Golden Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 27 reviews )

1301 Franklin St (at 13th, downtown), Oakland, California, USA, 94612

The weekday lunch features a steam table. Has an all-day special plate in addition to a large menu of dishes with a variety of faux meats in rice and noodle, claypots, main entrees, and more. Operated by disciples of supreme master ChingHai. Short walk from 12th St BART station. Apr 2013 reported to be all vegan. Open Mon-Fri 10:00am-8:00pm, Sat-Sun 11:00am-8:00pm.

Category: Vegan, Chinese, Vietnamese, Buddhist

Reviews (27)

First Review by tartarugafechada

My favorite Asian restaurant - Edit

I've eaten at Golden Lotus twice in a day - I work near the restaurant and it's just that consistently good. It's my favorite Asian restaurant.

I recommend the lunch buffet - 3 or 4 items out of a selection of rice, noodles, veggies, eggplant, sweet potato curry, mushrooms, green beans. If you go there for dinner, their noodle soups are large and delicious. Basil Eggplant Tofu and Sweet Potato "Chicken" Curry are excellent with brown rice.

Pros: Great lunch buffet, Fast, consistent, and polite service, Food has delicious sauces and seasonings

Cons: Closes too early at night

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Very good place for lunch - Edit

Such a variety of mock meat dishes and soups. All have been delicious. Only downside is that many of the dishes are covered in high-calorie sauces. There's a reasonably-priced lunch buffet too. I prefer it to the menu because they tend to be healthier than the menu options. Your meat-eating friends will like this place.

Pros: Very tasty dishes, Lots of variety, Lunch buffet

Cons: A lot of the sauces are high fat and calorie.

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Chinese vegan - Edit

It is very nice to go to a chinese place without worrying about an egg or dairy in your meal, while normally it is not easy to achieve. The menu is very wide, with many options, salads, soups, noodles, fake meats, rices, clay pots, etc, at a very nice price. Everything I tried was delicious. Also the waiters was very attentive to us. I liked the cleanliness of the restaurant.The only thing I did not liked excesively is the presence of fake soy meat in almost every plate. It was hard to find a meal without "chicken", "beef", or ,"ham". More veggie-only options, please!

Pros: traditional chinese food, fast service, afffordable

Cons: fake meats

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Solid but slow - Edit

They were pretty good. Standard vegan Asian food. Potstickers and orange chicken were both very good. I would go again but the service was pretty slow. It was kinda busy but there were still open tables.

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Great Chinese vegan - Edit

Their yellow curry taro in clay pot is amazing. Their spring rolls are terrific too. Parking in this part of Oakland can be a challenge, but it's worth the trip.

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Awesome! - Edit

Love this place! Staff are nice, food is awesome, prices are reasonable. My favorite dish by far is the Potato Chicken Curry. So good.

Pros: awesome food, good variety of different Asian cuisines

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Delicious Food, crappy area - Edit

I love the Golden Lotus. The food is fabulous. Amazing mock meats, non-vegan friends love it, it's inexpensive, great desserts......downsides: the area isn't great, no alcohol is served and parking isn't always the best. The atmosphere in the restaurant is just so so, very casual. The food makes up for it though.

Pros: Amazing food, inexpensive, nice staff

Cons: crappy area, parking, no booze

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Surprisingly good faux meats - Edit

I am always a little wary of places with a lot of faux meat, because I am not looking for the taste of meat. The Golden Lotus has done some very nice dishes that are great in their own right without trying to replicate meat. Whenever I'm in Oakland I eat there, and I have always been pleased and a few times I have been delighted. Good value, pleasant staff.

Pros: Creative/delicious meat alternatives, Good value, Nice staff

Cons: Not much on atmosphere

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An enduring favorite - Edit

We have enjoyed hundreds of meals at Golden Lotus since 2001, and it continues to please.

The menu is diverse enough to have something for almost everyone, including some of the best faux-meat specials one can find as well as plenty of dishes with fresh, steamed, or stir-fried veggies. Brown rice is available.

Most of our favorites are listed under the specials (e.g. lemon grass chicken, curry chicken, tamarind beef, and many others), but there are also great picks among the less expensive items (e.g. vegetable chow fun and the soups and appetizers). The lunch specials are great value. For those with a sweet tooth, the vegan Thai iced tea (which can be ordered without ice) and the carrot cupcake (actually a proper carrot cake in the form of a largish cupcake) are nice additions.

The owners (originally from Vietnam) are kind and generous people and we're happy to see them still doing good business after all these years.

Pros: extensive menu with diverse options, both vegetable-oriented and faux-meat

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heavenly fake chicken - Edit

No matter what you order, all dishes are fresh, delicate, delicious and creative and cater to everyone's taste. Being a vegetarian all my life it was exciting to taste chicken and beef and knowing that it was not. We tried the Lotus salad, the Thai salad, the sauteed ginger chicken, the szechuan spicy beef, eggplant in basil sauce, caramelized chicken and sauteed garlic beef and many other things and all were delicious in their own way. And yes, we came back 5 times. Highly recommended!

Pros: gorgeous and surprising fake meat dishes, fresh and exotic salads, embarrassingly cheap

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Order From Menu - Edit

I'm from Seattle and look forward to eating at Golden Lotus when in Oakland. I've eaten there on at least five or six occasions over the years - usually for dinner. It's always been pretty good quality.

On a recent business trip, I invited a friend to join me for lunch and because we were in a bit of a hurry, we opted for the buffet.

I selected a three item plate consisting of the fried rice, eggplant and green beans with tofu. I was disappointed with the food and I wasn't able to finish my meal.

If you end up choosing Golden Lotus for lunch, I would suggest ordering from the menu since it looks like they don't put much effort into the buffet.

Pros: Affordable, Good Selection

Cons: Buffet Quality

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Great use of spices - Edit

I feel so satisfied after i eat here. The food feels lite but hearty and each dish has great balance in taste and texture. I only wish they'd make the coconut soup with less noodles and more veggies.

Pros: Variety of flavors, Hearty, Good value

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Good Food - Good Price - Edit

I went to the Golden Lotus with a co-worker since we're here in Oakland for work. I liked the variety of the food as well as atmosphere. Very simple, good prices. Overall I think it's a great little restaurant in downtown Oakland.

Pros: Excellent Food, Good value

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Delicious - Edit

Everything is good, but, if you arent familiar with there menu a few personal favorites would be:

All the apptzers are tasty.
Wonton Noodle Soup.

Garlic Beef; Marinated tender veg meat on a green lettuce salad with a vingerette.

Lamb Clay Pot; Mushroom steams and tofu in a savory brown sauce in a clay pot.

This is the original rest. there is as another one in SF. I prefer the food here to the branch in SF although the menu is the same. It is Asian cafe style seating; nothing fancy. Members of the'Supreme Master'LOL Suma Ching Hi cult. I try to over look it as their food is so good. At least they dont sell her personal items/used clothes or material at these restaurants.

Really delicious food but customer service is def lacking.

They are only one block away from the BART station so its easy if you are on public transport. They also offer validating car parking at a near by lot.

Pros: Delicious, Vegan, One block away from bart or parking lot

Cons: Poor service, Basic seating, Cult

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golden lotus - Edit

I love it great food good prices there lotus salad was great as well the lemon chicken
Updated from previous review on Saturday April 02, 2011
up date the food is great but i don't know what happened to the service the waitress is rude taken away my plate while i was still eating did not receive my full order had to remind the waitress several times to bring the other half of our order.PLEASE GOLDEN LOTUS PLEASE RETRAIN YOUR STAFF

Pros: healthy , fast, great food

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The Best Vietnamese Restaurant - Edit

I have been to Golden Lotus about 50 times and have even tried their sister restaurants in SF (Golden Era) and Santa Clara (Merit Vegetarian). They are all fantastic.

First of all, resist the temptation of eating at the "buffet" bar. This food is just mediocre. If you tried the food there you'd think I was nuts.

You have to start with the spring rolls. They are uncooked rice paper rolls with veggies and tofu. Best ever! If you want a fried option, the pot stickers are fantastic with the ginger sauce.

I've tried many of the items on the menu, but nothing is close to the caramelized beef. It is the best mock meet I have ever eaten. The teriyaki chicken is very close and comes on a bead of spinach and a rich sauce. The beef salad is a great dish that has you filling lettuce with a mock meat, mint and a delicious sauce. We also like to eat the garlic beef but it is a little greasy.

The spicy (not) noodle soup is great as lunch or to share with friends. If you don't mind the grease the spicy Thai rice is very good.

The only shortcomming that Golden Lotus has is that they only have 2 desserts and neither is very good. Since the food is so good, I never miss the dessert.


Pros: Caramelized Chicken, Sprint Rools, Spicy Noodle Soup

Cons: Dessert

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Mouth-watering Creations - Edit

Our vegan knowledgeable family had several dishes from Golden Lotus waiting on us when we arrived in town. Beef & Broccoli, Carmalized Chicken, & Vegetable Chicken Black Bean (which I personally did not care for), all with brown rice. With the exception of the last dish, they were quite delicious! If I had more time in the city I would definitely have gone back to try more entrees.

Pros: Tasty vegan options

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Quick and tasty - Edit

I got a tasty to-go order from here a few months ago. It was a bean and tofu dish and it was tasty and huge. I called in my order ahead of time but it looked the service was quick for walk-in customers as well. I need to check this place out again, but I liked it.

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