Cash-poor students absolutely flock to Flowers (4247 University Way NE, 206/633-1903, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. daily) on the Ave. during lunch hours for its famous vegetarian buffet, an unlimited feast of veggies that can be had for around $8 during the week and $10 on the weekends. Just be prepared to invest a little time to reap the benefits of cheap food — the service is notoriously bad here.
If you prefer a more grown up dining experience, Cafe Flora (2901 E. Madison St., 206/325-9100, www.cafeflora.com, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–9 p.m. Sat.–Sun., $15) in Madison Park is one of the city’s best-loved vegetarian restaurants. The rustic polenta is especially notable, and it also offers offbeat pizzas and portobello Wellington (grilled portobello mushrooms) on the ever-changing menu. The kitchen can get noisy at times, and service may be uneven.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition