Why Sacramento Should Be Your Next Vegan Destination

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California’s capital might not be the first place that comes to mind as a vegan destination, but think again. Once considered a “cow town” – a stopover to refuel en route to San Francisco, Napa or Lake Tahoe – Sacramento has become a modern, forward-thinking food metropolis surrounded by rolling farmland teeming with local produce, organic and farm fresh. offerings. In addition to a exploding plant-based culinary scene, the greater Sacramento area, with a population of over 2 million, is home to the famous Crocker Museum of Art, two major rivers that connect a natural walk of 23 miles, an NBA basketball team, and new state-of-the-art convention, performing arts, and entertainment centers in the heart of downtown. On your next trip to the so-called “farm-to-fork capital,” take the time to visit these nine incredible vegan restaurants.

Bambi Vegan Tacos

1 Bambi Vegan Tacos

Originally a humble food truck, Bambi Vegan Tacos opened as a fun and funky dining destination in 2018 with a full bar, high tables, and industrial cement flooring. But don’t be fooled by the name, this place is so much more than tacos. The Melty Melt is Bambi’s version of a tuna melt with charred artichokes, oyster mushrooms and whole chickpeas. Burnt romaine and achiote squash in an avocado-chili vinaigrette are the stars of the fajita salad. Of course, you don’t want to miss the tacos, including Bambi’s namesake made with beef with cremini mushrooms or Baja stuffed with breaded cider cauliflower. Wash it all down with a honeyed green apple margarita.
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VegNews.DeadlySinsVegan Deadly Sins

2 Vegan Deadly Sins

The only killer thing about this vegan restaurant is its killer menu (excuse the dad joke). This family-run dining house is where “vegan meets Chinese cuisine,” drawing inspiration from Buddhist roots with sustainable, high-quality ingredients. Traditional dishes, like sweet and sour soup, General Tso’s chicken, Mongolian beef and chow mein, are plant-based processed using meat made with soy, plant protein and wheat gluten. The seemingly endless menu includes specialties such as Golden Knots in delicate soy wraps and satay pork ribs with taro and pumpkin. Singapore curry noodles mingle with fresh vegetables and fake ham that looks too good to be true. But the Vegan Glazed Walnut Shrimp may be the piece de resistance.
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VegNews.VegCafevegetarian cafe

3 Veggie Coffee

Climb a steep flight of stairs to this unassuming cafe located directly above its sister Thai restaurant on one of downtown Sacramento’s main streets. Intimate dining spaces, including a covered veranda with views of neighboring businesses below, give Veg Café a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere. In addition to an all-plant-based menu that takes advantage of local and seasonal ingredients, the restaurant works with Resoil Sacramento to deliver green waste to nearby farms for composting. The menu inspired by world cuisine features creative dishes such as French Onion Soup with caramelized onions and butternut squash in a hearty broth topped with cashew mozzarella. Scrambled Tofu is a delicate blend of creamy pesto, hash browns, tomato chutney, black beans and an accent of micro greens. Don’t miss the golden fried latkes with coconut pesto, spinach and homemade feta or the chickpea and turmeric pancakes stuffed with vegetables and topped with curry sauce and pickled carrots. For something sweet, opt for the French toast soaked in coconut cream with bean whipped cream and candied pecans.
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4 Andy Nguyen’s Vegetarian

Inspired by childhood recipes from Saigon and a belief in compassionate living, the Andy Nguyen restaurant family has been feeding vegan and non-vegan crowds since 1984. Peace, love and compassion inspire every delicious dish with names like Awakening Mind Chow Fun, Universal Love. lemongrass and harmonious connection. Start with the refreshing Karma Roll with mangoes, grilled tofu and pickled carrots or the crunchy Lemon Nirvana Salad served with grilled soy beef and mixed herb coleslaw. Spiritual entrees include Peaceful Existence with potatoes, tofu and beets in a yellow curry sauce and Devine Realization, a delicious take on pad Thai with beets and shiitake mushrooms. Given the generous portions, there will be plenty of leftovers to enjoy the next day.
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VegNews.PureSoulSacPure Soul Plant Based Foods

5 Pure Soul Plant Based Foods

Tucked away in the corner of a small strip mall in East Sacramento is Pure Soul Plant Based Eats, a small restaurant best suited for takeout. Despite its small size, this cafe has a big heart and an even bigger mission to serve comforting vegan food. Almost every item on the menu can be customized to your liking. Do you prefer a Beyond Meat, Impossible or homemade veggie patty for this burger? Chicken options are grilled, fried or extra crispy. Add Baja ranch, barbecue or buffalo sauce, plus caramelized onions, crispy jalapeños, bacon, roasted pastrami, sauerkraut, vegan cheese and just about any other vegan burger you can think of . Leave room for a side of crispy beer battered cauliflower or crazy macaroni and cheese. For soulful sides, choose candied yams, collard greens or a serving of potato salad.
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VegNews.BurgerPatchBurger patch

6 Burger patch

If you remember burgers covered in secret sauce, crispy fries and thick chocolate milkshakes after a busy day at work, this is the place for you. With three locations in Sacramento, Burger Patch takes a clean and efficient fast-food approach to plant-based meals with an emphasis on exceptional yet accessible burgers and fries. Using Beyond Meat for beef and chicken options, choices range from a basic burger with homemade Patch sauce to the Mac Stack Deluxe Burger topped with homemade macaroni and cheese, tater tots, smoked hickory strips, grilled onions, dill pickles and patch mayo. Don’t sleep on the signature shakes – they’re thick, creamy, and just what you need to round out a casual fast food meal. Bonus: This chain uses 100% compostable cups, straws and ramekins.
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VegNews.SunflowerdriveinSunflower Drive Inn

seven Sunflower Drive Inn

The Sunflower Drive Inn has been serving fresh, home-cooked vegetarian meals since 1978. Proof of its longstanding popularity are the lines that form outside the order window any day of the week. Not much has changed in its 44-year history, including the hippie vibe that eschews any corporate takeovers. Scripted signs plastered over the command window, weather-worn wooden benches, and the occasional neighborhood chicken are all part of the laid-back atmosphere. The menu is simple and satisfying. The salsa, hot sauce, burger patties, soups, chili, salads and dressings are all homemade. The signature nutburger is the epitome of a true veggie burger – a burger made with veggies, legumes and nuts instead of pea protein and science. A bite of millet with mushrooms, served on sourdough slices with grilled onions in soy sauce, will have you wondering why you don’t eat millet more often. Mexican-style options include a corn tortilla taco stuffed with sautéed walnut meat, vegan cheese, avocado, and beans. With limited seating, pack your food and head to the shady park next door. Loosen up and kick off your shoes to fully enjoy the hippie experience.
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8 baby

It’s not easy to spot this vegan ice cream and donut shop on a busy downtown street, but this hidden gem is worth the search for parking. The flavors change monthly and get quite creative over the holidays, but that’s part of the fun. Donut choices include Lavender, Rose, Lemon Curd, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Carrot, as well as Churros, French Crullers, and Apple Donuts. Not to be outdone, the coconut-based ice cream shines with flavors like mint chip, blueberry cobbler, tiramisu, and strawberry hibiscus sorbet. The shop is open until 9 p.m. every day, which strongly confirms our assertion that donuts really are a dessert.
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VegNews.ConsciousCreameryConscious creamery

9 Conscious creamery

There’s ice cream, and then there’s gelato. This creamy Italian frozen treat is on a whole new level. Flavors like Strawberry Matcha, Lavender Lemonade, Irish Cream, Salted Caramel and Toasted Coconut appeal to customers at this small, family-owned boutique. Artisanal recipes are created without artificial fillers, stabilizers, flavors or colors. The soy- and gluten-free treats start with a mix of organic raw cashews and filtered water flavored with fresh fruits, spices, nuts and seeds from local farmers markets. For an even more fun treat, try the Vanilla Fudge Gelato Taco (aka, a Choco Taco). This creamery gets extra points for using biodegradable cups and spoons.
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To learn more about vegan cities, read:
Why Rochester, New York Is The Best Small Town In America For VegansThe 8 Best Places to Eat Vegan in Detroit

The 10 Best Towns in Texas with Must-Try Vegan Restaurants

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