That Vegan food isn't delicious! I can't say any more than has already been said about this eatery, excellent!!Pros: Menu, Price , Atmosphere
Cons: Far From My Home
That Vegan food isn't delicious! I can't say any more than has already been said about this eatery, excellent!!Pros: Menu, Price , Atmosphere
Awesome menu. Culinarily and culturally, delicious and delightful. Do not pass up this unique experience.Pros: Owner, Menu, Location
I really liked this place. It's not by any means fancy, but, if food is most important, this is the place. You order at the counter, from a rather large menu, go sit down at a table, mostly large communal tables, and they bring out the food. The food is not going to win any healthy eating awards, but it is very good and the prices are very reasonable. I got the sampler plate, which was loaded with beans, greens, BBQ, fried tofu, yams, and I can't remember what else, but I could not finish it, and that never happens.Pros: 100% vegan , Good food, Reasonable prices
Souley is one of my favorite spots in the East Bay to hit up. Love the atmosphere, and love the food.
Their new "wings" and chikn fried steak are absolutely delicious.
It's a must visit for anyone.
My only sad factor is the cornbread. I order it every time I go, as a diehard cornbread lover, hoping I'm wrong, but it's just too sweet and too cakey for a cornbread. Everything else I've had, absolutely amazing.
This was another place recommended to me on my most recent trip to the San Francisco/ Oakland area. I have my favorites in the Bay area, but always love to try new places (and, just like Portland, Oregon, there are always new places to try).
My younger brother, myself, and a friend of mine checked out Souley Vegan for dinner one night. We split the medium platter (Sweet Potatoes, Mac and Cheese, Lentils, Greens, Black Eyed Peas, BBQ Tofu, Chicken Fried Tofu, Potato Salad and Cornbread PLUS Red Beans, Rice, and Fried Okra). Holy shit! That place was off the hook.
Mentioned to one of the employees that I would be fine if they decided to expand to Portland, Oregon. Also posted the same message on their Facebook page.
This place was really good, with a great decor featuring tributes to Blues legends, and the staff were all fantastic.
Do not miss Souley Vegan!Pros: great decor, delicious food, friendly staff
Visited August 2013. This was my first Soul Food experience and I loved it because it is the type of dishes which typically take some effort to veganify.. meaning you don't find them too often! I'm talking vegan versions of mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, that kind of thing. The Souley Sample Platter is great for two people, it's two huge plates with an array of their finest morsels. My favourites were the sweet cornbread, the mac n cheese & the BBQ tofu. I also tried the Southern Fried Tofu Burger, delicious crumbed tofu, not heavy & with a brown bread bun. The spaghetti was alright, instead of meatballs they used felafel, but compared to the rest of the amazing dishes this one didn't stand out to me. They also had an array of amazing looking layer cakes by the slice & other tempting home made sweet things which I couldn't possibly fit in. The venue is spacious enough, light filled & nice comfy tables. The service is warm & casual. Overall it's creative wholefood renditions of all your favourite comfort food, yet somehow still seems nutritious. Go there!Pros: Vegan versions of old faves!, Warm & casual setting, Wholefoods (rather than mock meats)
The food is amazing! I couldn't decide so I got the $20 sampler player, which was a TON of food. I don't typically eat American-style meals, but this one is a number one new favorite for when I do indulge :) very grateful to live so close to something so good!Pros: Quick, Delicious
i am sorry, i want to like this place .. but i have been here three times and tried different menu items and left feeling like i was ripped off everytime. for what you get it is not good value and i found the food is either salty or dried out and/or both. i think that since this place doesnt have competition with a similiar menu people give it too much credit. i have been veggie/vegan for 18 years and i always try to support an all veggie restaurant over restaurants with veggie options, but i would honestly rather go to other places in oakland that are not veggie yet have better veggie food. i am sorry, but bbq tofu as a house special is not that special , i can make that a home .. would give it a one rating but happycow will not let me ..
if this place was in portland, brookyln, minneapolis or austin it would already be out of business ..
Updated from previous review on Saturday February 02, 2013
I love vegan soul food, but Souley Vegan was average in comparison to their peers (across the US).
The waiter highly recommended the southern tofu burger, he even said it tasted like catfish. I don't know what catfish tastes like, as I've never had it in my life, so I went with his recommendation. I found the tofu to be very overwhelming, it would have been better if the slice of tofu was smaller, or just cut into two smaller slices of fried tofu. The middle was just too "tofu mush" for me. But besides the mush, the overall flavoring and crispy outside were pretty good.
Souley Vegan was amazing! Order at the counter and they'll bring it out to you. You can mix and match almost anything on the menu and they had a wide variety of options.
Southern Fried Tofu: Just like fried catfish. Big pieces, good spices! Even comes with tartar sauce and lemons.
Mac and Cheese: Not the BEST mac and cheese I've ever had but very good. Creamy and big noodles!
BBQ Tofu: The BEST BBQ tofu I've ever had. Period! Order this!
Cornbread: A little sweet and moist. Very good.
Yams: Too sweet for my taste but very delicious.
Chocolate Chip Cookie: Gooey and tasty!Pros: all vegan menu, amazing bbq tofu, truly soulful
I had read about this vegan restaurant on happycow and decided to give it a try. Here's my Souley Vegan review.
On our way to San Francisco today, my friend and I stopped in to eat a late lunch. This place is a few blocks from Jack London Square, we parked on the street (metered). Around the corner appears to be Oakland's fruit and vegetable wholesale markets, which had all closed by the late afternoon hours. A few more blocks over from Souley Vegan is Encuentro Wine Bar which I will write about separately.
Didn't know what to expect and was surprised to see a spacious interior with 2 different seating areas: dining are in front plus bar and table seating in the back. On this day the counter displayed a large range of vegan baked goods, from cinnamon rolls to cookies to cupcakes and large cakes. Our friendly hostess told us that the baker comes in the morning to bake the goods in the onsite kitchen.
The overall feel of the restaurant is slightly old school, a bit dim but with character. The menu is fairly concise with choices in some hot foods, sandwiches, and their signature gumbo and sample platter.
We opted for the platter for 2 to share, at $20, which comprised a bit of everything: the Southern fried tofu, smoked and saucey sweet BBQ tofu, cold potato salad, dark greens, mashed yam, mac n cheese, lentils, and cornbread on top. This food was totally filling and delicious.
The Southern fried tofu was not like anything I've had before. It looked like a large crusted donut (without any hole in the middle) and tasted like a savory battered donut, too, except this with a thick piece of soft tofu inside. It was soooo yummy and without greasy. Wow.
The other stuff on the sample platter were delicious, too. The mac n cheese with soft and yummy with a garlicky cheezy sauce. Yum.
The drinks menu was extensive and colorful with all sorts of cocktails and alcohol, but we opted for a strawberry ginger juice.
If you like soul food, definitely try the samples platter. Next time I return, I'd like to try the gumbo.Pros: one of a kind southern fried tofu
My husband and I both got the 'toasties' and then ordered a selection of sides. The toasty was basically a burger with 'southern fried' tofu and BBQ tofu. DELISH. All the sides were amazing too. I wish I lived in Oakland so I could eat here every day!Pros: Amazing food, Good prices, Great service
This was an amazing little restaurant in downtown Oakland just south of the 880 freeway. Not much in terms of selection but I liked the atmosphere as well as the Monster Salad. The spicy salad dressing they included was really good (and actually spicy) and the tofu appetizer was definitely a good choice. They also had a very interesting selection of beers that I found to be interesting. The only downside was the fact that some things on their menu were not available. Still, I liked it very much.Pros: Great good, Very friendly staff
visited this wonderful jewel of a place for dinner on recent visit to Bay Area. got off plane at OAK... son had heard this was good eats so we went straight there.
unassuming, comfy atmosphere, great service and delish fare!!
interesting combo of unlikely niches... vegan and soul foods... what a wonderfully successful idea!
gumbo was a *little* too spicy, tho it was really really fabulous once it cooled down. the fried stuff was light and very tasty... i'd have eaten every meal there, but we were visiting for Thanksgiving... so we actually did make our own meals as only a seriously foodie family can.
still... next time we fly into OAK... early January ... i hope to get another chance to enjoy their innovative comfort souley vegan food... tasting as many menu choices as i can without being absolutely obnoxious.
p.s. sign on front door said they were hiring... asked if i could work there. :DPros: clever, clever idea , excellently done, can you come to San Antonio, please?
Oh, how I love Souley Vegan -- the beautifully welcoming people and the invariably fabulous everything plate (it's sort of a pre-prepared all-you-can-eat buffet for two) with its dreamy southern fried tofu. Also the barbecue tofu. Also the yams. Also the greens. Also the black-eyed peas.
It's actually healthier (maybe apart from the southern fried etc.) than you might think. And anything that makes you this happy has to be good for you, doesn't it?
I ordered the $27 food platter and it was enough to feed at least 3 people, maybe even 4. All of the food was good. The Mac n cheese was amazing and so was the bbq tofu. The mashed potatoes and gravy was also really good. Everything I had was great. The staff was really helpful. Great service.Pros: excellent food, large portions
I have waited a year to get to Souley Vegan, I don't drive much. BUT man oh man was it worth the wait! I ordered the Mac n Cheese, Southern Fried Tofu,BBQ Tofu,Mashed potatoes and a Cayenne lemonade. First off the Staff is EXTREMELY friendly, helpful and HAPPY, I like the way you order then sit down and eat. 2nd the food is REAL SOUL FOOD, not watered down imitations so be prepared for a EXPLOSION of SOUL in your mouth! They have recipes that have been handed down for 3 GENERATIONS! and you can taste it. I haven't tasted BBQ like this since I went Vegan 20+ years ago but I remember, REAL BBQ! the Mac n Cheese was the best I have ever tasted and the Southern Fried Tofu is well for lack of a better description, a catfish lovers rival. the mashed potatoes were creamy and spicy and chunky and DELICIOUS to wash it down I chose the Cayenne Lemonade, not as spicy as I like it but the lemonade was sweet and got me drooling lemons...The prices are affordable too and the portions are HUGE!!overall I would visit @ least once a week if I lived in Oakland. oh yeah can't wait to try the Potato SaladPros: Staff is GREAT!, Food is Incredible, plenty of parking
This is one of my favorite restaurants. I live in Central California and visit the Bay Area several times each year, and I try to incorporate a stop by Souley Vegan every time.
The $19 sampler is great on your first visit so you can try a little bit of everything and see what you like best. That said, now I usually get a 3 item sampler with my personal favorites: potato salad, the black eyed pea salad, and the greens. [I'm not big on the mac n cheese - now that there are decent vegan cheese available, I'm over nutritional yeast, which never really grabbed me). I like the creaminess of the potato salad. The black eyed peas hare cooked with other things (not quite a sauce, but not dry either) as a well-rounded side dish. The greens are good, too - not overcooked, and they are a nice contrast with the other selections.
Sharing the three item sampler and a basket of fried okra (which is excellent - I don't think I've ever had better okra than what they have here, and the dipping sauce with it is wonderful too) with friends, I then manage to also have room for a sandwich. I love the crispy tofu with the bbq tofu added to it (this has a name on the menu, but I can't think what it is). The texture of both tofus and the accompanying sauces are perfect.
I haven't been overly impressed by the desserts, but with all the non-dessert food we order when we go, there's no room for dessert anyway! If you like spicy stuff, be sure to try the cayenne lemonade - definitely tart and spicy, but extremely refreshing if you like that kind of thing.Pros: excellend food, good-sized portions
If you skip this place while you are visiting here or if you live here and haven't been, shame on you.
I live across the country and this was the first place I stopped for breakfast with my carnivore fiance, and we both LOVED it, he even made mention of it a couple times on the trip and since we've left... kind of a big deal for him.
This place is inexpensive and delicious.
If you are looking to be a healthy vegan, go elsewhere. This place is not advertising to be health conscious, so I was obviously not expecting salads and wheat grass and what not, just delicious soul food I could splurge on.
My fiance and I got the macaroni and cheese, potato salad and mashed potatoes (yes, all for breakfast) to share all for like $12 or something. (They do not carry soda, fyi) and we were SO FULL and it was SO GOOD.
The cornbread was not as delicious as I had envisioned, but that was my own fault as I was picturing the cornbread circa my vegan-ness and my standards were set unreasonably high, but it was still really good.
Since we were visiting, we were able to go right when it opened on a weekday, so I'm unable to comment on if it gets really crowded or not, but the service was very fast, and the people were friendly and talked to us.
Just a note, if you are sheltered/never been to California like me before:
The style of ordering in California is a little different than where I'm from, instead of being seated and ordering, you order your food from the person who would typically seat you, and you include the tip there, which I don't like and I think is slightly unfair to both the customer and the server. But obviously, this isn't exclusive to this place, so I wouldn't consider it a "con" or anything, just a comment.
This place has afforded me one of the best meals in my life, and I say that with the utmost sincerity. The food speaks for itself, try not to love it. The restaurant is locally and black owned, which I feel is an especially imperative accompanying reason to support this place. American Veganism as a whole is arguably predominately white, so it is both a privilege and a responsibility, I feel, to support people from other backgrounds in their Veganism. Hopefully it counteracts the alienation they surely simultaneously experience. Whereas Gracias Madre is in the Mission yet probably has few if any nongentrified Mission customers, Souley is accessible to its surrounding community. Only dissatisfaction I could have is that I doubt many ingredients are organic. I am a staunch organic consumer and am diametrically opposed to GM food, but if means the difference between this place staying afloat or not, then you gotta start somewhere.
They are printing shirts in a couple weeks, be sure to pick some up. Vegan Power.Pros: Best meal in the Bay, serves surrounding community, black owned
The food is excellent, vegan comfort food. We had to wait in line on Friday night (no surprise), but we chatted with some other people, so it went quickly.
The service was friendly. They brought out my meal several minutes before my husband's, but as soon as we mentioned it, they brought it out quickly. This, and the fact that there appeared to be only one menu making its way down the line, are the reasons I'm giving it 4 rather than 5 stars.
I will definitely go back.Pros: Tasty, Large portions
I love love love Souley Vegan! When I'm craving some down home food this is where I have to go! I almost always order the 3 item combo and have such a hard time deciding between the mac n' cheese or the potato salad both of which are to die for! The potato salad is the best potato salad I've ever had and I wish I could have the recipe! The mac n' cheese is creamy and dreamy with a kick of cayenne. True love in food form. Then I have a hard time deciding between the crispy tofu or the BBQ because I love them both! The crispy tofu has the most amazing cornmeal batter on it and I have no idea how they are able to get that much batter to stay on the tofu! Pure fried bliss. The BBQ tofu is divine, I love their sauce and the tofu is delightfully chewy. I always order the greens and they are wonderful. The greens help me feel like I've ordered a complete meal and at least something healthy. If I'm feeling super hungry or just in the mood I'll also have them throw in a piece of cornbread.
I've also had the burger with both the crispy and bbq tofu and it's huge and amazing! Their burgers are a great deal and so flavorful, they include lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mayo. There are more things that I would like to try here, but honestly it's so hard to go against what I normally get because it's so damn good! Oh yeah, the lemonade is beyond amazing!
The only cons for me are that sometimes it can take a long time to get your order and I've had mess ups on several occasions (luckily they were yummy mess ups but just an fyi). I also went for brunch and wasn't into it which I was shocked by. Oh well, can't have everything.
I want Souley Vegan right NOW!
From the warm greeting when we walked in, to the amazing fresh food. The service was so friendly and the food better than I thought it could be! I have no cons about it!
This was my first time visiting Souley Vegan. My husband and I wanted vegan brunch SO badly and decided on this great restaurant to curb our craving!
Brunch is from 10a-2p on Sundays only and they only serve brunch - nothing from their regular menu. It was a tad disappointing that we couldn't scoop up a few to-go dishes for later since we were there, but the brunch made up for that!
They offered a combo plate (which my husband got) that included grits and corn, tofu scramble, toast, smothered potatoes, and a few slices of fruit (for $10). He also added blueberry pancakes with maple syrup (+$2 more) and a biscuit with gravy (+$2), just to try everything out! Let me tell you - he was stuffed by the time he was done!
I got the three combo plate for $10 - a biscuit with gravy, tofu scramble, and smothered potatoes (I don't really know what they're smothered by - but it's amazing). It also came with some toast and a few slices of fruit.
You get pretty decent portions for the money you spend and the food was great!
I can see people thinking that things may be a little salty, but I didn't mind it. It definitely didn't take away from any other flavor! My favorites were the grits and corn (husband let me try his - they were creamy and flavorful, just be sure to eat them together!), the smothered potatoes and the biscuit and gravy (you only get one biscuit, but it's a big one!).
The staff were so incredibly friendly and attentive. They were hoppin' in there this morning and the fact they could be so nice while being so busy was great. It did take a little bit to get our food but not too long.
There's plenty of seating, too!
I will definitely be back for the brunch but REALLY want to try their main menu at some point!Pros: Great food, Amazing staff, Decent prices
I had the pleasure of eating at Souley Vegan last night and wow... It was great! My personal fav's were the mac-n-cheese, collard greens and lentils (mmmmmm), and corn bread. Equally as good was Beer Revolution next door. Excellent selection of beers from around the world.Pros: Great food, Good value, Very friendly staff
So good you could use them to cater a southern family reunion & they wouldn't know the difference. I got the Everything Platter (but they forgot my fried okra and red beans & rice :( ) & it was SO amazing that I was scraping my plate! Yams, potato salad, BBQ tofu, greens, cornbread, southern fried tofu (JUST like catfish breading!!), & peach cobbler!! The greens were my least fav. EVERYTHING else was beyond amazing! Even when I ate meat, I was more interested in the crusts, breading, & how seasoned they were. Well Souley Vegan apparently felt the same way. She nailed it! And the tartar sauce??!!! OMG!!!! She needs to bottle & mass market that! Then she needs to tour the country & teach vegan soul food cooking classes. I LOVED it!Pros: amazing vegan soul food, 100% vegan
If you have someone on your hands who insists they would starve to death without meat--like myself only a few years ago--I would submit this restaurant as a counterargument. I didn't see any fake meat (though they have fake cheese); the prices are indeed moderate, but the portions are ample and satisfying.
Walking in the place was a little disorienting. The place looks like it used to be a nightclub which has been painted over but is otherwise little changed. The usual clues about what to do are missing: order at the counter (actually, relatively low tables) from a menu on a board on the back wall; you'll get a number to take to the table of your choice.Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, large portions
I love healthy vegan food. That said, I also love greasy, fried vegan comfort food. Souley Vegan, as the name would imply, serves up the latter. Deliciously! The country fried tofu is great! The bbq tofu is fantastic (maybe a little salty). I love the collard greens, the lentils and especially the black eyed peas. The potato salad is also top notch, and the mac n' cheese is one of the best I've ever had. I found the yams to be too sweet. I know that is the traditional soul food way to prepare yam, but I'm not crazy about it. Yam is sweet enough on it's own! But that's just me. I am also not crazy about the red beans and rice. It was okay, just to salty for me to have more than a couple of bites.
As it should be at a soul food restaurant (or ANY restaurant, for that matter) the service is friendly. Exceptionally warm and friendly. They really make you feel at home.
The strawberry ginger juice is good too. This kind of food makes me want a beer though.... Anyway, an overall nice experience... worth a trip to the east bay!Pros: Delicious soul food!, Great, friendly service
I was in Oakland visiting friends last week, and when they told me about vegan soul food, I HAD to try it. I've never had vegan soul food before, so I don't have much to compare it to. My husband and I both got the Toasty Crispy BBQ Tofu burger, which is insanely big. You have to squish it and even then, it barely fits in your mouth, haha. It's a burger with the Crispy Tofu AND the bbq tofu on it for $7. It's pretty much the most amazing vegan sandwich I've had. The mac n cheese was pretty great too. But next time, I'll just get the sandwich with only one kind of tofu, because I was stuffed to the point of making myself sick, haha. It was just too much food. But it tasted great, and was a good deal! ;)
Prices are decent, portions are huge. My boyfriend and I shared the $19 combo plate and a dessert. The dessert left much to be desired...it was an apple cobbler but the cobbler part seemed to be missing and the apples looked like they might have come out of a can. My boyfriend thought it was good but he wished that they didn't use tofu for all of the fake meats. I've been to better soul food vegan places in LA and DC, but it is nice to have one in Oakland now.
Out of town visitor in Oakland for a wedding. Found Souley Vegan on HappyCow and decided to try it out. AWESOME food! Very friendly service, laid back atmosphere and incredible food! I've never had "real" soul food, so I can't confirm authenticity in flavors, etc., but this is a must-eat place!
You can order items a la carte or get their 'everything platter'. We went with the everything platter for $19 and upgraded to the $25 platter which then included red beans & rice and okra--both VERY worth the extra $6. All of the food was super flavorful and the platter portion was more than enough for 2 (we had leftovers). Trying everything was also really nice so we know what to get next time!
The only down fall was: cash only. (it's not too far to an atm, though. She also said they would be accepting cards soon.)Pros: Fantastic food, Friendly, helpful staff, Nice n' casual
Mac & Cheese, potato salad, bbq tofu, greens OMG... THE CRISPY TOFU. No, it's not fried chicken! BUT BETTER!
Friendly staff, fast service, great location. Prices are great! Check out all of the other reviews on yelp.com
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