Marin County is a good place for a plant-based diet. Here are few of our top plant-based meals.
Novato’s hottest new eatery might be tucked into Pacheco Plaza, but it has already developed a following for its fresh açaí bowls and egg bagel sandwiches. The menu calls out raw and vegan items, like a kombucha-mojito shake. Breakfast tacos are topped with slaw and falafel sauce, a reimaging of the basic egg and potato taco that hits all the right notes.
464 Ignacio Blvd, Novato. 415.475.1128
Veggie Grill is part of a chain of all-vegan food restaurants based out of Los Angeles and Orange counties. The Town Center Corte Madera branch has a casual feel to it, and plenty of seating. Everything served is 100% plant-based food. There is no meat, dairy, eggs, cholesterol, animal fat or trans fat. Even though items say “crab” or “chickin’” it means it is a high protein substitute. The menu is heavy on beans, kale and quinoa. The must-have item is the Crispy Cauliflower, with a sweet and spice orange glaze over panko-coated cauliflower. Save room for dessert; the carrot cake with Tofutti frosting is delicious.
100 Corte Madera Town Center #147, Corte Madera, CA, 94925
Though they no longer boast a Marin location, the local chain deserves credit for updating plant-based eating for a new generation, the hippies’ children of Marinites. A large menu of salads and bowls to which organic chicken can be added attracted a certain crowd, but the 100% plant-based BLTA and The Plant Burger made of beets, lentils and lots of spices changed many minds about eating well and meat-free. (Cofounder and CEO Matthew Guelke leans away from meat alternatives but found a plant-based bacon that met his organic and minimally processed standards.) “We are not out to convert vegans,” says Guelke who has sold nearly a million burgers already. “If you want to eat meat, choose sustainable kinds with a low- carbon footprint.”
2335 Third St, San Francisco; 415.801.5089
“I want you to say ‘holy sh**, this is vegan?’” says chef and co-owner Charles White III of Santa Rosa’s unapologetically vegan restaurant. In an effort to get the macho out of meat eating, White crafted a bacon cheddar burger that satisfied his taste buds and seemingly everyone else’s. But why stop with a burger? White designed a Far East Philly with sauteed gluten-based strips with a texture so close to meat, he calls it spooky. An herby bechamel sauce is blended with mozzarella for a bold cheese sauce that slides over the meat before being captured by a sub roll. It’s a dish even a Philly cheesehead would love.
1899 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa; 707.526.3333
Top places for vegan and vegetarian dishes:
Looking for a nice light lunch in Corte Madera that won’t send you to snooze mode? Try the Tahini Tofu Wrap with a Mango Juice boba drink. Worldwrapps.com
A nice hearty vegetable broth and noodles is all you need to feel happy and full. Their Tofu Rice Noodle Soup is a must when visiting this award-winning Pho restaurant in San Rafael.
This Larkspur creekside restaurant serves some of the most authentic Thai food around with a patio for easy outdoor dining. Opt for the Tofu & Vegetable Red Curry, the spice is just right.
Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her childrens’ schools, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.