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Sanctuary Bistro

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 25 reviews )
Contact 510-558-3381
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1019 Camelia St, Berkeley, California, USA, 94710

Opened Aug 2014, this is a fine dining, plant-based bistro by vegan chef of Local Love catering, Barry Horton. Features seasonal organic produce. Open Mon 11:00am-3:00pm, Mon 5:30pm-9:00pm, Wed 11:00am-3:00pm, Wed 5:30pm-9:00pm, Thu 11:00am-3:00pm, Thu 5:30pm-9:00pm, Fri 11:00am-3:00pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:00pm, Sat-Sun 8:30am-3:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Organic, Beer/Wine, Catering

Reviews (25)

First Review by KarenBrighten

Fantastic Up-Scale Vegan Dining! - Edit

Everything was absolutely amazing. If you know someone that thinks vegan diets are boring and bland- take them to Sanctuary Bistro. My partner and I shared the nut cheese plate, beet salad, blackened portobello mushroom steak, and the special for the night: lentil shepherd's pie. Everything was delicious!! We will certainly be back. Reservations recommended.

Pros: up scale vegan dining , nice atmosphere, charitable meal opportunities on Sundays

Cons: walk in may not be available, reservations recomme


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Fantastic! - Edit

Went for my birthday and it couldn't have been better. Fantastic food, wonderfully friendly and helpful staff, attractive setting, and easy parking.

We loved it all!

Pros: Food quality, presentation, flavor, Service, Location

Cons: None


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Great food and Wonderful Ambience! - Edit

This is a fantastic place for excellent gourmet, vegan food at reasonable prices!

Pros: Great atmosphere, great staff!, Excellent food! Creative, fresh, delicious! , Fantastic desserts.


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Outstanding! - Edit

Incredible food, people, owners, All of it!! We totally loved everything ordered. Thank you for showing the best of the best of Vegan food!!!! #saveeverythinggovegan

Updated from previous review on 2016-09-12

Pros: Food, Service excellent, Mission


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Charming and delicious! - Edit

We love this relatively new addition of vegan fare to the Bay Area community: Delicious and healthy food with great service; small, intimate restaurant; active community engagement.

Updated from previous review on 2016-01-07


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Hope They Succeed and Thrive Forever - Edit

I discovered Sanctuary on HappyCow, and it being closer to our home than any other vegan place, tried it out for brunch at the first opportunity. It was love at first bite! Since then, we've been back for dinner three times (with my husband's non-veg parents who are in their 80s). We've all enjoyed everything we've ordered, every time! My father-in-law is already addicted to the Salade Nicoise, particularly the dressing. I keep wanting to try it, but keep being seduced by Braised Moroccan Tofu; my husband has ordered the Tofu Scallopini twice in a row. Usually we are all too full for dessert, but one time my husband and I shared a slice of their cheesecake, and it was incredible. The little complementary 'starter' hors d'oeuvre is always delicious too! Beyond the excellence of the food (including presentation), the whole experience is always really enjoyable. The space, though small, is super clean & very attractive, including the big window that lets you see the big beautiful tree growing out at the curbside; it's on a side street, so there's very little street noise; and the staff have all been really lovely, warm, friendly people who make you feel that they're actually glad to see you! (Unlike a few other vegan places I could name.) I have listed 'pricey' under 'Cons' but want to clarify that we do think that the food quality is WORTH every penny; just happens to be a bit out of range, for OUR income. We do go anyway, for any special occasion. Only other drawbacks, not really the Bistro's fault, are that one time we couldn't get a Saturday res, because the place (being small) seemed to be fully booked out all night on that date; also if loud people show up, the brick walls help bounce the noise. But loud people seem rare there. If only we were a bit wealthier, we'd be eating there three times a week! For us, it's doubtless the best all-around veg dining experience we've ever had (and I've been veg since 1974, my husband, since 1979, both vegan since '99). It's already his omnivore parents' first choice, as well!

Pros: delicious food, charming, welcoming staff, attractive interior & location

Cons: A little too pricey to go as often as we'd like, once was completely booked for whole evening, acoustically 'live' small space; loudmouthed diner


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Wow! - Edit

Cute small restraunt with a touch of class. Amazing menu options, delicious food and great customer service.

We waited 45 minutes for a table but based on the reviews we figured it was worth the wait.

The dishes were amazing and the one thing that stood out to me was the prices matched the quality of food you would expect.

I often go to other vegan locations and pay the same price as sanctuary Bistro, howrver I don't get nearly the same quality of food, atmosphere and service.

My only complaint would be that they don't offer ice. They say it's because of the drought, but considering the amount of water one vegan saves per day, I would imagine they could serve cold beverages.

Other than that, the food was perfect!

Pros: Delicious , High Quality Food, Customer Service

Cons: No ice


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BEST PLACE EVER!! - Edit

it was an amazing experience. i loved the setting, brick walls a lights streamed across. it looked very busy and cozy. there were kids adults and grandparents! it was great. but not as awesome as the food! i recently became vegan and gluten free, they provided everything i needed! TOTALLY RECOMMEND THIS PLACE, WE ARE COMING BACK SOON!!

Pros: many dietary options, nice inside, awesome and friendly staff

Cons: nothing to put here, or here, or here


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Excellent restaurant - Edit

I was here NYE and couldn't have been happier. Delicious food, attentive and charming service. Everything perfect and the food, did I mention the food? Can't wait to go back. Hoping they have the Tofu Noodle Soup again. Didn't sound so good but was wonderful.

Pros: Food was delicious, Service excellent, Cute restaurant

Cons: Tables close together


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Simply great and special - Edit

We've been to so many vegan restaurants in the bay area and the Sanctuary is my all time favorite! Everything tastes great and is so fresh and special. I would return just for the home-made "cheese" platter, but loved all the dishes. The atmosphere is so friendly and cosy and the staff very helpful. I wish there were more places like this one!

Pros: fantastic home-made food, friendly and helpful staff, cozy place

Cons: None! :)


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Fantastic first visit! - Edit

We are new to the area and happened to stumble upon this wonderfully quaint bistro while out on a Sunday drive. The brunch menu and drink options were creative, beautiful and tasty. The service was helpful and friendly. We will definitely be back. The "cheese" plate was amazing!


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Fantastic vegan restaurant in Berkeley - Edit

I read about this restaurant on HappyCow and decided to make a reservation for a birhtday dinner. It was more than I expected. The feeling was of being in a European high-end, small family owned restaurant where each dish was nicely presented and the recipes were creative. The waitress was also very accomodating. Definitely a 5* vegan restaurant.

Pros: Creative dishes, Warm atmosphere, Quality food


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Perfect catering experience - Edit

Jennifer provided catering recently for a special event at our home. She arrived promptly, set everything up, and served the delicious food right on schedule. There was a great variety of courses and every dish was special and memorable. Our guests were mostly non-vegan but everyone was completely satisfied with the meal. The cleanup was professional and thorough, including packing of the leftovers, as the serving portions were quite generous. This was a perfect catering experience. Thanks Jennifer!

Pros: Food taste and quality, Pleasant and professional service, Creative and varied menu choices

Cons: None, None, None


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A Most Delicious Breakfast - Edit

This place was perfect for our anniversary. We wanted to go someplace special and new to us. Everything was delicious. We shared a Shiitake Bacon & Cheese Waffle and a Sanctuary Omelet (see photo) and every bite was so deliciously flavorful.
We are already making plans for my birthday.

Pros: Delicious , Quiet, peaceful atmosphere, Excellent service

Cons: none that we could find


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Fabulous - Edit

We came for an early dinner with Dirk's parents, brother and cousin for his father's 80th birthday. We were the only vegans, but everyone enjoyed themselves. The food and service are impeccable. With a table of six, we ordered many appetizers to share as well as entrees and drinks. Everything was so flavorful and beautifully presented. Spinach bisque, oyster mushroom scallops, beet tartare, galette, leek and cauliflower soufflé, mushroom risotto, pan fried tofu, roulade and more. Desserts of course too. Crème brulee, latte cheesecake and chocolate parfait. Definitely a wonderful place to come celebrate a special occasion or just to celebrate beautiful food.

Pros: amazing vegan cuisine, great service, nice atmosphere


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Amazing food based in Berkeley! - Edit

Sanctuary Bistro's chef, Barry Horton hasn't lost his touch since being head chef at Raven restaurant at The Stanford Inn in Mendocino. We are so lucky to have him cooking for us in Berkeley on Camilla Street, right next to REI/Walgreen's shopping center off San Pablo. I have loved their food as a catering company and was so excited when they (that's Barry and Jen) decided to open a storefront restaurant in Berkeley. Go for the pizza as the cashew cream is to die for. I still give Barry's cooking 5 stars plus! Cannot wait to eat there again:)

Pros: Excellent food, Friendly, on the ball service, Great atmosphere


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Vegan Gourmet! - Edit

Beautiful atmosphere, friendly staff... and what a treat to know that no animals were harmed in the production of every delicious thing on this menu of many choices. We are ethical vegans who sincerely appreciate creative meals and we're so grateful you're here! THANK YOU! We'll be back.


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Lovely presentation, delicious food! - Edit

I am so delighted that Berkeley finally has a world class, gourmet vegan restaurant! Sanctuary Bistro is a wonderful place to go for lunch, brunch or dinner. It is perfect for a date or for a meal with friends. The food is beautifully presented, creative, organic and delicious. The dishes the chef creates are either cooked or raw inspired and everything is gluten-free, making the place a great choice for gluten-free folks. Dishes are served in small or large plates and are great for sharing. Santuary's menu is replete with many interesting combinations that have been new to me and all wonderfully tasty! The restaurant has an interesting wine list and a variety of beverage options from kombucha to gluten-free beer. Oh, my goodness, then there is dessert!!!

In addition, Sanctuary Bistro's environs are lovely and the service is impeccable. The owners have paid a lot of attention to detail and created a place that feels like, well, a sanctuary.

Pros: Highly creative food, Very attentive service, Lovely atmosphere


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Pancakes - Edit

Best vegan brunch. Get the pancakes.

Dinner/wines are amazing but expensive. Three-digit bill for 2 people.

Place is too crowded when full. Good luck getting from your table to the restrooms when the place is packed.

Almost gave 4 stars for service, which can be slow, even just to refill waters when they are not even that crowded.

Pros: food, staff friendliness, brunch

Cons: crowded, staff attentiveness, price


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Good Stuff - Edit

I went the other day for lunch with my Aunt (who is not vegan) and she loved it as much as I did. They have kombucha on tap, too. Excellent! I had the gluten free tempeh ruben-dilla and pumpkin cake. I will for sure be going back, they have such a yummy looking menu I want to try it all!

Pros: Vegan, Gluten Free, Reasonable Prices

Cons: its not in my neighborhood


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WOW!! The Santuary Bistro is Fabulous! - Edit

I chose this The Sanctuary for a dinner party on September 20th because it met my dietary needs. I was a bit concerned that the other folks in my party (there were 7 of us, 1 vegan gluten free, 2 vegetarians, and 4 meat eaters) might not agree with my choice. But from the start, I had nothing to worry about. Everyone thought the food was delicious. This is saying something because I am not sure that some of the meat eaters thought they would like anything from a vegan restaurant. On top of that, the service ans atmosphere are wonderful. I would highly recommend The Sanctuary Bistro for everyone, not just vegans.

Pros: The choices., The presentation., The delicious food.

Cons: The desserts were ok, not great.


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Great food, wonderful ambiance, amazing chef! - Edit

My husband and I had the honor of being invited to Sanctuary Bistro's soft opening last night and we had such a great time!

The restaurant has such a nice feel and ambiance. You can tell they put a lot of thought into the decor and on the small touches like the he fruit infused waters (which tasted delicious) and pink salt instead of white.

The menu has a perfect amount of options (not too little and not too much) as well as a great selection of vegan wines and beers.

We had the soup of the day, salads, entrees, and dessert and I can honestly say that we both really enjoyed everything. The presentation was beautiful, everything tasted fresh, and best of all everything was organic (and bonus: GF!).

I can't wait to go back and try the rest of the menu, especially the brunch menu.

I'm thrilled that Berkeley now has a great all-vegan restaurant that I can support.

I highly encourage you to go check it out!

Congrats again Jen and Barry for such a successful start to your wonderful restaurant.


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