Finding Vegan Food at Not Exclusively Vegan Restaurants

Vegetarano from El Coqui Photo: Spencer Asher

There are some restaurants in Sonoma County that offer mostly vegan options, but there are so many other restaurants that are not exclusively vegan offering up some wonderful plant-based food.  Don’t reject restaurants just because they offer meat, or you will be missing out on some interesting vegan dishes that can be found across all cuisines.

For this episode, I will be interviewing Sharon Palmer on how to find vegan food in Sonoma County.  Sharon Palmer is a registered dietician nutritionist who recently completed her Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems.  She has authored over 1000 articles and written 3 books.            

Sharon Palmer visits Sonoma County often and explained in the podcast that vegan options can be found at almost any restaurant.  By looking at the menu ahead of time you can be sure there is a vegan option available at the restaurant you want to try.  The Happy Cow app is another way of finding vegan options near your area.  Also, calling ahead to a restaurant is a way of seeing if the chef can make you something plant-based that may not even be on the menu.  

Glen Ellen Star in Glen Ellen and El Coqui in Santa Rosa are examples of restaurants that are not exclusively vegan but are serving up delicious plant-based dishes.  El Coqui offers dishes like Tostones Vegetarianos, which is fried plantains topped with tomato and avocado and the Vegetarano which includes beans, rice, plantains, and avocado salad.  The plantains are crisp, can be ordered sweet or savory, and the vegetables are bright and fresh.  Other interesting restaurants include Raku Ramen and Rolls that serves up vegan ramen, avocado rolls, and salad and Ike’s  which can make almost any of their sandwich’s vegan.  Part of adopting a vegan diet is being willing to find foods that are both ethical and healthy wherever you go to eat.

Sonoma County is known for its wine, and along with the wine comes a Mediterranean diet that is full of fresh vegetables and pasta.  This type of food along with food from many other cuisines can be found easily. If you just search a little and take the time to find something vegan, you will have a delicious and satisfying experience.  

El Coqui in downtown Santa Rosa Photo: Spencer Asher

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