The Natural Cafe - San Luis Obispo

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 11 reviews )
Contact
805-546-9200
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698 Higuera St (at downtown), San Luis Obispo, California, USA, 93401

Serves meat, vegan options available. Several locations in California. Extensive menu includes many vegetarian dishes: sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, veg tacos, veggie sandwiches, smoothies, a veggie soup of the day (sometimes vegan). You can ask to veganize a dish using veganaise, etc. Order at the counter, and food is brought to your table. Very spacious interior with high ceiling, natural oak furniture, and oil painting on walls. Open for lunch and dinner.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Fast food, Juice bar, Non-veg

11 Reviews

First Review by groovyvegan

naturally fresh - Edit

Great menu selection! Great recipes and very tasty! Always enjoy our trips to the natural Cafe. It's a restaurant vegans and non vegans can enjoy together!

Pros: great vegan options

Cons: limited vegan options

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Great place to go with a non-vegan - Edit

Natural Cafe was my go-to spot during university, loved it even before I was even thinking about transitioning over to a vegan diet. They have a good range in their menu for when you aren't sure what you are craving until you get there.

Pros: Great location, Varied menu, Good value

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Great for everyone - Edit

Tasty-especially for a transitioning vegan. Great place if eating with non-vegan family or friends. Has everything: breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and smoothies.

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Bland vegan option - Edit

Very friendly staff pointed out if you can options on their menu. Vegan blueberry milkshake was fantastic! Pizza was awful and Buddha burrito was bland.

Pros: Friendly helpful staff, Willing to veganize most everything on menu

Cons: Tasteless main dishes

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Ok option - Edit

Staff were friendly, they were able to show me vegan options on the menu. Food was served quickly, was tasty (not amaaazing, but good!), and was a decent amount for the price. I would always prefer a vegan place, but this was not bad for what it was. They are making an effort to look after vegans here so that's something!

Pros: good sized portion, reasonable price, healthy sides like salad and steamed veg, staff were accommodating

Cons: not a vegan place

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Good Choice - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow and decided to stop in on my way from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Here's my The Natural Cafe review.

It's located in the downtown shopping area of San Luis Obispo, on a corner so you can't miss it. The inside is very large with high ceilings, oak wood furniture, and large front glass windows for natural lighting to come through. I came here during lunchtime, and it was busy. Lots of diners were having soup and salad.

I got the zen burger and asked for veganaise and a berry smoothie. Yummy and inexpensive. The pattie is not made in-house, but it was good enough.

The menu is very vegetarian friendly. Vegans just let them know, and they'll tell you what the substitutes are.

Pros: tasty, affordable, no frills

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Mostly veg - Edit

Even though there are prominent meat-centered dishes on the menu the majority are actually vegetarian, if not vegan. I love the sauteed tofu that can be added or is a part of many dishes. I have yet to have a bad meal here. Friendly, pretty place with comfortable food.

Pros: clean and attractive, good value, wide variety

Cons: not entirely veg

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Great smoothies - Edit

My wife and I have eatten here a few times. Since it is not a vegan restaurant I tend to stick with the smoothies. My wife had a pasta and chicken dish but said it was bland. Every time I have had a smoothie I loved it. I recommend the Peach my belle. Service is good and they are willing to make things vegetarian. If you are a strict vegan I probably wouldn't recommend much else since they do have meat and cheese in the kitchen.

Pros: Awesome smoothies

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Yummy food - Edit

Natural Cafe has good vegetarian options. My newly vegetarian boyfriend loves the zen burger (meat-free). When he still ate meat, he said it was better than a real burger. I usually get the black bean enchiladas which are delicious. The sauteed tofu is also very good. Salads are delicious.

A few complaints:
*The service is generally only so-so.
*The location is too small. Don't try to go there at noon Monday through Friday.
*With so many vegetarian options and meat substitutes it should be a 100% meat-free restaurant (I ordered the vegetarian enchiladas once and they gave me chicken in them. And it was to-go so I had to go back to the restaurant to get it right.)
*Ordering at the register with the staff who generally don't like their jobs can be frustrating if you want to modify the menu items.

Pros: Vegetarian options, Healthy options

Cons: Apathetic staff, Small location

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Options - Edit

The Natural Cafe has great food. The service is touch and go. The items are pretty pricey for what they are made from. It's usually crowded. The staff isn't as careful when a vegan/vegetarian is ordering. They don't commit the ingredients to memory, but rely on a list by the register.

Pros: Good food, Healthy

Cons: Crowded, Pricey, Semi-rude service

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Not natural, but tasty - Edit

The Natural Cafe has a menu which you can check out online at www.naturalcafe.com. There are vegan options on the vegetarian and sandwich menus, but they're not labelled as vegan, so you need to ask to be sure. When I asked whether the bread contained dairy or eggs, the employee said she didn't know and unlike in most restaurants, did not offer to check.

My omni partner and I found the stirfry delicious, but it needed more sauce.

Note that no ingredients are organic, not even for the smoothies.

Pros: Delicious food, Vegan menu items

Cons: Not organic, Unhelpful staff

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