Sanctuary Bistro

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 31 reviews )
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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, 5:30pm-9:00pm, Wed-Fri 11:00am-3:00pm, Wed-Thu 5:30pm-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:00pm, Sat-Sun 8:30am-3:00pm.

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

Reviews (31)

First Review by KarenBrighten

Quality Ingredients, Simple flavors - Edit

Great space for a meal out as a date or treating the self. My only complaint is that the two item lunch meal was not filling/satisfying to me. I had the miso macadamia salad and tempeh Reuben dilla and felt that the flavor was good BUT nutritionally unbalanced. At the end of the meal I was still hungry despite having a stomach full of expensive food.

Pros: Quality ingredients, homemade breads and sauces

Cons: expensive, nutritionally imbalanced

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Great for weddings! - Edit

My husband requested an all vegan food wedding, and yes we are both vegan. So I had my wedding catered by Sanctuary Bistro, and Jennifer is amazing.

It's not only the food - she has a lot of experience in planning events and tons of empathy. She would point out when others, (or even myself a few times), were getting off target. Also she completely helped me planning the SF venue space, furniture, family member needs, and the methods of serving. And through this open honesty was able to craft the most amazing wedding, that would have been a disaster without her. I had to switch the reception venue and she was super accommodating, coming out a second time for pre-planning. I really didn't expect this level of service. It went completely above and beyond.

We also got a free tasting at the restaurant first to make sure we picked the most favorite entrees and best "cheeses". I like how they serve the water with fruit in it and use wooden serving trays at the restaurant. The food at the wedding was great - prepared a lot and fast, and well-served for our small space. My omnivore relatives were so happy and full. We also had the fresh water, coffee, and tea service as well. For dessert, I was able to use the "cheesecakes" as my wedding cake (that my sis made a topper for), and also the chocolate truffles are the best. Our families were very happy. :-)

Would recommend highly to anyone else planning a vegan wedding.

Pros: Great wedding planning help, Filling foods even fit for omnivores, Chocolate truffles!

Cons: No cons

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AMAZING!! - Edit

I've been dying to try this place out after they bent over backwards to help feed me with my extensive allergies when they had a pop up at the Cowspiracy Conference last fall. I had the mushroom "clam" chowder at the conference, and it was insanely delicious!!

Last night when we finally went to the restaurant, it did NOT disappoint! EVERY bite was amazing and again,they were incredibly supportive of my challenging allergy restrictions. I had the Tofu Scalopini and would have literally licked my plate clean if I could have without looking bad!

Pros: Everything!!, They have a cookbook for sale with lots of their a

Cons: Get a reservation! You don't want to miss out! I h, More salt than I'm accustomed to, but I think most

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Tasty food but everything is greasy - Edit

Their food is tasty, menu fairly creative but I wish they would use less Veganaise and grease.

Pros: food actualy tastes good, creative menu, Ambient

Cons: Too much grease, Menu small, snug sitting arrangement

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wishing it was better - Edit

I have been vegan for nearly 10 years, gluten free for 4 and soy free for 3. I have traveled to Boston, NYC, Portland, LA, Seattle, visiting all types of vegan places. I'm so sad to say this one misses the mark. It is a small family run bistro. With less than acceptable service. I have been here a few times each time hoping it will be better than the last. Last time We went, our food took forever, our server was absent, the lettuce tasted....not organic. It was disappointing, as a devout vegan and formally in the business I reached out to management to share my concerns. They offered me apologies and a 25% off coupon. We finally geared ourselves up to go back and were again disappointed. It started with initial interaction with our server, she just came over and said "I just want to tell you about the specials"... it felt like we were just being talked at and she wasn't at all present to us. Then, there was a problem with our water... the kitchen failed to take the organic sticker off of the lemon peel floating in our water, I wonder if they even rinsed them? We ordered a watermelon mimosa, SO UNPLEASANT it was salted like a margarita, but was champagne and (?), we hardly touched it and our server never asked about it. If I see someone neglecting a part of their meal I would always ask "oh is your ____ okay?". This is a small bistro this doesn't seem like an outlandish feat to expect good customer service. Then we got a cheese plate, with 3 different kinds of nut cheese, two tasted the same, one was powerful with olives. However it was a nice portion of nut cheese, it was supposed to come with flax crackers and the sever failed to mention they were out and brought us gf bread as substitute without a word about it. There was ample amounts of the cheese with slim bread to go with it. Then we got a king oyster appetizer and is looked like potato floating in butter, it was okay. But it took about 20 mins for each dish to be brought to us. For our meal we got a hand stacked lasagna and portobello with very dry smashed potato. The main courses were pretty good but the service was very slow. We also got a plum kombucha that was very tasty . Overall it was not what I would describe as bistro level of customer service, it was busy diner service. But it was hardly full when we were there. Expect to pay at least 60$ for this.
Would have given 2.5 but the kombucha was delightful.

Owners:
Please for the sake of veganism train servers better.

Pros: yummy kombucha. , parking , vegan/gluten free

Cons: bad service , lack of communication with guests , questionable water

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Fantastic All Around! - Edit

We have enjoyed brunch, lunch and dinner at Sanctuary Bistro. The delicious food happens to be all vegan and gluten-free., and people who don't care about that won't notice that they are missing anything. The house brewed kombucha is great and Jennifer is a helpful guide to their wine list. The couple who owns it: Jennifer who runs the front of the house and Barry, the chef, have created a kind, warm, welcoming neighborhood place that supports local suppliers. It is a very small space, which contributes to the feeling that you have gone to their home for a meal. The side effect is that you must make a reservation when you can (dinner) and be prepared to wait when you cannot (lunch and brunch). They will give you an honest assessment of the wait and will call you when your table is ready.

Pros: Delicious Food, Vegan & Gluten-Free, Fabulous Owners & Staff

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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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sanctuary bistro - Edit

Everything is fabulous there

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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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Amazing Brunch - Edit

I stopped in for brunch and was blown away how varied the menu is and delicious the food is. Biscuits and gravy and chillaquelles are astounding!!

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One of the Best Vegan Restaurants! - Edit

This restaurant is excellent! All the menu items are vegan. I highly recommend this place. It's a bit small in size so you should get there early.

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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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