock root which is used to heal cancer in alternative herbal therapies can be found in the "Kale burdock" entrée, as well as the shitake, monkey mushroom and other mushrooms used in the various dishes are just some examples). It is now a favorite stomping ground for me and my friends. I hope you check it out and invigorate your body, mind and spirit through the experience!
:-)

Pros: Tasty vegan dishes and deserts , No meat on the premises, Healing and tasty veggies combos

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Sunflower - Edit

My favorite vegetarian restaurant! If you like 'fake' meat, you will love this place. Plenty of variety and large dinner portions.
-VeganTex

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Pretty Darn Good - Edit

Cute hippie atmosphere, we had the steamed dumplings which were tasty, but pretty typical, and I forget the name of the dish I had but it had vegetables and a meat analog with bean curd skin, which was really good. It came with white or brown rice, which is nice since I do like white rice. My husband got the sweet and sour which he said he enjoyed. I felt the prices were reasonable, and I did have leftovers. We were too full to order dessert. I had fresh carrot juice to drink...they had several interesting options for beverages.

Pros: Quiet, relaxed atmosphere, Good value, Tasty vegan food!

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