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Vegan Friendly Eats

Going vegan has become a thing now and restaurants and companies are stepping up to the plate by providing vegan and plant-based options. Are you the one in charge to find the location for dinner with friends where one or two of them eat vegan? Well, downtown Oakland has several spots where vegan and non-vegans alike will be satisfied without having to go to multiple places or select from the minimal vegan options like a salad or steamed vegetables. Let’s uncover a few places that are vegan friendly in downtown Oakland. 

If you like traditional Indian food with a little flair, then stop by dosa by Dosa who has something for everyone. For the vegan in the group, try the deliciously crunchy Idli Fries made of rice and lentils with a roasted garlic chutney for dipping. What would an Indian meal be without samosas? Theirs are filled with potatoes and peas and enveloped in a buttery tasting crust(but not a drop of butter). Most restaurants don’t usually have a vegan dessert on the menu, but they do! Try the vegan Cardamom Kheer with slivers of saffron and almonds for a wonderful surprise that will leave a sweet feeling in your soul.  

Another favorite spot to hit in Uptown is Mua which has several things on the menu for the vegan crowd. To make things easy in selecting the vegan options, visit their website and have a look at their dietary restriction menu which includes vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options so you don’t have to dig, search, or ask the waitstaff a bunch of questions. My favorites on the vegan list are the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, the Vegetable Ragout(veganized), and the Crispy Tofu(be sure to order at least 2 orders with extra sauce because it will go quickly). And yes, they offer a little dessert by way of a sorbet as a sweet and palate-cleansing ending to the meal. 

Maybe you and your peeps want to grab a sausage and a beer, well guess who has vegan options? Yep,  Rosamunde Sausage Grill in Old Oakland. They serve up the hearty Beyond Sausage in 2 flavors: the Beyond Brat and the Beyond Hot Italian. Enjoy on either the gluten-free roll or the baguette or maybe just skip the bun altogether and have your sausage on a bed of lettuce with a nice tangy vinaigrette dressing. Their vegan sides are the Sweet & Tangy Baked Beans, Lentil Salad with dill and of course fries, or a salad. If you want to be sure of any other potential allergens, take a moment to review their allergen chart. As far as beer is concerned, I am a Hefeweizen girl, so the Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier is my choice, but if you like something on the dark or light side, they have it for you. 

Lastly, there is a new all vegan spot at 380 17th Street called Lion Dance Cafe, currently only offering take out. Lion Dance Cafe, which is the brick and mortar presence of the ever-popular vegan pop-up, S+M Vegan, creates dishes that are a blend of Singaporean, Cali-Italian, and Chinese American Diaspora. Some of their popular items include Shaobing Sandwich with braised Hodo tofu, garlicky cabbage, fermented chilies, mint, and cilantro. Did someone say tofu nuggets? These are not your ordinary tofu nuggets as they are made with curry leaf, Thai basil, and served with a special house made mayonnaise. Yum! Soup season is almost here and their Spicy Coconut Curry Rice Noodle Soup is just what the doctor ordered. So be sure to place your order online, pick-up, and enjoy. Shhh…maybe don’t tell your friends it’s vegan and see if they can tell. It’s our secret. LOL!

If you were wondering about places to go with your friends and still enjoy a vegan meal and not feel left out, wonder no more because there are quite a few spots to hit and these four locations are just the tip of the iceberg. Go out and explore downtown Oakland’s hella good vegan food!