Venice California’s Café Gratitude – 100% Organic, 100% Plant-Based, 100% Delicious!

Cafe Gratitude Venice - Organic Vegan Cafe
512 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291
Cafe Gratitude Venice
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(424) 231-8000

by Roberta Walker

My first time at a Cafe Gratitude restaurant was in 2009 at their premier location, in an area that was a little “off the beaten path” in San Francisco. The restaurant had a very colorful, earthy, laid back and eclectic vibe. The wall’s were covered with inspiration quotes, detailed murals, and their pledge to “Nourish a Thankful Community.” The servers and the people were warm and inviting and the restaurant was filled with a mix of hippies, young adults, nature lovers and foodie types. Their Venice Beach location doesn’t quite have that same vibe.

 

AWESOME herb-cornmeal crusted eggplant parmesan on grilled panini bread with marinara sauce, cashew ricottta, tomatoes, Brazil nut parmesan, arugula and basil. Served with a side salad.

AWESOME herb-cornmeal crusted eggplant parmesan on grilled panini bread with marinara sauce, cashew ricottta, tomatoes, Brazil nut parmesan, arugula and basil. Served with a side salad.

 I-Am Bountiful--Baked gluten-free pasta with Delicata squash, Brussels sprouts and spinach in an almond Bechamel sauce topped with Brazil nut parmesan and fresh basil.

I-Am Bountiful–Baked gluten-free pasta with Delicata squash, Brussels sprouts and spinach in an almond Bechamel sauce topped with Brazil nut parmesan and fresh basil.

 

Located on a busy street in Venice, just blocks from the beach, the street is lined with bars, hip coffee shops, fashion boutiques, and condominiums. Cafe Gratitude Venice is situated in a huge residential building with the bonus to that being that there is free underground parking. You are greeted by a hostess and have the option of sitting at one of their many counter top bar stools, booths, tables, or outside on their large covered deck.

 

Peace - Raw open-faced bagel with onion-sesame crust, cashew cream cheese, nori, tomato, onion, capers and sprouts.

Peace – Raw open-faced bagel with onion-sesame crust, cashew cream cheese, nori, tomato, onion, capers and sprouts.

 

Two organic tacos with chipotle butternut squash, black beans, avocado, seasonal salsa fresca, and cashew nacho cheese. Served with a side of Mexican coleslaw

Two organic tacos with chipotle butternut squash, black beans, avocado, seasonal salsa fresca, and cashew nacho cheese. Served with a side of Mexican coleslaw

 

It’s definitely a more modern and hip unified version with simplistically styled decor, “uniforms” for all the servers that entail a v-neck shirt with the v-neck helping to spell out the work love, and most of your meals will be served in white dishes with the occasional teal dish served. The staff are friendly and accommodating but it does seem to be more of a rushed atmosphere. I guess that’s how it goes in the hustle and bustle of a big city.

 

Seasonal Special-Brussels sprouts roasted in maple syrup and olive oil

Seasonal Special-Brussels sprouts roasted in maple syrup and olive oil

 

Atmosphere and decor aside it’s the food that is the real star of this restaurant! Everything on the menu is 100% plant based and 100% organic. You literally can’t go wrong with anything you order, as everything is made with the freshest sourced ingredients and prepared for optimum health. Open from morning to night they have a huge menu including breakfast items, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, coffee, tea, elixirs, sparkling drinks, appetizers, wraps, bowls, pasta dishes, desserts, seasonal dishes, and even organic wine and spirits!

 

House made ginger lemonade on ice

House made ginger lemonade on ice

They offer both raw and cooked vegan dishes as well as gluten free options. If you make it here for breakfast they have both sweet and savory options. The raw open faced bagel is scrumptious but I could have easily eaten two! Looking for something on the sweeter side, you can’t go wrong with a  Raw Crepe smothered in a creamy sauce.

 

Fantastic raw crepe with cashews, fresh fruit, coconut yogurt, maple syrup and pecans

Fantastic raw crepe with cashews, fresh fruit, coconut yogurt, maple syrup and pecans

 

One of my favorite meals is the Magical, a vegan burger that I get on the raw gluten-free wrap with avocado, macadamia cheese, and coconut bacon, it’s just bursting with flavor! During the winter one of their seasonal specials are sweet crispy brussel sprouts and we always get a dish to share.

 

The Magical - a homemade veggie burger on raw gluten-free wrap with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onioin, mustard sauce and spicy chipotle ketchup. Served with a side salad, avocado, coconut bacon and macadamia cheese.

The Magical – a homemade veggie burger on raw gluten-free wrap with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onioin, mustard sauce and spicy chipotle ketchup. Served with a side salad, avocado, coconut bacon and macadamia cheese.

 

Most of their bowls like the Indian-inspired Humble can be served over brown rice or quinoa for a more nutrient packed version. Pair your meal with one of their sparkling drink concoctions or cap the meal off with a warm creamy latte with my favorite choice being the Golden, a Turmeric latte with honey, turmeric juice and steamed almond milk (Caffeine-Free).

 

Humble--Indian curried lentils over quinoa with oven=roasted Garnet yams and sauteed spinach drizzled with a spicy mint chutney and sweet tamarind sauce. Finished with chopped scallions.

Humble–Indian curried lentils over quinoa with oven=roasted Garnet yams and sauteed spinach drizzled with a spicy mint chutney and sweet tamarind sauce. Finished with chopped scallions.

 

Turmeric latte with honey, turmeric juice and steamed almond milk (caffeine free)

Turmeric latte with honey, turmeric juice and steamed almond milk (caffeine free)

 

Right at the front of the restaurant they have a dessert care with a variety of pies, cakes, cookies and truffles. Don’t come here without trying one of their to-die-for treats, JP recommends the Key Lime Pie.

 

Key Lime Pie. Creamy avocado-lime custard topped with coconut meringue in a pecan-macadamia date crust.

Key Lime Pie. Creamy avocado-lime custard topped with coconut meringue in a pecan-macadamia date crust.

 

If you literally are in a hurry you can always grab a to-go item from the deli case. Cold-pressed juices, salads, wraps, and of course deserts are just a quick grab and you are out the door. We always get a cold-pressed juice to go, I love that they come in glass bottles and as a bonus I can use them to bottle my kombucha since the labels come off fairly easily!

 

Beautiful gluten-free muffin, seasonal fruit preserves, Crunchy raw granola with homemade granola, fresh fruit and coconut yogurt.

Beautiful gluten-free muffin, seasonal fruit preserves, Crunchy raw granola with homemade granola, fresh fruit and coconut yogurt.

 

Next time you are in Venice be sure to check out this hip and healthy restaurant!

Roberta is a retired professional snowboarder, business owner, yoga instructor, and graduate of Living Light Culinary Institute. She is passionate about plant based eating, creating delicious nutrient dense foods, organic foods, NonGMO’s, sustainable living, and organic gardening. She loves being outdoors and active and enjoys traveling with her husband, JP, to exotic locales to surf and explore new cultures and cuisines.

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