SAN FRANCISCO The readers of VegNews Magazine selected The Chicago Diner in Chicago and the publication's editors picked Candle 79 in New York as their top vegetarian restaurants of the year.
Colleen Holland, associate publisher of San Francisco-based VegNews, said 35,000 readers voted in the magazine's 8th annual Veggie Awards, which included 62 categories ranging from best faux meat product to favorite vegetarian website. The list of other winners can be viewed on VegNews.com .
“Meat free since '83” is the slogan at The Chicago Diner  on North Halsted Street in Chicago. The restaurant's fall-winter menu includes such dishes as porcini ravioli, $11.99; sweet potato quesadilla, $9.99; and a barbecue “fib-rib” sandwich made with wheat-gluten-based seitan, $8.99.
Six-year-old Candle 79  on East 79th Street offers New York diners meat-free items ranging from Vegetable Nori Rolls, with pickled ginger, avocado wasabi, chipotle aioli, tamari-ginger sauce, $14, to Fall Harvest Paella, with Valencia rice, seasonal vegetables, smoked seitan sausage and saffron-red pepper sauce, $20. The dessert menu at the two-story restaurant includes gluten-free Live Apple Parfait, with nut granola, vanilla cashew cream, apples, orange segments and huckleberry ice cream, $13. The restaurant also boasts an organic wine and sake bar.