Calling all local vegetarians, vegans, and daring omnivores, I present to you one of SB’s hidden gems of health food. Mesa Verde is a plant-based vegetarian/vegan restaurant nestled on the Santa Barbara Mesa. This spot offers guests more than a typical garden salad or boring wrap. They’ve only been around since 2014 and have already made their mark on the foodie community. It’s time to bring our UCSB presence to their tables.
If you don’t usually eat veggie, this is the time to make an exception. The warm ambiance and the variety of dishes will be an experience that’ll will make you forget how much you love meat.
Their unique menu aims to capture flavors “encompassing the Mediterranean region” with the help of locally sourced ingredients (and they do so quite nicely if I may say so myself). I have to admit that this restaurant holds a special place in my heart because of my appreciation for Mediterranean flavors and quality vegetarian food. When I found this rare combination, I had to let the world know.
I have a tip about navigating their menu. It’s short, sweet, and features some uncommon ingredients such as jackfruit and butternut cheese. Don’t let those words scare you, every item on their menu is worth a try… The exotic flavors and unique ingredients will make you forget that you’re eating incredibly healthy food. Their presentation doesn’t hurt either; they top most of their dishes with flowers and strategically smeared sauces.
#SpoonTip: Indulge in the Picadillo Empanadas and experience flavors of chimichurri, jackfruit, and endless spices on a bed of tasty black beans.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, the good people of Santa Barbara have voiced their opinion by giving it a whopping 4 ½ stars and outstanding reviews on yelp. And if you’re still skeptical, I’ll tell you that I take my own mom here all the time per her request (and she’s a huge fan of all things chicken and dairy).
The Mesa Verde staff offers guests a one-of-a-kind dining experience with friendly service and a variety of brunch, lunch, dinner, drink, and dessert options. Dish prices range from $8-15 dollars and trust me, you get your money’s worth. So next time you’re debating on where to indulge after payday, take a trip to the SB Mesa. Your visit will leave you with a happy stomach (and no food-fueled guilt).