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Garden Fresh - Palo Alto

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 16 reviews )
Contact 650-462-9298

460 Ramona St (at University Ave, downtown), Palo Alto, California, USA, 94301

Vegetarian Chinese restaurant with 2 locations. Its extensive vegan food menu features a variety of vegetable, tofu, faux meat, and wheat gluten dishes, and includes western style desserts. Cozy space with seating for 25 people. Try the scallion pancake. Mon 11:00am-2:30pm, Wed-Sun 11:00am-2:30pm, Mon 4:30pm-9:30pm, Wed-Fri 4:30pm-9:30pm, Sat-Sun 4:30pm-10:00pm

Category: Vegan, Chinese, Take-out

Reviews (16)

First Review by VeggieLover1014

Relaxed and clean, Uses a lot of mock meats - Edit

We went there for dinner on a Saturday night. The place was full and we occupied the last table. We were lucky because a huge line formed right after we were seated.
The place is small, it can seat maybe 20 people at a time.
The menu is extensive, offers appetizers, soups, main dishes and specialties, 4 options for desert.
I would say 80% of the menu is focused on mock meats: duck, chicken, pork, shrimp, but there are also some options with tofu or just plain vegetables.
We ordered and shared rice noodle veggie soup (yumm) and fried tempura with brown rice - portion size was just right for the 2 of us.
Not sure if they use MSG, it doesn't say.
Service was fast and friendly, prices are fair, portions are big enough.
All in all I would say it's a regular Chinese vegan restaurant, it doesn't stand out but it doesn't disappoint either.

Pros: Clean, friendly, 100 % vegan

Cons: No parking, but we found a parking spot on the str, Not sure if they use MSG, they don't say

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My first vegan restaurant... - Edit

and it was DELICIOUS! My non-vegan boyfriend even said the vegan sweet and sour pork tasted like the non-vegan version. We were pleasantly surprised. We enjoyed the veggie spring rolls and the chow fun. We were not a fan of the orange chicken because, in my opinion, the chicken tasted like falafel - he thought there were to many herbs in it. Try it yourself and let me know what you think.

Pros: Flavorful food, Friendly staff, Prompt service

Cons: Small place, Limited seating on Friday night , Parking lot across restaurant was full

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Great meal! - Edit

I came to this Garden Fresh location with friends tonight. I had previously only been to the Mountain View location. This restaurant is bright with light wood tables.

I had a problem deciding what to order because there were so many great looking choices! My friends are regulars so they knew what was good which made it easy.

We started with the scallion pancakes which were warm and crunchy. We decided to eat family style and ordered the Mongolian "Beef", Chow Mein, Orange Veggie "Beef" and Veggie "Fish".

While all the dishes were good, my favorite was the Orange Beef, made out of pressed shiitake mushrooms. The flavor was delicious and the texture a little crunchy and chewy. The faux fish was a little too fish-like for me but is a favorite of my friends'.

I would recommend this restaurant.
Updated from previous review on Saturday October 03, 2015

Pros: Lots of great choices, Friendly staff

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all vegan Chinese food - Edit

I think the reviewer ayreq got it spot-on. This is tasty, oily, spicy vegan food for when you're craving Chinese.

The same family who run this Garden Fresh also run the one in Mountain View, and they are super nice and friendly. I love that they remember our favorite orders and always ask how our kids are doing. Decor and ambience here are more up-scale than the Mountain View location, though still casual.

You usually have to park a few blocks away in a structure and then walk over, but that's part of the point of being in Palo Alto.

Pros: tasty and all vegan, friendly caring staff, reasonable prices

Cons: can be noisy

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Just Wonderful - Edit

Alice, the Maîtresse d', is a marvel. Friendly, helpful, remembers what you like and suggests alternatives. Delicious food. One of our favorite places to eat. No need to worry about ingredients as at other restaurants where we can get vegan food.

The restaurant is small and can get very crowded at peak times, but the clientele is friendly and willing to let staff move tables to let people in and out or move your food if a better, more comfortable table is vacated. I hesitate to suggest a larger place, because the intimacy or quality of food, service, or both might be compromised. It is, after all, a gem as it is.

Pros: Friendly, Tasty, Eclectic clientele

Cons: Parking can be difficult.

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My Favorite Place! - Edit

I adore this restaurant. The owners are the sweetest people ever and the food is amazing! My boyfriend and I always get the scallion pancakes, general's chicken, singapore rice noodles, brown rice, and the hot and sour soup. I go here for every special occasion and I am always in the best mood after eating their food. It's also right next to University so it's in a great area. I highly, highly recommend this place!

Pros: Great food, Good location, Friendly staff

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Great Chinese - Edit

while visiting the are while on vacation, came across this, and I was very pleased. loved the dishes, great staff, and great price. If I am ever in the area again, will visit again! The orange veggie and lemon veggie where so good!

Pros: taste, price, staff

Cons: small restaurant

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Creative Genius - Edit

The food here is not only fresh and healthy but is creatively prepared as well. And did I mention, totally delicious! Small, unassuming but big on flavor, presentation and friendly owners. The chef is very creative and frequently comes out of the kitchen to check on customers.

Pros: Great value, Healthy, Excellent

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Great Chinese Vegan Food - Edit

Much like Garden Fresh down the road in Mountain View, the food is great but the location is a little...cramped. However, the interior decor gives you the sense there's a more modern, less casual, sit-down restaurant vibe here.

As the owner informed us, one of their staff members called in sick, which would explain the somewhat-chaotic atmosphere. These things happen and I didn't feel inconvenienced by this, so I was/am willing to let it slide. Ordering to-go is another option, too.

Anyway, EXCELLENT food. I can recommend any of these: Kun Pao Eggplant, Lemon Chicken, and Wonton with Sesame Dressing. Good stuff. Prices here are reasonable/average for this sort of fare. Its location in busy downtown Palo Alto make it accessible, especially university students.

Can't wait to visit again!

Pros: Great Food, Reasonable Prices, Location

Cons: Small size

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Loved it here - Edit

I was thrilled to find a vegan cafe in a land (S of SF) I found to be cold and unaware of vegans.

Garden Fresh was excellent. It was the first whole meal I had in a long time. I loved my entree, it had a great sauce that was not too sweet which is a common failing to this type of cuisine. The dumplings I thought would be steamed, they were fried, but still really good. The Hot & Sour soup was just ok, as they go, not a highlight. But the folks were super nice and I would go there often if I was local.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday September 07, 2010

Pros: good food, nice staff , clean bathroom

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Overpriced, cold food - Edit

The staff was nice, and the interior resembled an authentic Chinese restaurant--but that's about all I can say for this place. My roommate ordered the green beans and beef dish, I had a tofu dish, and we both ordered sweet and sour soup. The soup was TINY, lukewarm, and extremely overpriced. My tofu tasted pretty dry.

Pros: atmosphere, friendly staff

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Friendly service and tasty vegan Chinese cuisine - Edit

Garden Fresh has a great selection of vegan takes on Chinese favorites. Contrary to what the name might invoke, the emphasis is on fried foods rather than "garden fresh" items per se, but they do a very good job of it. There are quite a few faux-flesh items that are done well here.

The prices are moderate, the food is great, the decor tasteful, and the service very attentive and friendly. Would gladly come again.

Pros: great vegan chinese cuisine, friendly service, nice atmposphere

Cons: parking can be a bit of a challenge, it's easy to spend quite a bit

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Amazing Local Vegan Food - Edit

This is by far one of my favorite Vegan restaurants. I have been there multiple times and everything I have tried has been fabulous. The owners and staff are extremely helpful and kind. My favorite dish is the Sweet and Sour Pork but I would recommend anything there. If your looking for a good vegan restaurant in the Palo Alto area I would definitely recommend checking this place out.

Pros: Great service, a lot of options, unique for the area

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