Hella Vegan Eats
Hella Vegan Eats
411 26th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
Open Wednesday - Sunday, check website for hours & menu
Hella Vegan Eats is located in Uptown Oakland area just off of auto row. It’s not the easiest place to find, but once you do (and find parking), you are in for some freaking amazing vegan food. You walk through a small, inconspicuous door with the sign Classic Cars West above it, and once inside the dark interior, you’ll find a bar with menus and other colorful signage. You order your food and drinks from the bar, take your number, walk through the Classic Cars West’s showroom to the outdoor beer garden/patio.
Once outside, you are treated an airy garden with tables, benches, another bar (which is cash only and only opened certain times of the day/weekend), a pingpong table, and lots of space in general (and yes, the patio is dog-friendly). There are umbrellas for the really warm days (coming soon; the East Bay always gets a warm Late Summer Season in Late August-September-October; though San Francisco is enduring Fogust right now), and a billowy parachute-umbrella that I love to sit under.
My husband Cody and I went there a month ago for Sunday brunch, and more recently on a weekday for lunch. Cody ordered the Chicken Ranch Burger which had a huge piece of crispy fried faux chicken (homemade; they make everything in-house), cashew-ranch dressing and pickled jalapeños. I had the Grilled Cheeze sandwich. Now let me say right here that I never, ever, order a vegan grilled cheese anyplace. They are usually nasty and full of processed vegan cheezy crap made in a vat someplace in the middle of wherever. I love Miyoko’s Cheese and Kite Hill, but I never use those in a grilled sandwich. The sandwich I ordered at Hella Vegan Eats was the goddamn BOSS. Holy shit. It came with arugula-pumpkin seed pesto, and then I added avocado, and dear god above, this was the best grilled sandwich I had ever had, vegan or not! It was served on this almost sweet, thick Texas toast, and I struggled to eat the whole thing, but by golly I did. It was creamy and savory and sweet all at the same time and after I finished it I just kept saying “fuck.” As in “Fuck that was good. …. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. FUUUUUUCK. Fucky-fuck fucky. Fuck.” No really, and I apologize for the foul language, but really, this was the best sandwich—or perhaps meal--that I had eaten since I had cancer two years ago. Having chewing issues makes eating sometimes not so fun, but this sandwich was just so, so worth it. Cody felt nearly the same after his sandwich; it was crispy and spicy hot and huge. And while our brunch last month (we had Brocko’s Totchos and Champion of Breakfast) had been delicious, this was actually better. Though I’m beginning to dream of what we may do over the weekend…
Along with orgasmic food, HVE also serves beer and wine. I ordered rosé; the kind that came in a can, because I’m always up for wine-in-a-can. Cody ordered an IPA from local Oakland brewery Ghost Town. Both were decent if not memorable (hard for anything to be memorable after those sandwiches!)
One thing I truly loved about HVE—beside the food—is that it’s a “queer, trans, fem, POC prioritized space.” The staff are lovely and helpful; this is truly an all-inclusive place.
Go there. Now. Today. It’s truly worth your time. If you live in SF, come on over the bridge; and if you are planning a visit to the area soon, and you like vegan food, make Hella Vegan Eats a priority; you won’t be sorry. Plus--classic cars! And art! And the best goddamn vegan grilled cheeze sandwiches in the whole wide world!!
Saturday, August 4th, 2018
Cody and I went back for Brunch! Check out the second gallery below the first slide show. He had the Fried Chicken & Biscuit Sandwich, and I had Champions of Breakfast. His sandwich was similar to what he had previously; except with a biscuit. The Champions is delicious; it's scrambled tofu, roasted sweet potatoes, and seitan bacon all next to an herbed biscuit with gravy. The biscuits are very flavorful and moist--not dry at all. The seitan bacon is slightly spicy and somewhat chewy. The scrambled tofu is perfect, full of flavor and texture. The sweet potatoes are a little eh; not much to them. For me, it's the biscuit and gravy that really make the dish. We got some Breakfast Tochos to-go. We figure we can feast on them for dinner. Or on the drive home. It's hard for me to say no to tater tots. The tots are crispy and the cashew cream is spicy and smoky. And watch out for those jalapeños!