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Kaya's Kitchen

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 59 reviews )
Contact 732-280-1141
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1000 Main St (at 10th), Belmar, New Jersey, USA, 07719

Vegan restaurant with an extensive menu featuring breakfast selections, combination plates, salads, vegan burgers, sandwiches, specials, and beverages. Lunch prices are moderate ($12 for sandwich), dinner entrees are more ($14-19 each). Live music sometimes. New location since winter 2010 as reported to happycow. All vegan as of Sept 2013. Open Tue-Sun 11:00am-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Take-out, Catering, BYOB

Reviews (59)

First Review by myboyfriendisdead

seriously! - Edit

Had time to kill while our son is at a movie and granted it is Valentine's Day; walked in and restaurant was almost completely empty at 6:30 pm. She asked us if we had a reservation which we didn't then asked what time it was and said they are booked with reservations we could order take out. She could have said we could eat quick and be out of there by 7pm. I mean seriously maybe 3 tables were taken and that counts one in the front section.


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reheated frozen food - Edit

we used to go there regularly until owner was nasty. they also reheat frozen good - from veggiebrothers.com back then. we switched and have been going to good karma cafe instead. great service, owners, good and atmosphere

Cons: good not very goodowner terrible service


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Heavenly - Edit

Kayas kitchen changed my life!. I had the best meals of my life! I recommend the Mac and cheese, pirogies. And cheesecake..also the steak, the quesadilla, and basically everything! Some things are spicy but the foods I recommended are spice friendly and SOOO delicious!

Pros: you will fall in love

Cons: you will miss the food dearly when you leave


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Very Good! - Edit

Decided to take a day trip to the beach based on what vegan restaurants were available. I found Kaya's Kitchen and chose Belmar Beach and I was not disappointed. The macaroni and cheese and tofu wings were great, even my younger sister who has a terrible standard american diet enjoyed it. The only thing is they were out of gluten free buns and I was craving a sandwich!! We had cupcakes for dessert and they were delicious. The staff was very friendly, and the decor was beautiful. Also heard some Damian Marley and SOJA playing and was happy about that! Happy with Kaya's and will be back.

Pros: Friendly Staff, Great Flavor, Awesome Decor


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1 vegan and 2 reluctants - Edit

Popped into Kayas Kitchen after picking my daughter and her college roommate up from the train station for spring break. They're both 19, both carnivores. Our waiter Matt took some extra time with us to explain some of the items on the menu to the girls and offered several suggestions.

We ordered the appetizer sampler, macaroni and cheese, chik'n nuggets and the sloppy joe.

Even my carnivore daughter and her roommate liked the food....haha! I had the sloppy Joe and fries, I thought it was great! The sampler was delish too!

Will definitely be back!

Pros: EVERYTHING is vegan....made it so easy to choose.

Cons: n/a


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love - Edit

I love this place, I've been going for years, when they were in their old spot,I do miss some of their old dishes but I love how every time I go I feel like there is something new. no worries here of cross contamination either so it's great.

Pros: all Vegan

Cons: sides aren't included anymore used to get sides w


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so many options - Edit

Whoever said that vegans must not eat a lot has clearly never been here! How come I've never heard of Kaya's Kitchen sooner?! They're menu is FULL of so many different vegan meals! Best for lunch and dinner! So good even my non-vegan friends love it !

Pros: lots of options, friendly staff, amazing food


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a huge variety of fantastic vegan cuisine - Edit

The menu is phenomenal-- there were so many different things I wanted to try. Everything I ordered was very tasty. The atmosphere and wait service is great. Vegan food is so hard to come by at school in Massachusetts so it was great to find this restaurant so close to my new home in Spring Lake.

Pros: food, atmosphere, wait service


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Comfort food! - Edit

Great food! Perfect place to invite family members who are not vegan. They will be happily surprised with the delicious, fulfilling, and beautiful looking options.

P.S.: Try the "Tofu wings" (formerly known as "Karma Wings")!

Updated from previous review on Tuesday January 27, 2015

Updated from previous review on Saturday March 14, 2015

Pros: Comfort food, Delicious , Good portions

Cons: A bit fattening :)


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Too big for itself - Edit

Kaya's Kitchen of Bellmar seems to have fallen in with the same attitude adjustment problems as some other vegan establishments that we, the customers, helped them to achieve. Papa Ganache Bakery being another such place with poor management and an even worse attitude. Strike one came last Summer when my cousin came out to visit from upper Westchester NY and we thought we would treat her to a vegan meal during their heavily advertised Sunday Brunches. We get there only to be told, "yeah we serve brunch but we aren't open today." Strike 2 came when I contacted them about a price list for potentially catering a vegan wedding and it only took countless requests and 3 months of waiting for a response. By the time they did get back to me another facility and caterer had been contacted. Strike 3 happened this evening. We just came back from "For Animals Sanctuary" in Blairstown NJ whose proximity is not exactly around the corner to the restaurant. We walk through the door at 7:40 PM only to be told there will be no more seating for the evening because they close at 8 p.m. The door clearly states 9 p.m. and I mentioned this to the hostess who rolled her eyes, shrugged her shoulders and replied "I know it does." I'm not sure if Kaya's is suffering from lack of management or having the headset that they are "too big to fail." Unfortunately, in a consumer driven business, establishments need to maintain the client base who keep them in business during the off season periods after the tourists have left the shore. At this point in time, this vegan will seek out other vegan restaurants who are happy to have the business.

Pros: vegan food , well cooked meals, sometimes friendly staff

Cons: a bit pricey, chef consistency lacking, poor management


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delicious - Edit

We had a great experience here. Our server was great. We came for Sunday brunch which was a choice of platters for $15. The pancakes were a huge portion and delicious, and the many sides were also great. The rancheros scramble was also a delicious option and a sizable portion. The juices were tasty and I think only $5 or so for freshly made juice. And we got a free dessert for spending over $25 on a Sunday. Wow! The cake was also delicious. Wish we lived near such a yummy vegan organic restaurant. Would go all the time.

Pros: nice brunch portions, good service, great food


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Great - Edit

I don't know what these other reviewers are talking about. Their food has TONS of flavor and I savor every bite. Their mac and cheese is so amazing I would so recommend it! (Not just for kids) their soups are really amazing also. I only have one complaint. The spicy is a little too much for me. If you like spicy, you will love it here. I'm sure they will cater to your spicy needs. To finish our meal off we had an AMAZING cheesecake. They used fresh blueberries boiled in some organic cane sugar. The cheesecake was really good and wasn't too sweet at all. Kaya's Kitchen is a vegan family favorite and the staff is wonderful!

Pros: Good food, Great dessert, Nice waitress

Cons: Spicy


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Family favorite - Edit

My lovely wife and daughter frequent here often. We have been to this restaurant for many years, even before the baby was born.

We have tried about 30% of the menu, and have liked most of it. The service is friendly... but not over barring.

The only set back is the prices. We would eat here more often if we could afford to. Being organic and vegan the prices are almost reasonable.

Pros: tasty, convinient, friendly

Cons: pricey, sometimes busy, sometimes food is inconsistant


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Awful - Edit

My husband and I have given Kaya's kitchen many chances because we want to be able to like their food so that we can go to a local all vegan restaurant, sadly they continually disappoint us with both their poor to mediocre service and the poor flavor quality of their food. We have tried many things off the menu and the only thing we both enjoy are the karma wings which we both admitted could be easily made at home. We have tried their entrees, sandwiches, pizzas, salads, etc. and everything is very bland and lacking in flavor. One of the things that disappoints me most concerning the entree is the side vegetables: mashed potatoes and steamed kale (this comes with ALL of their entrees which also makes no sense). I seriously think that they could be more creative with sides by adding interesting flavor profiles, yet they fail every time. We ordered a curried tempeh sandwich that is no longer on the menu and it had absolutely no flavor in it at all.

We decided to give them one last chance by going to Sunday brunch and we both decided it was probably one of the worst meals we have ever paid for: the tofu scramble consisted of tofu heavily coated in turmeric with NOTHING else, the potatoes were mediocre but no better than you would get anywhere else at a much more reasonable price, the bacon/ham seems unnecessary as it is not very flavorful- I had the french toast which was very bland and did not have "vanilla" flavor as suggested, my husband had the buttermilk biscuit which quite honestly tasted as though it was flour and water and was stark white- really awful. If you enjoy bland food and mediocre service, then sure, go to Kaya's kitchen. If you are looking for excellent food in the area where you won't have a vegan-only experience but your food will be awesome, I suggest Via Roma and Siam Spice where they both succeed in giving food amazing flavors.

I WISH I could give them a 1 cow, unfortunately, happy cow does not allow this for vegan restaurants.

Pros: Nice Ambience, Vegan Only

Cons: Food lacking flavor, Staff seems unconcerned , Very poor food


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Great beginning and horrible ending - Edit

So I am a vegan living in Belmar. Kaya's is walking distance from where I live and I have been to the restaurant about 6 times. I normally love it there and their food is fantastic however the service leaves much to be desired. Two separate incidents have happened that have forced me to part with this restaurant. I went one Friday night to Kaya's. My friend and I were the last table there and while we were finishing our wine whomever was working there decided to play screaming music which was so loud we were forced to leave. Then on a separate occasion I ordered take-out, waited 30 min, then I was waiting for about 15 minutes in the restaurant for my order because they were finishing my order however when I got home I found my pizza was ice cold and had to be reheated. I called to give them some feedback and the manager never apologized and justified the reason for the order being cold. No more Kaya for me sadly!!!!

Pros: Great Food, Good Hosts and Waitress, Amazing Desert

Cons: No Regard For Customer, Rude Manager , Some food is overpriced


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Simply Awesome Food - Edit

We stumbled into here the first time a couple of years ago while house hunting in the area and decided we needed to buy a place nearby. The food is WONDERFUL. Everything is tasty, portions are good (although the bread for sandwiches is just too LARGE) and the staff is always nice.

The BBQ Tofu is AMAZING. This summer whenever I was surfing I'd stop by on the way home just to take an order for a takeout snack when I might otherwise have craved a cookie. Recently they've started to add some great deserts as well. My only complaint is that they don't make their incredible mashed potatoes for lunch, it is a dinner only item.

During the summer, make a reservation for weekend dinner. During the off season, go for the Sunday all you can eat meals.

Pros: Killer food, fair portions

Cons: slow service


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Huge Improvement From the Old Days - Edit

I went to this place back in the day when it was called Veggie Works. Back then the service was always pretty sub par, as it seemed everyone working there was a bit out of it.

Since they changed owners and changed their name to Kaya's Kitchen I saw a vast improvement in the food and service. Since they moved across the way to their bigger location a couple years back it's gotten even better.

The entrees are a little on the pricy side, so I usually go for the sandwiches here. They are huge! Excellent choices are the Thai Peanut Club, Chicken Salad, Sloppy Joe and Jerk Tofu sandwich. If I'm going to spring for an entree I usually get the peppered tempeh, it's a delicious breaded tempeh with a lemon-pepper spice. The deserts are usually hit or miss.

Keep up the great work.

Pros: Good Service, Good Food, Huge Portions

Cons: Entrees are Expensive


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So many delicious choices! A Mecca for vegans. - Edit

We were in Spring Lake and I found this place on Happy Cow. I brought my husband , step daughter and mother in law. Three are vegan and one vegetarian. We came not knowing what to expect. It was slow that night....a cold windy night last November. We could not believe all the choices on the menu. I was freaking out. It took us 20 minutes to select what we wanted. I got the seitan "steak" with potatoes and perfect broccoli. My SD and MIL got the Philly cheesesteak and my husband the lentil loaf "Lion of Judah"...everything was so, so good. We were raving about it. We were sad that we did not have such a place in North Carolina near us.
I have never forgotten about this place and haved raved to friends. Little Kaya greeted us and sat us at our table. So cute!
I personally love to cook. This place got me turned on to creating my own seitan at home. Very inspirational. Would love to go back some day.

So it isn't macrobiotic and some items are not super healthy. I say you can do that at home. This place is a nice treat to relax and enjoy a ton of delicious choices though with your meat-eating friends! Seek this place out be prepared to chill and enjoy.

Pros: Lots of vegan choices, Hearty food, Nice atmosphere

Cons: .???


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kaya's kitchen is a hit - Edit

my first experience at kaya's restaurant was a good one. the bbq ribs were amazing, chicken nuggest tasted like real chicken, citrus tempeh was flavorful and lentil loaf was moist. side mixed veggies were fresh and crisp while the mashed sweet potatoes were homemade and delicious.
what impedes me from being a regular customer is the price. however i will come back to try the rest of the menu. service was a bit slow (due to the influx of customers) but hospitable.

Pros: creative cooking of foods, great staff, delicious food

Cons: slow service, price


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Just not that good - Edit

There are few restaurant options for vegans in this area, so I have eaten at Kaya's several times (both in the dining room and take out), each time hoping for better. The food is extremely overpriced for the quality and quantity. My husband and I have tried several different sandwiches and entrees (pierogies, tempeh rueben, island grilled tofu, gluten club, south street philly, veggie burgers, burrito, etc). In my opinion, everything is too greasy and lacking flavor. Vegetables are overcooked and doused in oil. The karma wings and mississippi ribs were a rubbery disaster, not even edible. Kaya's advertises their food as healthy. Just because it's vegan does not make it healthy.

Also... it will take you an hour to decide what you want off their novel of a menu. There are places I have eaten (nowhere in NJ unfortunately... NYC, New Hope, Maine) where you can tell the chef takes pride in the dishes he/she selects to remain on the menu. The Kaya's menu reads like a 24-hour diner menu.

The staff seem more interested in being stoner hippies than in customer service. The food often comes out cold, the staff are unapologetic if you can even get their attention. Also, two words from one "hippie" to another... hair net. I have found hair in my food twice. Unacceptable.

Other than that, Kaya's gets one cow for their onion rings (if you can get more than 5 on a plate) and one cow for convenience of location.

If you're a vegan looking for overpriced, hangover, diner food... this is the place. If you're looking for a healthy vegan restaurant option... skip this one.

Pros: onion rings

Cons: quality, greasy, service


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Mostly Good - Edit

Here are the good and bad things about Kaya's:

Good: You can get some of the best vegan food here! Their vegan burgers are great, their vegan sandwhiches are great too and awesome onion rings. Mostly nice staff.

Not as good: Once in a while you will get a bad waitress. We had one the other night that was beyond rude and we come there often. That night we couldn't get bread, water refills, sauce for the side, anything! It was busy, but if she had flirted less with the all male table and paid more attention to us, we might have gotten better service, but she was horribly rude.

Other: YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY EAT HERE! The staff is USUALLY very nice!!! Most people that work there are nice and helpful. I'd like to see if be all vegan since dairy is such a horrible cruel thing. And yes, some things are pricy, but you usually get a nice big serving so take it home if you can't finish it. Don't let some of the negative reviews on here scare you away, some of them must be from people with a hidden agenda. And don't let the angry owner's reply's keep you away either, just go enjoy the good food! If you do go on a Fri or Sat night, good idea to make a reservation as they can fill up!

Pros: vegan food is great, huge menu, friendly staff

Cons: one rude waitress, dairy = evil!!!, u might eat too much, LOL


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Bad Service, descent food - Edit

My food was cold when I got it and the staff is friendly, but gave poor service. I had half my meal wrapped up to go and ordered a to-go order, while waiting for it 30 minutes later the waitress goes "Oh did I forget to ask if you want tea, coffee or desert?" we ordered tea/coffee and never got a desert menu... the waitress then came back and said she forgot where she put the rest of my meal! And she forgot to drop my to-go order so I wound up waiting an hour and a half for it.!!!

The food was good, but considering it's a vegan restaurant, I expect all vegan items. There is eggs and cheese on the menu...The vegan option I ordered was good, but my food was cold when I got it and the vegan mac n cheese lacked some flavor... and the service was bad....

okay food, bad bad service!


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Great - Edit

We only had cake since we could not find Kaya's at first. The address is misleading. While the building address is correct, the entrance is around the corner and you can't see from the other street. Therefore, we missed the opportunity to eat from the menu and only had desserts. However, they were vegan and delicious. We will return

Cons: hard to find


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i love this place - Edit

i used to think it was impossible to get good vegetarian food outside NYC, but this is pretty far out and its awesome. lots of vegan/vegetarian choices and great "meat" dishes as well. i love the BBQ drumsticks!!


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Best restaurant ever!! - Edit

Hands down, the best vegetarian restaurant in New Jersey. I have been proudly dining here for over three years, and have turned it on to several of my friends. The menu offers an eclectic variety of dishes, from vegan pizzas to meat-free shishkabobs. The service is excellent and the new location is decorated beautifully. I highly recommend to EVERYONE, even the carnivorous. :-)

Pros: Food, Service, Atmosphere


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Shame on Kaya's - Edit

I can't speak for the quality of the food, because I'll never get the chance to eat it. Their customer service is severely lacking. I called and spoke to the owner twice because I am getting married in Jersey (I'm a transplant to Colorado and we're coming home for the big day) and had heard good things about their food. After my first phone call, I was assured he would put together a menu and email me. After I hadn't heard from him in a week, I called back and was told, "Oh, I lost the little piece of paper that had your email address on it." I was annoyed, but things happen.

This time I gave him my email again as well as my phone number and was promised that he would send me something that evening. Once again I have heard nothing. I certainly would not trust them to be reliable for our big day. We're doing a low-key backyard wedding, but I still need to work with people who are professional.

Again, I certainly cannot speak to the quality of their food, but based on the way I've been treated as a potential customer, I will never step foot in their restaurant.

For shame, Kaya's.

Cons: Customer Service, Reliability


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LOVE KAYAS!! - Edit

Cannot get enough of Kaya's. Food is amazing - so many choices! Service is excellent. Atmosphere is awesome. The price is great for the portion you get. Desserts are amazing. My boyfriend (non-veg) loves Kaya's. He swears their soy burger is better than a real one. He craves Kaya's just as much as me and has been so open to vegan food ever since we first went there. I've brought other non-vegs who are all hooked now.

I wish they'd open another location in the Princeton area!!

Pros: excellent food, huge protions, chill atmosphere


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Kaya's Kitchen Highly recommended! - Edit

My faves are the mock chicken salad (awesome) and better yet, the Falafel sandwich. I am very anxious to sample a lot more dishes and entrees from the new menu. They recently moved to a new spot near 10th and Main and the place is killer. The decor is outstanding and now I'm getting hungry writing this....
Very good reputation and cool staff. I think I'm gonna ask the owner if I can get my band in there to play some cool jazzy dinner music.

Pros: healthy, organic, fresh


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Excellent food but horrible service - Edit

The food is really great comfort food that I as vegan have loved for years, but is acceptable and excellent to meat-eaters alike. Have brought many meat-eaters who were shocked by how good veg food could be. Downside... service is just plain bad. Wait time doesn't bother me at all, it's the actual wait staff. I waitressed and bartended my way through college and their staff has no idea how to do it. They are not friendly at all and make you feel like they don't want you there. They have zero people skills and forget that THEY WORK FOR TIPS...But I love the food!!!

Pros: great food, portions

Cons: staff service, expensive


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The Best - Edit

Kaya's Kitchen is hands down the best place for any vegetarians, vegans, or people who just like tasty healthy food. I have been over to the new spot they are opening at, and can't wait! Full organic juice bar and deli take-out, and a HUGE dining room (because it was annoying to have to wait that long sometimes to sit). I wonder about the last couple reviews that I see, since Kaya's hasn't even been open since February. I can't wait until they re-open, It seems that the ownwers really went nuts doing this place.

Pros: ORGANIC, YUMMY, VIBES


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Okay but they need to adjust the prices! - Edit

I had written a review but due to the attack I encountered and the private messages I incurred I've decided to delete the entire post and repost my review again.
Kaya's kitchen is hit or miss...I find the service is spotty and your experience at Kaya's can take over 2 hours which is quite a long time to be eating at a restaurant. The food is decent however I will not go out of my way to visit. What bothers me most is the pretentious attitude and prices you are subjected to when entering Kaya's or when writing a review on this website. It's as though they feel they should be rewarded just because they offer cruelty-free food which at one point in time would have been rare but being vegetarian is not so much a novelty anymore. Why should we have to pay so much for the tempeh tower when it's clearly a lunch time item listed at dinner time prices? Yes, it's good but certainly not worth the price. WE are paying customers and Kaya's should be held to the same standard as any other restaurant regardless if it's vegetarian/vegan, based on service and quality. This is good for your weekend vegetarian, but for someone who isn't afraid to make seitan visiting Kaya's is like giving a donation. If you do visit I'd recommend the buffet because it's more cost effective. Stay clear visiting for lunch because the prices are too high for simple sandwiches and salads. Much love to the owners who are working on opening a bigger location, with all hope they can get people in and out in less than 2 hours. More customers + more money, lower prices?

Pros: VEGGIE, BUFFET, LOCATION

Cons: SLOW SERVICE, PRICE, TOO MUCH GARLIC AND ONION

1 Response

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kayaschef 22 Feb 2013 - It is very easy to attack a place, but please understand that this is my life, and I just spent the last two months of my life building a bigger, better, new restaurant, addressing issues and comments from over the last 5 years. I don't believe a word you say in your review, and like I said, it's easy to attack a place on this site, especially when it's closed for renovations, but I know what I am in the middle of creating is going to be a vegetarian oasis, and I hope that when I am open, that you stay far away.


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Kaya's Kitchen - Edit

I feel compelled to write. I have been going to Kaya's for about 4 years, less and less as the prices have gone up and up. I understand organic produce is more costly and have no problem paying more for it. I work for a company that only uses organic products, so I am well aware of wholesale prices. I just feel that some items are far more expensive then can be justified by saying well its all organic. Let me say this is just my feelings and my reasons for not going to Kayas more often. I have had many menu items I have enjoyed very much and other that have not been all that great, but of course that is true for any restaurant as it just a matter of taste. I have seen a lot of reviews complaining about the service, while I have found the service to be slow it is always very friendly and knowing it will be slow I always go expecting to be there longer and never in a rush, so this has never bothered me having to wait a little longer. The wait staff is always super friendly, Rachael is the best, I am always trilled to see that she is working when I go, she has a great smile and love having her as my sever. All the staff as always been very friendly but for me hands down Rachael is my favorite. I think Kaya's is the perfect choice when I go for lunch or dinner with people who are not vegan or vegaterian since everyone can always find something they enjoy. But the reason I felt compelled to write has less to do with the restaurant and more to do with the response to the negitive reviews that are on this site. I feel like it is very unprofessional to responed in such a way. Maybe it is none of my business but it has affected the way I feel about the restaurant itself. Even though many of the items on the menu are the same as Veggie Works it is not the same place. Both have some things that a better and some that are not. The vegan community although growing is still a small community and I feel that we all need to support each other not knock one another down. I hope that my review will just stop and make people think love and support is the place we should come from not negitivity and mean spirtedness. It may make no difference either way but like I said I felt compelled to share my thoughts. Love and blessings to all.

Pros: Great desserts, Awesome breakfast, Wonderful FOH staff

Cons: Overpriced, Respones to reviews, Choices on buffet for the price


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Best Veggie American Restaurant in USA - Edit

We drive nearly an hour from the Trenton area to go to Kaya's, whether it be for a filling summertime breakfast or brunch or a warm, hearty dinner year-round. The wait staff has gotten to know us and provides us with very relaxed, accomodating service. There may not be burgers, but special orders don't upset the waitresses at Kaya's.

Let's start with the vegan breakfast (or brunch for the sleeping in crowd), offered from April to October on Sunday mornings. Our favorites include the biscuits and "sausage" gravy, "fried egg" tofu sandwiches with "ham" or "sausage" and Daiya Cheese (If you are not familiar with this vegan cheese, make yourself familiar with it. It is far superior to another other vegan cheese on the market), pancakes, and french toast. On a couple of occasions there have been vegan donuts available as well.

For the rest of the day and the rest of the year, be sure to enjoy the Tempallo Wings and Mississippi Ribs off of the appetizer menu; the Mock Chicken Salad, Philly, and BBQ sandiwches, Burrito Grande, Veag-Loaf, Hungarian Pierogies, Country Fried Gluten, Ole' El Paso Stew, Bird Pepper Tempeh, Acapulco Loco, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Satueed Kale, and Beer-Battered Onion rings for dinner.

Desserts change daily. We have enjoyed various cakes including Mocha in the Middle, Cherries Jubilee, Double Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, and Lemon Poppy. Vegan cookies, pies, and cheesecakes may also be available.

Fun perks include soy milk or creamer with coffee and a bread basket with vegan margarine at supper time.

Pros: breakfast foods, vegan desserts, soy milk for coffee

Cons: wish breakfast was available all the tim, wish it was closer to my house


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Way overpriced, over rated - Edit

Well..here I go again. I am a vegetarian for 16 years and am dying for a great vegetarian place in NJ. I would love to love Kaya's. I have eaten there 6 or 7 times..each time willing to try again. Though the food is generally good..it's not great and not worth the terrible service and the unclean conditions. For those prices you should get what you ordered, not have to reorder 2 times because the waitress "forgot." The service is rude and unprofessional with NYC prices. I have tried to like it but I am just too way offended now to try again.. go in and see for yourself. When it was Veggie Works with different owners the service was not great either but you put up with it because the food was reasonable and delicious.

4 Responses

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webmaster 27 Sep 2009 - Inappropriate content from this listing has been removed for violation of HappyCow terms of use.


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juxtaposdbologna 05 Feb 2010 - Do you realize how unprofessional your comments on this site are? If you want to engage and keep business, this is not the way to do it. Good for you that you get complimented, but owning a business and dealing with the public incurs the risk of recieving criticism.


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kayaschef 22 Feb 2013 - keep it up
go ahead, keep trying to bash my restaurant. better yet, try to walk in my shoes for a day and get back to me. My life is committed to providing healthy, satisfying, organic cuisine. Just because you had a bad experience @ Kaya's, give it up. I get dozens of amazing compliments TO MY FACE every day, Not some dweeb who has nothing better to do with his life that keep f'n with me. Got more to say about my restaurant? come and say it to me. my name is Omar, and I am the owner. I will gladly entertain your criticism in person.


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kindlizard 22 Feb 2013 - Dude, you have to read the rules of posting reviews. Your review being removed is no mystery. You signed up to slam one place, and offered nothing else, a year expired w/o logging in and it got pulled. They will likely let your hostility stand here for another 365. You are only slamming them bc you think your cafe is better and it isn't, and its dirty tactics you employ w this. They don't spam your reviews to make you look bad w your frozen nonsense.


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Delicious food, but I recommend take out only - Edit

Most of the reviews here are from 2007, and so I went to Kaya's expecting it to be an all round excellent restaurant; great food, service, ambiance, etc. I've gone there twice in the last month with my husband, and the food has been totally delicious, scrape your plate good. But the service is really bad. And the place looks like it has not been maintained. There were dead flies on the window ledge that we were sitting next to. The silverware and plates always seem kind of nasty. The waitress is not attentive, and you don't get the feeling that you've come to eat out at a restaurant. It's like you're eating at a place that's trying to be a restaurant, but should be a fast food joint.
I get the feeling that the owners are thinking, "well the vegans really don't have other choices, so I don't see why I have to try". And, it's true. I don't have other choices, and I really like the food. But when I go out to eat and pay $50 for dinner for two, I don't like to get that nasty feeling I get when I have to eat at a rest stop in the middle of no where. So I recommend taking out your food from Kaya's kitchen and having your dinner at the beach. Again, the food is totally delicious.

Pros: delicious food, awesome deserts, great selection

Cons: poor ambiance, bad service, lack of cleanliness

1 Response

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kindlizard 22 Feb 2013 - So you signed up on the website just to be nasty about a really great place run by awesome people. First, "desert" is hard to believe since its on the NJ shore, blocks from the ocean, though the sand may have thrown you. Secondly, if the food was "scrape your plate good", the service could not have been as bad as you say. If it was, the food you got would have been ice cold. The food apparently reached you still hot and delicious, so I think your claims against service are grossly overstated. You said you were there twice, yet the plates are "always seem kind of nasty". That is impossible for you to know if they are always nasty, first of all, being that you were there only twice. Perhaps both times you were there you were dissatisfied, but how were your plates nasty? You scraped them clean yourself.

As for your claim about fast food: you are just being rude. Totally unfair. They take their time cooking great quality food. Perhaps you saw a dead fly. How do you know the force of you sitting down next to it while it was on the window did not kill it. That is not the staff's fault. The food is wonderful. The comment about a rest stop in the middle of nowhere is cruel and also unfair. You depict a picture unlike anything at Kaya's. Maybe you've never been to a rest stop in the middle of nowhere, but trust me, you'd be very lucky if it was anything like Kaya's. Shame on you for being so deceptive because your food, which you loved so much, took longer than you thought it should and thereby made you think your waitperson was ignoring you. What did you go wanting for while at Kaya's? Nothing, yet you slam the best place in the state, a place that most folks would be lucky to experience. Shame on you!


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Mostly great ... some issues though. - Edit

I think that this is one of the best joints there is around the shore area. The food is usually very good. I go fairly often and have been since the place was Veggieworks. I did have one or two times that I went and felt kind of ripped off by the quality. 98% of the time it is very good. My main issue is that you never know what you are going to get when you go for the Sunday buffet. I would still go because what ever you get, it's usually quite delicious. I usually call ahead to make resrvations and inquire about the content of the buffet and the response is usually "Uh, I dunno. It all depends on what we have around." I went for Father's Day and I also went for Mother's Day and it appeared to have less selection for Father's Day. They also ran out of brown rice and started serving white rice. I think with a little forethought they could have a menu planned for the weekend. I really miss the lunch specials/menu that used to be offered when it was Veggieworks (also the salad bar no longer exists). I know they are two different places but I still miss some of what Veggieworks had.
Oh, some of the wait staff needs to improve their professionalism.

Pros: good food, vegan, like the decor

Cons: No lunch menu/prices, needs better planning

3 Responses

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kindlizard 22 Feb 2013 - Most fine cafes ion the country have rotating menus. Though the menu here is very consistent, they save one day for when they can do a "chef's choice". I would think as consumers we would want to try the inspiration of a chef that day.

The fact that it is a different cafe from before can not be held against this current place either. Lunch specials are not affordable for a cafe serving this high quality cuisine. That is unfair to hold against a cafe that they are different from a previous cafe that has nothing to do with the current.

Other than that your main issue is they ran out of brown rice. I think that is forgivable, don't you?

You forgot to mention in your review how great your experience was.


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Gorillawar 22 Feb 2013 - Kindlizard,
I opened the review with the fact that I think it is one of the best places around. I also included that I understand that they are two different places and I don't hold it against them. I just like salad bars where I eat. Do you work for them? I think it is entirely possible to have lunch prices. There are organic veg*n restaurants in NYC that do it, as well as other cities. I would go more often if it were a little cheaper and in the long run, they would probably make more money. I also have family that are in the restaurant business. They serve high quality food and offer a lunch menu.


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kindlizard 22 Feb 2013 - No I don't work for them. Look at my reviews, I have 100 of them all over the country. This place isn't being reviewed fairly, not just by you but I believe some really inadequate places try to sabotage his place. The terms of review you agree to state not to mention other places. To wish the old place's salad bar continued or whatever has nothing to do with what is reality and now. Be Here Now.

You are so afraid of the present you are afraid of 'chef's choice' on the Sunday buffet. That I think is really sad that you would be so closed to the flavor of the day. Most chefs appreciate some freedom to express themselves; that you can't appreciate self-expression and creativity is your own problem.

Coast to coast would be a far commute!


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Pretty tasty food - Edit

I stopped at Kaya's Kitchen since I was in the area for business. I had the Philly Steak with a small house salad & the Grilled BBQ Soy drumsticks. Both dishes were good. Govinda's Cafe/Gourmet To Go has the best Philly cheese "steak," but that's not surprising given that Govinda's is in philly. Make sure you check their hours before you go, since they do shut between lunch and dinner.

Pros: portions are a good size

Cons: a bit pricey, shut between 2:30 and 5


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AMAZING! - Edit

Kayas is AMAZING. I went with my beau (who is a CARNIVORE, and LOVED it.) for Valentine's day and we got a whole bunch of stuff. Its amazing food, so delicious, and lots to choose from. Its not cheap, but definately worth it. I go once a month. Theyre really nice there, too.

Pros: Delicious, healthy, Friendly

Cons: Not cheap


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Best Veggie Restaurant Ever - Edit

I used to live in NJ, but I have been living in California for almost 7 years now. I have never found any place that has lived up to Kaya's Kitchen (or as I used to know it, Veggie Works). I still try to drive out to Belmar anytime I am on the east coast, going hours out of my way just to go to this restaurant.

I love the mock fried chicken and the mock meatloaf. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

It is true that you should get a reservation because it can be very busy. Last year I practically had to beg to get a table at dinner! I explained that I flew in all the way from CA, and they had pity on me.

Pros: food, varied menu, delicious

Cons: very busy, small, slow


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Best Vegan Restaurant Ever - Edit

I know those are bold words, but this is hands down my favorite restaurant. Whether you're there for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the options are mind boggling (so many good choices!) and the food is fresh, organic, and perfectly delicious. Favorites include Belgian waffles, chocolate chip peanut butter pancakes, French toast, and The Jersey Devil (vegan pork roll and cheese sandwich) for breakfast; junk yard burger or Philly cheese steak for lunch; and grilled gluten steak, vegan beef enchiladas, and the Kaya's combo for dinner.

Pros: Excellent Food, Healthy Cuisine, Friendly Staff


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Outstanding Vegan Food - Edit

The food is incredibly fresh, every dish we have had so far has been amazing. This is a restaurant worth traveling to. The wait staff and owner are kind, friendly, and cultivate a peaceful atmosphere. For Lunch , my husband and I had 5 dishes plus beverages (he had the Ying Yang which is tasty and pretty to look at), and our bill was a scant $38.00!!!

Pros: Excellent Food, Good Value, Friendly Staff


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Kaya's! - Edit

This place is wonderful. The food is consistently great, and the wait-staff are always sweet and helpful. I usually make the hour-long trip to go here once a week, that should say enough. Their prices are a little high, sure, but consider that vegan options are few and far between, and that they source organic ingredients. There Sunday buffet is a delight as well. It is about $19 a person, but well worth it's weight in mashed potatoes and karma wings. You truly do get what you pay for!

Pros: Junk-yard Burger, Potato salad, Karma Wings

Cons: Distance for me, Price


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Pricey But Delicious - Edit

I had only gone to this restaurant two or three times since I've lived in Belmar. As the semester is coming to an end, I find my time to experience this cuisine again before the school year finishes is running thin. Every time I have had their food I had been pleasantly surprised by the flavors, tastes, and service. The only problem I have is the high high high price, but that's the price you pay for good food.

Pros: good food, good service, open year round

Cons: price, price, price


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great veg cuisine - Edit

The ravioli is a must try, the staff was so sweet...took a while for our order and the bread basket was cold both times, but overall, good experience, and not just some seiten or tofu in sauce-- they really put thought into their dishes.

Pros: friendly staff, lively, good portions

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BoOgIe Down 22 Feb 2013 - Hey, I was wondering what Rav dish you were talking about? I didn't know they had one. Are you talking about the porgies? I am pretty sure that the bread is not supposed to come out hot. everytime I have went threre it had been room temp and not toasted.


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kindlizard 22 Feb 2013 - I don't think I have ever had hot bread in a bread basket. Where do you usually eat where its hot? It affected your night? This place is awesome.


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Best Place in NJ!!! - Edit

I love this place. The food is great, the wait staff is friendly, and the music is awesome. They have live music on the weekends some times which is a nice change. People might say that thier prices are to high, but we are paying high quality organic food. you cant find this kind of food at most places... or any where that I can think of. Being a vegetarian I was not use to such a big selection to choose from, that it took me so long to pick something! As far as the staff goes. They are very friendly and helpful. I go there alot and know most of them by name and look forward to seeing them when I go in... Kaya's Kitchen is a great place!


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Hands down: best vegetarian restaurant EVER - Edit

You can't beat this place. It has great energy, great food and very cool customers. Get the coconut chicken curry dish. (I prefer it extra spicy.)

My friend brought her leftovers home (the above mentioned chicken curry dish)and her mom ate it and asked her "Since when are you eating veal?". She refused to believe that what she just ate wasn't meat.


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One of the best - Edit

I'm a vegetarian who eats mostly vegan that lives 1/2 mile away from Kaya's. I try and visit them once a week, and usually order take out one day a week as well.

To address the reviewer(s) who are claiming that the staff members are rude - I have never seen the staff there treat anyone with anything other than respect. I'd admit, sometimes the service is a little slow, but the girls who serve you are about the friendliest group of people you'll meet.

The food is excellent, and is portioned where we bring home leftovers for lunch the next day. I've been to a lot of vegan/veg places all over the US, and I consider myself fortunate to live so close to Kaya's.

Pros: Friendly, Food, Portions

Cons: None


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The Best - Edit

I eat at Kaya's a few times a month. I have to say, each time I go it gets better and better. I am yet to try everything on the menu, but I am working on it. Last time we went for dinner, there was a special called the RASTAMAN. Jamaican-Jerk Soy-chicken with mashed sweet potatoes, seasoned kale, and black-eyed peas. Yeah, It may have been the best thing I ever ate. This is the first review I have written, but felt I needed to because this place is truly amazing. I strongly recomend to any vegan, vegatarian, or even meat-eaters! you won't be disappointed! Keep up the great work!

Pros: Geat food, Friendly Staff, Organic!


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best place in the state - Edit

These guys do a great job. It has a great feel to it. We drive a decent distance to go there if we want a really nice dinner. Some say it is expensive, which if you think of it is not actually true: it is Organic and freshly prepared, so it really isn't. It would be if they were buying their food at Walmart, but that is not the case. We have tried most things on the menu by now, there are not anything lacking. Solid place.

Pros: Menu, food quality, vibe

Cons: too full for dessert ;)


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Comforting Vegan Food! - Edit

Kaya's Kitchen offers wonderful vegan delights such as Gluten Parm and Spinach Quesadillas, not to mention their French Onion Soup is mouth watering. My advise it to get there early. They can get pretty packed and then the service is slow. On the weekends you can enjoy great music from a jazz band while having your wonderful meal!


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