Don't talk about the elephant in the room — unless it happens to be The Green Elephant in the City of Portsmouth, of New Hampshire. This gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan friendly eatery has been turning out items like tender steamed edamame and tempura asparagus salad with a zippy coconut milk-chili dressing for over a decade now, and they haven't missed a beet since.

Ellen Gibbs

Cut right out of what would be the greenest, trendiest capital of America, The Green Elephant gives Portsmouth enough flare to compete with other hip cities like Portland, Maine and Burlington, Vermont. Floor to ceiling reclaimed wood and industrial accents, like the exposed ductwork combined with warm tones of organic elements, makes this interior elegantly transition from a quick lunch to an intimate evening out.  

The welcoming atmosphere is reflected in the friendly yet composed waitstaff, who kept our water fresh and our food fresher. The deep fried vegetarian spring roll is a match made at the — garden — gates of heaven.

Dubbing it the first bite of a spring roll ever to be heard round the world.

Delicate, sturdy, and crumbles in your mouth — not on the plate. There's no worse crime than a spring roll with enough oil for a full body massage, thankfully the only oil here ceases to its intense crunch. Inside, steamy, light filling of finely minced mushroom is a most delicious juxtaposition to its firm and modest, outer shell. Humble in appearance, naturally bold in flavor. This is one spring roll you'll want to keep on the rotation.

And let's not forget the carefully crafted, vegetable dumplings. Plated on a bold stroke of distinct, spicy chili sauce, and served with an aromatic ginger soy sauce.

Ellen Gibbs

As far as entrées go, look no further than the Singapore noodles, a dish as vibrant and colorful as the city itself. Stir fry bok choy and curried rice noodles tastes unparalleled to dorm room instant noodles, which I bet never came with a showering of tangled pea shoots. Each mouthful is like taking a different route to flavor-town, but the best bites are when you come across a fried shallot. Think of it as a gourmet onion ring — only way better, and less tacky.

Ellen Gibbs

Whether you're vegan or not, I'd bet all my chips — my kale chips, that is — that Portsmouth's, The Green Elephant has something to satisfy any and all tastebuds. 

The Green Elephant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, with the exception of Sunday for lunch. Find out all the details of this vegetarian bistro on their website, or on Facebook.