Located on the bottom floor of the Hare Krishna Temple on Schemerhorn near Nevins, Govinda’s is not to be missed. On the Temple’s website they extoll the virtues of Govinda’s, inviting the public to enjoy “great Vegetarian food at affordable prices and served to you in a peaceful stress free environment.” And they delivered on what they had promised.
Govinda’s is located in a large meeting room. A buffet style counter is set up by the entrance, to the space. You wait in line, tell the server what you want, pay, and find a free seat at one of the large shared tables throughout the roomy space. It feels like a church basement and not a restaurant for good reason, but this church basement restaurant is packed with believers and non-believers who enjoy a good vegetarian nosh.
Govinda’s features one entree that changes every day–eggplant parmagiana was offered when we visited–and a number of side dishes. You pay for the number choices you want: two choices are $7, and a combo plate of eggplant Parm, string beans, cabbage and potatoes, and a very tasty slaw set us back $10. A “complete meal,” which must feature everything, is only $12 and apparently is enough food for two people. Free bread and unlimited water or orange lemonade (very good and refreshing) come with the meal.
There were lots of coworkers (it’s located near city government buildings) or friends chatting as they ate during out visit, and music playing in the background, but it the soundscape was mostly comfortable. The room was half full when we first entered but quickly filled up; it was nearly full by the time we left. Because the space is roomy and there is a drop ceiling, the sound level was more than manageable. The only thing that made the space less than perfect was the sitar music, which can be a bit trebly–if high-pitched sounds are your personal nemisis, you may want to avoid Govinda’s. That said, the space is very comfortable and it’s easy to carry on a conversation here.
If you enjoy a good vegetarian meal in a fairly relaxed setting, you must stop by Govinda’s. Note that Govinda’s is only open for lunch Monday through Friday, and it is cash only.
Monday through Friday: 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday
305 Schermerhorn Street (betw. Nevins and Bond Streets), Brooklyn, NY 11217