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Big Sky Cafe

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 10 reviews )
Contact 805-545-5401

1121 Broad St (at Higuera St, downtown), San Luis Obispo, California, USA, 93401

Serves meat, vegan options available. Busy restaurant billed as "fresh market cuisine." Its varied lunch and dinner menus feature a handful of vegetarian and vegan items, marked. Has a vegetarian bahn mi sandwich (with tofu), vegetable spring rolls, black bean chili, noodle bowl with choice of tofu, local fresh vegetable plate. Breakfast items contain egg/dairy (no vegan). 20 wine selection from the local vineyards. Casual and spacious with red tile floors, oak wood furniture, some mission style decor.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Organic, Beer/Wine, Fusion, Non-veg

Reviews (10)

First Review by hespedal

Not so vegan-friendly - Edit

Big Sky is a well-established semi-upscale eatery. Their menu is marked with about ten "V" symbols, which the menu explains are items that "can be made vegan". As it turns out, making something vegan means taking away essential parts of the dish and either having no replacement or having an unsuitable replacement. For example, the flatbread with hummus and baba ganouj is made with butter, and the server offered no other bread to go with (he suggested cucumber slices). The vegan option on the Reuben Sandwich is replacing the meat with beet slices, and no replacement for the thousand island dressing (we sent that one back). I had the Noodle Bowl with Tofu, which is one of the few vegan items worth pursuing. Nice place, just wish they were as vegan-friendly as their menu leads you to believe.

Pros: Atmosphere, Late hours, Menu clearly marked

Cons: Vegan items are lesser-quality, A little pricey

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Good Food, Awesome sraff - Edit

Adorable venue in a really cute part of downtown. There is some limited parking right across the street from the café. The staff was very knowledgeable about their menu. Only let down was their breakfast variety. The food was good for my family who are 'normal eaters', but sadly my only option (vegan, gluten-free, no added sugar) was steel-cut oatmeal dashed with some cinnamon and a tiny side plate of fruit.

Pros: Parking, Helpful staff, Great veg/non menu combo

Cons: Bad veg breakfast selection

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Love their use of local ingredients! - Edit

This restaurant focuses on local ingredients and seems to do a lot for the community in terms of fund raisers and their community involvement. If in the area, we would recommend this restaurant because of these good practice attempts, along with the tasty food. Check out our blog for more info!


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Food OK, but not spectacular - Edit

We went here for my birthday and ordered spring rolls, a tofu dish and veggie burger (all are supposed to be vegan) and none of this was very flavorful. My husband asked them to bring a vegan dessert for my birthday and it was a fruit crisp that was excellent. The restaurant is busy and therefore service was slow. The seating was tight, causing customers to bump into each other leaving and coming back to their seats. The prices for the appetizers and entrees were higher than I thought the food we ordered was worth. While the dessert was excellent, we won't be returning.

Pros: excellent dessert

Cons: slow service, bland, uninspired food, tight seating arrangement

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Busy, okay food - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow and decided to stop in on my way from San Francisco to Los Angeles 2 weeks ago. Here's my Big Sky Cafe review.

I went during lunchtime on a Thursday, and the place was packed with diners. Seemed like such as popular place. The host at the door directed me to the bar for the waitress to take my to-go order. I took my food outside to eat -- didn't want to wait for a seat & order.

I got the vegetarian bahn mi sandwich with fries as my choice of side (salad, soup, or fries), $8.95. The sandwich was a decent attempt at a Vietnamese sandwich but did not taste very ethnic to me; it was filling though: french roll filled with grilled tofu, pickeled slices of onion/daikon/carrot, and mustard. The fries were very good, even the cold ones I saved for later.

While the menu marks which items are vegetarian/vegan, it was still primarily a meat-centric menu. And it seemed that most of the other diners were ordering meat stuff (I looked at what other people were eating).

Pros: good fries, sandwich not bad, friendly waitress

Cons: meat

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Not great... - Edit

The ambiance of this place is like a southwestern TGI Fridays - totally cheesy theme restaurant vibe. The menu had a few vegan options, but when our food came it didn't seem very fresh and was not flavorful at all. I ordered some sort of noodle bowl and ended up feeling pretty gross after eating it - how do you OVERCOOK a noodle bowl?! Seemed like it had been sitting for a while. The service was friendly but they seated us all the way in the back by the kitchen door when there were plenty of booths and nicer tables available (they said they were ALL reserved - hard to believe.) If you need something fast and casual this restaurant will serve in a pinch, but I don't recommend it (especially considering all the other options San Luis Obispo has to offer!)

Pros: Casual, Cheap

Cons: Not very fresh, Not very flavorful

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Great food, been eating there many years. - Edit

I have never been dissapointed at Big Sky. One of my favorite dishes is the Vegetarian Postole. Have it without the cheese and cornbread, you have a delicious vegan dish. The steel cut oats are great, and they asked if I had any dietary requirements. I got exactly what I wanted. As far as the tofu situation from another reviewer, I'll ask them to fix it the way I want it. At least one soup was vegan each time I came in. Bean burgers, were not my favorite, a little spicy for me. If you love spicy, then get the bean burger. We loved the fruit salsd, however it would be nice to have a vegan yogurt with it. Just a suggestion. Service and food was good. I come from Bakersfield and get to San Luis a couple times a year. I recommend this for good eats.

Pros: oatmeal, fruit salad, vegi postole

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Great Food! Great service! - Edit

There are many vegan and vegetarian options here. One of the soups of the day is usually vegan. The complimentary wheat rolls are as well. The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly. Amazing place to eat!

Pros: Great food, Great service, Great art

Cons: Sometimes busy, Sometimes pricey

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Not worth it for breakfast - Edit

I went in for breakfast very excited about trying a place that I had been told has vegan entrees. I found that they only serve breakfast before 11am and that their only vegan breakfast items were fruit and steel-cut oats. After exclaiming this to the counter guy, he said they would sub tofu for any of the egg scrambles for a vegan breakfast. I think: "great! I will just get this one with tofu and sans cheese.. great vegan breakfast!"

I was wrong. The dish came back as cubes of flavorless, barely cooked tofu. Tofu scrambles are quiet possibly the easiest thing to make (especially with tofu), so I was disappointed in the chefs abilities.

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