Across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco, Oakland boasts a rich and diverse culinary history. It was one of the first places to embrace meat-free food during the height of the Black Panther and Black Muslim movements in the 1960s and ‘70s; immigrant communities from India and Southeast Asia added to the trend. Oakland’s plant-focused food scene is currently experiencing something of a Renaissance with the introduction of the Vegan Trail, which showcases more than 20 local restaurants.
“We are extremely proud to launch the Oakland Vegan Trail with such an amazing mix of cultural cuisine,” said Peter Gamez, President and CEO of Visit Oakland. “This is so well timed, as plant-based diets are becoming an increasingly more popular lifestyle choice.”
To plan your culinary journey, start with the online map, which includes short highlights on each of the restaurants. The list includes a mix of high-end restaurants like the longstanding Millennium as well as new hot spots like the vegan BBQ food truck Vegan Mob. There’s also an emphasis on women-, LGBTQ-, and minority-owned businesses.
While you can get everything from “carnitas” to donuts to Singaporean noodles on the vegan trail, here are a few restaurants not to miss:
Souley Vegan: One of the premier vegan soul food restaurants in the country, Souley has been dishing out plant-based Louisiana-inspired recipes on Broadway since 2006. It’s one of the few vegan restaurants to be featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Señor Sisig: This Filipino-Mexican fusion spot started as a food truck and now has three brick-and-mortar locations, including one on Webster St. in downtown Oakland, a few blocks from Lake Merritt. Señor Sisig started offering a plant-based vegan version of its menu in 2020.
Curbside Creamery: Located in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood, Curbside offers a variety of coconut and cashew-based ice creams, pies, and ice cream sandwiches.
Two Mammas’ Vegan Kitchen: Best known for its vegan Benedicts served at weekend brunch, Two Mammas has been serving up homestyle sandwiches at their Fruitvale cafe since 2014.
Malibu’s Burgers: This popular burger spot serves an Impossible 2.0 patty topped with vegan American cheese, caramelized onions, and all kinds of special sauces. They also serve loaded fries and a kids’ menu.
To check out the trail, head to oaklandvegantrail.com. Tag your photos on social with #oaklandvegantrail to be shared by Visit Oakland.