CLOSED: Real Food Daily

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 75 reviews )
Hours

Closed

Contact
310-451-7544
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514 Santa Monica Blvd (at 5th St), Santa Monica, California, USA, 90401

Long-time established Santa Monica vegan restaurant offering choices from starters, salads, sandwiches and daily soups to hot plates featuring beans, tofu, seitan, and/or tempeh. Also fresh juices, coffee drinks, alcoholic beverages, and desserts. Brunch menu is available on the weekend. Cozy space and very busy on weekends. Prices moderate to expensive. Other location in Southern California. LAST DAY April 27, 2016, other locations remain open. Open Mon-Fri 11:00am-10:00pm, Sat 10:00am-10:00pm, Sun 10:00am-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Organic, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Bakery, Catering

Reviews (75)

First Review by xtfrclqn

More Real Food, Please! - Edit

Our server, Emily, said we had chosen well. I opted for a caeser salad starter with a main course from their list of specials, jackfruit tacos. My wife got the Real Food Basic Three, where you can select three items from an extensive list of veggies (she selected Garlicky Greens), beans & Grains (she got Quinoa), and proteins (she loved the almond-based "Tuna" salad, saying "How do they do that?"). I could eat Garlicky Greens all day, almost put in a second order. The caeser was very good, and Bonnie said next time she'd order the tuna salad on top of the caeser. Jackfruit was OK, but then we have a favorite place back that makes outstanding jackfruit tacos (Shine Cafe in Morro Bay), hard to compete. It was Wine-Down Wednesday, half price on all wines, so I had the Malbec, which tastes even better at half price. We ate upstairs, away from the REALLY loud music, with a bit more room between tables, and we got excellent service from Emily. Overall, very good food, hope to make it back for brunch sometime.

Pros: Wide variety of vegan food, Tasty, Fully explained on the menu

Cons: Turn down the music!, Street parking can be difficult

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So lucky to have this in town! - Edit

So many fond memories of trips to this place.
Smart staff, great atmosphere, intense menu, healthy as well as comfy options.

Pros: Location up from the beach, Amazing variety, Superb qualify

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Lived up to expectations! - Edit

I was so looking forward to going to RFD having read about it from the UK. The food didn't disappoint - it was delicious and huge portions. I was too full after my burrito to have any chocolate cake but bought some to enjoy later. It was fantastic!

Pros: Food delicious, Lots of choice

Cons: Service a bit slow

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It's ok - Edit

It's great there are lots of choices in Santa Monica, maybe we were spoilt by the other places but we found this one to be average. Food was ok, portion size not great, service was really poor. It was kinda busy so maybe it's better at quieter times.

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Try the Sea Cake! - Edit

I went for brunch on a Sunday morning and was seated quickly.

For a starter, I ordered the Sea Cake, which I was hesitant to get because I thought it may taste like a crab cake and even pre-vegan I couldn't stand that taste. But the waiter assured me that it would taste nothing like a crab cake, and he was right. What an excellent dish! The flavor of the Sea Cake was not at all fishy, it was highly delectable. It was accompanied by a spicy aioli sauce, which was amazing, and it sat atop a bed of arugula with pesto. It's the type of dish that you'd lick the bowl if you weren't in public.

I ordered the Weekender entree, which included pancakes (I upgraded to blueberry pancakes for $1.50 extra), scrambled tofu, hash browns, and tempeh bacon.

The blueberry pancakes were large, fluffy, buttery, and simply delicious. I would never guess that they're gluten-free.

The tofu scramble was very tasty. It was seasoned very well, but I'd request no tomatoes for my dish next time.

Hash browns were extremely disappointing. Like, seriously... How can you mess up hash browns? They were too hard (and I like crispy papas) and they were flavorless.

Tempeh Bacon had a great smoky flavor but was too hard.

The dessert case housed a massive array of vegan sweeties, but I was too full this time to try any.

I would definitely return for more Sea Cakes!

Pros: Amazing Sea Cake dish!

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First Burito, Best Burito - Edit

Being my first time in North America, I had never eaten a Burito before and this place had some great offers.
I do not think I will ever eat a burtio as good as this one. The place was nicely packed and people very friendly!
Not the cheapest place in town though.

Pros: Friendly Staff, Big Portions, Great selection

Cons: Very busy, Price

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delicious! - Edit

the quesidillas were delicious. many options!

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Great meal at RFD - Edit

I have Ann Gentry's book, Vegan Family Meals, so I definitely wanted to visit her restaurant when we were passing through Santa Monica.

My son had the Not-Chos and they were very delicious. The serving seemed generous and he really enjoyed them.

We had a very friendly waiter who recommended either the veggie burger (lentil and mushroom, I think) with the works or the club sandwich. I went for the burger. While it was good, the texture was softer than I would have liked and there was a spice that didn't work for me. I enjoyed it but would probably try the club or something else next time.

It's always so much fun to go to vegan restaurants because there are so many choices! RFD had so many items to choose from. I wish there was one closer to me so I could sample them all.

Pros: great menu, friendly staff, delicious food

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A Vegan Classic - Edit

No matter if Fit Fathers is in Santa Monica or near the Beverly Center, Real Food Daily is always a must visit. In fact, we typically invite non-vegans here for meetings since the foods are so appetizing. The nachos for example are always a hit. Moreover, your children also have a range such as the kids vegan platter with Buckwheat soba noodles, black beans and steamed veggies. Smoothies and sweets are also available. Yum!

Pros: too much to choose from, smoothie bar, various locations

Cons: can get pricey

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Mmmmm...the desserts :-) - Edit

We went for the desserts and were not disappointed. The brownie sundae bowl was awesome and plenty for two people. The salted caramel cupcake was amazing. Be prepared for varying levels of service from overly chatty about the menu items to forgetting to bring water after several requests. I was excited to try the fauxstess cupcakes, but they didn't taste like I remembered the real thing, though it's been about 20 years since I've had one.

Pros: Amazing desserts, Great selection

Cons: Service varies

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great quality vegan food - Edit

Ate here once with a group. Everything was fresh, tasty, and flavorful.

Pros: all-vegan, flavorful, reasonably priced

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Exellent! - Edit

Wish there was one in San Diego where i live now! When I lived in LA I would go to this place and pig out. Fun atmosphere, lots of fellow vegans, excellent, fresh, hearty, wholesome, creative food. What's not to like? With a tasty place like this, I wonder why in the world to people eat animals?!

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Great vegan choice - Edit

Real Food Daily was a great place for dinner. We were there late but still enjoyed a full meal. We had sea cake (croquettes) as appetizer - quite good, the real food burger with works - a generous meal, and the real food meal - somewhat uninteresting. The location downtown is convenient. Parking is not a problem, as the city garages are free up to two hours - so there is enough time if you just want dinner.

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Yummy lunch! - Edit

This place was heaving..!! It took a while to get seated and be served but we didn't mind :) I had the tempeh/avocado burger/sandwich and it was lovely (see photo). There were several other things on the menu I wanted to try but sadly we could only visit once....we will return next time! :)

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Love it!! - Edit

I make sure to go to Real Food Daily every time I'm in L.A. There are always a ton of vegan, gluten-free dishes and their desserts are divine. Great service, fun atmosphere, highly recommended.

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Never disappoints.. - Edit

Every single time I go I try something new and am NEVER disappointed! Even when I've been hesitant to order a dish, it comes out and it's amazing!! This place has great service & a great atmosphere, I recommend RFD to anyone. I stop by every time I'm in Santa Monica!

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Best Sandwich and Salad I ever had - Edit

This restaurant is awesome! We ordered the Nachos as starter, then I had the chef sandwich, it was the best sandwich I ever had. They also have very good homemade lemonade. The Tiramisu we had for dessert was also delicious. Staff is very friendly and helpful and they have a good choice of vines. I can recommend this place to anyone and I would definitely go there again, don't miss out on this.

Pros: Great Food, wide choice, Friendly and Helpful staff, Nice atmosphere

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The Best - Edit

This is by far my favorite vegan restaurant in the area. Friendly staff, great selection. We are always happy with our food. They are also very nice to our 3 year old and accommodating. Cannot recommend this place highly enough.

Pros: All Vegan, Delicious, Friendly Staff

Cons: Parking

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Excellent. - Edit

Nice!

It's an uncluttered setting - great for either a quick stop or a longer stay. The great range of menu items are interesting yet unpretentious and everything we tried tasted great. The kids liked it too - and they're fussy!

The cake display teases you while you eat and pays off well at the end. Our waitress was extremely pleasant too.

Nothing to dislike here. Do go.

Pros: Great food, All vegan, Clean and comfy setting

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A New Go-To Place for me! - Edit

LOVE their tempeh bacon!
Two of my fav's:

SUPREME BURRITO- WET with CAESAR SALAD!

MEDITERRANEAN BOWL!

NOTE ON TAKE OUT: chefs have missed some key ingredient in 2 of 3 take-out orders. Mgmt has been helpful and credited me, but still frustrating so I would give advise (to myself and to you!) to double check order before walking out the door. Frustrating and disappointing to come home with no salad dressing or no feta :(

Pros: TEMPEH BACON

Cons: EXPENSIVE....but you are what you eat...

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AWESOME! - Edit

I have been looking for a great vegan restaurant for a while and this is it! They have great food, especially their pastries!

Pros: great decor, awesome food, friendly staff

Cons: none

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best vegan dining - Edit

Smoothies and grilled harvati cheese with tomato soup omgggggg

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Still fantastic - Edit

Enjoyed dinner and brunch at Real Food Daily last weekend during a California road trip. It had been quite awhile since I had eaten there (1-2 years?) as I live in AZ. They did not disappoint. The food was fantastic and flavorful and lived up to everything I remembered. It is nice to see consistency over time.

Pros: Food based on whole foods, Consistently excellent, Friendly staff

Cons: Parking

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What's not to like? - Edit

Wish to echo praise of those before me.

Pros: Well prepared food., Good service., Desserts are great!

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Tasty Vegan Food - Edit

I had read first about this place on happycow many years back and have eaten here numerous times over the years. Was just here in Jun 2013, and here's my updated Real Food Daily review update.

I, with family and friends, have frequented this restaurant for years, and our experiences have been both good and so-so. The quality of the food is usually good though once in a while it's a hit-or-miss. If you stick to what you like, then you'll be okay.

For me the Mexican style food is always reliable and tasty--the guys in the kitchen are Mexican and Latin Americans. The nachos, tacos, enchiladas, and the burrito are yummy. The sandwiches are all right, too, like the reuben, the BLT, and the works burger.

The restaurant is often busy, and you probably would have to wait for a table on the weekends at meal time. However, once you've been seated, service is prompt.

Manu and Jeff are our preferred waiters. Cool guys.

Prices are more expensive than other veg restaurants around, but this is downtown Santa Monica.

Pros: fresh ingredients, yummy desserts

Cons: expensive, noisy

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Great & yummy! - Edit

Great food, lovely atmosphere, and great yoga just next door with Bryan Kest!

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Really Good Food,Good Service,Interesting Menu - Edit

My wife and I had a wonderful lunch at Real Food Daily - our waiter was most helpful,the service was fast (it was lunch time and we were lucky to get a table)and the menu was extensive and allowed us many choices.
My wife had the Tac O' the Town - a Moroccan stew that she wanted gluten free so they served it over quinoa and I had the Mexico City Tacos both of which we ample servings and very tasty.
I had the home made ginger lemonade which was really tasty and refreshing with the added bonus of one free refill - great beverage.
We were so pleased with our meal we went back to the restaurant after a few hours for a cup of tea and a cupcake and cookie - unfortunately the desserts we tried weren't all that tasy but they were gluten free which sometimes can be a challenge.
We would definately return for meal as the food was great.

Pros: Large selection, Tasty food, prompt and friendly service

Cons: Gluten free desserts not that tasty

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