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Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant Houston 2009 - The Hobbit Cafe

The Hobbit Cafe

The Hobbit Cafe

2243 Richmond Ave.

Houston, TX 77098


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There was a time when we couldn't imagine the Hobbit Hole existing anywhere other than the ramshackle, shire-like house on Shepherd, and we doubted its ability to survive in its new incarnation — The Hobbit Cafe — and new location, on Richmond. Defying expectations, the cozy little restaurant is just as popular now as it always was, and the vegetarian-oriented food is no exception. With filled-to-bursting veggie sandwiches like Smaug's Delight, Thorin Oakenshield and Dwalin or the simple beans, veggie and rice plate — the Valinor — you're sure to get healthy doses of both your daily beta carotene as well as Tolkien geekdom. Prices are easy on the wallet, and the sprawling patio is gorgeous on cool nights, plus there are plenty of items on the menu for your carnivorous friends, making The Hobbit Cafe an all-around winner.

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Alain G. Harvey
Alain G. Harvey

This cozy restaurant located in a Tudor cottage surrounded by a white picket fence has been around since 1972. The mystical art from Middle Earth adorning the interior creates a somewhat Bohemian atmosphere in which earthy fare is served in a forest-like setting.

Not technically a fully vegetarian restaurant, in its present incarnation the Hobbit Cafe offers many vegetarian selections and is a perfect place to stop for dinner during an Upper Kirby pub crawl. I wasn't aware Tex-Mex and Caribbean inspired foods were the preferred cuisine of Middle Earth, but I do know that Hobbits enjoy their drinking… and the Hobbit has a limited, but great beer menu, including several Texas craft beers on draft.

Soups and salads are the specialty here. Some suggestions to try include their black bean nachos (Monterey jack cheese, pico de gallo, jalapenos and sour cream). The amazing salads like the tropical chicken salad (fresh Spring mix, fruit, toasted almonds tossed in a tropical yogurt dressing topped with jerk chicken and toasted coconut).

Gandalf lives, at least in his namesake sandwich (avocado and mushrooms under melted cheese). So does Thorin Oakenshield and the Strider, in various combinations of tabouli, egg salad, sprouts, tomatoes and guacamole on thick slices of whole wheat bread. Other suggestions include the avocado burger, buffalo burger and black bean burger that are all very tasty. Try the Caribbean salmon, grilled with spices and topped with jerk sauce, mango salsa and toasted coconut, steamed veggies piled high over brown rice and beans. The veggie burgers are as charming as the mystical décor. The fresh fruit-of-the-season smoothies are simply delicious.

A few unhealthy menu options are available such as a hefty hamburger—but vegetarian choices like the spinach and mushroom enchiladas are the true crowd-pleasing items. Other excellent vegetarian choices include soothing homemade soups, enchanting sandwiches and bountiful salads.

The Hobbit Cafe also has a well-deserved reputation for serving delicious desserts, including moist carrot cake and tangy key lime pie.

Outside dining on the shady deck is extremely popular in fair weather.


First visit today - not impressed. Jerk chicken salad: could not eat the chicken, tough and dry, jerk dressing wilted salad greens. Turkey sandwich: small slice of turkey and about 2 whole, plain avocados. Everything is extra here: add several dollars for fruit salad with sandwich, add several dollars to add avocado to burger, add a dollar to add cheese....had about 5 additional charges. Got a table in 15 minutes, good. Took over 30 minutes to get a salad, sandwich, and two burgers. Perfect example of a restaurant with too much hype.......we won't be returning, Barnaby's down the street it much, much better and much cheaper.