Foodies, chart your course for Oakland’s new vegan trail

·3 min read

Visitors can feast on vegan Creole dishes as well as Caribbean, Mexican, Ethiopian and Singaporean plant-based cuisine — and much more.

Oakland is bursting with all kinds of diversity and, of course, that extends to food. A new feature on the food scene is the Oakland Vegan Trail, boasting some of the city’s plant-based restaurants, bakeries and organic coffee shops.

The trail stretches from Piedmont to Jack London Square and features 20 diverse eateries. Visitors can use a virtual guide to explore and feast on vegan Creole dishes as well as Ethiopian, Caribbean, and Singaporean cuisine, vegan pizza, burgers, ice cream, and more.

The trail also highlights a number of Black, women and LGBTQ-owned businesses, according to the official Visit Oakland website.

Orange Teriyaki Bowl
The Orange Teriyaki Bowl is on the menu at Roasted and Raw in Jack London Square, Oakland, California. (Credit: David Tu Phu)

Peter Gamez, CEO of Visit Oakland, told KTVU’s Heather Holmes that the trail was established in response to the city’s growing demand for vegan food. The online map also lists Oakland’s vegetarian restaurants.

“We are excited to highlight the incredibly talented chefs in Oakland who are creating innovative and delicious vegan food and beverages,” said Gamez in a statement shared by Visit Oakland.

The Oakland Vegan Trail lists not only fairly typical information like location, contact information and reviews, but also menu highlights as well as owner and chef bios.

“We are extremely proud to launch the Oakland Vegan Trail with such an amazing mix of cultural cuisine,” said Gamez in the statement.

Gamez noted that there is “something for everyone to enjoy — even for non-vegans.”

Check out the Oakland Vegan Trail Map to help plan your visit. In the meantime, we have listed some eateries to add to your list:

Cafe Dareye

This 17-year-old Ethiopian restaurant makes everything from scratch and also functions as a market selling organic spices, cooking ingredients, and kitchen utensils. There is a daily veggie combo and traditional dishes, including split peas, stuffed jalapeño and red lentils. Chickpea and lentil spreads are also among its offerings.

Vegan Mob

A vegan barbecue and soul food restaurant from chef-owner Toriano Gordon. Menu standouts include the “Mob Plate,” smackaroni mac and cheese, collard greens and spicy fried chicken with cajun seasoning.

Roasted and Raw

A former pop-up in Jack London Square, this café offers a customizable menu that features jackfruit carnitas, quinoa with curry chickpea ragù, and mushroom carne asada.

Coco Breeze Caribbean Restaurant and Vegan Bakery

An array of Caribbean delights are the specialties here, including healthy beverages, and gluten-free offerings. Customers can also choose Jamaican vegan cuisine along the lines of Curry Jackfruit with Veggie Rice, Vegan Curry Chicken with Pelau, as well as Dessert of the Day and currant rolls.

Irie Jerk Mushrooms, Poppyseed Cabbage Slaw and Seasonal Island Fruit is among the offering at Hella Nuts, which is a 100% soy-free restaurant. (Credit: Hella Nuts)
Irie Jerk Mushrooms, Poppyseed Cabbage Slaw and Seasonal Island Fruit is among the offering at Hella Nuts, which is a 100% soy-free restaurant. (Credit: Hella Nuts)

Malibu’s Burgers

Said to be a must-try for vegan burger lovers. Most sandwiches are dressed with “Impossible 2.0 patties,” “Follow Your Heart” American cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, plus a special sauce on a Brioche Bun or another choice of bread. Sides include fries, tater tots, and grilled asparagus.

Hella Nuts

Founded by mother-daughter duo Mieko Scott and Kamari Quinones, this eatery uses nuts, seeds and legumes to craft its robust dishes that include gluten-free options. Hella Nuts is proudly 100% soy-free. It is also known for its walnut meat, which resembles ground beef and can be purchased online. One notable dish is Irie Jerk Mushrooms, Poppyseed Cabbage Slaw and Seasonal Island Fruit. Customers must pre-order lunch and dinner on Tock and reserve a time for pickup.

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