I've been plant-based for three years now, and while I love to cook, it's nice to enjoy someone else's creation from time to time. Even though there are no exclusively vegan or plant-based restaurants in the Santa Ynez Valley, there are still plenty of options for eating out in wine country if you know where to go and what to order.
So if you're a local who's looking for some healthier options or a visitor looking for what you can eat while you're in town, I've got you covered.
Here's my curated list of favorite plant-based vegan meals locally:
1. Petros Kafe in Solvang: The Super Veg Salad (no feta) and the lentil soup (no feta)
2. Café Dolce in Solvang: Dragon Fruit or Acai bowl with granola and fruit
3. Rudy's Mexican Food in Buellton: Fajita Burrito (no meat/no cheese), add guacamole, add black beans
4. Hitching Post II Lunch in Buellton: Enjoy the Beyond Meat vegan burger with smoked tomato mayo and eggplant jam while sipping on a glass of Pinot Noir and watching the ostriches run around next door
5. Hummingbird Café in Solvang: Roasted Pumpkin Coconut soup, Coconut Noodles w/Cashew sauce. Harold (the owner) will also create a custom meal for you if you let him know you don't eat meat.
6. Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos: there always one or two farm-fresh vegan meals on the menu (which changes weekly)
7. Good Seed Coffee in Solvang: coffee and teas with almond milk and hemp millk and vegan pastries
8. New Frontiers Grocery: Shepard's Pie or the Raw Lasagna in the deli case are vegan comfort food at it's finest. They also have vegan options at their sushi bar and noodle bar. And you'll find the freshest, largest salad bar in the entire Santa Ynez Valley here as well.
9. China Panda in Buellton: ask for the vegetarian Sizzling Rice Soup and Mu Shu Vegetable (no egg)
10. Root 246: Lots of options here! Roasted Kobocha Squash with local red wheat/almond & coconut reduction/spicy peptias, Brussel Sprouts with garlic/tamari sauce, and House Cut Twice-Cooked Fries, and The Impossible Burger with house made pickles/ potato roll, and Grilled Heirloom Carrots (all shown in photos above).
11. Valle Fresh in Los Alamos: they will make you fresh vegan tacos
12. SY Kitchen in Santa Ynez: Minestrone soup (no cheese) and the fresh Pea Salad
13. Ballard Inn in Ballard: Call ahead and Chef Budi will create a meal fresh from the farmers market
14. Lucky Hen Larder in Santa Ynez: the Farmers Market sandwich with no cheese
15. Sausage House in Solvang: they now offer two vegan hot dog options : Mexican Chipotle and Smoked Apple Sage
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