CLOSED: Cafe Gratitude

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 31 reviews )



1730 Shattuck Ave (at Virginia Ave), Berkeley, California, USA, 94709

Part of the Cafe Gratitude company with locations in California. Features both raw food as well as some cooked meals. Honey might be used - vegans to ask. Reported closed to HappyCow, Jan 2016.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, American, Organic, Raw, Juice bar, Take-out

31 Reviews

First Review by philjdomm


Permanently closed end of 2015

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Grateful for good food - Edit

I'm from out of state so I have only eaten here a few times, but I have enjoyed the food each time. The food is expensive but it serves its cause. Sometimes the vibe feels contrived but sometimes it feel just right. I have especially enjoyed the raw dishes, which were fairly creative and delicious. Obviously, the place isn't for everybody...

Pros: Really good food, good "spirit", gracious wait staff

Cons: pricey, Not ironic enough for some

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Amazing food, but too Expensive! - Edit

I'm sometimes a little wary when it comes to raw food, as it can be done really well sometimes, but other times badly. In my case I had the pizza and it was REALLY yummy. It was pretty small though, but by the end I felt satisfied.

The thickshakes/milkshakes are AMAZING too.

I was not impressed at the price though, which is a shame.

I was impressed with the graffiti left in the restrooms; something along the lines of 'Class war not race war' and someone has scrawled underneath 'Is that before or after your $10 shake at Cafe Gratitude?'


Anyway I would definitely go back for special occassions, the atmosphere was lovely and relaxing :)

Pros: Yummy!, Happy chilled vibes, Choice of many table/seats options

Cons: Too expensive

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fluctuates in waves - Edit

I've been here at least 30 times, enough or too many.
Its a gamble, there are good runs and bad runs. Sometimes the food and atmosphere are out of this world blissful and relish in the thriving organic positive life style. Other times it is confusing, hostile or passive aggressive. But I'm addicted to the game, take the good streaks with the bad.

The dishes are complex, each element is composed individually and in different cycles. Sometime the beans are under cooked the first day they are served. Also the drinks can be inconsistent depending on the server or days mixture.

The fulfilled salad is always good, I've never been let down by the salad here. In a world where so many salad fail to deliver-- Cafe Gratitude's salads are excellent.

Pros: all vegan, raw dishes, handmade almond milk and icecreams

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great atmosphere - Edit

So enjoyable! Wonderful atmosphere and the tacos were amazing. I also recommend the "I am transparent". The wait staff was very friendly.

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Some yummy food, some so-so - Edit

I've been to Cafe Gratitude twice. The first time I got a polenta dish (I Am Warm-Hearted) and it was delicious and huge. The second time I got their raw pad thai and I was disappointed. I guess raw food is not for me. Be careful what you order!
Updated from previous review on Monday May 26, 2014

Pros: Yummy polenta, Nice indoors, Excellent service

Cons: Didn't like the pad thai, Expensive

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GRREAT! - Edit

This place was amazing. The food, the people, the environment. Everything was top notch. My only complaint was they served a side of cooked rice and beans with the meal. At the time I wasn't 100% raw but it shortchanged me from having the whole raw experience. Now as 100% raw vegan, next time, and I will definitely be back, I know to have them hold the rice and beans. Other than that one small detail, everything we ordered was phenomenal. We had to wait for awhile to get a seat, but as they say all good things are indeed worth waiting for. Great place - yes, aptly named. - Aloha, LaRen

Pros: excellent food, good value, great ambience

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I just kinda hate this place, is all - Edit

I'm really not into Cafe Gratitude. I'm sorry, I wish I was, but I'm not. First, I don't like having to order by saying "I am [this]" or "I am [that]." Don't tell me what I am! I know what I am. Also, the place costs too much for so little food. I've been to raw restaurants all over the place and is this the best the Bay Area can do? Shocking! I think they got lazy because they're in the Bay so they figure people will come here no matter how much of a rip-off it is. I also often prepare raw food and one of the things that's so great about not cooking is that it's super-easy. For that reason, I pretty much have to be dragged to Cafe Gratitude, I will not go on my own volition. Especially with Cha-Ya a few doors down.

Pros: good dessert cookbook, outdoor seating, couches

Cons: Having to say "I am...", expensive, very little food

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yes! - Edit

I love this place. I had the raw pizza, it was excellent, I only wish I had more! This is one of the places where your stomach feels good after you eat there.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday June 25, 2013

Pros: vegan

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Delicious raw food - Edit

Their food is some of the best in Berkeley. The vibe is quite cool, as is the way you order. Their shakes rock, if you can afford one try them! Their brown rice kale salad is among my favorites, or raw pad thai.

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Fantastic raw food - Edit

Whenever visiting the Bay Area, I used eat at least once at the Harrison Ave branch, but it's since been closed. This is some of the best raw food I've tried worldwide. I've also bought their books and use the recipes constantly.

The only word of warning to raw foodists: verify the dish is raw because they do offer cooked options, which is clear on the normal menu, but it's not always clear on the specials board.

It's raw magic, they turn healthy and nutritious ingredients into scrumptious and filling meals. I never miss cooked food here!

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My Favorite Place To Eat In Berkeley - Edit

And I don't say that lightly - Berkeley is crammed with fabulous restaurants and when I visit there I am on a food high the whole time, but Cafe Gratitude is my favorite. The food is amazing, so fresh and exciting and well thought out. I'm not a raw foodie myself and I often get one of their cooked grain bowls and a soup, with a nut milk smoothie like I Am Grace on the side. I love their food so much I own their cookbook! But what really makes this place edge out even Chez Panisse as my favorite restaurant in Berkeley is the atmosphere, so calmly quirky & warmly welcoming. I've spent a lot of happy time there, reading, eating, chatting and taking pictures.

Pros: Amazing Food, Lovely Atmosphere

Cons: Too far away from my home!, Expensive

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Great food, great vibes! - Edit

I'm a recent transplant to Berkeley from the East Coast. My daughter introduced me to Cafe Gratitude, which was my intro to healthy raw vegan eating. Their food is amazing: tasty, satisfying and beautiful to look at. I love the staff here. They're friendly and helpful. If you want the absolute freshest ingredients (they grow the organic veggies on their own farm an hour north), delicious flavors and beautiful presentation, then you'll enjoy this restaurant.

Pros: great food, helpful staff, happy vibes

Cons: a bit pricey

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Pretentious! - Edit

We ate here twice on a recent trp to Berkeley. We never would have returned the second time, except that our grandson and his girlfriend, who had never eaten there, possibly because of the high prices, decided they wanted to try it since Grandma and Grandpa were treating.

There is one section of the menu featuring raw foods and one with cooked, vegan dishes. The menu items had names like "I Am Fortified," "I Am Elated," I Am Grateful." If you choose the last one, payment is by donation of at least $7. If you pay $14, supposedly someone needy will get a free meal. Main dish prices averaged about $12, and they were nothng special, nor were the portions large.

Service was on the slow side, and the multiple piercings and tattoos on our servers did nothing to whet our appetites. Maybe that's just as well. Or maybe we're just belong to the wrong generation.

Considering the abundance of veggie and vegan restaurants in the area, I don't know why anyone would choose Cafe Gratitude.

Pros: good location, non-smoking

Cons: overpriced, weird -looking staff, pretentious

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Stellar food at astronomical prices - Edit

'I am hungry!' That's our main criticism of Café Gratitude. The website says, 'Café Gratitude is our expression of a world of plenty.' We'd love to see some of that plenty on the plate. The food (though not all vegan) is excellent, but we're active people with healthy appetites and humble budgets, and Cafe Gratitude is so fantastically expensive that we can't afford a fully satisfying meal even on a special occasion splurge. Yes, we can manage one dish each, but the portions are so small that we would really need 2-4 dishes to get enough substance in our bellies.

Truly, we would never complain about some (or even most) of the menu being priced in the stratosphere (that's fair enough when doing inventive, labor-intensive dishes with expensive ingredients), but we wish they would share some of their abundance by also offering at least two or three options that can fill a hungry person's belly without putting us in credit card debt. Yes, we know we can manifest millions, and we're working on it but they haven't yet appeared... and meanwhile we still need to eat. Just a few affordable, filling options, please.

Other than that, it's a great concept: organic, fresh, creative, and mostly plant-based. If it were all-vegan and reasonably affordable, we'd eat there as often as we could, but as it is we regularly decline friends' invitations to Cafe Gratitude and instead we take them to Cha Ya just up the street for heavenly Japanese food at earthly prices.

The food itself deserves 4-5 cows for quality but the price problem is such a deal-breaker for us that we have to give it a "needs improvement" rating of 2 cows.

YMMV, especially if you have a smaller-than average appetite and/or a much larger-than-average budget.

Pros: Organic, fresh, creative, tasty food, Vegan-friendly

Cons: High price tag and small portions, Can't afford to eat enough to get full, Not all vegan

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Loved it! - Edit

It was a great experience. The food was good and the service was good. The decor wa warm and inviting. The food came kind of slow but there were things to occupy the time ... they have games on the tables. They also had great items on sale, environmentally friendly type things like lunch carriers and utensils. My only regret is that I live on the East coast and I do not get to visit the Berkley area as much I would like.

Pros: food, atmosphere, service

Cons: A bit costly

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Good food, akward vibes - Edit

First off, let me state this. This place is strange. They're all about new age weird stuff that I'm very not into, and most people arent. I'm a dock worker, not some spiritual being. But don't let that discourage you, I actually do crave this place, a lot. Living so far sucks, because this was an amazing birthday gift from my girlfriend. They serve raw food, and raw food, in my opinion makes me uneasy and unhappy. But this place has these amazing raw enchiladas, and the raw pizza is also a good choice. For a bay area restaurant, the prices are decent, and it's all organic and raw to boot. Definitely the best raw food I've had. 5 stars.

Pros: Prices are fair, Good Raw, Healthy

Cons: Strange new age weird stuff

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Gluten Free Place to Be - Edit

The portion sized are not enormous, but they are perfectly adequate for a meal, especially if you are used to eating this type of food. I have never tasted such amazing deserts at any restaurant, let alone ones made from raw mostly vegan ingredients. And if you have any gluten free friends, as I have many, this place is heaven on earth. They can eat everything on the menu!

Pros: Gluten Free, Friendly Staff, Healthy

Cons: Wait Time

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Good food, a bit expensive - Edit

They food was amazing and very flavorful. I attended with 3 meat eaters and they really liked it. But, it was quite expensive and the names on the menu are a bit ridiculous - although I am told very "Berkley". It was hard to remember what we ordered when it arrived at the table called "I am wonderful" or whatever it was. Great area.

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Nice little place! - Edit

I was there when I went on vacation to California. Nice spot to stop at!

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Lovely. - Edit

This is one of my favorite restaurants to wind down and enjoy a great meal. Yes - it is expensive. And yes - the high mass of nuts may leave you feeling sick if you eat too much of a similar thing (ie. an entree such as the enchilada w/a pie afterwards). But really, I think it's all worth it.

90% of the time I leave Cafe Gratitude feeling healthier and more energized then when I'd walked in. The service has always been more then happy to help me and always have a calming touch.

When anyone visits me here in the city, I ALWAYS take them to Cafe Gratitude and so far everyone has adore it as much as I do!

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Delicious! - Edit

Café Gratitude (Berkeley, CA):
Really good food, really good shakes, amazing desserts... What else can you want? Oh, yes, unpretentious service. Well, just accept that you are going to a hippie place and flow with it. I have been here with a large group fro desserts. Everything was delicious, and even the most skeptic ones were full. The only thing was that someone was not big on nuts, and could not handle more than half of their pie crust. Well, if you see in the ingredient list anything that you don't like then just don't get, there are many options, all of which are amazing (for desserts that is).
As for food... I love their grain bowls. They are sooo satisfying. When they first arrive you always feel like you have been cheated and that you paid a lot just for a bunch of stuff. And then you are full and take the rest to go. Enchiladas and their cashew cheese sauce is amazing! But some dishes may not be very balanced, so you may end up having something full of nuts and fat. Again, read the descriptions.
I had a warm carrot-ginger soup here which is still the best carrot-ginger soup I have ever had!

The patio is great for sitting and feels like a treat when you can get a table on a sunny day. The only improvement I would love to see with this place is the staff. I usually had a good experience, the wait staff was attentive and prompt and they never brought anything wrong. Had they been less pretentious, this would be a heaven on earth. But hey, that just makes it a fun place to be and observe as long as you don't judge too much and accept the place for what it is.

Pros: delicious food, good shakes, nice patio

Cons: Wait staff may be a bit too pretentious

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I am Not Impressed - Edit

Annoyed with the staff, in love with the food. Everytime we've been to the Berkeley location, I keep hoping the apparently high rate of staff turnover will allow us to FINALLY get prompt, friendly service, and every time I am disappointed. It always ends up taking 1-2 hours, but half of that is just waiting for your server to correct your order, bring your bill, or bring your bill AFTER you asked them to half an hour ago. Instead of tending their customers, servers socialize, do yoga in the kitchen, and wander around aimlessly (perhaps less time floating through the ethereal mist pondering existence and more time being trained on efficient customer service would help). I wish this place would take itself seriously rather than just be a hippie social club.

But I love their grain bowls and appetizers and desserts, so I keep coming back. The patio is a wonderful place to sit on a sunny day.

Pros: Yummy, healthy food, Amazing desserts, Wonderful patio

Cons: SHIT service, Overpriced

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need to add a new dish: "I am broke" - Edit

even for groovy, patchouli lovin' me this place is a bit out there.

the food is OK, but I am not sure it warrants the cult following.

I stick with basics like the bowls. I tried the "pizza" & "lasagna" & they tasty, but nothing like the traditiona/original versions.

incredibly high prices-- $9 for a 12 oz. melted milkshake???

I have a 6 year old & husband who are both 'adventurous' eaters, but this place does not work for them.

I'd say this is for tried & true raw foodists. It also seems to be popular with 'enlightened' omnis looking for a change of pace.

DO NOT bring someone with nut allergies-- pretty much everything is derived from nuts!

Pros: location

Cons: $$$$$$$, slow service, it's an acquired taste

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Love it! - Edit

Great vegan raw food! All my non-veg friends enjoy the menu as well. Reasonable prices and decent sized portions.

Pros: Very Tasty, Reasonable Prices, Quintessential "Berkeley" atmosphere

Cons: Can be noisy, Group Seating

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I am Surprised - Edit

Today was my first visit to Cafe Graditude. It was an enjoyable eating experience, but I was turned off by the high prices.

The menu was inventive and with varied. We started with a sampler of nut spread/cheese, some sort of bruschetta, and olive tapenade with raw crackers. The house cashew cheese was amazingly creamy and delicious! My dining companion had the enchilada and was not wowed. I had a bowl of miso soup and the a "cheese burger" (nut-based patty and cashew cheddar cheese". While our entrees were okay.. we were WOWED by the coconut cream pie. Creamy, crunchy, and coconutty. YUM!

Be prepared when you go here... diners are likely to share a table up close and personal with other patrons. The noise level in the main dining room got annoying the crowded it got.

Overall, I liked this place, but the frugal side of me will make it an occasional dining spot. It's a good spot for those interested in exploring what the raw eating experience is all about.

Pros: Fresh Ingredients, Menu Variety, Dessert

Cons: Price, Noisy, Shared Tables

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Not Just A Restaurant, An Experience - Edit

My wife and I went here twice during a very short visit to Berkeley. Both times it was very busy, but our wait for a table was short. Keep in mind, Cafe Gratitude believes in sharing tables--something I had trouble getting used to. While you are waiting for your food, each table has a card game to play that our server said was invented by the restaurant's owners--a game where you reflect on what you are grateful for. Many of the designs on the cards are repeated on posters on the wall, with inspirational quotes or sayings. The menu is mostly raw, organic, and vegan. All of the dishes have inspirational names like "I am Energized," "I am Thankful," and "I am Refreshed." The front of the menu is juice combinations, which are pricey. The inside consists of dishes that are either raw, dehydrated, or lightly cooked, and while the prices are $8 - $12, the portions range from meager (pizzas) to generous (grain bowls). There is also a dessert menu, and a wine menu. The wait staff is very helpful and friendly. The restaurant is a little too noisy for my taste--there were no drapes or carpet to muffle sound, so all the conversations competed with each other. I don't subscribe to an all-raw diet myself, but I still found everything very tasty. The only thing I found less than optimum were the desserts--we had a "coconut cream pie" one night, and a "german chocolate cake" another night, and I couldn't tell the difference. My wife and I will frequent Cafe Gratitude whenever we are in Berkeley, and I recommend it to others.

Pros: Vegan!, Fun!, Good Food!

Cons: Small Portions., Pricey., Noisy.

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