It’s time to shed unwanted poundage and get back into those jeans and jorts in time for spring and summer. What better way than to throw more veggies into the mix? Here’s a quick list of 24 places to eat clean and green in Silicon Valley.
This local Mexi-Asian fusion chain is probably better known for its knockout margarita swirls than cuisine but hold the phone. Aqui offers up one of the healthiest and most innovative menus in the South Bay for a very reasonable price, as most meals run in the $10-12 range.
They use sustainable, locally sourced and seasonal ingredients to make dishes like the broccoli and asiago risotto cakes ($9.5) and the spicy mango sesame tofu ($9.5). They also have 17 vegan items to go along with their traditional protein offerings.
Bowl of Heaven
1040 Grant Rd Ste 300, Mountain View
Featuring açaí bowls, smoothies, and fresh-pressed juices, Bowl of Heaven in Mountain View is a one-stop-shop for one’s daily dose of fruits and veggies. Their popular Red Zinger ($9-11) açaí bowl—açaí, mango, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries, lime, ginger, granola, honey, and coconut water—makes for a great day starter or light lunch. Among the smoothies and juices, the Hulk-n-ator stands out as a hearty concoction of lemon, parsley, kale, spinach, and carrots. Another location can be found in Fremont.
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
Calafia was a favorite of the late, great Steve Jobs, and it’s the brainchild of former Google head chef and Grateful Dead personal chef Charlie Ayers. While not exclusively vegetarian/vegan, the restaurant serves farm-to-table gourmet: and it has a large, veghead-friendly menu that includes roasted wild mushroom tacos ($17) and the New Mexico chili simmered tofu avocado roll ($18). It is also one of the few places that makes a legit vegan pizza, called the New Vegan Love Fest ($16).
2301 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose
For more than 50 years, Falafel’s Drive-In has been a bastion for South Bay vegetarians on the go. Their falafel sandwich and fresh banana shake combo ($10) may be better suited for a calorie cheat day, but they’re a recipe for vegetarian nirvana.
Up the ante and get the pita chips ($4), which are the deep-fried ends of pita bread mixed in a crack-like za’atar spice blend. One bite and you’ll be hooked.
Specializing in Chinese vegan cuisine, Garden Fresh chefs Robert Liang and Paul Hsueh have perfected their recipes over decades. Their fried black pepper chicken ($9-13) is terrific and the soy chicken will have one seriously questioning if it’s really vegan. The kung pao eggplant ($9-11) is another spicy house specialty that will have patrons in tears as they reach for more.