917 W. Grace St.
Second Place: Fresca on Addison
Third Place: The Daily Kitchen & Bar
Plenty of restaurants came late to the vegetarian party, but Ipanema was there in 1998, serving a wildly creative plant-based menu that lured Virginia Commonwealth faculty and students, musicians and artists, visitors and locals. Ipanema always keeps one pescatarian dish on the menu to appease Uncle Fred. Otherwise, you can count on not even missing the meat with what this kitchen puts out. Add in regular music events after dining hours, and it's clear that Ipanema has earned its place at the top of the vegetable heap. Fresca on Addison gets votes for its custom-built brick oven from which so many tasty dishes emerge. Purists might object to the Daily's kitchen also preparing meat, but voters are impressed with the vegetarian section of the menu.