CLOSED: Casbah Cafe and Mediterranean Kitchen

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 7 reviews )



1770 1st St (at downtown), Livermore, California, USA, 94550

Serves meat, vegan options available. Mediterranean cafe downtown Livermore with free Wi-Fi. Regular menu is meat-heavy but does offer a separate vegetarian menu with vegan items marked - ask for it. Has combo plates, stews, soups, and salads. Vegan items are supposed to be prepared with separate utensils. Casual atmosphere. Reported closed, May 2017.

Categories: Mediterranean, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Middle Eastern, Greek, Moroccan, Non-veg

7 Reviews

First Review by lrbirch


I found this place on looking for a place that caters to Vegan/Vegetarian tastes. Once I located this place I of course I checked it out on Yelp. It was rated 4 stars and like a good experienced Yelper, I read the reviews and looked at the online menu. All checked out good, so I decided this was the place we were going to go for dinner.

We got here at about 5pm on a Friday night and there were plenty of tables available. We were seated right away (and they have outdoor seating for the 4 legged friends) which showed me immediately they are willing to accommodate.

Then we were greeted by our server, Kayvan. Now I will tell you, I did not see ANYONE employee at this place who did not have a smile on their face and was not warm and friendly. Being our first time here, we asked a lot of questions about the area, my wife asked about the wines, and of course we asked about the food and for some suggestions. We are Vegan and the choices were plentiful.

We started with the Spanakopita which I thought was really good. To me it was exactly what the menu described. Being fried, of course my wife does not like things real greasy and she felt they were a little. I disagreed as I thought they were perfectly cooked, flaky and the inside was amazing.

I decided for a Mediterranean place I wanted something I normally do not find on a menu at home. I ordered a dish with Kayvan's suggestion called Fesenjan. I was trying to decide between the Fesenjan Vegan and the Mediterranean Stir Fry Vegan. I specify Vegan because you can get most if not all the dishes with meat if you are into meat.

My dish came with Soy Meatballs which we were anxious to try. I will tell you what, I used to eat meat and sweet and sour meatballs were one of my mom's specialities and these Soy meatballs, OMG, very very close comparison. We were so impressed my wife ordered the Mediterranean Stir Fry Vegan with the meatballs and both dishes were AMAZING. Now here is the AMAZING PART OF THIS.....

We were so impressed at the taste of these meatballs that we asked the server several times to check and see if we can get the recipe. Kayvan finally got the chance to ask the Manager Josh and the answer we got back was, HE DID NOT KNOW. It turns out these are a SECRET Recipe he gets from a friend in Castro Valley that WILL NOT TELL HIM. I need to find this guy and find out how to buy some. This place is 5 STARS even though they have meat as well.

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Tastey food at a reasonable price - Edit

Casbah is located in a fairly touristy area a bit outside of San Francisco. The menu was clearly marked with a separate vegetarian section. Vegan & gluten free items are clearly marked with great variety.

The food is medeteratian with all of the flavors you would expect. The menu specifically says no msg and no preservatives. Given the light flavors of the veggies, I don't doubt it!

It was a random Sunday evening and they had a really talented guitar player sitting in the corner playing quietly during the dinner hour. Great atmosphere

Definitely worth going off the beaten path to try.

Pros: Great atmosphere, menu clearly marked, Moderately priced

Cons: Off the beaten path, Touristy feel to the area

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  Contributions +118

Fabulous Food - Edit

Being a family of vegans in the Livermore Valley is difficult, due to the lack of available restaurants. We were excited when they opened and now go regularly. The food is incredible. They have an entire page of the menu that is vegetarian/vegan. The hummus and baba ghanoush are perfect. We have now tried all of the veg options. My favorites are the stuffed eggplant or the eggplant stew. We order everything with soy balls. The sauce for both dishes is very similar with yellow lentils, however, the stuffed version has mushrooms, tomatoes and onions added. Since I like the additional vegetables, Ben, the owner, has happily accomodated me by adding them to the eggplant stew sauce. My husband gets the coucous dinner, warm with soy balls. The two teens like the mediterranean pasta and the eggplant stew. Try the hot tea, it is a delicious cardamon black tea. The vegan coconut cake is delicious, as well. It can get packed on the weekend, so call ahead to reserve a table. Ask them to make you a salad with their house mix, tomatoes, cucumbers and their homemade orange dressing. It is fabulous. Crisp, light and sunny citrus all in one bowl. This is a must try restaurant.

Pros: Incredible food, Lots of vegan options

Cons: Their current location can be too small.

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Went there while visiting family in Livermore - Edit

They had a few vegan things on their menu, but my husband and I both decided to try the falafel pita with tahini dressing. I also got the Casbah cooler.

The falafel was really good, the veggies were fresh, and the pita was home-baked and warm, but the dressing left something lacking. I had to get the waiter to bring me a second cup of it and even then I felt like it was a bit bland and dry. BUT it was decent and the price was reasonable. The Casbah cooler was interesting. It was basically cucumber flavored water with a tiny bit of sugar and fresh mint. Very light, I almost felt like I was drinking water. I honestly don't think it was worth the $3 I paid for it, but it was interesting.

Not a huge fan, but since it's in an area where there's not much else to eat I think it's a viable option.

Pros: In an area with not much vegan food

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great soy meatballs and vegetarian plates - Edit

My husband is vegetarian - I finally found a restaurant local to Livermore with a menu that doesn't taste to me like sawdust - I had soy "meatballs" that I like the taste. I was amazed and glad I found a place we both like the dishes! Marsha Victory

Pros: good taste, friendly, fast service

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We felt like guests in chef's home - Edit

We had an amazing experience! We were wine tasting in Livermore--familiar grounds, but we don't live in the area. Serious vegans, we checked HappyCow and decided to try Casbah. We're very glad we did. The saffron rice was perfection, as were the dolmeh and Med stir-fry. Benjamin (owner) treated us to a special serving of FESENJAN, a fruity, nutty, vegan soy mixture that was as good as it gets! We felt as if we were guests in his home. The restaurant serves only Livermore Valley wines. I would give 6 cows if I could.

Pros: Many vegan options, Personable chef, Amazing food

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Veg friendly - Edit

This is a vegetarian friendly restaurant. The owner was Vegan for many years and knows his stuff. The Last page of the menu is strictly vegetarian/vegan, however the chef was more than happy to veganize an eggplant dish we found on the 'regular' section of the menu as well. Just ask for what you want, chances are they will do it.My favorites are the Hummus, Falafels (light as a feather) and the Fesenjan (pomegranate walnut sauce). Soooo good, we hadn't tried it before but, the owner brought some to our table to try. Now I'm obsessed. The eggplant is delicious, as are the stews made with yellow split peas in a very lemony tomato sauce. Oh, and the Baklava. We've been there on Sunday afternoon's as well when a Bellydancer performs.

Pros: authentic food

Cons: Has meat options too

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