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Vegan restaurant in Berkeley?

cookiedsf Feb 16, 2012 04:54 PM

Does anyone have a good recommendation of a nice vegan/vegetarian restaurant or at least one that has a choice of vegan options on its menu?

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  1. wolfe Feb 16, 2012 05:00 PM

    Cha Ya, Udupi Palace?

    1. t
      tjinsf Feb 16, 2012 05:05 PM

      Gather, all vegetarian and many many vegan choices.

      8 Replies
      1. re: tjinsf
        Robert Lauriston Feb 16, 2012 05:13 PM

        A vegan could eat very well at Gather, and it's all organic, but they serve meat. Don't miss the vegan "charcuterie."

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          tjinsf Feb 16, 2012 05:54 PM

          my mistake, been a while since I went there and it was with all vegans and vegetarians.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            fruti Feb 17, 2012 06:55 AM

            I found that dish very lackluster

            1. re: fruti
              hyperbowler Feb 17, 2012 08:07 AM

              The vegan "charcuterie" is a set of 4 dishes, and the parts change at least as frequently as seasonally. I've had good and mediocre experiences with it. The favorite thing I've had was their smoked yuba, and they've done good things with wild mushrooms as well. They currently list a black trumpet item (w/ pine nut, miso, rosemary) that sounds pretty nice.

              1. re: hyperbowler
                Robert Lauriston Feb 17, 2012 08:48 AM

                Sounds like they've scaled it back yet again. When they opened it was eight items, last time ordered it there were six.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  hyperbowler Feb 17, 2012 10:20 AM

                  They must vary it quite a bit, but I've never had eight separate items. I first ate there in July 2010, and I remember them having 4 or 5 items on the menu, a few with several sub-pieces. Archive.org lists 5 on their June 2010 menu.

                  Come to think of it, I've never been as impressed with it as when I first went. I tend to get their kale salad a lot, which is vegetarian but not vegan.

                  1. re: hyperbowler
                    Robert Lauriston Feb 17, 2012 12:15 PM

                    When they opened it was eight items. They had one person in the kitchen who appeared to do nothing but that dish all night and the servers spent what felt like five minutes explaining it to each table. I figured that couldn't last.


                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      Caitlin McGrath Feb 19, 2012 03:20 PM

                      I noticed that after a while they started dropping a printed description on the table when they served it in place of the servers' long explanations they had at the beginning.

        2. t
          TopoTail Feb 18, 2012 09:19 AM

          It's a very simple place, and the decor is not something you'll write home about, but Vegi Food, a Chinese vegetarian restaurant in Berkeley on Vine just west of Shattuck, has many, if not only, vegan choices. They use only ginger and garlic for spicing but extract amazing flavors out of veggies and tofu.

          2 Replies
          1. re: TopoTail
            drewskiSF Feb 18, 2012 11:09 AM

            I agree with the recommendation for Vegi Food. Their food is very flavorful and I prefer them to the nearby Cha-ya. If you do go, definitely try the Soybean Sheets with veggies dish.

            Regarding the spicing, they say the do not use garlic, eggs, onions, or MSG because they are Buddhist.

            1. re: drewskiSF
              choctastic Jul 13, 2012 10:49 AM

              The ambiance at Vegi Food leaves something to be desired, but it's an inexpensive, reliable haunt for us veggie types.

          2. m
            ML8000 Feb 18, 2012 09:51 AM

            Flacos at Adeline and near Ashby Ave./Emerson St. is vegan Mexican.

            1. majordanby Feb 19, 2012 03:32 PM

              green earth cafe - new place on center in berkeley - took over spot that used to be pie in the sky.


              7 Replies
              1. re: majordanby
                Windy Feb 19, 2012 05:11 PM

                Menu looks good. Have you been yet?

                1. re: Windy
                  majordanby Feb 20, 2012 12:06 PM

                  had their vegan quiche last week. hesitated to get it because how can a quiche have no eggs!!? but, it opened my mind. hope it sticks around....center street is killer for new restaurants.

                  1. re: majordanby
                    Robert Lauriston Feb 20, 2012 01:31 PM

                    How can quiche have no eggs? What's in it?

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      majordanby Feb 20, 2012 01:35 PM

                      my guess is soy.

                      1. re: majordanby
                        choctastic Mar 9, 2012 10:30 PM

                        yeah, probably soft tofu

                    2. re: majordanby
                      Windy Feb 20, 2012 06:02 PM

                      Thanks. Will definitely check it out.

                  2. re: majordanby
                    choctastic Jul 13, 2012 10:42 AM

                    I checked Green Earth Cafe. I sorta like the food--I mean, it's hippie granola vegan food which is my staple dining these days--but I made the mistake of wondering aloud as to why the (biodegradable) straws kept shredding on me. I dare not vibrate their aura by visiting this place again.

                  3. choctastic Jul 13, 2012 10:48 AM

                    It's a little late for the OP, but my overall pick for a nice vegan restaurant is probably Herbivore. For lunch, I like the BBQ "chicken" sandwich made with the fake chicken strips, not seitan or tempeh. For breakfast, I like their combo platter because it has a little bit of everything. The service is pretty good at this location, not like at the Mission location, where it seems to be run by incompetent hipsters who are apparently in attitude training before they app to Tartine.

                    1. l
                      l_emily Jul 13, 2012 11:27 AM

                      Saturn cafe- across from Gather. decent vegan all-American food, beer, wine etc.

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