California Vegan Restaurants

If you have a favorite vegan eatery in California let us know via our Facebook page or email . We would especially like to know about those hidden gems, those often overlooked or off the beaten path.

July 8, 2013

Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza – as good as their customer service

Papa Murphy's vegan pizza?

It is very seldom that I will post an unfavorable comment on this site but sometimes things are so over the top that something needs to be said. I feel a separate article is forthcoming regarding all the great experiences I have had with Papa Murphy’s. My negative experience is not with their product. The convenience and flexibility of Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza products are part of what makes them an unparalleled option for vegans who like home baked pizza. I wholly support Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza as a vegan eatery. Their sauce and crust is vegan. They will make you a pizza with all veggies and no cheese and you can get their “Cheesy Bread” without


June 1, 2013

La Terraza for Vegan Mexican Food in Old Sacramento

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It was Cinco de Mayo and a warm day in Old Sacramento. I was really wishing to get in the spirit with some Mexican food but there are not a lot of vegan options in Old Town Sacramento. Our party of two vegans and one omnivore stopped into La Terraza and got on the waiting list hoping for something vegan as I enjoyed classic margarita while we waited. I was sort of skeptical when I identified to our server that two of our party of three were vegan. The server impressed me by knowing not only what vegan meant but also knowing which of their menu item were vegan or could be prepared vegan. As it turns out the re-fried


May 29, 2013

Bodhi Bowl in Sacramento

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Bodhi Bowl opened in January of 2013 and as of this writing is still being discovered by discerning vegan foodies like myself. Word of mouth is so important for businesses, especially eateries,  to reach potential customers and if the service is a good one both the restaurant and the dining customers benefit. Thus is how I came to seek Bodhi Bowl and I feel as if I stumbled upon a hidden jewel. Bodhi Bowl is one of those jewels that stands out and as new customers discover its virtues regular customers will be created and rewarded by their loyalty with tasty fresh vegan food served up in sizable portions at a reasonable price. The menu is distinctly Vietnamese using traditional


April 28, 2013

Caribbean cuisine in the heart of California’s Delta

Ital Peleau

I do like Caribbean food and will go out of my way to find it authentically prepared. Being vegan excludes a person from indulging in many Caribbean dishes simple because meats and seafood are often the main or a key ingredient in many traditional Caribbean dishes. There is however a whole category of Caribbean cooking which virtually assures adherence to a vegan eater’s strict guidelines. From the Rastafari culture we get the term Ital. Food prepared in accordance with Ital guidelines should not only be vegan but organic as well. When reviewing a Caribbean menu simply look for those items than are served, or can be served Ital. I recently had the opportunity to return to The Breadfruit Tree at


April 01, 2013

Herbivore

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Northern California vegans I know truly appreciate the dining options available in the San Francisco Bay Area. Where to dine is always a top priority when planning a Bay visit. This sometimes means deciding whether to eat in the City or the East Bay and choosing an eatery that will be conveniently located to other sites or activities. Sometimes however you just know what you want to eat, or you want an extensive menu with consistent offerings and quality food that will have something to satisfy everyone in the dining party. No place meets these criteria better than Herbivore. Herbivore has three locations in the Bay Area; two in The City and one in the East Bay. While each location


August 12, 2012

Romantic Dining at Shadowbrook in Capitola

Grilled Tofu Soba

The Shadowbrook Restaurant in Capitola has been an institution of fine dining for many years but it is probably not the first place that pops into your head when considering where to dine vegan for dinner. I had not been to Shadow brook since the early 1980s, long before I was vegan and even before I became a vegetarian but I happened to be staying a few miles away and thought I would check out their menu. I was pleased to see a vegetarian section on their menu and even one entrée clearly marked as vegan. Since its inception in 1947 Shadowbrook has always indented to be, above all, a place for romantic dining and the ambience of the place


July 25th, 2012

Star Ginger Asian Grill and Noodle Bar in Sacramento

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I am always on the lookout for new vegan eateries and it was just the other day, while waiting to get a haircut, I was flipping through a Sacramento magazine and came upon a large add for Star Ginger. What caught my eye were the little green “V” icons next to many of the menu items. Now we vegans know the uncertainty that come with a server’s response of, “let me check on that” when asked if a menu item is vegan so the visual aids made me take instant notice. I could not wait to try the vegan offerings at Star Ginger so I took the first opportunity to visit for lunch, bringing with me two additional vegan diners


June 21, 2012

Aonami Sustainable Sushi in Chico

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Some vegans know that one can often find something vegan among the offerings at most Sushi restaurants but many feel that it is a compromise to settle for the old stand-bys like Inari or Kappa Maki. Don’t get me wrong these standard vegan rolls are tasty enough, and great for kids, but personally I find them a little short of exciting. The good news is that most Sushi chefs are more than happy to make something special for you if you ask for it. I often just tell the chef that I am vegan and to surprise me. I am always rewarded for my faith in the artistry of the chef with something that is not only delicious but creative


April 22, 2012

Divine dining in Berkeley

Vegan at Divino

Divino was much anticipated even before it open in the location on University Avenue in Berkeley, California that previously had been Fellini. I’ve been trying to make it to Divino but my planning has been a little haphazard. A friend and I had planned on dining there on the night they opened but we were a little too early – by one day. The next time I was passing through Berkeley on my way to the City I thought I would try it for lunch but they were only opened for dinner. Well I finally managed to make it there for dinner this evening which also just happened to be the first day they have opened for brunch. Divino’s menu


January 14, 2012

Cinnaholics Anonymous

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Well, I don’t know if you could really call it a restaurant. There are not too many things on the menu because this is a specialty shop. What they specialize in is done exceptionally well and it is done with an enormous variety of options. They do Cinnamon Rolls – Decadent, calorie rich, sugary, chocolaty, nutty, fruity, sweet goodies. Cinnaholic in Berkeley is a Northern California institution that, while not a vegan dinner destination, is often included in one’s East Bay vegan dining plans. With nearly 30 frosting flavors and even more different toppings the number of possible combinations is mind blowing. Some of these options that come together especially well make up the menu of named specialty rolls. This


December 20, 2011

Off The Menu At Grange in Sacramento

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When dining out with a group colleagues, friends or family the minority of vegans in the party will most certainly influence the choice of dining venue. Conscientious restaurant chefs and managers must decide and subsequently define operational policies for accommodating any dietary needs including the needs of vegans and vegetarians. There are just a few logical approaches to this: identify which menu items are vegan; identify which menu items can be prepared vegan; or leave requests for vegan food to the discretion of the chef. Note that I said “chef”, not cook, not manager. That last approach really takes a confident, skilled chef because what ultimately arrives at the diner’s table is truly representative of the chef’s art. Line cooks


November 12, 2011

Downtown’s Kitchen at the “RC”

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It was March 16, 2011 when fellow CVR team member Ilsa Hess told me that the kitchen in a bar in mid-town Sacramento, which had been closed for some months, was launching a vegan menu on St. Patrick ’s Day. That’s tomorrow I was thinking. How perfect the world seemed at that moment. Well, corn beef and cabbage won out on St. Paddy’s day but later that week the kitchen in the Round Corner Tavern, which we now know as Downtown’s Kitchen, launched their vegan menu and we were eagerly standing by to sample the goods. The Round Corner soon became a favorite hangout of the young bohemian vegan crowd (we call it just “RC”). This is the go-to spot


November 10, 2011

Eating Aztec at Maya’s Kitchen

Owner Ernesto Delgado is beaming; he is excited about his new vegetarian kitchen. Yes, not just menu but kitchen. He greats us warmly. Even though he will not be launching his vegetarian menu until the following day he is eager talk to us about it, but first it’s time for us to sample some vegan offerings from this kitchen. Our server too seems eager to serve and lets us know at the outset that he understands we are vegan and makes some suggestions on what we might like from the kitchen. It’s an easy decision for myself and CVR team member Ilsa Hess – let it be chef’s choice. For an appetizer we are each served a delicious soup followed


November 06, 2011

Loving Hut Sacramento

Taste the colors at Loving Hut Sacramento

Sacramento is fortunate to have its fair share of vegetarian and vegan restaurants and a few of these are all-vegan. The vegan community proudly acknowledges them as key elements in the local culture. Loving Hut on Stockton Boulevard (formerly Au Lac Veggie) has been an insider favorite for several years. They have a dedicated local following by local vegans and “normal” people in the know. This rather small scale family run operation it is at the top of the list for local vegans who wish to meet for a casual lunch, but here you may also see a couple of Buddhist monks, a family with children or busy medical professionals on their lunch break. Simple accoutrements and inexpensive prices belie


November 01, 2011

Cafe Americain

Cafe Americain

Sacramento, California is experiencing renaissance in vegan culture. An ever-growing number of eateries are recognizing the demand for vegan cuisine from a dedicated vegan community and an increasing conscientiousness among the dining public. Successful recent events like the Sacramento VegFest and programs like the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge are showcasing vegan food as fine cuisine and not just an alternative to pacify picky eaters. As a result the Capitol City is positioning itself  as a cultural nucleus and respected destination for vegan and vegetarian travel. Vegan dining patrons can choose from respected fully vegan eateries or vegan options from mainstream eateries ranging from bar food to the finest cuisine where  quality ingredients and artful presentation are elevated to the highest


November 01, 2011

Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge 2011 wraps up!

World Vegan Day, November 1st, draws to a close the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge. During the entire month of October 2011, ten downtown/midtown restaurants featured specialty vegan items (including appetizer/ soup, main entrees, desserts) on their menus. The response was phenomenal! This month-long event was enormously successful, bringing vegan and non-vegan diners out to sample the offerings from participating restaurants showcasing the culinary talents of the chefs and introducing the restaurants to an undoubtedly expanded clientele. With the intent on making this a yearly event plans are already underway for next year. The success of the program can be attributed to the extraordinary efforts and tireless energy of lead coordinator Bethany Davis. Stay tuned to the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge