It has only been a few weeks since the Greek restaurant Orexi has gone out of business (http://downtownbellevue.com/2012/04/11/orexi-greek-restaurant-bellevue-way-out-of-business/) and the landlord has wasted no time replacing the tenant.  Taking its place is Araya’s Place, a Thai Vegan restaurant. It is their second location in the area; their original location is on in the University District on 45th Ave, which has been open for 26 years.
Araya’s has been looking to expand in Bellevue for over a year. The reason they wanted to expand to Bellevue was due to many of their customers living on the Eastside. This is the first strictly vegan restaurant in Downtown Bellevue. To celebrate their grand opening for the entire month of May they are offering a 10% off to customers.
The menu features many dishes with noodles, rice, and curry.  Many of these dishes often include some of their popular ingredients such as tofu, banana, pineapple, mushrooms, and more. One of their most popular items on the menu is “Drunken Mushroom” that features wide rice noodles that are stir-fried in garlic, chili, and of course mushrooms.
During a trip to the restaurant this week the staff was very attentive and friendly.
You can view their menu online at their website (http://arayasplace.com/).
Araya’s Vegetarian Place
http://arayasplace.com/
31 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue WA 98004
425-453-1366

Araya's Vegetarian Place Now Open in BellevueIt has only been a few weeks since the Greek restaurant Orexi went out of business, but the landlord has wasted no time replacing the tenant.  Taking Orexi’s place is Araya’s Vegetarian Place, a Thai Vegan restaurant. It is their 2nd location in the area; their original location is in the University District on 45th Ave and has been open for 26 years.

Araya’s has been looking to expand in Bellevue for over a year. The reason they wanted to expand to Bellevue was due to many of their Seattle customers living on the Eastside. This is the 1st strictly vegan restaurant in Downtown Bellevue. To celebrate their grand opening, for the entire month of May they are offering a 10% off to customers.

The menu features many dishes with noodles, rice, and curry.  Many of these dishes often include some of their popular ingredients such as tofu, banana, pineapple, mushrooms, and more. One of their most popular items on the menu is the ‘Drunken Mushroom’ that features wide rice noodles stir-fried in garlic and chili, mixed in with a variety of flavorful mushrooms. The dish is famous because it was featured on Food Network!

During a trip to the restaurant this week, the staff was very attentive and friendly.

You can view their menu online at their website.

Araya’s Vegetarian Place
http://arayasplace.com/
31 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue WA 98004
425-453-1366

25 Comments

  1. Wow. That was quick!

  2. I went here for lunch today. It was SO SO SO SO GOOD!

  3. Woohoo! Finally a vegan place on the eastside!

  4. Service was great. The buffet was awesome; only 8.99$!! Going to come back for dinner. Would extremely recommend it for even not-vegans.

  5. Had a chance to stop by Arayas place today for lunch buffet and it was the best lunch i had in a long time. I’m not even a vegan, but have to say that i can’t even tell that the food is vegan!! service was great, food was perfect and for sure, this place will be my new favorite restaurant.

  6. greatfoodgreatservicegreatmosphere

  7. Nice place. Cheap and very tasty vegan foods. Never think that vegan foods can be this tasty and delicious. Spring roll is my favorite. The drunken noodle is very very delicious. Great foods. If you’re looking for vegan Thai foods, give Araya’s a try.

  8. We tried the place on Friday for dinner. The food was great, but we had to wait for an hour for our food to arrive. Looks like they were severely under staffed. Hopefully it was just a case of ramping up in a new location. And the decor and acoustics can use some improvement as well.

    I will def give it another try, but only after a couple of months – by then hopefully things are operating smoothly.

  9. This is NOT a vegetarian restaurant—not even a Thai place, as their sign says.
    I was very disappointed! I informed them
    I was not into SPICE and they pointed out
    supposedly the low or no spice items. As
    usual, what I took was definitely spicy. This always happens in Asian or Indian restaurants.
    The dessert BLACK RICE was awful. My worst dining experience. I did get 1/2 off for srriving at lunch closing time.

  10. @Kathy: I know it’s going to look like I’m picking on you, but I definitely don’t mean to…

    What do you mean by “This is NOT a vegetarian restaurant”? What about that restaurant was not vegetarian? Did they serve meat or animal by-products? That would be kind of a big deal for a restaurant that calls itself vegan.

    I’m kind of asking for an explanation, as it could cost them some business for what may just be a misunderstanding.

  11. I agree with Vincent and would appreciate clarification. I am vegan and haven’t tried Araya’s yet, but I know they have another location in Seattle that I’m almost positive would have been “revealed” if it were not truly free of animal products and biproducts. Was there a particular mock meat that you may have ordered that was battered and fried and/or tasted like it contained some kind of dairy?

  12. I was also there today for lunch. For $8.99 buffet, I had Tom Kah soup, followed by Phad Thai, Phad Phet, curried vegetables, tofu cubes, along with several salads and vegetable dishes. As we were eating, one of the cooks came out of the kitchen with a large platter of freshly made vegetable rolls and distributed to customers. I didn’t eat the black rice, I had no room for desert. However everything I ate was delicious at a very reasonable price. I will be back for more.

  13. I’m a big fan of the Seattle location. So excited Araya’s is now close to my work in Bellevue too! Great place for non-vegans too!!

  14. Pretty sure this is a 100% “Vegetarian” place. They should be on here to clarify. Not sure if they use ‘bi products’ or not. A definition found on dictionary.com states the def. for “vegetarian” as: “a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.” Operative phrase: “in some cases” – I think in those cases it’s called Vegan, but I’m not an expert. I think @Kathy is a bit of a rogue comment – you roll into a vege restaurant and “are totally disappointed” etc. Come on. Araya has a sterling reputation as evidenced by its booming business in Seattle. Great addition to Bellevue.

  15. Melinda Hirsch

    Do they use nam pla?

  16. I guess that’s how rumors start… Rumors that could hurt a small business.

    I’d say that, unless I hear otherwise from sources other than some random commenter on a blog, I’ll go ahead and trust the restaurant when they say they’re vegetarian.

  17. It is so nice to have a vegan restaurant in downtown Bellevue. The food is great, the menu offers quite a variety and the service was very attentive. I went here twice in one week and will be going back in the very near future.

  18. Araya's Bellevue

    First of all, we would like to give a BIG thank you and welcome everyone for visiting Araya’s Vegetarian Place at the Bellevue location!! We really appreciate all the pro and con feedbacks on this page!!!
    We also would like to give a short explanation on the misunderstanding of the above comments.
    The definition of “Vegan” is a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products (U.S National Library of Medicine.)
    The definition of “Vegetarian” is consisting wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products (U.S. National Library of Medicine.)
    Araya’s Vegetarian Place is a fully “VEGAN” authentic Thai restaurant, including the bakery as well.
    We understand and respect all different forms of “Vegan” from every religion around the world. Some religion (vegan) can not consume garlic, onion, or mushroom, but other religion (vegan) can. At Araya’s, we try our best to accommodate each individual’s need.
    At Araya’s, we make our own special curry paste without any dairy or non-vegan products, but most of curry paste from other restaurant use shrimp paste.
    For lunch buffet, we rotate different items from the menu daily. Normally towards the end of the buffet, the food does not look as fresh as the beginning, but the taste is the same.

    We would like to invite and welcome every culture/religion backgrounds and vegan or non- vegan to come dine at Araya’s Vegetarian Place at Bellevue!!
    Again, a BIG thank you to everyone and all your support on behalf of all Araya’s Place crew.
    Have a wonderful day!!

  19. I am a vegetarian who tries to be vegan as much as possible and was very excited to get a vegan restaurant on the Eastside. I went to Arayas with 2 friends who are meat eaters and we all RAVED about the food here! It is WONDERFUL! All 3 of us agreed that it was the best Thai food we have ever had! I’ll be a regular there!!!

  20. Wow…..after reading all the comments on this page, my judgement was right!!
    Thank you for the post from Araya’s, this really help clear things up!!

    You guys are the best vegan restaurant ever on the eastside!!

    See you soon!!

  21. I ate dinner here on a recent Friday evening. They were very busy, but that makes me happy! It means they’ll last. The waiters did their very best to attend to our needs as promptly as they could. I ordered the ‘Drunken Mushroom’ dish, which was absolutely amazing – full of flavor, and chock full of mushrooms, accompanied by fresh, grilled asparagus. Highly recommend this dish! Also got a fabulous thai iced coffee, and was grateful the restaurant had cream on hand for that. For dessert I had a yummy gluten-free, vegan chocolate chocolate-chip cookie which, though it tasted more like a brownie, was super fun and delicious. Love this place!

  22. Araya’s has the best vegan Thai food and great service! I’ve been eating at their Seattle location for over ten years, and in that time have taken countless family members and friends there for meals. They are always blown away by the delicious food and pleasant atmosphere, and even non-vegetarian friends beg to go back because it’s so good. I am thrilled for folks on the Eastside that they now have a Bellevue location, which I visited with my wife and some friends on their opening night. I’m pleased to report that the Bellevue Araya’s is every bit as good as the Seattle one. Whether for the lunch buffet or ordering off the dinner menu, you can’t go wrong here.

  23. Hey!!! It is a freaking Thai restaurant and it is vegan/vegetarian. Additionally, as a Thai restaurant, um, how should I put this? The food is SUPPOSED TO BE SPICY! If you don’t want or like spicy, go somewhere else!

  24. My comment was meant for Kathy.

  25. I am a totally meat head and was a little skeptical when I heard about an all Vegetarian Thai Restaurant.
    However I was a little curious to see what they had to offer plus I love Thai Cuisine.
    Araya’s did not disappoint and everything was delicious.
    I was especially impressed because I would not have thought that the food would be good without the usual “meat” type products that are normally used in Thai /South East Asian Cuisines.
    This is very difficult to do as South East Asian Cuisine rely heavily on “meat” type products for great sharp spicy taste and flavor.
    Growing up on South East Asian Cuisine all my life what they do at Araya’s to me is pretty much a miracle (best way I can describe it).
    Araya’s truly deserves their positive reviews and a huge round of applause for being innovative, unique and creators of great tasting food.
    Vegetarians are very fortunate to have this restaurant available to them.