Updated: I'm not as big a fan of Common Roots as I once was. The past few months have a seen a notable decline in the variety of vegan non-dessert options. Last time I was there I ordered the squash and leek risotto. It was really delicious, but the portion was piddling, and though the menu said it came with sauteed greens, none were in evidence. And it cost $10.50!
Their vegan options these days just don't satisfy, though I find the vegan desserts are still consistently good. I visit regularly to play Go, but I generally aim to eat dinner at home first, and have dessert there.
I'm amazed I haven't written a review of Common Roots yet, given how often I'm there.
It's actually a tough place to review since sometimes I go there for tea and dessert, sometimes for a meal, and sometimes just to meet with people.
As a coffee shop, it's excellent. They have some really great made-in-house vegan desserts, including excellent scones, cupcakes, and amazing tarts. The only downside is they often run out of vegan stuff before the end of the night, so if you go in the last hour or two they're open, it may be slim pickings.
As a restaurant, they make some fantastic food. Their soups are some of the best soups I've ever tasted. My only complaint is that they change all the time, and they don't seem to cycle my old favorites back in very often. But that's okay, because the new ones are wonderful.
They also make good sandwiches and entrees. Not long ago, I had some lentil bolognese pasta which was excellent. Their entrees tend to be too light on salt, but that's easy to fix.
My biggest complaint here is that they rarely have more than one vegan sandwich or entree. I'm somewhat picky about certain things (bleah, cucumbers or celery), so if the entree has that, I'm out of luck. I wish they consistently had more vegan options in the meal category.
Their bagels are great, and I highly recommend them. They are by far the closest to proper east coast bagels that I've had. They're a little flat, but they're properly chewy. I try to always keep some in the freezer for breakfast.
My biggest complaint is that their wireless is terrible. When the place is full, it just stops working. My guess is that they're using equipment intended for a home network when they should be using something beefier.
My second biggest complaint is that they're sometimes just too full and there's no seats, but that's not something they can fix, except by raising prices or lowering quality. Oh well.