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“Fantastic in concept, but sort of defeats the purpose....” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Souley Vegan

Souley Vegan
Ranked #185 of 1,250 Restaurants in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: amazing Vegan food for those who miss meat!! Souly vegan is an amazing restaurant with an amazing story! You MUST go to there web sight & check them out. Great collard greens, amazing no meat chicken & free oranges wail you wait. I am a vegetarian who used to love a good meaty sandwich & this place makes me forget all about my old habits. The first time I eat the chicken sandwich I knew going vegetarian wasn’t going to be as hard as I thought, as long as souly vegan is open!!!
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
267 reviews
205 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“Fantastic in concept, but sort of defeats the purpose....”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2012

4 stars for the owner, the concept, and the service. Everything about this place was top notch for a low key local eatery. The problem is that it exposes everything that is wrong about the vegan movement: the clientele were uppity hipsters desperate to differentiate themselves, making their dining choices antithetical as they puff on cigarettes by the front door. The other issue is that it exposes the problem with vegetarian and vegan cuisine - to come of age, it needs to be itself and stop trying to mimic meaty food. The choice of eating veggie / vegan stems from many a philosophy - religion, ethical sustainability, etc, and often times is largely informed by the need or desire to be healthy. This simply exposes the insecurity of veganism, and proves that people who choose to eat a limiting palette of options from this cradle of health can eat just as unhealthily and poorly as those who choose to eat meats and traditional soul foods. When you fry everything, and then masquerade everything with spices, etc... to *my* personal, uninformed, confused mind - it sort of defeats the purpose. There's eating healthy and ethically for personal, spiritual, or economic reasons.... then there is a hipster scene of duality, hypocrisy, and shallow misinformation.

The owner of this establishment has done everything right. She is a consummate professional, kind and jolly, friendly and community minded. The FOOD!!! The fried tofu barbecue is out of sight. The macaroni and cheese is vegan and MIND BLOWING. Black eyed peas are the yum. The fried dishes seemed like proper po boys, and the atmosphere and ambiance is fun and low key (park benches with jazz greats stenciled all about). Incredible service, incredible concept, but the clientele just expose it. Maybe I am an old grump, but I just rather have the same unhealthy food with a little bit of protein and a hell of a lot less desperate steampunk / goth / punk / 80's throwback hipster piquant. It doesn't seem like community as much as a lonely circus.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank OnlineConcierge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    35
    21
    6
    7
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“not good”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2012

the peach cobbler crust was very dry and the yams were nit goid at all. I plan to return the food today.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank monique h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
67 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Not Great Grits”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2012

There were 7 of us, so I got to try a lot of different things.. The black eyed peas I ordered were OK, but the greens were inedible. I polished off my grits because I was hungry, but they were disappointing. A soul food place should at least have the grits right. The sweet potato fries, southern fried tofu and portobello mushroom sandwich were very tasty, though. The mac and cheese was awful. I've had better from a box. Although the staff was very friendly and apologetic, the last of our party was finally served after the first ones had already finished eating. An very uneven dining experience, but I would try it again because I like the idea of it and really want to like it.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank jajanbali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Awesome, awesome, awesome”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2012

So so so so good. Can't say enough of how good the food is at Souley Vegan. I've been a few times and always consistent and always so delicious! Southern fried tofu? check. barbecue tofu? check. Black eyed peas? check. Plus they often run specials on groupon or similar sites so you can go for half price! Even if you don't have an internet discount, the prices are really reasonable.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank Beegreen7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castro Valley, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Meh!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2012

I have been twice, because of all of great reviews this place gets. I found the food OK, but not like my mom made, and she made some good vegan soul food that was lower in fat than some of the dishes here. My least favorite was the fried tofu: it was just too batter-y and greasy for me. I couldn't eat it. Stick with the real veggies, and you'll will do a lot better. Oh, and avoid the back dining room: I found it a bit scary.

  • Visited November 2011
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank lain321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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