Vegan restaurant/bistro in downtown Ventura serving internationally-inspired cuisine. The varied menu features many raw smoothies, a soup of-the-day, raw food appetizers and main entrees, sandwiches, vegan cake and desserts, raw ice cream made in-house, and more. Colorful and cozy. Street parking in front. Price: Expensive more-less
Vegan, Organic, Gourmet, American, International, Take-out
100 S Fir St (Santa Clara, downtown Ventura)
Ventura, California 93001
805-641-3663
OPEN NOW

Tue-Thu 4:00pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-9:30pm

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reviews

Reviews

First Review by veegn
heathera75
heathera75
  • vegan
Contributions
+51

Yummy- all organic, all vegan!

4
Posted on 12 / 04 / 2014

This place is really good! I got the Mary's Secret burger and salad. The brownie/cake I got was good also as dessert- but a little pricey. I thought the burger entree was a great price (about 12 and came with side) YUMMY! Also Mary the owner was there- educated vegan and so thankful she is bringing this to a town with not enough vegan options! KUDOS to Mary!!

Pros: Yummmy, Organic, All Vegan,(raw options too)
Cons: Price, Small building
TomForde
TomForde
  • vegan
Contributions
+20

Ultimate Vegan Restaurant

5
Posted on 10 / 26 / 2014

If you're a Vegan in Ventura County.. Then you must be aware that Mary's is "THE" place. As mindful beings, we vegans know the type of food our bodies need to arrive in a state of equanimity. Foods that nourish the body and raise the vibration of our soul.

Mary's menu is a beautiful tribute, to food as nature intended. It's kind, fresh, nourishing and loaded with flavor. With every bite, I find myself closing my eyes, shutting off my other senses and fully absorbing into the aliveness of every morsel. A truly mindful eating experience.

Accompanying the cuisine, is a warm, spiritual, cozy atmosphere. Nestled in with fellow compassionately-intentioned humans, I eat, converse and experience peace.. Feeling gratitude, that this perfect piece of heaven exists right here in Ventura County. Serving as a beacon of hope. Nourishing.. body, mind and soul.

Thank you Mary.. And to everyone who works to bring this unique experience to a world so hungry for it.

Peace ✌️


MicheletheTrainer
MicheletheTrainer
  • vegan
Contributions
+410

Mary's 5 Wow Review_Savories/Entrees/Holiday

5
Posted on 03 / 21 / 2014

Mary has really outdone herself this LOVE season. The restaurant is always warm and cozy but was decorated with beautiful red tulips and purple iris, with red balloons to greet you outside. The love was detailed down to the red napkins and even the musical selections were handpicked, by Mary. The menu was visually stunning as were the selections and the back of the menu boasted several quotes about LOVE. Wow. The first wow was the blood orange juice served in champagne glasses.
The salad's were amazing...her Olive Tapanade Dressing made me feel like that reviewer in the movie Ratatouille, when he flashed back to his mom cooking for him. I'm Italian and that was the most Italian rich flavor dressing I've had in years, and it was not garlic overdone. ((I'm never moved by chefs that only use garlic as a flavor...--to me it's very boring))
Her raw cheeses from pistachio to macadamia are unbelievable. She has an flavor rich sun dried tomato nut cheese that is used in her raw ravioli's that's bangup, as well as the Eat Me Raw salad dressing, a long time fav of ours.
Her pistachio cheese dish "Raw Savory Pistachio Cheese Tart" included Sweet Papaya Chutney (chutney-ish fruit salsa side)...had the flavors of SAMOSAS with the chutneys, especially with the Spicy Mint Leaf pesto.....but very light and LIVE. Very very well done. ((I won't touch a fried samosa with a 10 foot fork....ew....so this was a really nice add))
We went from the Italian salad, to the Indian appetizer, then onto my Gourmet Raw Pizza....wow wow wow wow (the fourth Wow).
My entree, the raw pizza that was gone so fast I was almost embarrassed by my quickly empty plate. The quality of her ingredients and flavors really shine through in all of her dishes. Her raw crust was nice and moist, not like those dehydrated sandpapers of flax that most try to pass off as "raw bread". (anyone need some paint removed?)
The Risotto, the Menage a Trois... wow again. The portion was huge and it had some amazing string beans and amazing triple mushroom madness. Beautiful sage aroma with sage leaf decoration.
Mary's has full spectrum FLAVOR. If you have never been, it's a MUST DO. She's mastered the use of herbs for flavor.

Updated from previous review on Friday February 15, 2008

Pros: Awesome Staff, Warm Atmosphere, All Organic
  • Shelley Shelley

    I was there for Valentine's Day, too. It was incredible. The vibe was amazing as well. My carnivore boyfriend agreed that it was better than any of the expensive, high-end restaurants we've ever gone to. It was simply the best dining experience I have ever had. Loved the quotations of love on the back of the special menu. Mary definitely outdid herself. We are so lucky to have a talented chef like her in Ventura.

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cat1
cat1
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+44

Too good!

5
Posted on 07 / 26 / 2013

This is by far my favourite raw/vegan restaurant ever, and I have been to a lot! I had the cheese platter to start (amazing), the secret burger for the main and a raw chocolate cheese cake for desert, all incredible. The guy who was serving us was cool and helped us choose, good vibe..
Updated from previous review on Friday July 26, 2013

Pros: food , service , vibe
QuerusAbuttu
QuerusAbuttu
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+13

The BEST Food I've had in Forever!

5
Posted on 05 / 10 / 2013

This restaurant is the best kept secret in Ventura County. Mary's Secret Garden is a treasure of a place to eat. It serves an all vegan menu, and the food is AMAZING! My daughter took me to eat there for a late lunch today, and my palate was thankful for the delicious grilled veg protien/wrap sandwich and the curry soup. The pistachio/mint smoothie was bomb, and the finale', a dessert my daughter and I shared, was a vegan raw brownie with vegan ice cream. Rich, but in a portion that was JUST right! My new favorite restaurant in Ventura!!

Pros: Excellent Food and presentation!, Fantastic Service, kind wait-staff!!, Lovely Bistro Atmosphere!
Cons: A little pricey, but still fair range., The restaurant is a little small. , There should be more of these places!
cronbear
cronbear
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+17

Amazing

5
Posted on 05 / 18 / 2012

This place had very delicious food. A very tiny place, the food was a bit pricey but it was very good. My husband & I shared the Thai Sweet Potato soup & it was amazing. We shared the Chicken Sandwich with fakin bakin & grilled onions. The best chicken sandwich I have ever had in my whole life. We ended our meal with thr raw ice cream with real maple sauce & pecans. That was just ok. It's made with almond milk so you can taste the grittiness of the almonds. We will definately return again next year. We visit out here every year at this time because it's our anniversary. Awesome place for sure.

Pros: Excellent food, Very healthy, Organic & offers lots of raw choices
Cons: Pricey
Chia
Chia
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+3378

Excellent, I loved it

5
Posted on 02 / 15 / 2012

I had read about this place on happycow, and here's my Mary's Secret Garden review.

A friend and I made time to drive to downtown Ventura from LA to experience what all the buzz is about. We were impressed.

The restaurant is small but very comfortable and pleasantly decorated. Could be suitable for a casual meal, a romantic dinner, or meeting with friends. We chose a little table outside on the sidewalk and enjoyed our meal in the sun while looking at the park across the street and glancing at the Pacific Ocean just a block away.

The menu was very impressive and offered a good and varied range of dishes. We would have tried everything if we could (...I will just have to return again to try the other stuff).

My friend and I shared a raw pistachio mint shake made with sprouted almond mylk, and it was awesome. Smoothies are priced at $6.00-7.00 each. We also enjoyed the raw ravioli, and they were delicious. I especially liked the unique sauces and dressings. The raw tacos were also outstanding. Their signature burger with the works was very tasty. Cooked and raw main entrees ranged from $10.50-16.00.
We also ordered the Thai coconut curry stew, at our waitresse's recommendation. It was very hearty, sweet yet spiced. Packed it home cuz we just couldn't eat all of that food in one sitting. Made for great left-over.

Finally, we ended our meal with incredible raw vegan ice cream made by Mary. A cherry one drizzled with chocolate ganache sauce and a mint cacao one drizzled with a gooey mint sauce. The raw ice cream were out-of-this-world better than any dairy version or other vegan ice cream I've had in a long time!

Cudos to Mary. She is very passionate about her restaurant and the food she serves, and it shows. I highly recommend coming here when you are anywhere near Ventura or driving by. It's a special place.

Pros: beautiful presentation, delicious and healthy, good service
ms.grasshopper
ms.grasshopper
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+11

A treat for the tastebuds

5
Posted on 09 / 29 / 2010

My first visit and I can say without restraint that Mary's Secret Garden serves really delicious vegetarian fare. Try the veggie burger..which might I say puts all others up to this point to shame. I wondered who Mary was..?.I figured that she was the lady hovering in the background with the very thoughtful demeanor...Whoever Mary is... thank you for creating fabulous food for those of us who find it a chore to try hunting for healthy non meat dishes in a world of carnivores.

Pros: tasty, interesting, flavorful
Cons: non
rockchick82
rockchick82
  • vegan
Contributions
+25

Great food!

4
Posted on 07 / 08 / 2010

I frequent Mary's because it is the only all Vegan restaurant close to my house. The food is a bit pricey but totally worth it. I always enjoy the Secret burger and I love the different sides everyday. The desserts are fantastic! If your in the area and want some yummy organic vegan food you definitely have to check it out!


EarthBabe
EarthBabe
  • raw
Contributions
+15

Excellent RAW Food!!

5
Posted on 06 / 29 / 2010

I have been meaning to get to Mary's for months and finally did. Wish I had sooner. Love it!! Her creations are delicious. She is a doll, her husband is sweet. Basically all who work there are loving! It shows in more ways than one. Thank you for having this place available for those of us who LOVE and Live through RAW food!!


Guest
Guest

Organic.... not

2
Posted on 06 / 29 / 2010

I wanted so badly to try this restaurant for a very long time so I had the opportunity to a few weeks back. Luckily a couple of days before QuarryGirl posted a review about the high pricing and pre-made processed soy patties they used in what seems to be their most popular menu item. I am always willing to give a place a try no matter what people say, but the fact that the patty was preprocessed got me to call the company that makes the soy patty and I found out it was not organic. I called the restaurant to confirm this and the girl that answered the phone confirmed it.

So basically they boast the importance of organics and health, yet they choose to pimp preprocessed GMO soy patties under that guise. This basically tells me that I cannot trust what is organic and what isn't at this joint. Selling GMO soy in an organic Vegan restaurant is highly deceptive especially for people like me that know organic food is the healthiest food to consume. They now have me questioning all the "Organic" Vegan restaurants I go to that serve soy. I asked two restaurants that I go to every week about their soy and they proudly say that all soy their is organic. I really hated to ask for fear of a repeat of Mary's.

I find that a lot of Vegans that care for animal rights are not very healthy in there choices and they consume a lot of cheap deep fried food that will in all likelihood make them sick at some point in their lives. GMO soy and corn are two crops that Vegans should not support for more than one reason. Just know that the Monarch Butterfly population is slowly being killed by the GMO pollen drift from these crops and to support this is not very Vegan. Just do a web search and you will find all the information about this Mansanto directed nastiness.

I just want people to know that a business like this makes other businesses of its kind look bad. Because they talk a good line of health at Mary's I thought writing them an e-mail would get a response. BUT I never heard back from them which is really not surprising.

Take this review as you will. I know that they are the only Vegan act in town, but that doesn't give them the right to deceive their customers.


Delmar831
Delmar831
  • vegan
Contributions
+33

A-mazing

5
Posted on 06 / 26 / 2010

I was traveling through and this place is so worth the stop. I loved the amazing menu choices and decided to go with the light Spring Rolls in Peanut Sauce, a lovely blueberry/mint smoothie, and a to-go order (for dinner that night) of Sun-dried Tomato Mushroom Pasta and a slice of their Chocolate Cake. Everything was PERFECTION and well worth the price.

Pros: Raw options, Good quality, Perfect flavor
Cons: Pricey
marilyn nowak
marilyn nowak
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+23

UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

5
Posted on 05 / 26 / 2010

OMG....so my husband surprised me with a romantic weekend getaway in Carmel. We left Orange County and decided to drive the coastline up. While driving, I logged onto Happy Cow :)) and searched for somewhere we could stop and eat lunch along the way. I being a vegetarian for over 25 years and my husband who eats meat occasionally, recently heading Vegan and Raw, looking for somewhere to go. Mary's Secret Garden is so secret that had it not been for Happy Cow, I never would have found it. What an unbelievable surprise. The food was beyond amazing, seriously!! My husband ordered the Curry Stew and I the RawViolis. Honestly, I couldn't tell you which plate was better. The presentation of the RawViolis was superb and the taste, fantastic! OK, now that i think about it, I would have to say the Curry Stew was to die for. Really. My husband (jokingly) picked up the bowl when he was done and began licking it clean. We both enjoyed our food immensely, we left full but not stuffed or bloated. We drove all the way to Carmel without eating another thing and all we could do was talk about how wonderful it was. There was one thing I must say we were very disappointed about and that was on our way back home, they weren't open on Sunday. We so badly would have loved to eat there again but have vowed next time we drive up north, Mary's Secret Garden will be our first stop!!!

Pros: Excellent Food, Excellent Food, Excellent Food
Cons: Absolutely no cons
Scooby Doo
Scooby Doo
  • vegan
Contributions
+43

The Secret's Out!!

5
Posted on 04 / 10 / 2010

On holiday from the UK and looked on Happy Cow for somewhere to have brunch. Found Mary's Secret Garden and oh my goodness how amazing it was. It cost slightly more than we intended but it was worth it. Had never had the chance to eat raw either so this was a great opportunity to try it. It was gorgeous!! I nearly cried when I saw the dessert too as it looked so lovely and tasted even better!! I would be poor if I lived anywhere near this place but no doubt I would be a lot healthier too!!

Pros: All vegan!, Healthy, Tasty
Cons: Price, Small inside
stephaniefran
stephaniefran
  • vegan
Contributions
+15

Very impressed

5
Posted on 08 / 01 / 2009

This was my first time going to a vegan restaurant, and I was very pleased. In fact, this was the best food I've had since I returned from a cruise a few weeks ago, and the atmosphere was lovely - we felt very relaxed. We were seated right away, and the server was very kind, never rushing us.

The smoothies were amazing and the appetizer was delicious, just like the main course. I had to get half of my burrito to go so I could save room for dessert, which was also great. I highly recommend getting the cheese trio platter - not only did I love it, but so did my dad, who is a really picky, non-vegan eater.

Needless to say, I will definitely be returning to Mary's during my next visit here, despite the prices. I think it's worth it.

Pros: Delicious food, Comfortable, Good service
Cons: Pricey
EPinar
EPinar
  • raw
Contributions
+14

Oh my goodness...... what a great place to dine!

5
Posted on 06 / 19 / 2009

My daughter and I had the extreme pleasure of dining with you this evening. She had the BLT Wrap and could only eat half. It was HUGE! I enjoyed the Rawvioli - excellent, again a very generous serving. We shared the Cheese Sampler as well - yummy! For dessert - we were already well satisfied but had to try the Pecan Pie with a scoop of ice cream. Oh my goodness!! Sooooo good!! The service was very pleasant; I look forward to our next visit.

Pros: Fresh taste, friendly service, wonderful energy
bhayes22
bhayes22
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+13

Favorite Restaurant

5
Posted on 05 / 20 / 2009

This is my favorite restaurant, vegan or otherwise. a friend and I have been there twice and plan to return on a regular basis. I disagree with the reviews that claim it is expensive. I am over 50 and have been fortunate enough to eat at high priced restaurants a number of times. The food and presentation at Marys are both high priced in value at a very reasonable price. We had two delicious meals, a smoothie, tea and dessert for a little over $45.00. It's well worth the experience.


VeganHeights
VeganHeights
  • vegan
Contributions
+20

I tip my hat to Mary

5
Posted on 04 / 26 / 2009

When I became vegan 28 years ago, it was very difficult to find vegan food, and vegetarian restaurants were ALWAYS a HUGE disappointment. I had to learn how to cook for myself, and worked in vegan restaurants in London, Paris, Oslo, New York, Boston and Los Angeles. In it's "Top 32 Vegetarian Restaurants in America" article 10 years ago, Vegetarian Times said of the restaurant I worked at, "Country Life takes American Comfort Food to its vegan heights." I have been called "The World's Most Talented Vegan Chef".

Having said all that, I humbly tip my hat to Mary. My sister took me there and it is the most I've ever spent for a meal ($60 for two persons!). However, IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY.

We started with the "Chicken" Caesar Salad, and WOW... I thought, "It can't get any better than this". The dressing was absolutely wonderful, and the presentation (shredded Romaine lettuce) was great. We then had Mary's Secret Burger (I had the special, with avocado), and it was just one of the best meals I've ever had in my life. My thought was, "Forget that this is vegetarian, vegan, 'healthy'.... WHO wouldn't like this??? It tastes GREAT!!!"

Again, it was a bit pricey for my humble budget, but I don't regret it and will go there any chance I get (sadly, I live 80 miles away). It is now my FAVORITE restaurant. The only negative I have is that the slight portion of cake we purchased (and took home) was NOT worth $9. It was just "okay" in my opinion.

Pros: DELICOUS!!!, Healthy, nice waitress
Cons: Very expensive
  • Hugo Hugo

    Considering that everything at Mary's is Organic, I think the prices are very reasonable. For the price of one Organic item, you could get two, even three times the amount of that same item if it was Conventional. All Organic Vegan restaurants like Mary's and Shojin in Little Tokyo, L.A., offer the cleanest best possible Organic food for you. So, if it means spending a little extra for one of the best meals in a lifetime then I'd recommend doing so.

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  • Monicaveganism Monicaveganism

    OMG, reading this it reminds me of the Secret Burger, and every other food item at Mary's and i am craving it soo much now! Mary's food is the Best, and i absolutely know that it is worth every penny, because it is all organic and you feel amazing as you're eating and after eating...
    love to Mary

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earthandmoon
earthandmoon
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

Unique and Delicious

5
Posted on 04 / 13 / 2009

Mary's is a one of a kind place. You would never know it was there if you were just walking on the street- thankfully word of mouth travels fast, especially when it comes to vegan paradises like this. I order to go about twice a month- we always get the RAWVIOLIS (truly amazing), the BACON MUSHROOM BURGER (better than any burger I've eaten- real or otherwise), and the CILANTRO CHICKEN SANDWICH (the chicken patty is the best). The food is always consistent, and although $40 for a dinner for two is a little pricey it is SO WORTH IT! We live about 20 minutes away but are delighted to drive there and pickup this amazing food. There is no substitute for Mary's! My only qualm is that Mary used to include some RAW SLAW with the meals, but now she mixes it up with different sides each time. While the sides are always fantastic, we love the RAW SLAW! But if you've never had the SLAW you wouldn't know what you were missing. Mary's is always very consistent, helpful staff and very very delicious. And Mary is soo sweet too! You need to come here! NAMASTE!

Pros: wide variety, excellent food, healthy
creativesoul53
creativesoul53
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+16

Awesome in all ways

5
Posted on 04 / 12 / 2009

Taking a date to a vegetarian restaurant was the first order of business when I chose Mary's Secret Garden Organic Restaurant, as I know I will dine like a royal taste bud regardless of the outcome of the date.

From the intimate atmosphere, to the words on the ceiling, you can shop, dine, talk, share and feel good when you leave.

The food is excellent. The lentil soup was most delicious, so flavorful, it could have been a meal unto itself. I have already made plans to return to try more selections from the menu. The night I attended Mary's place, I was coming off of a tooth pull, so I opted for the soft food world of the humus plate with a grape leaf wrap of rice, warm and delightful. My partner that evening dined on the soup and burger. He managed to clean his plate with a smile. I had a few spoonfuls of the soup, so I speak from experience! Get the soup!

Located across from a park, near the Ventura Post Office in California, Mary's place is a delightful find. I am glad I finally went in, having the excuse of going there on a date, is no longer a reason for me to wait to go again.

I will edit more when I come back from my next visit there.

Pros: Excellent Cuisine, Good Value, Friendly staff
greengurl1088
greengurl1088
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

Pretty good

4
Posted on 04 / 10 / 2009

I ate here twice with my friend while we were in town. It was pretty good. The BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICH was really really good, but could use a tad more bbq sauce. The CHICKEN CLUB WRAP was really delicious the first time we had it, but somewhat dry and minty tasting the second time... my friend loved it the first time and didn't like it at all the second time... so I guess it was just who made it that made the difference. The first time it was really moist and had a lot of sauce (it made a big difference). The SECRET BURGER was really good! We loved that! I would order it again! The CHOCOLATE CAKE was ok. My friend liked it but it wasn't moist enough for my preference. The raw ice cream we ordered with it was really good! It tasted just like regular ice cream. We ordered a SMOOTHIE that we didn't really think was worth it. It was $7 and there was nothing special about it... it was good but not amazing. The food was all pretty good, but it was pretty pricey. I liked the food, so I would go there again if I were in town, but it's not the kind of place I would eat on a regular basis. Also, Mary doesn't allow you to do switch ins (like strawberries instead of pineapple in a smoothie), she charges extra to add.

Pros: good food, raw vegan options
Cons: expensive, no switch ins, some stuff isn't moist enough
Guest
Guest

LOVE MARY'S SECRET GARDEN!

5
Posted on 11 / 13 / 2008

I work in the gallery next door to Mary Secret's Garden and feel fortunate that I get to eat there at least once a week. The food is sublime, the soups are tantalizing and the raw foods are rawliscous!
The service has always been fantastic!


stevensinger
stevensinger
  • raw
Contributions
+23

*DELICIOUS* Raw Food experience

4
Posted on 10 / 26 / 2008

I've been to many Raw Food restaurants in Southern California and Mary's Secret Garden rates favorably to all of them.

The setting is quaint, intimate, and charming. What makes this experience truly special is that it avoids the big city environment that you get at Raw Food restaurants in Los Angeles or Santa Monica. The hostesses and waitresses have always greeted me with a smile and been very helpful in answering any questions that my guests had. I have taken many friends to experience their first raw food meal at Mary's and in every instance they were amazed that uncooked food could have so much flavor. I recommend the trying the desert offerings.

One caveat: It is small and if you don't find that charming you may not appreciate the ambiance.

Pros: Great tasting food, Healthy Options, Very Friendly Staff
lizabits
lizabits
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+6

LOVE Mary's!

5
Posted on 10 / 02 / 2008

I'm not a vegetarian, but I frequently have business meetings in Ventura with a vegetarian who works down the street from Mary's. I ADORE Mary's. I've been there quite a few times now and the food is amazing. Today I had the sun-dried tomtato linguine with mushrooms and vegan chicken. It was lovely. The flavor was delicious and balanced. The time before I had the mediterranean plate, which was awesome, including stuffed grape leaves from Mary's garden that one of her family members brought over from Cypress (I think that's right). Please don't get me started on the lime mint slushy drink they make - I'm addicted! I also like the home made ginger beer. And I've never had such warm, polite and attentive service. I wish I lived closer I would eat there EVERY week!

Pros: Food, Service, Slushy!
Husband of a Vegan
Husband of a Vegan
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+6

Amazed Skeptic

5
Posted on 10 / 01 / 2008

My wife is a vegan, but I am not. I went with her to Mary's Secret Garden and was really impressed. I was skeptical, so I wanted to write a rewiew....Everything we tried was really outstanding. We tried a couple of items that sounded familiar (like Mary's Secret Burger) and a couple of items that were completely foreign to me (like raw ice cream). Everything we had was great, and my top recommndations are the Mother's Milk Smoothie, Curry Stew, Raw Chocolate Ice Cream and the Chocolate Mint Fudge Chip Cake.

Pros: Clean, Great Service, Great Food
Cons: None
Cruelty Free
Cruelty Free
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

Food and Cake that Rocks AND 100% Cruelty Free

5
Posted on 10 / 01 / 2008

I went to Mary's Secret Garden and wish the entire world could experience this place. My husband and parents were with me and feel the same. The food was so wonderful and the four layer chocolate cake was the best any of us have ever had (I was the only vegan at the table, so it goes to show that I am not biased). Oh, and one day I went there by myself for a smoothie. I was having a less than wonderful day, but without their knowing, the angels that work there and the smoothie itself left me feeling elated! Outstanding food and desserts without comprimising the welfare of any animals is my kind of place!

Pros: MMMM, MMMM, Good!
spiceislandvegan
spiceislandvegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+327

1 n only 100% Organic Vegan Rest. in 2 counties!

5
Posted on 08 / 07 / 2008

We visited Mary's Secret Garden the 2nd time. We were both pleased and satisfied with the dishes. They are tasty and flavorful. We went up as far as Cambria/San Simeon and didn't find any veg. restaurant (that has a vegan option) as delicious as Mary's. This is truly the only 100% vegan restaurant in 2 counties. We splurged. We ordered Mushroom Bakin Burger, Vegan Shrymp Pad Thai, Bluberries/Pineapple/Coconut smoothie, Mock Salmon Raw Sushi, Vegan Chicken Cilantro salad, Middle Eastern Plate, and Coconut Cream Chocolate Cake. We went 2 times for 2 lunches in 2 days. We filled up before we went to the Ventura County Fair (knowing that there is no vegan item in the Fair but roasted corn). The service was pleasurable and we even met Chef Mary. The menu has half vegan raw and half vegan cooked items. I thought that each item has a lot of umami in it (especially the Mushroom burger). The waitress, Rose, suggested the Stuffed Grape Leaves filled with rice and garbanzo beans. It was delicious. The smoothie was very colorful and yummy. The coconut chocolate cake will satisfy vegan and non-vegan alike. Mary has 'specials' all the time so even if you come back often you'll not be disappointed with eating the same thing all the time. Who knows what you'll get when you come to this restaurant. But it will be a nice surprise! Unfortunately, we live about 1.5 hours with no traffic and 3 hours with traffic from this restaurant. We will only be able to dine here when we travel up the coast. But the secret is out. Mary's Secret Garden is not a secret anymore. We'll stop by Ventura when we drive up there. This restaurant stays permanently in my Garmin GPS. Hail Mary!

Pros: Flavorful, 100% Vegan organic, Colorful and tasty
Cons: Far from home , Heavy Traffic in 101 FWY
Bre1990
Bre1990
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+9

Mary! I love you!!!

5
Posted on 07 / 14 / 2008

I love Mary's. Not only am I a friend of the family (so I'm sorta obligated to like it)...but what Mary does with food is nothing short of a miracle. Everything is delicious and-an extreme rarity- everyone in my family can find something they like.

The place is cozy and the food is amazing- especially her burgers and raw ice cream. I usually hate mint, but Mary makes her mint chocolate raw ice cream to-die-for-good.

It's a bit pricey, but vegan ingredients are EXPENSIVE!!! Those cakes are especially pricey...it's hard to find enough of the right ingredients to make them so amazing. So I don't mind the splurging once in a while.

If you're in town or not, Mary's is a must try. You won't regret it!

Pros: amazing food, good staff, cozy
Cons: a bit pricey
kimiko
kimiko
  • vegan
Contributions
+18

Food with Love and Peace

5
Posted on 07 / 02 / 2008

Thank you! We became fans of Mary's Secret Garden.
The place is cozy and comfy. Chef Mary, kitchen staff and servers are very nice and friendly.
Everything they made was so good! We had Pistachio Mint Smoothie. It was very refreshing and perfectly sweetened. Then Mary made figs and homemade cheese with cumin sauce, which was beautifully presented like flowers. It was one of our favorites. Rawviolis were unique and had jicama sheets and their own almond cheese. The color, texture and taste were just right. The Tacos were in cabbage leaves. They were not too spicy and very fresh. Then we had Thai Yellow Curry Stew. It had a lot of vegetables and very mild and hearty. Next one, Secret Burger was so yummy! The soy patty, tempeh bacon, melted cheese, sauce, fresh vegetables and pickles were perfect combinations.
Even though we had so many dishes, we didn't forget to leave room for desserts. Mary picked Raw Apple Pie a la mode. It was fresh and delicate. We liked the mint ice cream a lot. She also picked chocolate hazelnut ice cream. It was nice and rich, but not heavy on our stomach at all.
Every dish satisfied our eyes, nose and stomach. Mary's Secret Garden is definitely the best.
Thank god we finally made it. We'll go back again soon. Thank you again!!

Pros: excellent food , cute atmosphere, friendly staff
Cons: none
vegangoddess
vegangoddess
  • vegan
Contributions
+42

Wow! This is It!!! Best Food Ever!!!

5
Posted on 06 / 07 / 2008

Wow, I am so hooked on this place. I am such a foodie and seriously I feel like this place was made just for me. I love everything on the menu. When I feel like eating healthy they have great Raw dishes. Being that I prefer to eat mostly raw, I feel so greatful that someone finally took the plunge and opened up a raw restaurant in ventura county and its organic. It's the best raw food I have ever had. But when I feel like I want to indulge and maybe have some comfort food, Wow this is it. It's like a vegan food haven. I love thier soups. Every time I go there the soups get better and better. The desserts...what can I say my mouth is watering just thinking about Mary's. She is so right on when it comes to food. Her gift totally shines through. I eat there so often and I still can't get enough. I read some of the reviews and I am so shocked that people complained about prices. It's totally organic and really prepared with such beauty and love. I feel like my mother is feeding me. I think thats why I go back to often. I feel so nurtured. You can't put a price on greatness. I think they are just unaware of what it takes to make such and amazing food experience. But I am a hard core foodie. EIther way thanks so much Mary and I really appreciate all you are offering the community....you guys rock at Marys. I will definetly be there again soon and as usual bringing a new friend to show you off. Even if your not vegan the food is worth a try. Peace

Pros: best food, great staff, comfy enviroment
Cons: none
AaronL
AaronL
  • vegan
Contributions
+30

Good but pricey

4
Posted on 05 / 02 / 2008

I was on my way from San Diego to San Francisco so I decided to stop by as it was dinner time.

First off, the place is really small...~20 people seating capacity. Reserve a table ahead of time if you have more than two to your party. I was by myself and the restaurant was only half full when I got there.

I had the fresh thai spring rolls, mushroom burger and this chocolate mint cake for dessert. The food was pretty good. The peanut sauce that came with the spring rolls was a little too thick and "gravy-like". My meal came to about $32 + tip...and that was just me...granted, I am a ferocious eater (that chocolate cake didn't stand a chance), but it was a tad expensive compared to many places in SD.

One thing that kind of put me off was overhearing one of the employees try to explain seitan to non-veg customer. She went on to say that she didn't really know what seitan was but the restaurant doesn't use it and she thought it was "genetically modified". A second later she mentioned that one dish was made using wheat gluten. Hmmm...oh well.

Overall I'd recommend the restaurant if you're looking for some good vegan food and don't mind splurging a bit.

Pros: Atmosphere, Food Quality, Friendly Staff
Cons: Pricey, Small seating capacity
lulu
lulu
  • vegan
Contributions
+21

THE best!

5
Posted on 04 / 04 / 2008

I've eaten in vegan places in NY, LA, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Brazil and Peru and this place is on my top-five list! I wish it were closer to my home! The sandwiches and chocolate-mint cake rock!

Pros: delish and healthy!, super-nice staff!, cute space!
Cons: too far from me to eat there regularly, not open Sunday!
jackiecastillo
jackiecastillo
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+5

Yummalicious

5
Posted on 02 / 24 / 2008

I have a wonderful friend who is vegan, and I am not, but we love to go to dinner together and she has introduced me to some great resturants. It blows me away because one day we went to Mary's Secret Garden in Ventura, California, and I was so amased. The food was out of this world. I first had a pistacchico mint smoothie, followed by an outrageous Thai caluiflower soup and a chicken mushroom sandwich. I have to tell you that the chicken was soooo good; you couldn't tell it wasnt real chicken!
BUT then came the icing on the cake...the dessert. I have to say dessert is my favorite part of the meal....I had this decadent chocolate peanut butter fudge cake that was to die for. I think of it all the time. It was so moist- the fudge and the peanut butter center was orgasmic. I highly reccomend that you to take a drive to Mary's- it well worth it.

Pros: sweet atmosphere, nice staff, clean
Cons: none
sandyjla
sandyjla
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+4

Mary's Secret Garden - Outstanding

5
Posted on 02 / 13 / 2008

I came across Mary's one Friday evening shortly after she opened her doors. While I am not vegan, I do love food of all kinds and love to try new things. It was shortly before closing when my friend and I walkd in. Instantly, I could feel the good Karma and knew I was going to love what ever we tried. My initial item was the Middle Eastern appetizer platter which was to die for! I have since brought many friends there most of which are non-veg and all have loved the food and cannot believe what their eating is Vegan. The desserts are also outstanding; my favorties are the cakes. However, most recently Mary made a raw applie pie that was out of this world. I love her menu as it's varied and she always manages to out-do my previous food experience.

Pros: Excellent Food, High Quality, Nice atmosphere
Cons: Wish the place were bigger
mari12345
mari12345
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+5

great food

4
Posted on 02 / 03 / 2008

Mary's Secret Garden was a wonderful dining experience. Not knowing what to expect because I am not a vegan; I was pleasently surprised. I felt that the pizza and greek platter were terrific and tasted just like traditional pizza would taste. We also tried the chocolate cake. It was moist and wonderful. I would go back a second time for the great desserts.


Cons: healthy food , friendly staff
VeganVood
VeganVood
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

So Good!

5
Posted on 02 / 01 / 2008

My husband and I were traveling from northern
California and happened upon Mary's Secret Garden in Ventura. What a find! The Curry Stew, Eat Me Raw Salad and Mother's Milk smoothie was amazing and, to top it off, we shared a piece of the Chocolate Mint cake. I have to say as a fellow vegan, there are not many desserts that make the cut on taste and texture. This one did in spades! In fact, we were so pleased with the cake that we ordered a piece of the Peanut Butter cake and were glad we did! Thank you Mary, whoever you are, for offering a tasty vegan feast from stern to stem. Any chance you might open a shop up north? The desserts alone would be worth it!

Pros: dessert, dessert, dessert
Cons: we had to wait for a table
ventuacountyvegan
ventuacountyvegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+18

Heavenly

5
Posted on 02 / 01 / 2008

I have eaten at Mary's Secret Garden half a dozen times now. The food is outstanding; clearly made with heart and skill. As a vegan, it is such a pleasure for me that I don't have to inquire about the ingredients! It is hard to isolate favorites, but I'd say that it is a definite "must" to try the linguine, Mediterranean plate, raw cheeses and any one of the smoothies. Oh, and the desserts...If you want to take a quick trip to heaven, try the pecan pie, the raw ice cream and their out-of-this-world chocolate cakes (heaven!).

Pros: Friendly Staff, Outstanding Food
Cons: None
smartest_idiet
smartest_idiet
  • raw
Contributions
+14

"BAR NONE, THE BEST"

5
Posted on 01 / 31 / 2008

If I die and do not make it into heaven, at least I will have been to Mary's Secret Garden. Though, it is hard to single out anything from the menu because it is all so yum, I highly recommend their Rawvioli's, Falafel Plate, and Raw Tacos. Their smoothies are amazing, namely the Purple Sky Smoothie. As for the cakes, I worry for my keyboard as I salivate thinking about their White/Chocolate Mint Fudge Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, and Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. If you haven't been to Mary's, get into your car, charter a flight, do whatever you need to do to get your butt over there.

Pros: great food, great dessert, great service
irlandaise
irlandaise
  • vegan
Contributions
+121

Cute!

3
Posted on 01 / 30 / 2008

A very cute little vegan place, but the menu is pretty limited (seemed to be mostly faux chicken sandwiches). A bit expensive for what you get, and I have to admit my chocolate cake (though it looked beautiful) was pretty dry. They forgot the chipotle sauce on my husbands chipotle sandwich. Oh well!

Pros: Vegan, Cute , Friendly Staff
Cons: Small / Limited Seating, Expensive, Limited Menu / Selection
Hugo
Hugo
  • vegan
Contributions
+46

Mary's Secret Garden Website

5
Posted on 11 / 20 / 2007

http://www.MarysSecretGarden.Net

Pros: The only TRULLY Vegan restaurant in VC!, Wonderfull wait staff, Food par Excellence!
Cons: None
Elizabeth
Elizabeth
  • vegan
Contributions
+124

Yum!

4
Posted on 10 / 21 / 2007

We went down to Ventura for the weekend and were excited that there was a vegan restaurant. We just made it in, traffic coming up from San Diego was HORRIBLE! We got in and the waitress was really nice and when she asked if we were veg or vegan and we said vegan she told us we HAD to try the chocolate cake. We ordered burgers with raw slaw. My husband got the mushroom burger and I got the regular burger w/ cheese. Yummy! We also had the soup-spicy tomato...yum! We didn't have room for the cake but we felt bad if we didn't have it. So, she brought it to us and OH MY! It was awesome! I'm not a big cake person but this was absolutely fantastic! They have organic beer, soda, and tea. The restaurant is cozy and definitely a date place. The prices are a little pricey. The mushroom burger was 12.00. For two people we had two beers, ice tea, two soups, two burgers, and a slice of cake for over 70.00. It is overpriced but if we go back to Ventura we will go back.

Pros: cozy, friendly, good selection
Cons: pricey
sandee
sandee
  • vegan
Contributions
+36

charming/good food

3
Posted on 10 / 17 / 2007

This is a cozy little restaurant. The service was great and really friendly. The food was good but quite expensive for what we got.
The icecream sunday was not to my liking but the chicken burger I had was great with a tasty barbeque sauce. Unfortunately we could not afford to keep going there to eat. I would like to have tried some of the other items.

Pros: Good sandwiches, cozy, friendly
Cons: pricey, crowded
Chandra
Chandra
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+40

The best Vegan/Raw Restaurant I've Ever Visited

5
Posted on 10 / 06 / 2007

I've been many places and tried many veggie restaurants and this one takes the top billing organic, vegan, and raw. Their raw dessert is fabulous!!!!! The fresh juices are out of this world and the food will turn you to veganism. It was a little pricey. I spent $50 for two for lunch, although that did include a shared dessert.

Pros: BEST VEGAN/RAW FOOD EVER
Cons: Pricey
KLSimpson30
KLSimpson30
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+9

Delicious

5
Posted on 08 / 15 / 2007

Wonderful food! I had the chipotle "chicken" sandwich and my friend had spring rolls -- both were great. We'll definitely go back soon, and next time we'll try a dessert because they looked delicious.

Pros: great food, friendly, healthful food
Cons: expensive
veegn
veegn
  • vegan
Contributions
+15

NEVER DISAPPOINTS!!!

5
Posted on 04 / 14 / 2007

We've been to Mary's at least 10 times by now and it's always a superb experience in every way! The food is delicious, beautifully presented and served promptly & cheerfully by well-informed, dedicated, friendly servers. Atmosphere is cozy, inviting & original. The BBQ sandwich is my favorite, and the desserts are delicious. The new special "cake-of-the-day" is a virtual showpiece of vegan baking!! Even though we have to drive 30 minutes to get there, we pretty much make eating at Mary's a weekly event.

Pros: great food, warm & friendly service, all vegan!!! : )
Cons: not open every day : (

 

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Last updated: 2013/01/01

 

Added: 2009/04/16

 

Added by: eric

 

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