Veggie Grill Opens in Berkeley

Its 100 percent plant-based menu employs only monounsaturated fats.


Anneli Star Josselin Rufus

Vegan fast-food chain Veggie Grill opened a new location late last month in Downtown Berkeley.

Occupying a huge corner space long occupied by a photocopy shop, it joins over thirty locations in California, Washington, Oregon, and Illinois.

An extensive plant-based-only menu covers all bases, from burgers to bowls to burritos to salads to desserts — including a "chickin" Cobb salad, "sausage" flatbread, "fish" tacos, "crab" cake sandwich, masala bowl, black bean-"chickin" nachos, and dozens more options.

Its tofu dishes are made with Oakland-based Hodo tofu.

Kevin Boylan and T.K. Pillan founded the group in Irvine in 2006, and from the outset has focused on serving no meat, dairy, eggs, cholesterol, animal fats, or trans fats. 

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Pillan — who studied engineering at MIT — said that he decided to co-found the group after switching from a conventional diet to a plant-based diet, on which within three months "I lost twenty pounds, my cholesterol dropped from over 200 to under 140, and I felt great. 

"That, coupled with the environmental and ethical hazards of factory farming that I learned about, fueled my passion to create a restaurant concept that would help take plant-based foods from a niche market to the mainstream," Pillan told the Huffington Post.

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