Vegan comfort food restaurant reviews: Nature’s Express and Veggie Grill

Welcome back my friends! Today I am very excited to write about two visits I made to two awesome vegan restaurants a few weeks back: Nature’s Express, in Berkeley (East Bay) and Veggie Grill, In Corte Madera (North Bay). As regular readers of PiP know, I am car-challenged, so when the opportunity arose to accompany a friend catsitting in the East Bay, I jumped at it!

Nature’s Express

For dinner on the first night, we opted for Nature’s Express, which was a real surprise for me in Berkeley. It’s in the north part of town, on Solano Avenue, which is a really cute shopping street right at the bottom of the beautiful Berkeley Hills, an area which I had been fortunate enough to spend some time in back in 2013. I hadn’t had time to do much research about the place, so based on the name, I thought it would be one of those Cali-fresh smoothies and healthy salads and wraps type places, but – oh no! It is definitely more in my favourite food realm – comfort food! Yippee!!!! The atmosphere is very casual and laid back too, also a favourite of mine.

Here are my pictures and some detail about the place in the captions!!! Click on any photo to read the full caption.

Their tagline is  “Kick-ass vegan food since 2010” and their website is really fun, with even more pictures, so I encourage you to check it out. Interestingly the restaurant is staffed by hipstery-looking dudes and dudettes, but it was started by a cancer doctor and a nutritionist, both vegans, so there is some serious science and nutrition behind the tasty grub they are dishing up! Their philosophy is as follows:

Nature’s Express is committed to helping people find delicious, convenient, affordable food that is also nutritious. Keeping everything plant based dramatically decreases the toxic organic pollutants, hormones, and antibiotics that are consistently found in our dairy and meat products.

Our philosophy on our food is pretty simple:

1) Fresh ingredients cooked daily

2) Delicious

3) Nutritious and unprocessed

4) Affordable

Sounds good to me! Definitely wanna go back and try some more dishes! Two thumbs up from Pegasus in Paradise!

Veggie Grill

After this, we managed to fit in even more comfort food wonderfulness by stopping at the Veggie Grill in Corte Madera (in ritzy Marin County) on the way home (boo-hoo! didn’t want to go back to land of no vegan restaurants!!!). Veggie Grill is a chain, with 25 stores on the West Coast and their tagline is ‘celebrate the vegetable!’ – yeah!!! Respect!!!

On their menus and website it says this:

Veggie Grill, Corte Madera

I was so excited as I approached since I had been wanting to come here for months!!!

at our place, vegetables are the rockstars.
shining brightly at the center.
of every plate we make for you.

as an opportunity to
celebrate the vegetable!
the fruit. the grain. and, the nut.

with eyes wide open. as one of us.
not as a diet, but as a person.
as someone seeking out the vegetable.
we think of you as veggie positive.

Love love love!!!! As my friend Muggs would say! 🙂

You order and pay when you go in and then a server brings your food to your table. The atmosphere and the decor is bright, light and casual. The staff were really nice. I NEED to go back to try more things on the menu, everything sounds sooooo good and there is a lot of variety – appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees, all vegan!!! My only small criticism is that they could do with expanding their dessert section, which only has two items (although I do adore vegan carrot cake with vegan cream cheeze frosting!!!).

Here is a slideshow of photos from my visit! Enjoy!

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simon the cat

Simon the cat-dog with his favourite toy, a stuffed rooster!

Whew! What an exciting trip! Here is one bonus picture of the cute cat my friend was catsitting. 🙂 The cat thought he was a dog!

Nature’s Express, Berkeley, CA
Address: 1823 Solano Ave., Berkeley, CA 94707
Phone: 510.527.5331
Hours: Everyday : 10:30am – 8:00pm (except for holidays)

Veggie Grill, Corte Madera and 24 other locations on the West Coast
Address: 147 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, CA 94925
Phone: 415.945.8954
Hours: Sun – Thur 11am to 9pm, Fri – Sat 11am to 10pm