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Golden West Cafe

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 11 reviews )
Contact 410-889-8891

1105 W 36th St, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 21211

Serves meat, vegan options available. Long-established local eatery offering Americana cuisine and Southwest comfort food, rooted in traditional New Mexican specialties. Several marked vegan dishes, including vegan french toast, burrito, vegan riblet sandwich, black bean burger (cheese). Mon-Thu 10:00am-1:00am, Fri 10:00am-2:00am, Sat 9:00am-2:00am, Sun 9:00am-1:00am Takeout window will open at 7am daily.

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

Reviews (11)

First Review by NIBsmf

Much better for vegans than it used to be - Edit

Golden West has a checkered past when it comes to serving vegans. It's almost as if they used to have a chip on their shoulders about veganism. They were militant about not substituting items, which is an absurd concept when it comes to dining out as a vegan. For a long time they only had one breakfast item for vegans: the Drew Special, which was and still is good, if a bit uninspired, but variety keeps the customer coming back. There were/are also odd inconsistencies like vegetarian sandwiches made on non-vegan rolls and buffalo tofu "wings" that weren't vegan. No self-respecting vegan has any patience for nonsensical aberrations like this. It was also not always clear from the menu what was actually vegan and what wasn't, and the servers often had no clue, either.

Since those dark days they have vastly improved their vegan options and relaxed their draconian rules regarding substituting. A lot more vegan options for all meal times have shown up clearly marked on the menu. Vegan specials and desserts also appeared, where they had never before been an option.

The problem with Golden West, though, is that everyone wants to eat there all the time but especially on the weekends. Don't even bother trying to go to brunch on a weekend unless you're prepared for a 20-30 minute wait at minimum. If you really want to eat there, it's best to go at some off time, like an early breakfast, a late lunch, or a very early dinner. Weekdays are recommended.

Pros: better vegan options now, cool decor

Cons: long wait for a table, wait staff not always reliable

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Hip Vibe with Tasty Sips and Bites - Edit

This one is within walking distance to me, so I absolutely love it. I can get my breakfast fix (Vegan French Toast!!!!), and my southwestern fix all in one place. It's a place where I can bring my carnivorous friends and family but still have ample options to choose from that are awesome comfort items. It has a fantastic bar and is ocming out with a walk-up window soon, I absolutely can't wait! Highly recommend.

Pros: Love the variety, Vegan breakfast options!!, Scrumptious food!

Cons: Still a bit of meat on the menu, Can get busy and noisy

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best vegan brunch in town - Edit

this place's vegan options rival all the veg restaurants in town, especially brunch. top picks: the drew special, Aztec burrito and the vegan French toast. Great beer selection and sometimes a special vegan desert or dish, fun neighborhood, excellent service.

Pros: Vegan options , service, location

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Cute and good! - Edit

This place was a perfect stop for lunch on our way through Baltimore. The restaurant has very cute, fun decor and lots of clearly marked vegan options. We shared an order of the garlic fries as an appetizer which my husband LOVED! He got the vegan burrito, and I had the vegan french toast. I haven't had french toast since going vegan three years ago and it was amazing! I need to figure out the recipe to use at home! We also had an order of hashbrowns which were just ok. Our waiter was great and mentioned when something we started to order wasn't vegan. He was knowledgeable and nice. Our only disappointment was they were out of their vegan dessert options because the earl grey cake sounded so good! Bonus, the restaurant was in a cool neighborhood and we actually spent about two hours walking around looking at the shops. It made us wish we'd planned to stay in Baltimore a little longer.

Pros: breakfast, cute, lots of options

Cons: serves meat

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Thanks for all the options - Edit

This is a fun Hampden "local vibe" place with many excellent options for vegans including both pre-packaged (but well presented) and from scratch dishes. They also had a few vegan cake options for dessert which made me very happy to see. I have had 4 of their dishes and all were good or excellent. There are also ample other dishes if you are eating out with a non-veg companion or group. I did not love the animal heads on the wall, however the host was happy to seat me where they were not as visible.

Pros: Well prepared, Ample amounts, Several Choices

Cons: Animal heads on the wall, Staff friendliness varies greatly

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What a great find! - Edit

We loved Golden West Cafe-- enough that during our very short stay in Baltimore we ate there twice.

We were very pleasantly surprised at all of the vegetarian and vegan options. Also note that something not labeled exclusively as vegan can easily be veganized.

We got the Riblet Sandwich and the Un-Chicken Sandwich. Both bursting with flavor and the veggie protein was incredibly textured. Large portions as well. However, our favorite part of both meals was the appetizer- White Bean Bruschetta.. Oh my word. Nothing short of amazing.. Bursting with unique flavor. It's a must try. The coffee is incredible and we were even more surprised that they actually had a vegan dessert option- chai cake. Yum.

The atmosphere is unique.. Looks like they decorated the restaurant in nothing but sweet Goodwill finds. The menus are bound by record covers and the music is fun and loud. A very eclectic, energetic feel. Overall I definitely recommend anyone (specifically vegan and vegetarians) to stop by & support this local restaurant that offers lots of veg-friendly options!

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Fun, funky atmosphere, Local, independently owned

Cons: Staff is just okay, Needs more vegan dessert options, Very cold- could have used some heat!

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Good but not original - Edit

I like the food, but they break the cardinal rule of what I would serve to guests. They use a lot of pre-packaged processed food that is available at retail stores. I like original food prepared in a way that makes me want to cook at a higher level. The Brussels sprouts are made with a sauce you get at Trader Joes. The vegan ribs are Morning Star(or some other prepared product). When I found out that they aren't even taking the time to make the vegan ribs themselves, it soured my opinion of their approach. I like the warm vegan salad, however, my peanut sauce is tastier and I make it from scratch. I think they can do better than repackage other's food.

Pros: Fast friendly service, Food for every diet, Family friendly

Cons: Serves repackaged processed food., Shut down grill every day from 3-5, Brunch has few vegan options.

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Delicious! - Edit

We went to Golden West mid afternoon. We had a reservation for 6, but we spent the day watching our son graduate from college, then helped him move out of his dorm, so by 4:15, we were STARVING!
The dining room didn't open until 5, so we sat at the bar. My husband started with a garden salad, which he loved. Sam and I shared some guacamole , hot sauce and chips. They were perfect. Freshly made chips, just the right amount of salt, chunky flavorful guacamole, and the hot sauce had a great kick.
We all had burritos, and they were amazing. Huge and bursting with flavor. Veg currizo, beans, rice, tomatoes, yum! We all ended up getting go boxes. I'd noticed vegan desserts in a case when we entered, so I had the bartender box me up the most chocolate one available. Chocolate cake with cookies & cream frosting made a great late dinner and breakfast the next day.
Friendly folks, amazing food. I'll definitely be back!!!

Pros: Delicious food, Huge portions, Friendly folks

Cons: Weird antler/hunter vibe

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Golden West Cafe in Hampden, Baltimore MD - Edit

Many more options than online menus suggest, with many meat free options and many meat substitutes. Have eaten there several times and have always been happy: from breakfast any time of day with fake sausage to the Warm Vietnamese Salad a couple of weeks ago, I'm always amazed at the depth of flavor and just plain deliciousness of the food. Plus many delicious cocktails, Boddingtons in a can, and great live shows late at night after service ends. Definitely the best food I've had in Hampden and worth checking out for both vegans and vegetarians.

Pros: excellent food, good value, friendly staff

Cons: sometimes slow service, can get noisy when full, not terribly cheap

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A Fun Place with Good Options - Edit

As for the restaurant itself: cute, quirky, and fun. I had heard bad things about the servers, but I had absolutely no problem with them. They were friendly and helpful. The crowd became more "hipster"-y as the night went on (I was there for a few hours to see my brother's band play)... a bad or good thing depending on who you are. The food: I shared some tater tots as an appetizer. They came with ranch and some mildly spicey dipping sauces. The tots were yummy. There were A LOT of veggie options for entrees (e.g. portobello sandwich, veggie sandwiches with cheeses, Mexican dishes, etc), but there were not a lot of vegan options. I myself am not completely vegan but try to be, so I went with the vegan burrito. It was good (and HUGE!), but it was too spicey for my liking. I didn't bother to ask for it to be made less spicey because I had read reviews online saying that the restaurant will not make changes to your dish upon request. I decided to "be bad" for dessert and had a banana cupcake... not vegan, but absolutely freaking DELICIOUS! It was so moist. And it wasn't too rich. It was seriously orgasmic! I would go back and try some other foods there. Oh, and I have heard they get really busy, but I myself did not have a problem with getting seated on a Friday night (though it was near 9pm).

Updated from previous review on Friday September 24, 2010: I have since returned to Golden West many times since this review, and I continue to enjoy it. There are only a handful of vegan options, but I'm still pleased with the options. I recommend the Drew Special! Oh, and I love that Golden West has vegan thai iced teas... I make sure to get one every time I'm there since that is something hard to come by.

Pros: Fun and quirky atmosphere, Good variety of , Friendly and helpful staff

Cons: Not a whole lot of vegan options, Can get busy = a wait, Not as cheap as I'd like, but not bad

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