Vita Cafe

Portland, Oregon


Image for Unny Nambudiripad

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I loved this place! Everything was so tasty. Plenty of vegan options. It would be even better if they had more creative options, but they get a lot of credit for having flavorful sauces. The service was friendly and helpful.

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Yummy food, kid friendly, small and busy- so be ready to wait for a table during high traffic hours. I am always satisfied with my order.

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This place is all hype. The service is bad(I asked if they were cooking meat on the same grill and the servers eyes rolled and the response was "let me check" ) the food is acceptable. The Vegan Nachos were the last thing I ate there,they were ok...every time I give this place a chance I walk out saying the same thing...."never again".

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great food, great beer, usually packed so bring a bottle of patience with you

Image for conde.kedar

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Vita Cafe has a cool vibe and feels like a rustic diner where you could chill with friends, get a beer or a cup of coffee, and talk about life. It's a laid-back joint.

I wasn't impressed with the food, however. I had a half order of vegan french toast ($3.50), a Denver tofu scramble ($8) and also tried a few bites of my friend's vegan biscuits and gravy ($5).

First, the french toast was not good. While I like that the bread had heft (as opposed to being made with sandwich bread, they make it with sourdough at Vita), the bread itself was too sour for my likes. The syrup didn't help much. Also, the texture of the bread came across as chewy, rather than moist and fluffy.

The tofu scramble was really basic: tofu, seitan, bell peppers and onions sauteed in oil and served with some fried potatoes and toast. The scramble itself could have used more spices (maybe I ordered the wrong one? they had multiple scramble offerings) an the portion size wasn't particularly large; most of the calories seemed to come from the potatoes. I loved the spelt toast, however.

My friend's biscuits and gravy were okay, but not the best I've ever had. For one thing, the biscuits were too dense and hard, and not flaky-soft. Also, the almond gravy is a nice bit of experimentation, but as others have noted, mushroom gravies just work better than anything else. Lastly, the dish could have used more scallions and maybe a nice heaping of diced tomatoes just to freshen up the plate and bring out some other flavors.

Kudos to Vita for serving loose-leaf teas, by the way.

The service was friendly but not particularly fast; we waited at least 15 minutes for our order, which was strange given that there weren't many people in the restaurant.

All told, Vita isn't great but I suppose its vibe and solid number of vegan offerings make it a keeper. That said, you can get better vegan brunch foods elsewhere (Sweetpea Bakery comes to mind).

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this place was truly yummy, though the service lacked a little. our server never came back and we were served our food by the cook i think! i had the chicken fried steak, which was amazing! perfect in every way-i'm not a big fan of almond gravy (i prefer mushroom), but this almond gravy was delectable! the chicken fried steak was perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
my boyfriend had the buffalo tofu wrap. he said it was good, but nothing to write home about. the fries, however, were excellent.

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As one of the owners of the Vita, I wanted to address the review regarding the non vegan sausage. At the Vita we provide a menu with over 80% Vegan options. Last summer our vegan sausage distributer went kaput and we could not find a replacement. We chose to carry Mrning Star vegetarian sausage instead.

The reviewer is 100% correct this is not a vegan sausage - all of our menus reflect this change and the servers (many of whom are vegan) are very aware of this too. We are TRUELY sorry for your experience and 100% respect your vegan life style choice. I would love to personally apolgize to you for this frustrating experience.

Our commitment to Vegan eating is strong and true. We have so many vegan options even a wasabi spiced vegan bloody mary and vegan wines. Here are just some of the options available.. the choice of tofu or tempeh with each breakfast entree, to the sietan cheese steak sandwhich with a vegan cheese option, the Sweetpea vegan cheese cake, the vegan nachos or the vegan mac and cheese, the super grain salad, the daily vegan soup and daily vegan special. Eight out of nine of our entrees are vegan and all of our starters are vegan.

We work hard to provide a cafe with mostly Vegan choices and I hope that we can serve you soon.

The Vita Cafe

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In as much of a vegan/vegetarian friendly city Portland is, it is still rare to find a restaurant that truly understands what it is to be vegan. Since the launch of the Vita Café, I have been a frequent diner. As a vegan, their solely vegetarian/vegan menu led me to believe that the owner and staff were conscious of my diet and convictions. Well, apparently this is not the case. I dined for breakfast yesterday morning with one of the items being their “vegan sausage”. From a previous visit, I was under the impression that the cook staff was developing their own recipe, so kindly asked the server only to have my heart broken. Can you imagine my horror when I learned they serve Morning Star sausage? I believe it is common knowledge among vegans that Morning Star does not make a vegan product. It is all egg based! This is the most irresponsible and deceitful action a restaurant, supposedly catering to vegans, can make. I am now left wondering what else on the menu isn’t vegan despite its claim. Maybe they use bone filled refined sugar and egg in their vegan biscuits. Well, you won’t be seeing me in the Vita Café any time soon. This is an outrage, and I encourage all vegans to follow suit and let the Vita Café know that their deceit and lack of compassion for our diet will not be tolerated.

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The service is to busy being "cool" to worry about anything else. The food is bad and they will never get my money again.

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I've just moved to the Portland area and so far this is the best place for vegan comfort food. The food can be a little bit heavy - definitely not lo-cal or particularly healthy - but I really like the service and the ambience. A very pleasant, casual environment. I really like the variety of food available here. Keep in mind, though, that it is not a vegetarian restaurant so remember to order vegan if you want vegan food. (I.e. if you ask for a side of bacon, you'll get the real deal and not the fakin' kind.)

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I really like Vita and so do my kids. The corn cakes, "SOS" and vegan nachos are my favorite menu items. The booth seats are a little uncomfortable, the ambiance is pretty casual, and the service runs the gamut from good and attentive to slow and forgetful. Still, we keep coming back. It's a friendly place and we like the food.

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I totally enjoyed my experience here. The service was nice and the tempeh chicken fried steak was a great dish! I heard about this place word of mouth and was pleased with it all around, great coffee, great food.

Image for Ramona

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I have not been there for breakfast, which is what everyone raves about, but the dinner was so so. The portions were indeed huge and the service was very good. The place also has a certain endearing quality and I can see it can easily get new fans because of its atmosphere. But all the three dishes I tried at dinner were so so; nothing was bad, but nothing was very good either. I also don't like that the menu doesn't make it clear what's vegan and what's not (which would be easy since the waiters said that almost anything can be made vegan; but some people might not feel comfortable asking). I liked other places in Portland a lot more.

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I love Vita Cafe!!!

I've been there several times and wish I could get there more often. A few years ago I took my mom there for mother's day and she enjoyed it! I tell myself to get something new each time, but I always end up getting the delicious Mexican corn cakes with a side of vegan cheese. Would be great to go with a lot of people so I could sample a little bit of everything. Don't forget to grab a slice of tasty vegan cake on your way out.
Just went there on 3-12-05 and enjoyed the yummy sweet potato enchilada pie with a side of rice and beans. It was my first time there for dinner. They had a seasonal menu for winter. It was busy in there as usual. It would be nice if the music wasn't as loud.

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Vita Cafe is located in the 'up and coming' Alberta Street area. It specializes in fresh and organic foods. While they are definitely known for their breakfast menu (including their corn cakes), they do have a pretty extensive lunch and dinner menu with a wide variety of food choices.

Portions are extremely generous, so plan to share or take home left overs.

Vita has a number of very good cheap eats options, including a breakfast special for early in the morning, a 'happy hour' for kids meals (where kids eat for $1 5-7pm) and cheap lunch specials that will fill you up for under $5.

While mostly vegetarian, Vita Cafe does serve hormone free, family farm raised hamburgers. So if you've got non-veg friends who can't live without their burger, they can still get their burger fix while you feast on Tempeh Fajitas or Portabello Mushroom Polenta. Who knows, maybe they'll skip the burger and join you in one of many yummy tasting veggie dishes!

Vita also has a great selection of vegan desserts from the Buddha Belly Bakery.

Generous portions, good food, family friendly, a great veggie Portland food choice!

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My favorite veg restaurant in Portland! Try the Thai Corn Cakes for breakfast!

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