Native Foods Café
ou guys….I have horrible news….Omid and I excitedly jumped in the car to go have one of our favorite vegan dinners at Native Foods Café, we get to Aliso Viejo Center, walk up to the entrance to find….A STORED CLOSED SIGN. My spirit and taste buds were heartbroken, and we sullenly replaced our much-anticipated Native Foods meal with some local Thai food in the same center.
Thankfully, Native Foods has another location nearby in Costa Mesa, which you can bet we will be locating and driving too ASAP and here’s why…
Native Foods Café Overview
What is so special about native Foods Café is that it is one of the only fast-food vegan restaurants. Eating vegan can get expensive, and while I love a nice sit-down meal I can enjoy guilt free, sometimes you just want that quick, pick-me-up meal that isn’t overly priced because its “vegan”.
Why I Love Native Foods Café:
1. They really are breaking barriers when it comes to what is possible with vegan food. To start, everything is made from scratch on a DAILY basis. Whether vegan or non-vegan, you can taste the difference between food that has been freshly made that day and something that has been sitting in a fridge or box for 8 months. From their incredible sauces to tempeh, seitan, cheeses, dressings, drinks and desserts, everything is homemade every day.
2. I absolutely love that their menu is seasonal. While I have my favorite dishes (listed below) I am always excited to try something new and see what new dishes they will be introducing as the seasons change! They also have a wonderful selection of dishes that are also gluten-free. HOWEVER, they do not have a dedicated gluten-free kitchen (which they state on their menu) so if you have severe allergies you may need to speak with a manager to see what your options are, if any.
3. Their dishes are So. Stinkin. Delicious. You won’t believe me until you try it, but their plant-based alternatives honestly taste better than their meat filled originals. Have you ever had vegan chicken and waffles that literally tasted better than real chicken and waffles??? Their double cheeseburger satisfies all my junk food cravings without the bloating, gas and indigestion that a normal burger gives me.
That got a little graphic I know, but I’m sure there are countless others who can relate and will appreciate enjoying a drool-worthy meal that leaves their tummy still smiling by the end of it. Their food is so well crafted and seasoned you wouldn’t even know you were eating a vegan burger if someone didn’t tell you.
The double cheeseburger hands down is my favorite dish with their incredible seasoned fries. And I could honestly drink a gallon of their lavender lemonade. I used to have cravings for candy….now I crave their lemonade instead….it’s that good.
Oh yeah, and they are now catering and DELIVER so you have no excuse not to try them if there is one nearby!
Native Foods Café History
Native Foods was born in Palm Springs California in 1994 with the goal of expressing the balance between fresh foods and compassion for animals. They now have grown to have locations in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Palm Springs, Colorado, Oregon and Chicago. Their commitment is to bringing sustainable, delicious, fresh and 100% plant-based foods to as many people as possible.
All the while supporting environmental and animal advocacy groups across the nation. they have a passionate commitment to maintaining eco-friendly business practices. Their packaging is biodegradable and recyclable, all of their stores are LEED certified and their stores are decorated with repurposed cardboard boxes, locally hand-made tables and other reused items.
Native Foods Dishes I Have Tried:
- Double Cheeseburger (thank you to whomever created this mind-blowing, taste-bud tantalizing recipe, I owe you so much)
- Chicken and waffles (Omid’s favorite, literally tastes better than real chicken and waffles in our humble opinion)
- Seasons fries
- Thai chili brussel sprouts
- Orange Cauliflower
- Lavender lemonade (I could cry it’s so good, probably don’t have any photos of this because I drank it too fast)
- Watermelon Fresca
Native Foods Dishes I’m Dying to Try:
- Pad Thai (new seasonal dish!)
- Baja tacos
- Chicken, Bacon, avocado Club sandwich
- Mac & cheese side
- Any of their home-made cupcakes!
As I have stated before, NONE of my content is sponsored. I write these reviews because I love doing it. I love getting to share amazing places with you guys and hopefully give you a new place to try and a wonderful experience with it! I hope you have enjoyed reading and if you decide to check out Native Foods Café then let me know in the comments below! Any other suggestions for vegan restaurants I can try out in Orange County?