CLOSED: Nature's Express

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 16 reviews )



1823 Solano Ave, Berkeley, California, USA, 94704

Vegan fast food burgers, wraps, sandwiches, burritos, and a vegan mac n' cheeze. Gluten and soy-free choices. All food is made fresh in-house from the sauerkraut and ketchup to vegan soft-serve; no high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. Primarily grab & go with limited seating. Dec 2013 update: will continue to remain open until further notice. SHUT JUL 2015 PER ITS FB.

Categories: Vegan, American, Organic, Fast food, Juice bar, Take-out

16 Reviews

First Review by buddhaphilwisdom

fast food vegan - Edit

We eat here a lot, at least once every two weeks, as it's fast and pretty tasty. Our favorites are the Classic Rewind on foccacia bread with the almond sunflower patty, the colossal grilled Reuben, Avo kale wrap, and sweet potato fries. We always get the Back to Your Roots drink.

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Excellent vegan sandwiches and collard wraps! - Edit

This place has the tastiest vegan sandwiches in Berkeley in my opinion and the collard wraps are very cool. Basically, they can substitute a blanched collard leaf for a flatbread when making wraps. I loved it the first time I had it, and although the novelty does wear off a little, I still order these all the time.

My personal favorite is the Tempeh Colossal Rueben sandwich. It is just perfect.

Pros: Tasty and reasonable prices, Very high quality ingredients, online ordering for take-out

Cons: Priced higher than some might expect

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yummy, tasty, excellent vegan food - Edit

This is my go-to every weekend to take a break from cooking and have some seriously delicious food. Although everything is awesome, I can never seem to get away from the ADDICTIVE Thai Chick'un wrap - on a collard leaf, if I'm feeling *really* healthy. If I can ever manage to bypass that wrap, other must-haves are the chick'un tacos, sweet potato fries, rueben sandwich, mac 'n cheese, chipotle burger, and essential greens (raw kale salad). YUM! Any vegan (or non) in the 'hood simply must stop by.

Pros: delicious food

Cons: no seating/atmosphere to speak of

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Gem on Solano Ave. - Edit

This is a true gem in the sea of restaurants on Solano Ave. I so hunger for a Reuben sandwich - ever so often. This restaurant can make me feel satisfied, happpy and healthy. The service is wonderful and it is a fun place to people watch on the patio. Bring any carnivore to enjoy the food too!

Pros: Food, Service, Vibe

Cons: Needs more seating

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Meh - Edit

I really appreciate that this place exists - the more straight up vegan cafe's in the world, the better! That said I was pretty disappointed in my choices. Enough to not go back. It was hippie food. Gritty, flavorless and not cheap for the portion sizes. Reading the other reviews here, it kind of makes me wonder if we are all talking about the same place. C'est la vie. I guess different palates crave different tastes.

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Vegan Fast Food! - Edit

We brought our meat-eating friends and my dad here for a casual dinner and we all loved it. Thankfully we arrived during slow business so we took up a lot of their indoor seating. While small, the food is really incredible and this is yet another dining establishment I want in my area! My burger and vegan soft serve were simply incredible.

Pros: Delicious, Friendly, Variety

Cons: Limited seating

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Nature's Express Nature's Express Nature's Express - Edit

I don't even know where to know...what can I say? Nature's Express is AWEsome!!! ^_^ But seriously, everything is vegan, first of all. Also, it's an organic-and-local restaurant. So, aside from being healthy and ethical fast food, it's also extremely delicious food!

I don't like to pick favorites, but Nature's Express is definitely amongst my most favoritest restaurants in the Bay Area! I LOVE absolutely everything on the menu. Simply in order to not seem too overly zealous about NE, I will attempt to list some specific favorite dishes:

ehem...the Einstein Burrito, the Colossal Reuben Sandwich, the Tuna Melt, ANNNND...the Mushroom Burger with the Chick-un Patty in a Rosemary Bun.

That said, I feel I must mention that the sweet potato fries, vegan soft-serve ice cream, and vegan mac and cheese are all super amazing also.

To summarize: if I could eat at Nature's Express 3 times a day, every day, I probably would. And with the healthy option of wrapping my burritos, wraps, or burgers in blanched collard greens...I am convinced I could actually make that work! ^_^

Pros: all vegan!, tastiest-ever food!, very cool staff!

Cons: I can't live there. :(

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BEST vegan restaurant--hands down - Edit

Nature's Express has the best tasting vegan food I have ever tried. There isn't a single thing on the menu that I don't like. And soft serve is just phenomenal. Not only is the food melt-in-your-mouth tasty, the inside of the restaurant is very nice, clean, and inviting. They are also a green business and buy local and organic when possible. The staff is always very friendly and ready to answer any questions about the menu items. For anyone that has food allergies, this is also the place to go because they have many items that are gluten free, soy free, etc and they also have a menu listing all of the allergens in their food so there is nothing to worry about. I am confident that when I go there, I will have a delicious meal that I can also feel good about.

Pros: delicious , healthy , filling

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reasonably priced good food - Edit

After having a cinnamon roll each at Cinnaholic, we needed some non-sugary food to counteract it, so we decided on a quick meal at Nature's Express. The place is a little on the smaller side, but they have a few tables inside and some outside. They however do not have a public restroom. The menu is both printed and on a chalkboard about the order counter. There's lots to choose from and we both chose sandwiches. I got the reuben and Dirk got the tuna melt. Both were quite good, not too large and reasonably priced. They weren't the best we've had, but for the price, a good deal. We also got a side of the mac and cheese which comes with quinoa noodles. It was quite tasty. I topped it off with a hibiscus iced tea. We look forward to going back and trying out the make your own burger option.

Pros: reasonably priced, good variety

Cons: no restroom

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Excellent! - Edit

Really really good stuff here. Very inexpensive for Solano Ave. and the people are nice and friendly. The black bean burger nearly made me melt!

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delish - Edit

just had lunch at natures express i had the spicy black bean burger with sweet potato fries and green tropical smoothie i have to say it was the best.It is a friendly environment staff was helpful and hip. I recommend going if your in the Albany / Berkeley area.

Pros: the food , the selection , staff

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Outstanding! - Edit

I'm not exactly sure what some of the negative reviewers below are on about. I thought this place was top notch, and aided by some tremendous service. I absolutely adored the Grilled Reuben, which I heartily recommend. The potato salad we bought to enjoy with it was also divine. Instead of getting the Boca burger (and how could anyone be upset about this when it was merely an option) we opted for a home-made chickun burger that was also very very good. My baby loved the Mac n'Cheese, though I personally would have had it a bit spicier. On the whole, a great experience, and fairly priced. Well worth visiting.

Pros: eclectic menu, great food, fantastic service

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Loving Nature Express - Edit

I love this place. I'm so grateful that I can walk into Nature Express and look at the menu without doing all of the "vegan math" in my head--which of these dishes did the put on the menu for vegans? is there mayo in that? does that come with cheese? blah blah. It is near my house and, when I don't feel like cooking, I can get healthy food.

The food is good, too! I've had the classic burger, southwest, and bacon burger with the spicy black bean patty. Excellent. The chick-un patty is also very good. It has a nice toothsome quality. The Thai peanut wrap was excellent as well. I keep wanting to get the kale chips but they always seem to be out of them.

The air baked fries left a lot to be desired, though. They were not in the least bit crisp when I got them. But, the seasoning on them was excellent. I wanted to take them home and throw them in the oven until they would crisp-up. The mac and cheese isn't going to convert anyone to veganism anytime soon, either. It has a great texture and creaminess, but there was an off-taste that my daughter couldn't handle.

The prices are more than you would pay for fast food. But, they are pretty comparable to what you would pay at any of the taco places or chinese restaurants on the street.

Overall, a great place to eat.

Pros: 100% plant-based, delicious

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Good food, wide selection - Edit

Had a very nice meal there: the sun-dried tomato pesto burger on whole wheat and a smoothie. It was delicious. The service was fast and friendly.

There are a lot of other things on the menu that I'd like to try--like the breakfast burritos that are served all day, their raw cashew and carrot appetizer, and their house-made doughnuts and kale chips.

It's not really a sit-down-with-friends kind of place, though there is a row of stools along a counter, and there are some cushioned window seats (without tables).

Pros: delicious, quick, healthy

Cons: fast-food ambiance

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This place is okay for what it is... - Edit

The Nature's Express that is/was in San Diego last year has much better and healthier food than this new location/incarnation. I went on opening day and then I went back again the following weekend for breakfast. None of the meal items I had seemed that exciting. The kale chips were pretty amazing but at $3.25 for a little pack I'd rather figure out how to make my own from now on. If you are wanting a quick vegan bite and are in the Solano Ave area than this is a good option, but don't expect to be blown away by the food. You'll likely feel like you are paying for something you could make (better) at home. Also, please note it is healthier fast food... not necessasily healthy fast food. I wasn't too impressed with the pathetic white bun that my burger came on. I was even less impressed to discover that the burger (at least in the mushroom burger) is a huge Boca-esque patty. I much prefer vegetable based veggie burgers, and am not a fan of Boca... although according to the owner who was there on opening day the burgers are made on site.. so props for that, I guess. With the breakfast options my boyfriend felt like his burrito was too protein heavy and like mine was too carb heavy... and neither of the burritos were amazing. I'd give this place two stars, but I guess I should judge it against other fast food vegan places and not against vegan restaurants in general, so I'll give it three stars. I'll probably go back one more time for the sundried tomato burger (which I hope is more than sundried tomatoes on a soy burger) and air french fries, but then after that I am not sure how often I'll end up here.

Pros: fast food, cheap

Cons: fast food , location

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Blah - Edit

I was kind of excited for a new 'fast-food' vegan place to open in Berkeley.
I went a couple days after it's opening to find a menu that seems to be scared of the word 'vegan'. Nowhere on the menu or restaurant did it mention that the food was vegan, or at the very least that the food was free of animal products, although I think I did see on the window walking in that it was 100% plant based. It seems as though they want to draw in a non-vegan crowd, which is awesome, but seriously what about the vegans? You can't ignore the people who actually would support you.
I got an eggless egg salad, a tempeh reuben, and a california wrap (no oil/dressing). They were all pretty good. I thought the prices were reasonable until I realized that they were just sandwiches, nothing on the side. So it turns out the prices aren't that reasonable. I don't want to spend $6.75 on a sandwich that comes with no drink or fries/chips/veggies on the side. It's somewhat misleading b/c if you get something on the side or a drink it comes to about $12.00.
They had some nice vegan cook books.
I would like to see this place succeed don't get me wrong, I love vegan restaurants, and I'll probably go back! But in the opening week they didn't impress me.

Pros: vegan, new, 'fast food'

Cons: tough parking, expensive, books

1 Response
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laurajo 22 Feb 2013 - I have to disagree. Assuming you are vegan, I would think that you would understand by now that non-vegans are the ones scared of the term, and even though NE doesn't throw the word in people's face, that is the whole point. We as vegans are already educated about the benefits of a vegan diet. It's the non vegans who need catering too in order to get them to see, and taste, that vegan is good! And you were still hungry for fries after all those main courses? The one thing that stood out to me was the portions, and they do not skimp on ingredients! One burger alone is enough to satisfy an enormous appetite! I seriously hope you reconsider your opinion, because most non vegans can't handle the word vegan, and they are the ones who need to change for themselves, the animals, and the earth. The word vegan would only alienate them from embracing a change. (ever read the book Vegan Freak?)  

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