Best Free Vegetarian Meal - 2000
Quong Ming Jade Emperor Palace
Located next door to the Chinatown Branch Library, the temple is owned and operated by the Quong Ming Buddhism and Taoism Society, which purchased the building in 1995 from the Korean Baptist Church. Inside, it's filled with golden Buddhas, Chinese gods, burning candles and incense, and altars stacked with oranges; the ceiling is a forest of bright red banners and lanterns. On the first and 15th of each lunar month (get a calendar in Chinatown, but some upcoming dates are June 2, June 16, July 2, July 16, July 31, Aug. 14, and Aug. 29), the temple serves a free vegetarian lunch with rice and tea from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; donations are accepted. The meal is preceded by a musical ceremony performed by priests, featuring gongs, bells, drums, and chanting. All services are in Cantonese, but visitors are always welcome.