Veggin’ Out


Marie Wilson eats only fruit, raw vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries. So where does she go when she wants a good salad?

Hint: It isn’t Fresh Choice.

“Oddly enough, I go to Elephant Bar,” says Wilson, a local wellness coach. “They actually have some really good salads.”

Local vegans and vegetarians have a tough time, Wilson says, when it comes to eating out. Although there are plenty of “veg-friendly” restaurants, some find it distasteful to dine in a place where chickens are cut up right next to the cucumbers. “The blood and guts in the kitchen are a turnoff, to say the least,” says one local vegan. “Besides, we like to support places that share our ethics.”

So where are they to go? The Sacramento region isn’t exactly a hotbed of vegetarian restaurants, especially if you’re looking to dine in. (The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op deli and Sunflower Natural Foods Drive-In in Fair Oaks are better suited to takeout. Ditto the new raw/organic/vegan Pure Joy Cafe kiosk in the ground-floor cafeteria of the state Board of Equalization building downtown.) But here are a few all-veg sit-down spots recommended by locals in the know:

• Andy Nguyen
, 2007 Broadway, Sacramento; (916) 736-1157: Buddhist Vietnamese

• Au Lac Veggie, 3500 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 451-6842: Chinese, Vietnamese

• Bodhi Vegetarian House, 10899 Olson Drive, Rancho Cordova; (916) 853-1645: Vietnamese

• Noble Vegetarian, 5049 College Oak Drive, Sacramento; (916) 334-6060: Chinese, Vietnamese

• Udupi Cafe, 2226 Sunrise Blvd., Rancho Cordova; (916) 851-5900: Indian

Those who aren’t bothered by the culinary cross-pollination factor also may want to check out Queen Sheba Restaurant, at 1704 Broadway in Sacramento (916-446-1223), which does have meat on its menu but features an Ethiopian-style vegetarian/vegan lunch buffet on weekdays.