Cafe Gratitude

East Bay, California

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Cafe Gratitude is a solid option for vegan visiting Berkeley. The prices are a bit incongruous - a regular-sized shake is $10, while most of the entrees range between $10-$14 - but if you can get over the bizarre pricing scheme, it averages out to a reasonable meal in the end.

Cafe Gratitude is somewhat famous for its hokey ambience. Diners are given a "question of the day" to ponder (ex. "What is something that you are proud of?") and all of the tables come with meditation cards. All of the dishes have names that start with "I Am" followed by an adjective or adverb, except for the Mexican-themed dishes which have names that start with "Yo soy" (followed by a Spanish adjective or adverb). If you can get past the embarrassment of saying "I Am Beautiful" and having your server repeat back to you "You Are Beautiful," then you will reap the benefits of a delicious and healthy meal. However, there is a nontrivial percentage of people who find the whole experience to be humiliating beyond belief - if you think that this might be you, I'd recommend avoiding Cafe Gratitude.

For those who have been to other Cafe Gratitude locations, this one is on the larger end. There is a small grocery area in the front, which features a fridge with carry-out options as well as a few shelves of raw ingredients to use in your own (un)cooking. After several visits, I've found that the key lime pie and orange creamsicle shake are my favorite dishes at Cafe Gratitude.


rating star

I usually like my food well cooked, but I was impressed with Cafe Gratitude's food - although I do think it was a bit overpriced. I suppose you're also paying for the social/environmental responsibility of the food somewhere in there...Desserts range from pretty good to amazing. I highly recommend the coconut "cream" pie. The Chocolate milkshake had hard chocolatey nuggets that were hard to eat at first but grew on me.

The atmosphere is a little over the top if you're not into constant affirmations and being incessantly presented with inspirational sayings. Then again, if you're into that kind of thing, this is certainly the place for you.

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