Review: The Vegetable Hunter, Harrisburg, PA

The former Crave & Co. now known as The Vegetable Hunter, offers vegetarian and vegan fare to our capital area. This is amazing because the Harrisburg food scene is expanding but still not even close to the “Philly” scene and the vegan options are rather limited (although doable).

We (the locals) need to continue to encourage local restaurants to embrace funky cool menus, seasonal dishes, and vegan and gluten-free options. And why wouldn’t we?  The area boasts a good bit of visitors to our capital building and there are plenty of individuals working right in the downtown area that would favor good food.

The Vegetable Hunter is, as far as I can tell, the only 100% vegetarian restaurant in the Harrisburg restaurant row. Might I also add, they have kombucha flights available and oh... if a brewery is your thing, they’ve got you covered.

Okay, so I discover the only vegetarian establishment in the area- how well can they accommodate “Nicole”?

Like always, I called the restaurant directly prior to visiting and was fortunate enough to speak with the owner, Kristin, directly.

From moment one, Kristin was a pleasure to speak with. She was not only willing to accommodate, but she wanted to help create a memorable dish with a vibrant taste pallet. We finished our initial conversation and would later confirm some definite menu options prior to my lunch date the following day.

As promised, Kristin followed up later that evening and we mapped out some options. Kristin noted that moving forward, with advance notice- she would like the opportunity to be more creative in my offerings but for now, we had a game plan in place.

It turned out that the day I had a lunch date planned, was one of our many 2018 Central Pa snow storms. We all know how I feel about the cold, so imagine me bundled up and barely paying attention to where I was walking - I would have missed the restaurant if it wasn’t for their artistic and beautiful entrance artwork.

Upon arrival, Kristin confirmed everything for our menu of the day and I was feeling pretty confident and in good hands.

My lunch date and I found our way to a table in the back and enjoyed every little detail that Kristin and her team put into place- I mean, each set of silverware was meticulously tied with an ocean-blue piece of yarn. The window, which provides you an amazing view of... well, the neighbors brick wall, was hand painted by (I believe) Kristin’s husband.

It’s a small space that has been utilized to its maximum to provide a cozy, hipster, artsy-vibe of a place and I and my lunch date loved every detail.

Our drinks came first, I went with an herbal Numi tea and my lunch date went with the in-house iced tea (which an additional was ordered to-go she enjoyed it so much).

Knowing that I had a special order and that each dish is made from scratch, it did take a little bit of time for our meals to come out. I mean, nothing too crazy, but just know that if you are doing a quick grab and go to rush back to work- you might be better off to pre-order.

Our dishes came out simultaneously from the open kitchen (which I loved, there is nothing worse than being uber hungry and having to sit patiently with your meal until your entire table has been served) and OH MY they looked healthy, colorful, and portion sizes are filling! I must also add, that each dish smelled delicious.

Together, Kristin and I came up with a rice bowl topped with steamed vegetables and tofu. I know, I usually try and stray from tofu (soy) BUT I was looking for some protein so went with it. The dish came topped with coleslaw and a side of both salsa and a homemade jalapeƱo sauce. And then because it was on the menu, I needed to try a side of kimchi and rice.

The vegetables were steamed perfectly- meaning, they were not steamed to mush nor where they freezing cold. While I needed some flavor, I poured on the side salsa and hot sauce- this was one of the best homemade hot sauces I have ever had. The heat wasn’t overwhelming but the flavor was bold. My vegetable bowl was satisfying- unlike most establishments that try to accommodate and provide side-dish portions rather than a meal-size. The kimchi was not as fermented as I was expecting but the flavor kept me coming back, even when I was boarding the line of being stuffed. I couldn’t help it, the taste was intriguing.

Kristin- you are amazing. Not only for being bold and bringing a vegetarian restaurant to Harrisburg, hosting some awesome events (I am looking forward to attending one soon), accommodating everyone but for being truly passionate about what you do. Your kindness and accommodations meant the world to me. I have to now found my go-to safe haven in the area!

Your space is a place I imagine I could get lost in all day- all I need is a good book and I’m set.

See you soon - as I’m looking forward to seeing your creativity shine in some additional dish options.
Oh, and my lunch date, left satisfied and she too can’t wait to return for a healthy lunch!

P.S - The Vegetable Hunter also makes some mean vegan donughts! 


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