Here are some restaurants which are particularly plant-based-friendly. Check them out and let us know what you think. For PIZZA, Thai, and Indian options and a peek at the Davis Food Co-op, go to those pages.
Three Ladies Cafe offers mostly vegetarian (some fish), healthy breakfast and lunch foods and are open for early dinner hours (9:30 am-8:00 pm). They specialize in smoothies, “functional drinks”, bowls, sandwiches and baked goods. They have a tofu scramble, scones, and overnight oats for breakfast. The ingredients are fresh, the staff is friendly, and they aim to provide a nutrient packed meal for under $10. 130 G Street.
Sun & Soil Juice Company is located in the courtyard across from 3-Mile Brewery. They specialize in organic, cold pressed juices, organic cashew milks, juice blends, freezes, shots, and primarily vegan food and snacks (honey is in a few items). 231 G Street
Chickpeas is an Israeli-style falafel bar served in pita or on a plate, then you top it with liberal, very freshly made, salad bar selections. Unique feature: Vegan shwarma (seitan)!! The food is very traditional and tasty middle eastern food. (Every item is vegan except two: the actual meat shwarma and the serve-yourself yogurt dressing.) They also have a food truck for events and private parties and do a lot of catering. Vegan-owned. 640 W Covell Blvd (next to Ding How)–also located in Woodland at 800 Main St.
KetMoRee is a Thai restaurant with very nice atmosphere. They can make almost anything on the menu in a plant based version (no fish sauce, substituting tofu for meat). Almost all of their curries are or can be made vegetarian. If it bothers you to have tofu fried in the same oil as meats, order it raw. G/3rd
Taste of Thai has a pretty room, wood paneled and high ceilings. The soup and rice is enormous and the portions are a generous size. They have a good selection of options which are already plant-based or can be made plant-based. Just be clear with your server.
Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, none of the curries here can be made vegan (they have fish in the curry paste), but many of the small plates, noodles, and fried rice can be made vegan by request and tofu is a protein option. They instruct diners to notify wait staff. Nice street-facing bar/live music area with indoor and outdoor (covered) seating in the back. Check web site for live music schedule. 129 E St, #E.
Thai Canteen has a small bar and lots of seating in back with a few tables out on the street. While the menu on the chalk board is not marked, the printed menus by the cashier have dots marking what can be made vegan by request. Food is very flavorful. 117 E St.
Yakitori Yuchan serves Izakaya type Japanese cooked dishes and is popular with foodies…the dishes are artfully presented. There is enough that you can create about 2 meals worth of food, but you need to special order dishes without the meat. There are 2 items on the chilled foods and 2 on the hot items…ask your server. 109 E St.
Ding How Restaurant serves Chinese food and has a completely separate vegetarian menu which mimics their regular, meat menu–Ask for it. There are only a few non-vegan items on it (that include egg), so be specific with the wait staff. 640 W Covell Blvd.
Thai Nakorn serves Thai food and has a nice array of dishes that are vegan or can be created that way. They have some outdoor seating, staff is friendly, located at 424 G St.
Davis Noodle City is a ramen restaurant that has a vegetarian section on their menu, a few of which have eggs (you can swap rice noodles in instead of egg noodles). There is a vegan broth option, they are flexible about swapping. An inexpensive giant bowl of soup will fill you up til the next day. They also have stir fry dishes. Behind Sophia’s Thai at 129 E Street, #D1.
Nami Sushi (Japanese) is popular with students – great price (around $18) for all you can eat! Vegan items include: Miso soup (ask for them to make a vegan version), the standard starters, inari sushi, and four veg sushi rolls. One roll may come with mayo sauce, ask for it without the sauce.) Note: if the owner is the chef while you are there, you can ask for him to get creative and make something up. They are very fast, very filling. Most waiters know what vegan is – but most importantly, the chefs do. Specify if you don’t want anything fried in your roll (inari tofu skin is made and packaged separately – not fried with the rest of the food). If you have 12 guests and let them know 2 days in advance, they will do an incredible, artistic, delicious vegan menu for the same price. Small. Sports on TV if you eat at the bar. 2880 5th Street (shopping center)
Zen Toro (Japanese) is the most sophisticated sushi place in town. Great date-night location. They have some ingredients not always found in veg rolls – pickled daikon and plum. There is enough to make a nice meal, so we are adding them to our list. The menu is marked for “vegetarian” items, but not all of those are vegan. Deep fryer is shared. The offerings are limited and basics like miso soup cannot be made vegan. Please go in and ask them to add more vegan options. They do everything else so well. In the bottom of Mansion Square, 132 E St at corner of 2nd.
Davis Sushi Buffet (Japanese) is definitely a student-oriented place, but the price is right and the food is fresh. Vegans should order off of the menu — not as cheap as the floating buffet, but there are a number of options. The wait staff? Well, it depends who you get. Read carefully. You can really fill up here. 2nd between F/G
Red 88 Noodle Bar this truthfully only has one soup that is vegan, but they have a very small menu, so we would not expect more-it is packed with perfectly cooked vegetables and lots of noodles. There are stir fry dishes that can be made vegan and two appetizers. Their staff is well trained and knows what vegan means. They are one of the only places open for a late meal and do serve alcohol (famous for their FML drink). 223 G St
Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar is always packed, has outdoor seating, and has an extensive menu with a few plant based items in each category. Ask your server for guidance in case there are hidden ingredients. Shared fryer. 500 1st St.
Yeti Restaurant in the E Street Plaza has made a huge evolution in their menu in response to our suggestions. They have quite a few plant-based options and some very unique flavors. Let them know you want your food prepared vegan, but most of the vegetarian items are now made with non-dairy products and the menus list vegan items clearly. They have a fun outdoor space for seating when it is warm out. 234 E St.
Raja’s Tandoor Healthy Indian Food has a mostly vegan buffet daily/nightly. The owner is very understanding and accommodating. They have vegan choices at their farmers market booths Wednesday/Saturday. The buffet price is very student-friendly. There is outdoor balcony seating as well as indoors. 207 3rd St. (Upstairs)
Preethi Indian Cuisine has worked to enhance and highlight their plant-based options. There are several appetizers and the first 7 entrees (or Thalis) in the Vegetarian section are vegan. But wait! The entire South Eastern Indian section of the menu is vegan – crepes, sauces, everything! The owners and waiters know immediately what you can and cannot eat and are very glad you came. A nice place for date night. The food is quite delicious (note that the green chutney has dairy). 712 2nd St. between F/G
Kathmandu Kitchen has Nepali/Indian food. They have a full vegetarian appetizer and main dish menu, most of which can be prepared vegan by request, as all food there is made to order. The menu is not specifically marked, so ask. It seems that their wait staff is more knowledgeable than several years ago, though kitchen communication needs improvement. Communicate very clearly with your wait staff. Popular among the Nepali crowd, locals, and with students. Small bar/sports on TV available. 234 G St between 2nd/3rd
Chipotle this dependable chain downtown is where you will get the largest number of choices for Mexican food. 227 E St.
Taqueria Guadelajara is traditional, authentic, basic Mexican food – there are two choices: a vegetarian burrito or tostada that can be ordered with no cheese or sour cream. It is basic, filling, and very yummy.
El Toro Bravo has very few options, and we wish they would have more, but what they have is tasty, based on a blend of sauteed eggplant and bell peppers. The black beans are vegan–make sure to ask them to serve them (as dip or side) WITHOUT cheese on top. Make sure to be very specific in ordering vegan or vegetarian.
Others – there are other Mexican food restaurants, but they either have very limited choices, you have to highly customize and they do not make it easy, or they have hidden ingredients that you would never imagine–like the corn sprinkled on the otherwise vegan salad is sauteed in butter before it goes on the salad, or they sautee veggies in butter or mix butter in the beans.
Ike’s Place is a chain from the Bay Area with an owner who went to UC Davis. Sandwiches galore – about 10 huge subs that are vegetarian or can be made vegan, several kinds of bread and sauces. They use Gardein and Tofurky products and some vegan mayo that is yummy. The web site has a selection for Davis to see the local menu. F St between 2nd/3rd.
The Davis Coop has been rolling out the welcome mat in recent years with prepared foods that are ready to eat. Grab for a picnic or take home dinner! The hot food bar always has several items. There is a fresh sushi stand with vegetable rolls and inari sushi. There are also deli salads, choose-your-own sandwich fillings, grape leaves, and tamales they can heat up. G St between 6th/7th.
Delta of Venus is open for breakfast and lunch. Serves up breakfast items, many of which have subs you can make (tofu for eggs). Made to order, first come-first served, often a line (popular with students). There is limited outdoor seating-nice on warm days. 122 B Street
Burgers and Brew has two “patty” choices (smoked tofu and portobello) that can be ordered without the egg-mayo (you can add avocado or spicy guacamole) and one vegetarian (the original Gardenburger). For menu click here. (They seem to be updating their website.) We think you can order any of the burger styles and swap out the patty choice. Popular for its beer selection. Most of the seating is outdoor or “covered” seating and it is a nice place to people watch, across from Central Park. 403 3rd St.
deVere’s Irish Pub has added a vegan burger (based on Beyond Burger) which comes with a side of fries (shared fryer) or you can pay a little more and get a house salad (ask about whether the added pecans are vegan that day), there may be one vegan appetizer. 217 E St.
Solomon’s Deli has bagels which can be purchased with a vegan cream cheese or avocado and a sandwich called the Shiela, which has thinly sliced pile of pastrami-seasoned roasted beets in place of deli meats. 500 1st St.
Bistro 33 started to offer the Impossible Burger in November 2017. $16 for the burger and fries — you MUST specify that you want a vegan version to get vegan cheese and vegan mayo (otherwise it comes on the menu with cow-milk cheddar and egg white mayo). They have a hummus wrap that can be ordered without cheese and two appetizers that are vegan if ordered without cheese. 226 F Street
Pizza and Italian
Woodstock’s Pizza has a vegan (Daiya) cheese option and all 3 crusts are vegan. There are plenty of toppings and several large salads (beer and wine served in the attached room). G/2nd-3nd
Blaze Pizza is inexpensive, popular with students, and is a build-your-own type of service. Very nice staff. Tell them immediately that you are vegan. They will change gloves, and use Daiya, only one sauce is ok, and make sure to remind them to use a clean pizza cutter at the end. There is usually a line, but it moves very fast and the food is ready within minutes. 212 F St/2nd
Steve’s Pizza now has Daiya cheese (they switched for a short time to a vegetarian, but not vegan cheese), and also has other basics that can be done vegan using the Daiya as a sub. The regular and whole wheat crust have dairy, GF is vegan. 314 F St.
CREAM Nation has vegan cookies and vegan ice cream. There are only 2 kinds of ice cream, but it is so sinfully good, you won’t care that it is not a gourmet flavor. They will usually offer to change their gloves. Line out the door. F/1st
Good Scoop has 4 interesting custom flavors of non-dairy sorbet. Flavors rotate. (Cones are not plant-based.) 130 G St, also at Farmers Market.
SWEETHONEYDESSERT is a new place with “Hong Kong” desserts that opened in August 2018 and serves sweet tofu pudding custards, glutinous rice balls, and sago that all have vegan options. Warnings: the Grass jelly is NOT vegan and anything with coconut milk or toddy palm includes cow dairy. Ask the staff for guidance. 516 2nd St.
The Davis Coop is doing an AWESOME job carrying things plant-based eaters like–look for the 4 refrigerator cases (cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, “milks”, yogurt, burgers, “meats”) and 2 frozen cases, they have VeganEgg in a specialties shelf, and have pretty much everything you can get in Whole Foods. They carry a line of Sugar Plum Bakery cakes, Just Desserts vegan chocolate cake/cupcakes, in addition to other cookies and candy that you’d expect to be there.
Let Them Eat Cake has at least one vegan cupcake choice daily, new vegan selection comes out on Wednesdays. They make special occasion, custom decorated sheet cakes that should be ordered at least 2 weeks in advance. 310 C St
Booze and Drinks
Sudwerk Brewing Co Dock Store – all of the Sudwerk beers are confirmed vegan. The Dock is very popular in the evenings, there is frequently a live band with relaxed outdoor seating in what was part of the parking lot. It’s fun. The restaurant adjacent is NOT vegan-friendly, though they have a hummus plate. Pop Up plant-based fast food is there twice monthly provided by Roaming Spoon. (You can find them on twitter and facebook to see dates.) 2001 2nd St
Date night? Destination dining?
We’re a little short on this category…go ask the nicer places to add to their menu. Sometimes Seasons has one dish,but the menu changes weekly and it is hit or miss. They do not like to customize dishes extensively. Paesanos has one pasta dish (Capellini Pomodoro-tomatoes, garlic and basil — order it without the cheese). Do not bother with Osteria Fasulo or Mustard Seed.
Home chefs/delivery to Davis
- Farmers Kitchen, gluten free and vegan meal prep and eat-in restaurant. It is farm to fork and the menu changes weekly. There are a few standard vegan items (bread is NOT vegan). Check on line or call for must recent menu. https://www.farmerskitchencafe.com/, 624 4th Street, Davis, CA 95616, 530.756.1862, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Food Simply, 3-course pop up dinner events, catering, based in Sacramento. www.food-simply.com , 916.708.6296, email@example.com
- Leoncio Heredia/Chef Boyarleezy, https://www.instagram.com/chefboyarleezy/?hl=en , Messenger: m.me/chefleon1986, FB: Chefboyarleezy Meal preps, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mylapore Express, based in Roseville. This is a north and south Indian food delivery service that happens once a week on Sunday. Orders have to be placed in advance before 8:00 pm Friday and the food will be delivered on the immediate Sunday. Delivers to Davis. Order here: www.MylaporeExpress.com, 916.925.6200