As a downtown Huntington Beach resident and avid eater, I was tapped to offer my tips for the best local dining for the 2016/17 Huntington Beach Visitors Guide. Here are my suggestions for the best vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free eateries in Surf City.
Jan’s Health Bar – Since 1972, Jan’s has served healthy, fresh, high quality food at affordable prices to a loyal audience of surfers and local residents and is home to the original tuna and avo sandwich (with sprouts on whole grain bread – sooo good!). Jan’s menu features fresh juices and smoothies, sandwiches soups, salads, as well as vegetarian and vegan options and an assortment of vegan and gluten free baked goods.
*My go-to for detoxing or post workout: the Go Green juice with kale, cucumbers, spinach, parsley, celery, apples, ginger and lemons. Current favorite lunch: the kale salad with avocado, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, carrots and dried cranberries tossed in a Tahini Goddess dressing is generous enough to share or save for dinner. Add protein for $2 – both the tuna and chicken salad are super.
500 Main St., 714-536-4856.
Bodhi Tree Vegan Cafe – Enjoy a vegan/vegetarian in the calming atmosphere of Bodhi Tree Vegan Cafe right in the middle of Main Street’s buzz. Bodhi Tree has been in the vegetarian business for over 20 years and their special ingredients and secret recipes passed on through three generations of cooks. All of their entrees are vegan. Selections include a delicious Pho to a unique jackfruit salad, topped with the perfect sesame sauce, a local favorite.
501 Main St. Suite E. 714-969-9500
Vegan Nirvana – Fresh vegan casual fare in a zen meets modern space with lots to look at is what you’ll find at Vegan Nirvana. With names like “Deep Sea Meditation” (fried vegan shrimp), “Divine Eternity” (vegan ‘chicken’ lettuce cups, pictured above), and a salad called “Garden of Eden” with “Almighty Dressing”, ordering seems like a spiritual awakening and your body will love you for it. The “Ocean of Love” fish tacos and “BLT Awakening” come recommended.
7862 Warner Blvd., Suite 110. 714-847-4080.
Secret Spot – North on Pacific Coast Highway near Bolsa Chica State Beach, is a tiny juice bar and cafe tucked in a strip mall next to Huntington Surf & Sport called the Secret Spot. Their menu offers a wide assortment of fresh juices and smoothies with soy milk options, breakfast burritos and chocolate chip pancakes along with hummus, salads, bowls, sandwiches, and tacos for later in the day. Most menu items are easily made vegan and there are vegan baked goods as well. Can be very busy, but worth the wait! Favorites are the Breakfast Burrito and HB Surround Sound.
3801 Warner Ave, Suite B (at Pacific Coast Highway). 562-592-4494.
Mother’s Market & Kitchen – Mother’s Market is a natural foods grocery store with several locations in Orange County stocking fresh organic fruit and vegetables, bulk, frozen and packaged food, vitamins and supplements. The Huntington Beach location is smaller compared to some of the other locations yet carries an array of salads and sandwiches to go from the deli and fresh juices and smoothies at the juice bar. During lunch prime time you may encounter a line at the cafe which serves breakfast (all day), lunch and dinner from an extensive vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free menu.
Opening photo courtesy of Jan’s Health Bar.