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CLOSED: Sojourner Cafe and Restaurant

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 16 reviews )


Contact 805-965-7922

134 E Canon Perdido St (at Santa Barbara St), Santa Barbara, California, USA, 93101

Serves meat, vegan options available. The menu is predominantly vegan and vegetarian and also has vegan choices in the daily specials. Serves unique dishes created using fresh ingredients. Buys organic produce from local growers, buys local wines and beers and coffee is fair trade organic. Opened in 1978, it was one of the first places in Santa Barbara to be vegan-friendly. Has a Sunday brunch with live music. 2015 REPORTED SHUT, CONFIRMED BY ITS FB. Open Tue-Sun 11:00am-10:30pm. Closed Mon.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Organic, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Mexican, Non-veg

Reviews (16)

First Review by nainabarnett

Very unhappy with this place! - Edit

We've been going there for a bit over a year now. There menu looks very vegan friendly and notes whether a dish can be veganized. We've been ordering a lot of their sandwiches. They told us the ciabatta bread and the whole wheat bread were vegan. Suddenly a couple of weeks ago, they told us they changed bakeries, so only their whole wheat bread was vegan. No problem. We ordered with whole wheat. Today we went there and the waitress said that they had no vegan bread. So I asked about their whole wheat. Apparently it has always contained honey, so has never been vegan. So I asked the waitress why they had been telling us for more than a year that it was vegan and why their menu says they can be veganized. She said that we can order our "sandwiches" on a bed of lettuce. We had also ordered their hot chocolate with non dairy milk before, but apparently according to this waitress that is made with milk chocolate, so not vegan either.
So frustrating.
You'd expect this place to be more vegan knowledgeable.
I talked to the owner and she said she will instruct all her staff members about their sandwiches not being vegan.
A little late for us...

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A reliable option for groups with mixed diets - Edit

Back in the days before Santa Barbara had vegetarian restaurants, Sojourner was one of the best places in town for veg*n meals. Now that there are multiple vegetarian and vegan places in SB, the appeal of Sojourner for the veg*n diner is slightly diminished by comparison, but it's still a good choice when dining in mixed company.

There's plenty on the menu for vegetarians and they are very vegan-friendly. Fresh juices are a plus. Service is always warm, even when it's crowded.

Pros: Good vegan options, fresh juices

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Reviewer Avatar

  Contributions +40

Limited vegan options - Edit

The food was okay, but there were not many vegan options. I would say the entrees were mediocre, but the wine list and vegan desserts were excellent. The vegan berry crumble and the avocado chocolate pudding were outstanding. I would highly recommend for a drink or dessert, but not for lunch/dinner if you are vegan.

Pros: Vegan desserts, Wine list

Cons: Limited vegan options

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Great place! - Edit

The food here is really good and very creative. I love the tofu buddha salad. Their portions are huge so I have to get the small options. And they have a wide selection of vegan desserts! It makes it really difficult to choose what to eat.

Pros: Wonderful food, Lots of vegan desserts, Nice atmosphere

Cons: A bit pricey

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What a find! - Edit

We were on our way to a Chinese restaurant when we arrived there and it was closed. I saw this little place in passing so we decided to go here instead. The food here is great! They have a wide variety of menu items. I had a beans/rice dish with chips, which just hit the spot. And the portion sizes are perfect! They have dishes ranging from Mexican to Italian to... well, I don't remember, but why don't you just go there and find out yourself?

Pros: delicious, eclectic dishes, cool vibe

Cons: location, somewhat pricey, parking

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Has my good will - Edit

4 years ago, we visited Santa Barbara and ate at this restaurant, and I sent email about an overcooked nut burger.
I received a reply offering a free sandwich on my return to town, from the ex-partner of the current owner, Donna Mudge.
Donna made good on an offer she did not make. Good will is the tendency of a customer to return where he has been well treated. Sojourner Cafe has my good will. By the nut burger is as delicious as it ever was.

Pros: healthy food, fair prices

Cons: limited parking on weekdays

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Confusing, Mediocre - Edit

I looked over a menu at the counter before we were seated. I found two vegan dishes-- one being a salad, the other being a pasta. I asked the employee if those were the only two. He rattled off a list of items that could be made vegan. It was overwhelming and unwelcoming.

I tried a pasta with stuffed shells. It had essentially no taste to it, and the filling was very gritty in texture. I also had a cake made layered with banana slices. That was decent, but nothing to write home about.

Pros: desserts offered

Cons: items not marked on menu, food wasn't enjoyable

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$$$$$ - Edit

EXPENSIVE! It's okay food - but you would be better off making most of it at home yourself. A Virgil's root beer float is $4.75 or something close to that - outrageously over-priced. It costs extra to add tofu to a normal meat option, and the food itself is never that satisfying. You can leave the Sojourner just saying "meh". This is for the Santa Barbara vegan/vegetarian elite with large wallets.

Pros: Great atmosphere, Vegan-specified menu

Cons: Too expensive, Extra $$ for tofu, Markup is so high

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Great cafe with a few outdoor seats - Edit

This is a nice vegan option in Santa Barabra. There are a few outdoor seats which allow you to enjoy the view of the mission style park across the street. They will do most of the menu vegan. I had the veganized Tempeh Reuben and it was pretty tasty.

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Wish I lived in Santa Barbara...I'd be a regular! - Edit

On a recent weekend getaway to Santa Barbara we walked to this cute cafe just a couple of blocks off of State St. Of course, we found the place on happycow. It's become sort of a fun travel thing for us to do, go to a city and try to go to as many happycow listings as we can!

Anyways, so glad we went here. Lovely atmosphere, very friendly staff. They have an organic wine selection. I had the dinner special which was Vegan Eggplant Parmesean....so delicious and big portion! My boyfriend had the Tempeh Reuben without cheese and said it was pretty good, although he is a harsh critic of reubens as they are his absolute favorite sandwiches.

I wish I had had room for dessert because they had vegan pumpkin pie and some other awesome looking choices.

The menu is not 100% vegetarian but there are vegan options and the menu is clearly labeled.

Overall, I loved the vibe of the place and it was delicious so I would recommend it to vegans that go to Santa Barbara...so far there is not a 100% veg restaurant in that city...let's make it happen!

Pros: good atmosphere, friendly staff, delicious food

Cons: not 100% vegetarian

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not as good as it used to be - Edit

I started eating at the Sojourner almost 25 years ago and it was the best - until the owners sold it several years ago. Since then, the quality has really gone downhill, which is very disappointing.

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cool place - Edit

Fun little casual restaurant to spend time in. Has coffee/wine bar to sit at also. Good service. Had the Sojourner tostada and it was yummy. Just get no cheese or sour cream for vegan option I think. Big portions.

Pros: price, atmosphere

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Vegan Dishes, Good Food, Friendly Staff - Edit

Based on reviews, we tried Sojourner Cafe on our recent getaway to Santa Barbara and had a pleasant experience. It was a relaxed cafe with a home-like feel. Our waiter was friendly. I was happy to find Vegan options. The Vegan stuffed pasta shells were very good as well as the Vegan Apple Cherry Crisp Cobbler. It was also very affordable!

Pros: Vegan Dishes That Are Very Tasty! Great Waitstaff! Affordable!

Pros: Vegan Dishes, Good Food, Friendly Staff

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Very Enjoyable - Edit

After a long drive down Highway 101, our lunch at the Sojourner Cafe was wonderful and relaxing. The menu was very creative and the food great. I ordered the Chili Tempeh Tacos and my partner ordered the Mediterranean Vegetable Nut Burger. Both were professional presented, excellent tasting and the portions were more than we could eat. The nicely crafted dark wood environment creative a casual inviting atmosphere that was very inducible to conversation. I would certainly recommend this restaurant for vegans with specific diet concerns (wheat free, etc.). The staff was very helpful and knowledgeable about the ingredients of the menu items. I later discovered that restaurant's web site does have the menu and even offers some great sounding recipes from Chef Edie Robertson.

Pros: excellent food, healthy, knowledgeable staff

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very good - Edit

not only is the atmosphere really nice here (even though it's a pretty large and busy place they manage to keep it feeling very warm and cozy) but the food is great! I went with my mother and two friends and we all enjoyed it very much. Not everything is vegan or vegeterian but everything is clearly marked, and the waiters are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. We started with a lentil spinach soup that was very good, and while both of our friends got non vegan dishes, my mother got the Mediterranean Torta, which was delicious but we were both blown away by what I ordered, one of specials of the day, the Posole Vegetable Stew. It was amazing! Unfortunately we didn't have room for dessert, but they had a large variety with a lot of vegan options, and our friends we were with, who are from Santa Barbara, said they're all very good. Next time I'm up in Santa Barbara, I'll make sure I leave some room to try one.

Pros: nice atmosphere, delicious food, lots of choices

Cons: can get busy

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