Originating in the heart of SoCal food, Veggie Grill has officially arrived in Berkeley, and I am here to give you the rundown on why this vegan food chain will become a popular hit for vegans and non-vegans alike.  

From its modern and hip ambiance, to its kindhearted and enthusiastic staff, Veggie Grill can turn anyone’s day around. Founded in Irvine, CA, this restaurant has spread to 29 different locations, and is finally bringing its vegan food haven to Berkeley, CA. At Veggie Grill, the vegetables and the whole foods are the stars of the show. Every dish at Veggie Grill begins with fresh, local ingredients—synthesized to create unique flavors and bites of every season.

Walking Into a Welcoming Neighborhood

Sarah Fung

When you first walk into Veggie Grill at Berkeley, you are immediately greeted with a modern, sleek interior lined with polished tables, soft and natural lighting from the large windows, and a comfortable atmosphere that gives off a lighthearted vibe. Just like its bright interior, Veggie Grill's staff makes sure to welcome you into their neighborhood—warmly guiding you through the extensive vegan menu feast, whether or not it may be your first time. 

Plant-Based Doesn't Mean Boring

Sarah Fung

Veggie Grill is—you guessed it—a plant based zone. All of its ingredients are free of meat, eggs, dairy, antibiotics and hormones. High quality proteins, like the Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat, Gardein Chickin', Hodo Tofu, and house-made falafel, are used to craft unique vegan twists on your classic buffalo wings, fish tacos, steakhouse burgers, mac n' cheese, and more.

By choosing to use monounsaturated fats like rice bran, canola, and seed oils in its food, Veggie Grill eliminates saturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fats from its cooking to serve all around healthy and delicious food.  

The Veganized Version

Sarah Fung

Utilizing its high quality vegan protein sources, Veggie Grill is known for making non-vegan dishes vegan for all. Feeling adventurous? Try the Buffalo Wings—Gardein Chickin' strips covered with your classic buffalo sauce, and with creamy ranch dressing and celery sticks on the side.

While the texture of this dish did not fully disguise its vegan component for me, the flavor profile matched up to the real deal. This dish is a solid appetizer, and an even better choice for vegans who crave that classic Super Bowl snack. 

The Salads 

Sarah Fung

You would think that a vegan salad would be boring, drab, and unfilling, but Veggie Grill proves wrong. From supergreens to marinated kale, Chickin' Cobb to al pastor taco "meat" salad, Veggie Grill's salad bowls pack in your greens, carbohydrates, fats, and protein—all vegan and all into one bowl, keeping you satiated and healthy on the inside.

The options at Veggie Grill are endless and if you happen to be indecisive, go with one of its best sellers, the Mediterranean Supergreens Salad. House-made falafel, tangy harissa, fresh tomato-cucumber salad, and creamy hummus all drizzled with a light lemon vinaigrette combine to put a twist on a Mediterranean classic. 

The Colorful Drinks

Sarah Fung

Finish off your vegan comfort feast with one of Veggie Grill's unique refreshers. Both aesthetically pleasing and delicious, Veggie Grill's house-made drinks offer unique flavors that are hard to come by anywhere else.  From fresh cucumber mint limeade to tangy strawberry lemonade, these drinks not only cleanse your palate, but will want you coming back for more. 

Is It Worth the Hype?

Sarah Fung

Veggie Grill is a great addition to Berkeley's diverse food community for everyone. Whether you are vegan or not, it is a great place to share a plant-based meal with friends, be adventurous, and support the local community. So next time you find yourself in Downtown Berkeley, stop by Veggie Grill and indulge in a veganized version of your favorite comfort meal, or splurge on one of their yummy grain bowls or salads—you won't be disappointed.