With its deep agricultural roots, Santa Cruz County’s vegetarian food scene makes the most of the local, fresh produce, serving up an abundance of options that will please every palate! There are plenty of ways to eat vegetarian – and vegan – around here. Whether you’re well-versed in vegetarian and plant-based eats, or just looking to try something new, this guide is sure to inspire your next culinary adventure!
Honey B Market
1005 Cedar St, Santa Cruz
Joy abounds as you enter Honey B Market, where entrepreneur and chef, Katie Belanger, has thoughtfully placed her personal touches on everything from the floral mural embellishing the building to the carefully laminated and fermented dough being served. Every ingredient here is organic and vegan, so you can devour every satisfying morsel! With a focus on whole foods and clean eats, it’s hard to believe that the must-have item here is a cinnamon snail: its fermented sourdough bun, cinnamon date swirl, and probiotic cashew creamy frosting will be a staple for your downtown visits. Dive into the seasonal galette, whose fillings change based on what’s been freshly harvested, or indulge in the remarkable fudgy brownie, which is sweetened by the power of dates. The plant-based magic of Honey B Market will nourish your body and your soul!
4250 Capitola Rd, Capitola
Discover a world of flavors in every dish at Dharma’s, the long-standing Capitola hidden gem that offers up an extensive international menu that will keep you coming back for more! With plentiful options that give your tastebuds a chance to travel the globe, vegans can rejoice: about 95% of Dharma’s menu is entirely plant-based. Featuring fresh, high-quality ingredients, Dharma’s is well-loved for its delicious (and generous) portions. Don’t miss the Soup & Salad combo, which pairs the vibrant Gardener’s Salad with your choice of soup: we recommend the Kitcheree, a flavorful curried Indian porridge. Equally delicious was comfort food favorite, the healthy and hearty “Chicken” Chow Mein. The power of plants is unmistakable as you explore the vegetarian cuisine at Dharma’s Restaurant!
Far West Fungi
224 Laurel St, Suite #A 101, Santa Cruz
Packed to the brim with all things mycological, you can check out the abundant collection of foraging items, home goods, and other fungi delights while enjoying delectable vegetarian provisions off Far West Fungi’s mushroom-stuffed menu. Try the decadently rich truffle grilled cheese, or go for the homestyle mushroom moco loco: a beefy mushroom patty served over rice, smothered in porcini gravy. Pair it with the sweet, lively taste of their huckleberry spritz, and finish your meal with the snickerdoodle-meets-cinnamon-roll dessert highlight: candy cap cookies! Whatever you choose, the delicious vegetarian meals dished up by this charming mushroom corner shop will leave you wanting more!
Charlie Hong Kong
1141 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz
There is a reason Charlie Hong Kong is a local street-food favorite: this Asian-fusion joint has been serving healthy, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free grub at an affordable price for 25 years! With a focus on quality, nutrient-rich ingredients from local farmers, every bite feels like a treat. Don’t miss the Spicy Dan: this spicy noodle dish is loaded with fresh veggies and well-balanced by the creamy, organic coconut peanut sauce. Charlie Hong Kong’s prime midtown location and quick service makes it perfect for grabbing takeout. With Seabright Beach just down the road, there’s no better way to eat Charlie’s than seaside with a sunset view!
Pretty Good Advice
3070 Porter St, Soquel
Tucked away in the quaint town of Soquel is Pretty Good Advice, an innovative vegetarian take-out spot where you can find culinary delights that won’t break the bank. The creative menu at PGA features all-day breakfast sandwiches and plant-based burgers that are finger-licking good! Chow down on the Pesto Fresco, a greens-filled breakfast sandwich, or the California Ranch Burger, whose fermented-black-bean-patty pairs perfectly with PGA’s burger sauce. The satisfying dishes from Pretty Good Advice are habit-forming: you’ll want to keep coming back for more!
Veg on the Edge
725 Front St, Santa Cruz
Tucked away inside downtown’s buzzworthy Abbott Square Market, Veg on the Edge blends West African flavors with vegan ingredients, creating a menu that is truly unique. Their lively location lets you nourish your soul through community connection as you nourish your body with Veg on the Edge’s high-quality, fresh ingredients!
7957 Soquel Dr, Aptos
With a fully customizable menu overflowing with organic options, Aptos-based Soul Salad fits the bill when it comes to finding flavorful nourishment that will satisfy the herbivores in your life.
Make sure to try The Shanti, which combines leafy green spinach with sweet mango and crunchy cucumber, amongst other produce, drizzled with a delightfully flavorful turmeric-ginger vinaigrette. Keep in mind: the entire menu can be made-to-order as vegetarian or vegan, so this is a great spot to try as many salads as possible!
103 Lincoln St, Santa Cruz
Dig into the all-vegan fare at CafegSC, where each bite is as packed with flavor as it is with veggies! Located downtown, this local-favorite spot dishes up farm-to-table fare that will satisfy your plant-based cravings. Good for you, good for the planet!
With plenty of options to satisfy your cravings, Santa Cruz County’s vegetarian food scene reveals the power of plants to transform a menu. From breakfast sandwiches to cinnamon snails, and all of the vegetarian goodness in between, there is something to please every plant-based palate in Santa Cruz County!