COOL Restaurants (Davis)

Here are some restaurants which are particularly plant-based-friendly.

Vegan Restaurants

Chay Corner @ Lazi Cow is the first and only vegan restaurant in Davis. “Chay Corner specializes in Asian cuisine with a modern, vegan twist,” owner and UC Davis grad Chef Brandon Dinh says. The food “has no meat, eggs, dairy or any other animal byproducts.”  Opened as a pop-up with a separate menu inside the Lazi Cow boba shop, there are two separate kitchens. Items include several appetizers, including dumplings and deep friend shitake mushrooms which have the texture of calamari. Protein options are tofu and hand-made seitan, which is marinated in Vietnamese spices. There are several bánh mì  sandwich choices, several soups, including pho and miso and a number of rice dishes, all with unique flavors.  The food is prepared fresh and has a variety of bright flavors!!

Plant-Based Student Guide for students from the app abillionveg! Click HERE for video and view their: UC Davis Plant-Based Guide

Healthy Options
  • Three Ladies Cafe offers mostly vegetarian, healthy breakfast and lunch foods or early dinner. They specialize in smoothies, “functional drinks”, bowls, sandwiches and baked goods. They have a tofu scramble, scones, and overnight oats for breakfast.  They have some fantastic dishes served up at their Davis Farmers Market booth as well. 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  moved to the courtyard where 3-Mile Beer is. located. 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
Middle Eastern
  • Chickpeas 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. They have created delicious Vegan shwarma!!  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.) Vegan-owned. 640 W Covell Blvd (next to Ding How) 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.

 

Asian
  • KetMoRee is a Thai restaurant with very nice atmosphere (which turns into a dance club around 10pm. They can make almost anything on the menu in a plant based version (no fish sauce, substituting tofu and some faux products 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. The staff is very helpful! G/3rd
  • Taste of Thai has a pretty room, wood paneled and high ceilings. The soup and rice are 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. 301 G St.
  • 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.
  • 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, and 4 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 with Goodwill)
  • 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. But the offerings are very limited and basics like miso soup cannot be made vegan. Please go in and ask them to add more vegan options. It is ridiculous that they cannot make up an individual order of miso soup, which only has one ingredient: miso. They do everything else so well. In the bottom of Mansion Square, 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? They are friendly, but level of knowledge 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 several 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 popular and 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.
Indian/Nepalese
  • 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. In Fall 2018, Yeti is opening an International/Indian/Nepalese-focused market next door, for specialty spices and products. 234 E St.
  • Raja’1436831736s 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, and you can order off of the menu. They also do catering. There is outdoor balcony seating as well as indoors. 207 3rd St. (Upstairs)
  • n4zi8aatt2gzczcgPreethi 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). 2nd between F/G
  • logoKathmandu 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. Popular among the Nepali crowd, locals, and with students. Small bar/sports on TV available.  234 G St between 2nd/3rd
Mexican
  • 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.
  • Tres Hermanas is part of a group of restaurants owned by the same Mexican American family, each location has a slightly different menu. Beware the “Vegetariana” section of their menu is plates that come automatically with rice made with chicken stock and beans that are vegan (but refried beans are served with cheese on top so ask for no dairy). All of the rice on the menu is made with chicken stock. If you plan ahead, you can order vegan-prepared rice in advance (they prefer a day ahead when you make reservations) or you can special order it when you arrive–but they make it from scratch and it may take an extra 30 minutes to get your order. Nearly all ingredients are listed on the menu so you can customize orders. The kitchen staff understands “NO DAIRY” – so order items with no cheese, no sour cream, no meat/chicken/seafood. Salad dressings that are OK are Italian, balsamic, oil & vinegar, fresh lemons. All beans (black, refried, and pinto) are cooked vegan but refried automatically come with cheese — so order with no cheese. On the Vegetariana menu section: Fajitas, Parrillada de Chayote, and Tamales should be ordered No Dairy and NO RICE– for the tamales, you can substitute (for the creamy chipotle sauce) any of these sauces, which are vegan: enchilada, roja, mole, verde, and ranchero.  The lentil soup served only on Monday and Tuesday is vegan.  Nachos can be ordered no meat/cheese. Bean Dip can be ordered no cheese.
  • 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.
Pub Food and Sandwiches
  • 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, and several kinds of bread and sauces. They use Gardein and Tofurky products and some vegan mayo that is yummy. The web site has Davis tab with 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.  We cannot say enough about how responsive the Co-op staff is to suggestions for new products! They have an excellent selection in every food category plus vegan vitamins and cosmetics. 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
  • 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 schmear (cream cheese) or avocado and a sandwich called the Abe, which has pile of thinly sliced pastrami-seasoned roasted beets in place of deli meats. 500 1st St.
  • Bistro 33  offers the Impossible Burger for about $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
  • 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. 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.

 

Pizza and Italian
  • Woodstock’s Pizza has a vegan (image_previewDaiya) 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 woith 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.

Other ‘Za info: We surveyed other Davis pizza restaurants about their crusts.

  • Paesano’s- vegan
  • Uncle Vito’s- vegan
  • Symposium – vegan
  • Cenario’s – vegan
  • Lamppost- regular crust is vegan, GF not vegan
  • Little Caesar’s – unclear–worker said it likely is not vegan but didn’t know for sure.
  • Round Table – both pan and regular crusts have dairy
  • Pizza Guys- regular crust has egg, GF is vegan but only in medium, it’s pre-made.

Regarding the veganicity of cheeses, please ASK. If you hear something new, send us an update.

 

Sweets
  • 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, house brand pies, some frozen (ready to bake) pies, ice cream, 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.  Seasons now has several dishes including the Impossible Burger. The menu changes weekly.  Paesanos has one pasta dish (Capellini Pomodoro-tomatoes, garlic and basil — order it without the cheese).

 

Home Chefs/Delivery to Davis

COOL Cuisine has prepared a list of places you can find vegan food from caterers and home chefs. COOL Cuisine does not research, verify or certify that any of these people have current health department licenses or liability insurance.  We provide basic information and suggest you ask questions.

  • 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, roseanne@naturalfoodworks.com
  • Rooted Eats is a vegan and plant based personal home chef business. They love to do in-home catering and pop ups events. Follow them on Instagram at rooted__eats and visit our website www.rooted-eats.com
  • Zimbabwe Cuisine Plates, home-based business by chef Natalie with vegan options. The entire menu is gluten free and dairy free. Order in advance for pick up. Contact Natalie Text/call 660.229.0552 or email zimcuisine@gmail.com
    Serving Tasty Southern African Cuisine from Zimbabwe. Usually: $12 a plate Vegan and Gluten Free or $15 Vegan Plate plus coconut green beans.  Sample Menu Includes: Sautéed veg(Kale and Cabbage), Mild Pinto Bean Curry Stew, Mustard greens in Savory peanut butter sauce, Jasmine Rice Pillaf, Sadza/Pap/Ugali/Fufu (Gluten Free) (extra $3) Gourmet coconut green beans sautéed in garlic and olive oil ($3 extra or included in $15 plate). Catering: $100 fully catered dinner for 10 includes , FOUR XL sides and Rice. Accepts Venmo, Cash App, Cash and Local Checks. Orders are for pick up, or local delivery in Davis $5 extra
  • Kimberley’s Kitchen runs a plant-based meal prep service with a weekly changing menu and delivers to Davis on Saturday mornings for a flat $10 delivery fee. The weekly menu is posted to Facebook on Monday morning and orders must be placed by Tuesday 5 p.m. for Saturday morning delivery. All meals are fully cooked and come ready to reheat in microwave-safe containers.  Also find her on Facebook.
  • Food Simply, 3-course pop up dinner events, catering, based in Sacramento. 916.708.6296, camillebhankin@gmail.com
  • Leoncio Heredia/Chef Boyarleezy, https://www.instagram.com/chefboyarleezy/?hl=en , Messenger: m.me/chefleon1986, FB: Chefboyarleezy Meal preps, chefleon1986@gmail.com
  • 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. 916.925.6200
  • Coming soon: FoodNome will have listings of a collective of Home Restaurants serving the community delicious homemade meals including plant-based (vegetarian and vegan).

 

Markets

Davis Food Co-op is located at 620 G Street and is a plant-based diner’s best friend. They are working hard this year to welcome and serve us. They have two cases full of vegan simulated meat and dairy products, two-three cases of frozen foods, a large quantity of milks and yogurts, sour creams and cream cheeses, and the deli and hot food bar have plant-based options daily– easy for take out!

  • They carry Sugar Plum baked goods and Coop brand pies and muffins all at the front of the store near the hot food.
  • They have a good bulk section for grains and dried beans.
  • If there is something you are looking for and cannot find it – ask!
  • If they don’t have it, please fill out a request on a comment form – they are very responsive!
  • If you see something new and interesting or on sale, please post a photo on our Facebook chat page.
  • Did you know that they will order special items for you (at a minimum amount)?

You can connect with them on Instagram and Facebook to see sales and events.

Nugget Market has two locations in Davis and is an excellent, well-stocked, market for most everything you could want on a whole-food-plant-based diet. It a good selection of vegan dairy products, frozen and refrigerated simulated meats, and also carries Sugar Plum and Pushkin’s vegan baked goods and a selection of ice cream. They may be able to do special ordered decorated cakes for advance order. They have an full bulk section for grains, nuts, and dried beans. There are usually several items in the deli case. The store carries many specialty ingredients, particularly handy for those who like to cood or entertain. 1414 East Covell Blvd.,  409 Mace Blvd.

Safeway Carries Field Roast and Gardein products and several brands of dairy products (sour cream, yogurt, cheese).