Vegetarian Chinese restaurant with 2 locations. Its extensive vegan food menu features a variety of vegetable, tofu, faux meat, and wheat gluten dishes, and includes American style desserts. Sample items include scallion pancakes, orange soybeef, basil rolls, and vege fish. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan, Chinese, Take-out


First Review by Vegan Mom

Nothing fancy but tasty!

4 Posted on 05 / 15 / 2014

I found this place several years ago when I originally went 100% vegan. The place itself is a little run down but the service is generally very friendly and the food is pretty good. I've taken a few meat eaters there and they are all pleasantly surprised when they find out all the dishes are vegan. I would just stay away from the curry. We've tried it several times and it's just a little off. Everything else is pretty good though!

Pros: Service, Quick

Great spot for newly converted

5 Posted on 04 / 19 / 2014

This place has the best meat subs. I love to take my non-veg friends here and get the drumsticks....the look on their faces when they experience the taste and texture is priceless. Aside from the subs, the sauces have amazing flavors and all the dishes are fantastic. A little heavy on the salt for my taste though. They also have Black China cakes for dessert...YUM. The place is small and hidden behind the 31 Flavors but its like finding a treasure. It does get a bit loud during the rush and it seems to be a 3 man crew so service can get slow but the owner is always friendly. They usually give a cup of house soup with every dine-in order so don't order any unless you want hot and sour or wonton.

Pros: inexpensive, tasty, grreat for non-veg or converts
Cons: small, not much parking, noisy

Awesome healthy vegetarian Asian fare

5 Posted on 01 / 10 / 2014

The food is fresh and quickly cooked, and the staff are so nice and give little extras like bowls of broth while you wait. Inspiring vegetarian quotations line the walls. I have come here for years.

Traditional Chinese But All Vegan

3 Posted on 11 / 25 / 2013

It's a cute little hole in the wall restaurant. It was busy for lunch and I can see why. Good food, I'm just not a fan of fried foods in general. Good flavor, big menu, and simple decor. Lunch special is great, come with soup and rice so you get lots of food for about $8-9. Alright if you want traditional Chinese with the worry.

Pros: Traditional Dishes, Big Lunch Meal
Cons: Fried And Not So Fresh, Slow Service


5 Posted on 01 / 29 / 2013

Every item on the menu is vegan. I had the Kung Pao "chicken" and it was amazing. The dumplings where incredible too. A must try!

Pros: lots of vegan
Cons: probably not super healthy


very good vegan food, fast service

4 Posted on 11 / 17 / 2012

They may not have the best atmosphere in town, but enough to enjoy a dish of very good vegan food, tasty and well done - don't miss the desserts (loved the carrot cake).

Pros: vegan, tasty, fast
Cons: place

Used to be great

2 Posted on 07 / 04 / 2012

After not going to the Bay area for several years, we were excited to go back to Garden Fresh and enjoy some delicious Vegan Chinese cuisine. However, much to our disappointment, the food didn't taste the same as it used to. The portions were smaller, and the Orange Chicken looked burnt. It used to be such a great restaurant. It's sad that the food isn't as good as it used to be. We probably will never go back.

Pros: Convenient Spot
Cons: Small portions

A Long-time Favorite

4 Posted on 08 / 29 / 2011

Garden Fresh has been one of my favorite restaurants since the 1990s. I became a little disenchanted with the restaurant when it changed owners in the early 2000s because I felt the quality dropped off some. Since then, I think the quality has improved, although it's been accompanied by higher prices and fewer freebies. For example, back in the old days, the lunch special used to include fried spring rolls, and all of the dishes included complimentary brown rice (even at dinner). Still, Garden Fresh is one of the better deals around, and its best dishes are excellent.

On our most recent trip, we got the lettuce cups and the veggie chicken curry. The lettuce cups were not nearly as good as I remember; something was "off" with the flavor. I don't think we'll try that dish again. The veggie chicken curry is wonderful comfort food. Sometimes I'm not in the mood for something tasting so "heavy," but this time it was exactly what I wanted.

Some of our other favorites: Mongolian veggie chicken and Hunan veggie chicken (these dishes are pretty similar), basil moo shoo rolls, the veggie curry noodle soup and the moo shoo vegetables. Many other dishes are good too. I also like the tofu chowder they frequently serve complimentary. My wife prefers the hot-and-sour soup, and sometimes they will substitute that for the tofu chowder without charging more.

The restaurant itself is hardly atmospheric, although it is slightly more spruced up than it was in the 1990s. It's basically a few rows of formica tables in a mini-mall. Then again, my culinary tastes were honed in Southern California, where the best meals always were in mini-malls, so the setting doesn't bother me. For us, its convenience is an added bonus; it's in easy biking distance from our house.

Just OK but does have loyal following

3 Posted on 04 / 27 / 2011

Not my favorite place but mainly it is because I am not into the typical mock meat/Chinese vegetarian food. Space is very small and you don't go there for the ambiance.

My favorite bay area restaurant

5 Posted on 03 / 06 / 2011

I love almost every dish at this restaurant. My personal favorites are "Black Pepper Chicken", "Scallion Pancakes" & "Chow Fun". Every item is vegan and the owner Alice really appreciates the regular customers. (She works the Palo Alto store and her husband runs the Mountain View store.) The Palo Alto store has a nicer interior and more menu selections, but prices are a little higher.

Fast service, good food

4 Posted on 11 / 15 / 2010

I was amazed not only at the speed in which my take-out order was taken and completed (around 5-7 minutes) but the sheer amount of tasty food I got. Yum! Not to mention the menu is 100% Vegan.

It IS kind of on the small side, so eating there is probably not so ideal for large groups. or if it's too busy. Parking lot is also pretty cramped. But none of those factors are really an issue for me, so it all worked out! Looking forward to trying the rest of the menu items.

Pros: Big portions; good food, Fast service, Friendly staff
Cons: A little too small; not a lot of seating, Lack of parking

OK But...

2 Posted on 10 / 15 / 2010

We were a little disappointed. They weren't the best we've had; not the worst either. Probably won't go again.

Pros: big portions
Cons: too much garlic

Awesome Vegan Food!

5 Posted on 03 / 30 / 2010

My wife and I have been going to Garden Fresh for many years now and can confirm that it is indeed one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. When taking prices into consideration, Garden Fresh is hands-down ... THE BEST! Be sure to try the scallion pancakes appetizer! The portions are always generous and the service is consistently prompt and courteous. And if you happen to have a sweet tooth, the Maggie Mudd vegan ice creams and Black China Bakery vegan cakes are always available.

Pros: Tasty Food, Prices, Fast, Friendly Service
Cons: ??, ??, ??

One of the best!

5 Posted on 09 / 13 / 2009

This is currently our "best" restaurant for vegetarian food. Lu Lai used to be in the same class but it closed down. Most everything on the menu is great.

Pros: great taste, friendly service

huge, tasty, all-vegan Chinese food

5 Posted on 11 / 28 / 2008

Garden Fresh is one of our favorite take-out restaurants. Everything is vegan and most dishes are very yummy and filling (a bit on the salty, oily side). Favorites include scallion pancakes (when in the mood for fried stuff), general's "chicken," eggplant and tofu (if you ask they'll make the tofu steamed, not fried), "chicken" curry (note: can be over-salty), spicy bean curd (ma-po tofu), green boat (saucy noodles with shiitake mushrooms), orange "beef," tofu delight, bok choy with black mushrooms, ... I could keep going but I'd be listing almost the whole menu! Skip the vege sushi (just not very nice) and vege potstickers (not really satisfying). The ambience is hole-in-the-wall-ish (in a mini-mall, next to 31 Flavors) though they've recently repainted and updated the decor. They now serve Maggie Mudd vegan ice creams, by the way. Very friendly and accommodating staff who remember you and your favorite dishes. Our meat-eating in-laws love the food and can't tell whether it's real chicken or not. (It's not, yay.)

Pros: all vegan food, tasty appealing food, large portions
Cons: only so-so ambience, can be greasy and salty

Great Place

5 Posted on 03 / 25 / 2008

I've been going to Garden Fresh for years. A new owner took over about a year and a half ago and they not only maintained the excellent food and service of the previous owner but added dishes and even a special menu board on the wall. Just wonderful food. For starters try the Scallion Pancakes.

Pros: Everything
Cons: Waiting for a table at times


5 Posted on 04 / 14 / 2007

We used to live in the area, so we went here as often as we could. About seven years ago, we moved to the central valley. When we go visit family, we often go eat at Garden Fresh. The staff is so nice! They always remember us. We also love the food. Our favorites are the Sweet and Sour "Pork", Curry "Chicken", and, especially, a tofu wrap (it comes with lettuce to wrap it in). Their appetizers are good, especially the "pizza" and spring rolls. We have taken many friends and family members there--most still eat meat--and everyone else has loved it, too. Garden Fresh is so tasty, friendly, and a nice little place to eat. Dinner is a bit pricy, so luch is a great option.

Pros: vegan, have vegan information, wonderful staff
Cons: getting in/out of parking, pricy for a large family


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Last updated: 2012/11/04


Added: 2007/08/01


Added by: Guest