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The Veggie Grill - University Center

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 39 reviews )
Contact 949-509-0003

4213 Campus Dr (at besides Trader Joe's), Irvine, California, USA, 92612

Vegan fast food cafe chain offering a variety of veggie burgers and sandwiches, hot plates, plus salads, sweet potato fries, kids menu, and desserts. Large space. This is their flagship location. Open Mon-Sun 11:00am-10:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Fast food, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Catering

Reviews (39)

First Review by ldd57

Reliable vegan option - Edit

The Veggie Grill seems to be maintaining quality as they expand to new locations. This branch was like any other we've visited: efficient and tasty. Since it is open later than many other veg places, it's a reliable option for later meals.

There's plenty of parking in the lot, though be aware that many of the parking spots have a 45-minute limit.

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Awesome stuffs! - Edit

Great chain resistant, nice location with plenty of parking (and next to a trader Joe's!). So many good choices, favorite is btla wrap and mac and cheese. Definitely go here!

Pros: all vegan, healthy and not so healthy choices, fre

Cons: none

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Flavorful! - Edit

I love Veggie Grill a little TOO much. The flavors are vibrant, the menu is varied and they often add new items to keep things interesting. My go-to meal for years was the All-Hail Kale salad with Blackened Chik'n -but it was recently replaced by the Golden Beet Salad - a complete flavor explosion - kale, Kite Hill Ricotta, almonds, orange. Another great salad is the Banh Mi. You won't believe your mouth! My only complaint is parking at the UC Irvine location which is always congested, and Santa Monica on Wilshire which has very few parking spaces.
Updated from previous review on Friday February 05, 2016

Pros: Outstanding flavor , Variety, Excellent portion size

Cons: some dishes are very high in fat, parking is a nightmare

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This Location - Edit

Always clean, good service.
Our favorite is the buffalo burger with coleslaw or buffalo salad (extra ranch)..sooo much buffalo! Or the fried chicken plate with mashed potatoes and coleslaw. Kids quesedillas are good with carrot cake and fries regular are excellent and great price. Includes a drink.
Don't forget to do the app for free food (alot)!

Pros: Yummm, Buffalo! , Clean

Cons: Summer Menu, Grilled Peaches?, Mexican Stuff

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Disappointed and underwhelmed - Edit

After reading all the reviews on here about how great Veggie Grill was, I was excited to give it a try.

I was disappointed with my meal and even went back a second time to give it another shot and was still underwhelmed.

Maybe it was my order (both times?) but to me, it was so underwhelming. The first time I got the VG cheeseburger, el dorado style. Although the jalapenos added a nice kick, it couldn't mask the fact that the burger was just a Boca burger. If I wanted a Boca burger covered in daiya cheese, I'd stay home and make it myself.

I was also disappointed at the red cabbage slaw that came with it. It was incredibly bland, as was the chili that I tried the second time.

All in all, I really wanted to like Veggie Grill. But I just couldn't, when I'm paying $14 for a poorly seasoned Boca burger. If I want a delicious, fast-casual vegan meal, then in my mind, the only place I'll go to Native Foods.

Pros: Convenient , nice atmosphere

Cons: Bland boca burger patties, poor value

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My Favorite Veggie Grill - Edit

The UCI location is my favorite of all the Veggie Grills. I love coming here. My favorites are the Santa Fe Crispy Chicken, the macaroni and cheese, and the crispy chicken plate with mashed potatoes and gravy. You HAVE to get the pudding parfait when you go...with walnuts!

Pros: Delicious, Great selection

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Impressive & Tasty - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow when it first opened, and here's my The Veggie Grill review.

WOW was my impression upon seeing this veggie cafe. It's located just in the UC Irvine area. There is a outdoor patio with lovely bamboo, and the inside is spacious with clean lines and many small tables for seating. We ordered our food at the counter and the friendly waitress (who looked liked a student from the university) brought the food to our table.

The menu is concise with a few appetizers and salads, 2 soups, desserts, and around 9 specialty sandwiches/veggie burgers. My friend and I shared a sweet heart potato fries with a yummy dressing, a bali bliss tempeh burger, and a sanfe fe chickn sandwich, and a carrot cake. The handholds each served with a side of cold slaw. Everything was DELICIOUS.

The food at Veggie Grill reminded me of Native Foods restaurant. There are similarities as well differences. Both are good. I am happy for more veggie food places and look forward to them opening more cafes.

Would like to return when in the area. Recommended for anyone visiting the UC Irvine area.

Pros: all vegan, like fast food but better, good prices

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The Veggie Grill - Edit

We stayed in Dana Point for a few days and I had a taste for Veggie Grill, so we drove out here. Overall Veggie Grill is pretty great, I've never had a bad meal at any location.

During this visit I ordered the American Stack with a veggie patty and subbed mac and cheese for my side, everything was really good. My bf got a chicken sandwich with cauliflower mashed potatoes, also very good. I highly recommend VG.

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Pretty Good - Edit

First time having any of their burgers is quite delicious, but the second time not so magical. Same with their sweet potato fries - first time having, so dang good / subsequent times, you notice how over-rich they are. But the thing that really takes the cake is their quinoa-kale salad! I don't really order salads much from restaurants, but they do an excellent job on this one! And I must say, the company is very generous with their promotions. I got a free meal for my birthday, and they provided tons of free food one day for my work! So, although they are a growing chain and charge very heftily for their dishes, they do have a generous side. Plus, I'm happy to see a vegetarian business become so successful and expansive.

Pros: Quinoa-Kale salad, Promotions

Cons: High Price

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Excellent Filling Food!!! - Edit

Veggie Grill is some of the best Vegan food I've ever had. Every time I go I try something new on the menu and I haven't been disappointed yet. I'm amazed that their portions look small yet they fill you up entirely too much. They even have delicious Fat Tire beer!

I take my non vegan friends with me when I go and I don't let them know its a vegan place until afterwards and they are amazed everytime. The first time I tried the Chicken Burger I really questioned if it was a Vegan restaurant because it had the texture of Chicken.

I recommend this place to everyone.

Pros: good service, excellent food, lots of menu options

Cons: only in Irvine! , When is the fullerton location coming?!

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Vegan Fast Food - Edit

The food here is the most delicious fast food you've ever had, vegan or not. It's a little bit richer and more comfort-food-like than Native Foods, which is great because I have two great places to choose from depending on my mood. The Mac and Cheese is so rich and delicious as are the nachos. The first time I had the V-burger I panicked because I thought it was real meat, haha. Other fav's include the Santa Fe, and The Stack, and a new item-the Caesar Wrap. I love that they include avocado on everything without an extra charge. Also, you can get either coleslaw or chili as a free side to your dish. And their chipotle sauce (which comes on many different items), is so freakin' good. The service has been fast and friendly every single time I've been there. Also, even though one location is at the Spectrum, it is along the perimeter right next to Barnes and Noble, so it's very easy to get to. They even offer curb-side pickup if you so desire.

Pros: Hearty Fare, Everything under $10, So Good

Cons: None, this place is great!

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Really Good Food - Edit

I was tod about this place by someone and decided to try it. Wow, I was impressed by the food. You have to try the Sweet Potato Fries. I have been there sevaral times and had many of their burgers and have not been disappointed yet.

Pros: Great flavour, Healthier, Sweet Potato Fries

Cons: Pricey

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Excellent Fast Food - Edit

Eating at the Veggie Grill is great. The food is so tasty and is prepared very fast. The employees are amazing in how helpful and courteous they are. The restaurant is clean, modern, and bright. I only wish there were more Veggie Grills.

Pros: delicious food, wonderful staff, inexpensive

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Very Good - Edit

This restaurant is great. I love their fries, All Hail Kale Salad, and Papa's Portobella Mushroom Burger. Sometimes, it's so satisfying to get Vegan "fast" food. The workers are always extremely helpful and nice.

It can be really difficult in the parking lot and a bit confusing to find. I wish the fries came standard with the sandwiches but they're usually an adder.

Pros: Fries!, Great Staff

Cons: A little pricey

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Food For REAL! - Edit

First off, the ambiance is wonderfull, the setting is relaxed, and the staff is friendly. I orderered the Grillin' Chickin', Bean Me Up Chili, and a side of Sweatheart Fries, and I can honestly say that it has been the best meal I have EVER had when eating out, both in my vegan times and in my nonveg times. The food is great, the prices are reasonable, and I would recommed this place to anyone looking for some REAL good food.

Pros: Great Food, Friendly Staff

Cons: Wee Bit Pricy, No Inland Empire Locations ;)

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This place is trouble. It is SO GOOD you will want to come here all the time. It's by far my favorite place to get veg grub. Everything is good here. My favorite is the Santa Fe Chickeny sandwich with sweet potato fries. Or the stack. Or the bbq chipotle. Oh, I can't decide! Try them all. The drinks are awesome, too. The carrot cake is AMAZING. The cookies suck. That's the only bad thing I can think of to say about the place. Oh, and the parking can be a bear sometimes. I LOVE YOU, VEGGIE GRILL! Please come to the Inland Empire (somewhere close to Riverside)!

1 Response

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sallyseven 12 Nov 2009 - I completely agree. I went to UCR and having a restaurant like this would have been amazing.

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Pricey but WORTH IT. - Edit

It's conveniently located in a small plaza next to Trader Joe's 3-5 minutes from UCI. I could honestly live off this food everyday. ILOVEIT. Yes, it's a bit costly, but 100% worth it. I have tried pretty much their entire menu and have loved every single dish. Awesome place to take your non-veg*n friends. If you go, you have got to try their carrot cake. It's absolutely delicious. There's indoor and outdoor seating; If you'd like to bring your dog(like I do), order your food to-go and eat it on the tables outside.

Pros: DELICIOUS, Friendly staff, Great location

Cons: Pricey

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Great food & great location - Edit

Fun fast food feeling, but with an all vegan menu (although I had to ask to find out - as jamber mentioned, this information is not prominently displayed).

The outdoor patio is a nice place to sit and relax.

The only negative is that it is a little pricey for a sandwich place.

Pros: Patio

Cons: A little pricey

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nice fast food place - Edit

Food and drinks were great. Everything is vegan, though I didn't see any advertisement of that. Food came out very quickly. Nice patio to eat on. Only negative was the prices were too high for a casual place such as this. There were two of us that just got sandwiches with upgraded sides and two iced teas and the total was $30, so couldn't go there every day for sure. Would definitely go again, but only I save up some money.

Pros: atmosphere, food, speed

Cons: price

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Good place to grab a quick bite! - Edit

I used to eat here for lunch once a week or once every other week when I was in high school. The food is so good and reasonably priced for a student like me. Their freshly brewed teas are also very good! I recommend the sweet potato fries, Bali Bliss burger [has the most amazing sauce], Island Getaway, and the Portobello mushroom burger.

Pros: good value, big portions, relaxing atmosphere

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really good - Edit

The food is awesome and very tasty. I came here and had the Portobello sandwich (and like most everyone else) substituted for the sweet potato fries.....insane! the food is healthy and delicious. The only problems that i could see (and they are not major and have been mentioned by other reviewers) is that the menu is pretty small and for those not expecting it, substituting the fries with your sandwich and drink will put you around $13-15 depending on what you get. But its definitely worth it and worth at least a try if you are in the area.

Pros: great food!, good atmosphere, friendly workers

Cons: small menu, a tad pricey, can get crowded quickly with lunch rush

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SO yummy... - Edit

Stopped in for a bite after a long day at the beach, all I can say is YUM! Got the Island Getaway which came with sweet potato fries...SO GOOD! I'll be stopping in any time I'm in the neighborhood! Staff was exceptionally friendly.

Pros: Excellent food, friendly Staff, Very clean

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Delicious! - Edit

Their salads are to die for! Their menu is small, so if you go there often, you can get sick of it quickly. Make sure to order your meal with their sweet potato fries-- great variety of desserts as well! Like Native Foods, the bill can get a little bit pricey- but it's worth it.

Pros: Sweet Potato Fries

Cons: Small Menu

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Crazy Good Food - Edit

I think the best way to describe this entire place is "clean". The decor is very modern and has a feeling of freshness.

The food is amazing, most menu items are based on their "wheat meat" blends, and are honestly great. This is the perfect place to take someone who is non-veg... there's nothing to make you feel bad if you do eat meat, it's all about healthy and fresh food.

We sampled a few things, including the tortilla soup (awesome and thick), the sweetheart fries (really yummy with a spicy dip), the Carne Asada sandwich (a little spicy but amazing and super tender), the chill out wings (good, but reminds me a little of what you can find in stores) and the carrot cake (dense and sweet with an amazingly fluffy icing).

A really great experience overall. We left totally stuffed and could have easily taken left overs.

My only gripe is that while they are 100% vegan, they dont list it anywhere on the menu, or signs around the place, and when I asked if something had dairy the girl seemed annoyed that I would have to ask.

Pros: very quick service, indoor and outdoor seating, yummy food

Cons: drinks expensive

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Delish! - Edit

This was a wonderful surprise! Great selection, VERY flavorful and creative menu! The sauces / seasonigs were just amazing, as were the sweet potatoes fries, and pumpkin cheese cake! The only thng we didn't care for was the carrot cake (a bit under cooked), but over all a fantastic experience! Fun atmosphere too - very modern and stylish!

Pros: YUMMY food!, Nice atmosphere, Open late

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Used to be AMAZING - still good - Edit

This restaurant used to be amazing... Unfortunately, they recently decided to remove all of their "wheat meat" products from their menu. The philly cheese steak and portabello sausage sandwiches are both gone. Very disappointing. Chinese chicken salad is still good, as are the wings.Still recommend but check their new menu online if this place was suggested by someone who hasn't been there in a couple of months.

Pros: kid friendly, fast food

Cons: new menu

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fabulous fabulous fabulous! - Edit

this is one happy cow! i split a few things with my parents, both very not veg minded folk (tofu-yucky! types) and both were impressed. we had a mock philly steak, a mock grilled chicken sandwich, kale, sweet potato fries and portabella sausage sandwich. lotsa mock meats, mostly sandwiches/burgers and salads. not a huge menu, and the prices are steep (irvine prices for sure) but this is the only vegan restaurant (that i could find) in the area. food has loads of flavor, decent (not huge by any means) portions, and a small desert menu.

Pros: vegan, flavor, textured 'meats'

Cons: prices, small menu, irvine

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Healthy and Fast - Edit

Full vegan cafe...GREAT vegan cheesecake!!! They'll substitute cooked kale for the buns in the sandwiches - healthy, low-carb, and affordable.

Pros: Vegan, Excellent food

Cons: Not in Las Vegas :(

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Heavenly Grill! - Edit

On top of what everyone says here. I want to add that Take a Spinach Salad is Heavenly. It tastes so FRESH! So is Papa's Portobello & Sausage Sandwich. It's delicious! I also love Chill Out Wings and other stuff. This place is the top of my list now. Their Chipotle Ranch sauce is a winner. Their chocolate cake and carrot cakes are pretty good. Native Foods used to be on the top of my list but their quality has gone down slightly (Native's quality started as good as this place). Too bad! Hopefully, this place keep up with their quality and consistency after a year or so. I know we vegans are picky but for the price we pay to eat out we want fresh, quality, and taste.

Pros: Tasty, Fresh, Good location

Cons: None

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Clean & Yummy - Edit

I love the menu. Texas Hold 'Em and Island Getaway are my faves. The restaurant and bathroom are spotless. The food is tasty and the prices are fair. Parking is easy and next door to Trader Joes. I always get the Kale salad.

Pros: Yummy, Friendly Staff, Very Clean

Cons: No delivery service, limited menu

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If you like food...you'll LOVE The Veggie Grill! - Edit

This place is heaven on earth! It's totally casual, but the space is really bright and beautiful. (They even have outdoor seating!) The menu is enormous and 100% vegan! And the food...oh my God, the food... My friends and I shared everything and we were all beside ourselves: We got the sweet potato fries, the Santa Fe chickin' sanwich, the Island Getaway sandwich (coconut milk-battered tempeh with pineapple), and the Chop Chop Chef salad. Everything was incredible! Even the salad! (Normally I would never waste my time on a salad at a restaurant---too many other exciting options. But my friends and I were struggling with all the choices when the girl taking our order told us it was a popular choice. And I'm telling you, it was good!) As happily stuffed as we all were, we were not leaving without dessert. We shared the cheesecake, the carrot cake, and the chocolate pudding. (And truth be told, I had a chocolate chip cookie on the way home.) They were all amazing, amazing, amazing. Not one bad bite! The service was great, the restaurant was spotless, the food came out fast, and everything we ate was incredible. I cannot think of one bad thing to say about The Veggie Grill. Except that they need to open one closer to where I live! P.S. I would definitely feel confident bringing my meat-eating friends here.

Pros: AWESOME food, great menu, spotless

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YUM - Edit

The restraunt is very similar to Native Foods. I personally think the food is tastier, though. Even though the menu is small, all the food I've had there is delicous and filling. The food tastes really fresh. The salads ar amazing, along with the chicken wings and burgers, and you HAVE to get the yam fries; they're delicous. Also, for desert, i suggest their big chocolate-chip cookies.
P.S. If you order it to go, you'll usually get more food

Pros: Good environment, Reasonably priced

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less than expected - Edit

i expected a lot when i first heard about the veggie grill, because everyone made such a big deal out of it, AND it also was from the same people at Native Foods.
the menu extremely big or anything.. and you don't have that many options for sides.. i think i'll just stick with native.
the food was ok, but just like native it's a little pricey in my opinion for what you're getting. i would recommend going to wheel for vegan food in irvine.

Cons: small menu

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Best mock chicken! - Edit

This resturant is awesome! Both the "chillin' chicken" buffalo wings and sandwich were delicious. The fresh sweet potato fries were the best I've ever had and go GREAT with the chipotle ranch. VEGGIE GRILL IS A MUST TRY FOR VEGANS!

Pros: Amazing mock meat, fresh ingrediants, great fries

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This review by Thomas Soule sums it up... - Edit

The good news is there's a new restaurant in Irvine where even non-vegetarians will find plenty to eat without sacrificing taste or texture.
The Veggie Grill features a menu of reliable American favorites. Unlike the veggie burgers of old, however, you'll find that the meat substitutes at The Veggie Grill more than compensate for the vegetarian switcheroo.
You'll be amazed at the variety and heartiness of the flavors you encounter. For starters, check out the Chill Out Wings. This is chillin' chickin' in a BBQ sauce, and I suggest you begin with this, because once you taste the chillin' chickin', you'll be a believer. From there, you can explore the menu. Salads include a chef's salad, the Baja Fiesta and a Chinese chickin' salad. Each is infused with quinoa, a high-protein grain known for its nutritional benefits. If you're not in the mood for a salad, check out the selection of sandwiches and burgers. I had the Island Getaway: coconut-milk-battered tempeh, lightly fried, with teriyaki-glazed pineapple on a whole-wheat bun. A side of coleslaw and an order of Sweetheart Fries, made from sweet potato instead of regular white potato, rounded out my order. Will you have the Coup de Carrot Cake, or opt for the Divine Chocolate Pudding? I couldn't resist the Chocolate Decadence, a double-layered French chocolate cake.

Pros: Really tasty food, Cool people, Very clean

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Who says dinner can't be dessert? - Edit

I've gone to Veggie Grill twice in the past two days, and I'm going again today. There are very few restaurants I would want to eat at every day, and very few restaurants where I would try everything on the menu, but this is one of them. The staff is extremely helpful--someone came out while we were eating to ask about the food and make sure we had everything we needed. It is a casual restaurant, and the food comes really fast, which is helpful when you're dying of anticipation. So far, I've had the Texas Hold'Em and the chocolate cake, but tonight I think I'm going to try something new. If you ever have the chance to eat here, do it. The portions leave me stuffed and happy, and with no worries that I'm accidentally eating animal.

Pros: excellent food, big portions, nice staff

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