We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Owner makes this spot special....” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Souley Vegan

Souley Vegan
Ranked #167 of 1,249 Restaurants in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, 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
“Owner makes this spot special....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 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 June 2012
Helpful?
Thank OnlineConcierge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

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
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Best vegan soul food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2012 via mobile

The best soul vegan food around! They have the best fake ribs! Ask for spicy, and that is what you will get. Homemade Mac and cheese, and all the "fixins". The place had benches for tables, murals of blues legends, and the best music. You order from the counter, and the waiter delivers the food. Nice staff. Has a home feeling

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank lmarie p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Souley Vegan has incredible food!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2012 via mobile

This food is incredible even for those who aren't vegan! I began eating here when it first opened, and became a "regular" after my first bite. The fried minis are wonderful, as well as the okra. Now they even have dessert...a true jewel in my hometown.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank almawilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Tasty, Soulfully pleasing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

Came here with a Groupon and was pleasantly surprised by the heartiness of flavor and portions, and pleasant laid back atmosphere. We had fried kale, served over a fresh bed of spinach and tomatoes, stewed okra, very well seasoned with a kick of Jalapenos, fried tofu over white rice and a side of sweet yams. Everything was delicious.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank MLM-Madam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Culturally Disorienting, Tastefully Good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2012

Want to shake up your eating habit? Try this soul food, vegetarian restaurant! Now typically, when I think of African-American soul food, I think of cuisine that has meat (pork, chicken etc.) at its core, but not this restaurant. There's obviously no meat, but the strange thing is, I didn't miss it! Tofu substitutes for meat and it is prepared in a way that really pleases. I had the southern fried tofu sandwich topped with BBQ tofu, and in a word - delicious! The veggies were great too (greens, lentils, black-eye peas, etc) and I washed it all down with a good Belgian ale (Duval for you Belgian beer lovers). When I left I was thinking, what just happened? It was a totally unique and enjoyable experience. This place has a very casual decor and feel, with old photos of the owner's family and famous musicians on the walls, while R&B, soul, blues music plays in the background. You place your order upon entering, at the cash register, prior to sitting at your table. Souley Vegan is just blocks from the Oakland waterfront near Jack Johnson Square, and you can walk to it if getting off the San Francisco ferry. And it's just off of the I880/I980 Freeway.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank breukelenman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Souley Vegan? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing