Sunflower Vegetarian is one of the few vegetarian restaurants in the DC-metro area that has withstood the test of time. There are locations in Falls Church and Vienna, Virginia. I've visited the restaurant a handful of times and found it to be hit or miss so it's never really been a destination-restaurant for me. This time, I found myself in the area and decided to stop by for lunch.
The Falls Church location is located in this weird area in Virginia that they call Seven Corners because seven roads intersect in one place. It makes it confusing to figure out how to enter certain parking lots and this restaurant is no exception. You can see it from Route 50, but you need to get on Route 7 to get to it.
Once inside, you realize you have entered a hippie paradise. Their website states, "The sunflower which is named for the sun that provides us with life and energy. It is a flower that symbolizes warmth, health and good nature...Sunﬂower Vegetarian Restaurant wishes to follow the example of the spirit of sunﬂower. With these ideas in mind, we take great pride in introducing more and more people to vegetarianism, and thus, help to avert such disasters of the Earth as war, ﬂood, drought and disease." Yeah, it's like that. Inside, you'll find simple decor and lots of sunflowers. At least they stay true to their theme. And the whole menu is vegetarian. In fact, they simply indicate which dishes are NOT vegan with a symbol. If only every restaurant was like this...but, I digress.
I was pleased to find that they offer some fresh juices and tried the Red Springhead juice made with carrots, beets, spinach, apples, and ginger for $6.75. It was delicious.
I also ordered a Bamboo Fungus Soup for $4.50. I asked for it to be super spicy and boy, did they make it super spicy. In fact, the spicy oil they added overtook the entire soup making it not so pleasant to eat. It was loaded with fresh enoki mushrooms, green peas, tofu, and shredded ginger. I loved the big, plump, fresh peas, but the oil kind of ruined it for me.
For my entree, I ordered the Wheat Gluten with Fermented Black Bean Sauce for $9.50. This meal was quite delicious. There was wheat gluten with organic tofu, squash, zucchini, and carrots in a delicious black bean sauce served with brown rice. It wasn't spicy enough so I added some hot peppers, then it became even better. And there was enough for three meals so I took half of it home.
The menu is extensive and if you are used to just having three items to choose from on a menu, it may take you a long time to decide what to order. They have something for everyone from faux meat heavy dishes and gluten-free options to raw entrees and vegetable and macrobiotic dishes. I think it is a really nice mix. So on this visit, I had a pretty good meal, the service was pretty good, and the prices are extremely low compared to other comparable restaurants. I guess I'll be coming back more often now. Plus, I love supporting veg places that try to do good in the world. Sunflowers unite!
6304 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22044