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20 Essential East Bay Vegan Restaurants

The salad days are never over here

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For those who have slogged through meals at restaurants that had only one token vegan dish, the East Bay is a veritable promised land of conscientious, meat-free culinary endeavors. It's not hard to find Indian and Ethiopian restaurants that are vegan friendly, but these 20 vegan restaurants make the deliberate decision to offer an inclusive dining experience for all.

To make the list, restaurants had to do more than eat their vegetables, and an exclusively vegan menu took priority over having a number of hearty veg-friendly options.

If we missed a spot and you think the kale salad is greener on the other side, do let us know in the comments. And please note that this list is ranked geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Potala Vegan Restaurant

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1045 San Pablo Ave
Albany, CA 94706
(510) 528-2375
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Where some vegan restaurants try to keep up with appearances, Potala's one of those that wants you to know you're eating vegetables, and a lot of them. Every meal in the changed-daily menu includes includes soup, rice, legumes, greens, mixed vegetables, and salad. $14 for a large lunch plate, and $15 for a large dinner, buys you a bountiful veggie spread — whereas an omnivore restaurant might only provide a small side of salad with meals at that price point.

2. The Butcher's Son and Market

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1954 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 984-0818
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A name suggesting a tragic folk song belies a robust menu of deli regulars — macaroni salad, cold-cut hoagies, and high-quality housemade faux meat sold by the pound. The place gets pretty packed for brunch, but good things come to those who wait, which in this case includes vegan buffalo bacon fried chicken ranch sandwiches and a fairly exceptional East Coast–style grinder. Recently moved into a larger space, the Butcher’s Son now includes a robust market for takeaway items.

3. Cinnaholic

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2132 Oxford St
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-8684
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Come here for giant, sticky, glazed cinnamon buns that are also completely vegan. A single bun is big enough for two to split — but you probably won't want to.

4. Baagan

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484 Center St
Moraga, CA 94556
(925) 376-3839
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Located in a Moraga strip mall, this fast-casual spot specializes in Indian-inspired burgers. While healthfulness is the theme — the burger patties are made with either chana beans (aka chickpeas) or mung beans — the kitchen doesn’t skimp on the spices, so the burgers are still plenty flavorful. Plenty of gluten-free options are available here.

5. Flacos Tacos

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3031 Adeline St
Berkeley, CA 94703
(510) 981-8081
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Some say there's nothing more Californian than getting tacos with friends. Flacos offers that quintessential experience to vegans and then goes above and beyond the novelty of a “vegan taco," offering vegan pozole, banana-leaf tamales, and fresh-made agua frescas as well.

6. Millennium

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5912 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 735-9459
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If you need a break from vegan variations of fried comfort food, Millennium — one of the Bay Area’s early vegan fine-dining innovators, dating back to the days of its original SF location — offers more of an upscale wine bar feel. It’s the kind of place that takes plating very seriously, and that serves hearty, ambitious dishes like arborio-crusted mushrooms and parsnip okonomiyaki.

7. Shangri-La Vegan

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4001 Linden St.
Oakland, CA 94608
(510) 547-1842
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Nestled on an unassuming street corner in the Longfellow neighborhood, homely Shangri-La is easy to miss. Wise up, though, because the dynamic, ever-changing menu offers unabashed and unapologetic macrobiotic vegan fare — no "this burger tastes the same with black beans and tofu" dishes here. There’s also a Temescal location at 4905 Telegraph Avenue.

8. Timeless Coffee

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4252 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 985-1360
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Vegan students and worker bees descend upon Timeless Coffee for its dairy-free cheesecakes, danishes, and custom cakes paired with small-batch coffee deftly poured into oat milk lattes. Its proximity to other cafes means that, while often busy, it’s not packed or flooded with people all jockeying for the one outlet that still works. The cafe also has a cozy location at 2965 College Avenue in Berkeley.

9. Cafe Dareye

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2504 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 817-4548
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Ethiopian restaurants are usually solid choices for vegan diners, but Cafe Dareye is the rare 100-percent vegan and gluten-free spot. The $11.99 combo is loaded with lentils, split peas, collard greens, and stuffed jalapeños.

10. Vegan Mob

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500 Lake Park Ave
Oakland, CA 94610
(415) 513-5120
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Oakland’s newest vegan hotspot offers up hearty and flavorful vegan takes on soul food dishes a few steps away from Lake Merritt, in the iconic former Kwik-Way location. If you’re under the impression that vegan food is dainty or timid, get a load of chef Toriano Gordon’s highly Instagram-friendly takes on gumbo (made with faux shrimp) and French fry–stuffed “California Barbrquitos.”

Toriano Gordon in front of his new permanent location of Vegan Mob Vegan Mob

11. Gay 4 U

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380 15th St
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 994-9444
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This downtown Oakland permanent pop-up at Garden House comes from the former proprietor of Hella Vegan Eats, who promises a truly inclusive space — and even offers a free meal to any trans person of color. The food offerings are bold and playful, running the gamut from braised kale quinoa bowls to fried “chicken” waffle burgers. Check Instagram for the pop-ups hours.

12. Core Kitchen

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499 14th Street
Oakland, CA

Core Kitchen's menu is entirely vegetable-based, with noodles made of zucchini and collard green wraps. A kale salad at a vegan place comes as no surprise, but Core Kitchen's tahini-marinated kale is worth a shot if you've been skeptical of the leafy green, or have been in a long-term relationship with it and need to reignite that spark.

Core Kitchen

13. Nature Vegetarian Restaurant

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1116 Franklin St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 238-9688
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The sprawling menu gives vegans an abundance of Chinese options, many of which are prepared with the restaurant’s uncommonly tasty housemade mock meats. Never thought you’d get a craving for gluten-based vegan sesame chicken? You’ll want to give this one a try. Even better, almost everything on the menu costs less than 10 bucks.

14. Bare Knuckle Pizza

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351 12th St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 463-1524
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Vegan pizza isn’t too hard to find these days, but Bare Knuckle Pizza commits to the craft, not only sourcing vegan mozz (from the Butcher’s Son) but also vegan blue cheese, vegan bacon, vegan pepperoni, and more for its wood-fired, Neapolitan pies.

15. The Veg Hub

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2214 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94602
(510) 454-8722
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Huge, flavor-packed sandwiches and soul food plates piled high with fried faux-chicken and vegan mac ‘n’ cheese are on the menu at this all-vegan restaurant. All the fake meats and cheeses are made in house, and the Philly Cheeze Steak — an umami bomb of the highest order — might be the most satisfying vegan sandwich in the East Bay.

16. Vegan Donut Gelato

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411 E 18th St
Oakland, CA 94606
(510) 839-8748
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Vegan Donut Gelato serves ... vegan doughnuts and vegan gelato. The doughnuts are particularly impressive, with an airy quality difficult to find in other dairy-less iterations. The goal here is not to be fancy or trendy in the slightest. Instead, it feels like an old-school donut shop with its cases crammed full of classic glazed raised and rainbow sprinkle–topped cake doughnuts.

17. Souley Vegan

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301 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 922-1615
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Some consider Souley Vegan to be the epitome of vegan food in Oakland — yet the Jack London neighborhood mainstay defies expectations whenever possible. The cayenne lemonade, fried okra, and Southern-fried tofu bring even the staunchest omnivores to the yard — which happens to be a lovely space of sprawling picnic tables serenaded with lively jazz and R&B.

18. Eternal

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247 4th St #111
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 920-0836
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Donut Farm’s new Oakland location — dubbed Eternal — offers a full slate of the Bay Area’s best-known vegan doughnuts. Beyond that, though, it offers a full breakfast/brunch menu. Come here, then, for your vegan breakfast burrito, tofu omelette, and country fried Chik’n needs.

19. Two Mammas' Vegan Kitchen

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3700 E 12th St
Oakland, CA 94601
(510) 606-0596
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Having a brunch menu without eggs benedict is like releasing a country album without a single song about being dumped or getting your truck towed. Two Mammas rights this wrong with tofu benedicts, florentines, and scrambles, in addition to breakfast sandwiches and waffles. The Fruitvale cafe also serves a rosemary soy chicken salad sandwich that’s the kind of thing you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

20. Veggie Lee

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25036 Hesperian Blvd
Hayward, CA 94545
(510) 785-7133
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This vegetarian Chinese spot is helmed by a former Daimo chef with serious Cantonese cooking chops, so all the usual mock-meat preparations are a cut above. Dishes like the eggplant with vegan fish steak, the salt-and-pepper pumpkin, and the pan-fried tofu skin are as good as anything you’ll find at any of the area’s omnivore-oriented Chinese restaurants. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, and most of it is vegan — just ask to be certain.

1. Potala Vegan Restaurant

1045 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

Where some vegan restaurants try to keep up with appearances, Potala's one of those that wants you to know you're eating vegetables, and a lot of them. Every meal in the changed-daily menu includes includes soup, rice, legumes, greens, mixed vegetables, and salad. $14 for a large lunch plate, and $15 for a large dinner, buys you a bountiful veggie spread — whereas an omnivore restaurant might only provide a small side of salad with meals at that price point.

1045 San Pablo Ave
Albany, CA 94706

2. The Butcher's Son and Market

1954 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

A name suggesting a tragic folk song belies a robust menu of deli regulars — macaroni salad, cold-cut hoagies, and high-quality housemade faux meat sold by the pound. The place gets pretty packed for brunch, but good things come to those who wait, which in this case includes vegan buffalo bacon fried chicken ranch sandwiches and a fairly exceptional East Coast–style grinder. Recently moved into a larger space, the Butcher’s Son now includes a robust market for takeaway items.

1954 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

3. Cinnaholic

2132 Oxford St, Berkeley, CA 94704

Come here for giant, sticky, glazed cinnamon buns that are also completely vegan. A single bun is big enough for two to split — but you probably won't want to.

2132 Oxford St
Berkeley, CA 94704

4. Baagan

484 Center St, Moraga, CA 94556

Located in a Moraga strip mall, this fast-casual spot specializes in Indian-inspired burgers. While healthfulness is the theme — the burger patties are made with either chana beans (aka chickpeas) or mung beans — the kitchen doesn’t skimp on the spices, so the burgers are still plenty flavorful. Plenty of gluten-free options are available here.

484 Center St
Moraga, CA 94556

5. Flacos Tacos

3031 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703

Some say there's nothing more Californian than getting tacos with friends. Flacos offers that quintessential experience to vegans and then goes above and beyond the novelty of a “vegan taco," offering vegan pozole, banana-leaf tamales, and fresh-made agua frescas as well.

3031 Adeline St
Berkeley, CA 94703

6. Millennium

5912 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

If you need a break from vegan variations of fried comfort food, Millennium — one of the Bay Area’s early vegan fine-dining innovators, dating back to the days of its original SF location — offers more of an upscale wine bar feel. It’s the kind of place that takes plating very seriously, and that serves hearty, ambitious dishes like arborio-crusted mushrooms and parsnip okonomiyaki.

5912 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618

7. Shangri-La Vegan

4001 Linden St., Oakland, CA 94608

Nestled on an unassuming street corner in the Longfellow neighborhood, homely Shangri-La is easy to miss. Wise up, though, because the dynamic, ever-changing menu offers unabashed and unapologetic macrobiotic vegan fare — no "this burger tastes the same with black beans and tofu" dishes here. There’s also a Temescal location at 4905 Telegraph Avenue.

4001 Linden St.
Oakland, CA 94608

8. Timeless Coffee

4252 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

Vegan students and worker bees descend upon Timeless Coffee for its dairy-free cheesecakes, danishes, and custom cakes paired with small-batch coffee deftly poured into oat milk lattes. Its proximity to other cafes means that, while often busy, it’s not packed or flooded with people all jockeying for the one outlet that still works. The cafe also has a cozy location at 2965 College Avenue in Berkeley.

4252 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611

9. Cafe Dareye

2504 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

Ethiopian restaurants are usually solid choices for vegan diners, but Cafe Dareye is the rare 100-percent vegan and gluten-free spot. The $11.99 combo is loaded with lentils, split peas, collard greens, and stuffed jalapeños.

2504 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94612

10. Vegan Mob

500 Lake Park Ave, Oakland, CA 94610
Toriano Gordon in front of his new permanent location of Vegan Mob Vegan Mob

Oakland’s newest vegan hotspot offers up hearty and flavorful vegan takes on soul food dishes a few steps away from Lake Merritt, in the iconic former Kwik-Way location. If you’re under the impression that vegan food is dainty or timid, get a load of chef Toriano Gordon’s highly Instagram-friendly takes on gumbo (made with faux shrimp) and French fry–stuffed “California Barbrquitos.”

500 Lake Park Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

11. Gay 4 U

380 15th St, Oakland, CA 94612

This downtown Oakland permanent pop-up at Garden House comes from the former proprietor of Hella Vegan Eats, who promises a truly inclusive space — and even offers a free meal to any trans person of color. The food offerings are bold and playful, running the gamut from braised kale quinoa bowls to fried “chicken” waffle burgers. Check Instagram for the pop-ups hours.

380 15th St
Oakland, CA 94612

12. Core Kitchen

499 14th Street, Oakland, CA
Core Kitchen

Core Kitchen's menu is entirely vegetable-based, with noodles made of zucchini and collard green wraps. A kale salad at a vegan place comes as no surprise, but Core Kitchen's tahini-marinated kale is worth a shot if you've been skeptical of the leafy green, or have been in a long-term relationship with it and need to reignite that spark.

499 14th Street
Oakland, CA

13. Nature Vegetarian Restaurant

1116 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

The sprawling menu gives vegans an abundance of Chinese options, many of which are prepared with the restaurant’s uncommonly tasty housemade mock meats. Never thought you’d get a craving for gluten-based vegan sesame chicken? You’ll want to give this one a try. Even better, almost everything on the menu costs less than 10 bucks.

1116 Franklin St
Oakland, CA 94607

14. Bare Knuckle Pizza

351 12th St, Oakland, CA 94607

Vegan pizza isn’t too hard to find these days, but Bare Knuckle Pizza commits to the craft, not only sourcing vegan mozz (from the Butcher’s Son) but also vegan blue cheese, vegan bacon, vegan pepperoni, and more for its wood-fired, Neapolitan pies.

351 12th St
Oakland, CA 94607

15. The Veg Hub

2214 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94602

Huge, flavor-packed sandwiches and soul food plates piled high with fried faux-chicken and vegan mac ‘n’ cheese are on the menu at this all-vegan restaurant. All the fake meats and cheeses are made in house, and the Philly Cheeze Steak — an umami bomb of the highest order — might be the most satisfying vegan sandwich in the East Bay.

2214 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94602

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16. Vegan Donut Gelato

411 E 18th St, Oakland, CA 94606

Vegan Donut Gelato serves ... vegan doughnuts and vegan gelato. The doughnuts are particularly impressive, with an airy quality difficult to find in other dairy-less iterations. The goal here is not to be fancy or trendy in the slightest. Instead, it feels like an old-school donut shop with its cases crammed full of classic glazed raised and rainbow sprinkle–topped cake doughnuts.

411 E 18th St
Oakland, CA 94606

17. Souley Vegan

301 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

Some consider Souley Vegan to be the epitome of vegan food in Oakland — yet the Jack London neighborhood mainstay defies expectations whenever possible. The cayenne lemonade, fried okra, and Southern-fried tofu bring even the staunchest omnivores to the yard — which happens to be a lovely space of sprawling picnic tables serenaded with lively jazz and R&B.

301 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607

18. Eternal

247 4th St #111, Oakland, CA 94607

Donut Farm’s new Oakland location — dubbed Eternal — offers a full slate of the Bay Area’s best-known vegan doughnuts. Beyond that, though, it offers a full breakfast/brunch menu. Come here, then, for your vegan breakfast burrito, tofu omelette, and country fried Chik’n needs.

247 4th St #111
Oakland, CA 94607

19. Two Mammas' Vegan Kitchen

3700 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601

Having a brunch menu without eggs benedict is like releasing a country album without a single song about being dumped or getting your truck towed. Two Mammas rights this wrong with tofu benedicts, florentines, and scrambles, in addition to breakfast sandwiches and waffles. The Fruitvale cafe also serves a rosemary soy chicken salad sandwich that’s the kind of thing you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

3700 E 12th St
Oakland, CA 94601

20. Veggie Lee

25036 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545

This vegetarian Chinese spot is helmed by a former Daimo chef with serious Cantonese cooking chops, so all the usual mock-meat preparations are a cut above. Dishes like the eggplant with vegan fish steak, the salt-and-pepper pumpkin, and the pan-fried tofu skin are as good as anything you’ll find at any of the area’s omnivore-oriented Chinese restaurants. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, and most of it is vegan — just ask to be certain.

25036 Hesperian Blvd
Hayward, CA 94545

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