With the opening ceremonies of the 29th Olympiad just days away, our friends at PETA Asia-Pacific decided to get into the spirit of the games by awarding gold, silver, and bronze honors to Beijing’s top vegetarian restaurants.
I know what you’re thinking: vegetarian restaurants in China?!? Yes, my friends, it’s true, but we really shouldn’t be so surprised. After all, the Chinese gave the world tofu, that wonderful high-protein, versatile ingredient that can be used in everything from chocolate mousse pie to faux-ricotta lasagna (if you’re still wrestling with tofu, check out our guide to vegetarian cooking).
And now with a drum roll, here are the top vegetarian restaurants in Beijing, as determined by PETA Asia-Pacific:
Gold: Taking the gold is Godly Vegetarian Restaurant. Beijing’s oldest Buddhist vegetarian restaurant specializes in Chinese traditional classics, including KingKong HuoFang (stewed mock pork), sweet and sour mock ribs and fish, mock meatballs, mock duck, and much more.
Silver: Pure Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant—run by Tibetan monks—netted the silver. Voted “Best Vegetarian Fare” in the 2007 Beijing Reader Restaurant Awards, this restaurant serves up creatively named dishes such as “hot tears fill the eyes glazed noodles” and “countenance of mercy, words of love stir-fry.” Yummy food with a side of zen.
Bronze: Coming in with the bronze is Still Thoughts, a relaxing and intimate oasis of vegetarian calm amidst a bustling alley in the heart of the city. Favorites include the spicy mock-pork intestines dry pot (testament to the fact that for any cruel and weird thing that humans would consider eating, human ingenuity can create a cruelty-free option!), shredded veggie-duck pancakes, and the faux-chicken hot pot.
And on a kinda-sorta related note, here are gold, silver, and bronze naked ladies! They are drawing attention to cruel practices on Chinese fur farms just in time for the Olympic Games: