California’s capital city may not be the first place that comes to mind as a vegan destination, but think again. Once considered a “cow town”—a stop for gas en route to San Francisco, Napa, or Lake Tahoe—Sacramento has emerged as a modern, forward-thinking food metropolis surrounded by rolling farmland abundant with local, organic, and farm-fresh offerings. In addition to an exploding plant-based dining scene, the greater Sacramento area, with a population of more than 2 million, boasts the world-famous Crocker Art Museum, two major rivers that connect a 23-mile nature parkway, an NBA basketball team, and new state-of-the-art convention, performing arts, and entertainment centers in the heart of downtown. On your next trip to the self-described “Farm-to-Fork Capital,” make time to visit these nine amazing vegan eateries.

VegNews.BambiveganBambi Vegan Tacos

1 Bambi Vegan Tacos

Originating as a humble food truck, Bambi Vegan Tacos opened as a fun and funky dine-in destination in 2018 with a full bar, high-top tables, and an industrial cement floor. But don’t be fooled by the name—this place is so much more than tacos. The Melty Melt is Bambi’s take on a tuna melt with charred artichokes, oyster mushrooms, and whole chickpeas. Burnt romaine and achiote squash in an avocado chili vinaigrette are the stars of the Fajita Salad. Of course, you don’t want to miss the tacos, including Bambi’s namesake made with cremini mushroom beef or the Baja stuffed with cider-battered cauliflower. Wash it all down with a honeydew-and-green-apple margarita. 
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VegNews.DeadlySinsVegan Deadly Sins

2 Vegan Deadly Sins

The only thing deadly about this vegan eatery is its killer menu (excuse the Dad joke). This family-owned and -operated dining house is where “vegan meets Chinese cuisine,” drawing inspiration from Buddhist roots with high-quality and sustainable ingredients. Traditional dishes—like Hot & Sour soup, General Tso’s chicken, Mongolian beef, and chow mein—are turned plant-based using meat made of soy, vegetable protein, and wheat gluten. The seemingly endless menu includes standouts like Golden Knots in delicate soybean sheets and satay pork spareribs with taro and pumpkin. The Singapore vermicelli’s curry-flavored noodles mingle with fresh veggies and too-good-to-be-true faux ham. But the vegan prawns with glazed walnuts may be the pièce de résistance.
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VegNews.VegCafeVeg Cafe

3 Veg Café

Climb a steep staircase to access this unpretentious café located directly above its sister Thai restaurant on one of midtown Sacramento’s main streets. Intimate dining spaces, including a covered sunporch with views of neighboring businesses below, give the Veg Café a relaxed homespun feel. In addition to an all plant-based menu that takes advantage of local, seasonal ingredients, the restaurant works with Resoil Sacramento to deliver green waste to nearby farms for composting. The world-cuisine-inspired menu offers creative fare such as French onion soup with caramelized onions and butternut squash in a hearty broth topped with cashew mozzarella. The scrambled tofu is a delicate combo of creamy pesto, potato hash, tomato chutney, black beans, and an accent of microgreens. Don’t miss the golden-fried latkes with coconut pesto, spinach, and house feta or the chickpea and turmeric crêpes filled with veggies and topped with curry sauce and pickled carrots. For something sweet, go for the coconut-custard-soaked French toast with fava bean whipped cream and candied pecans. 
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4 Andy Nguyen’s Vegetarian

Inspired by childhood recipes from Saigon and a belief in compassionate living, the Andy Nguyen Restaurant family has been feeding vegan and non-vegan crowds since 1984. Peace, love, and compassion inspire each delicious dish with names like Awakening Mind Chow Fun, Universal Love Lemongrass, and Harmonious Connection. Start with the refreshing Karma Roll with mangos, grilled tofu, and pickled carrots or the crunchy Nirvana Lemon Salad dished up with grilled soy beef and a mixed herb slaw. Spiritual entrées include Peaceful Existence with potatoes, tofu, and beets in a yellow curry sauce and Devine Realization—a delicious take on pad Thai with beets and shitake mushrooms. Given the generous portions, there will be plenty of leftovers to enjoy the next day.
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VegNews.PureSoulSacPure Soul Plant Based Eats

5 Pure Soul Plant Based Eats

Tucked away in the corner of a small strip mall in East Sacramento is Pure Soul Plant Based Eats, a tiny eatery that’s best suited for takeout. Despite its petite size, this café has a big heart and an even bigger mission to serve up vegan comfort food. Almost every menu item can be customized to your liking. Do you prefer a Beyond Meat, Impossible, or house-made veggie patty for that burger? Chicken options come grilled, fried, or extra crispy. Add on Baja ranch, barbecue, or buffalo sauce, along with caramelized onions, crispy jalapeños, bacon, roasted pastrami, sauerkraut, vegan cheese, and just about any other vegan burger fixin’ you can think of. Leave room for a side of crispy beer-battered cauliflower or a crazy-good mac and cheese. For soulful sides, choose candied yams, collard greens, or a downhome helping of potato salad.
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VegNews.BurgerPatchBurger Patch

6 Burger Patch

If you reminisce about secret sauce-slathered burgers, crispy fries, and thick chocolate milkshakes after a busy workday, this place is for you. With three locations in Sacramento, the Burger Patch takes a clean, efficient, fast-food approach to plant-based dining with a focus on exceptional yet accessible burgers and fries. Using Beyond Meat for both beef and chicken options, choices range from a basic burger with homemade Patch Sauce to the Mac Stack Deluxe Burger topped with homemade mac and cheese, tater tots, smoked hickory strips, grilled onions, dill pickles, and Patch mayo. Don’t sleep on the signature shakes—they’re thick, creamy, and exactly what you need to complete a casual fast-food meal. Bonus: this chain uses 100-percent compostable cups, straws, and ramekins. 
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VegNews.SunflowerdriveinSunflower Drive Inn

7 Sunflower Drive Inn

Sunflower Drive Inn has been dishing up fresh, homemade veggie food since 1978. Proof of its long-lasting popularity are the lines that form outside the order window any day of the week. Not much has changed in its 44-year history, including the hippie vibe that eschews any corporate takeover. Hand-written signs taped to the order window, weather-worn wooden benches, and the occasional neighborhood chicken are all part of the laidback atmosphere. The menu is simple and satisfying. Salsa, hot sauce, burger patties, soups, chili, salads, and dressings are all homemade. The signature nutburger is the epitome of a real-deal veggie burger—one made with vegetables, legumes, and nuts instead of pea protein and science. One bite of the mushroom millet, served on sliced sourdough with onions grilled in soy sauce, will have you wondering why you don’t eat millet more often. Mexican-style options include a corn tortilla taco stuffed with sautéed nutmeat, vegan cheese, avocado, and beans. With limited seating, take your food to go and head over to the tree-shaded park right next door. Let loose and take your shoes off to embrace the full hippie experience.  
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8 Babe’s

It’s not easy to spot this vegan ice cream and doughnut shop on a busy midtown street, but this hidden gem is worth scouting a parking spot for. Flavors change monthly and get pretty creative during the holidays, but that’s part of the fun. Doughnut choices include lavender, rose, lemon curd, chocolate peanut butter, and carrot walnut, alongside churros, French crullers, and apple fritters. Not to be outdone, the coconut-based ice cream shines with flavors like mint chip, blueberry cobbler, tiramisu, and strawberry hibiscus sorbet. The shop is open until 9pm daily, firmly cementing our assertion that doughnuts are really dessert
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VegNews.ConsciousCreameryConscious Creamery

9 Conscious Creamery

There’s ice cream, and then there’s gelato. This creamy Italian frozen treat is on a whole other level. Flavors like matcha strawberry, lavender lemonade, Irish cream, salted caramel, and toasted coconut woo customers at this small-batch, family-run shop. The handcrafted recipes are created without artificial fillers, stabilizers, flavors, or colors. The soy- and gluten-free treats start with a blend of organic raw cashews and filtered water flavored with fresh fruits, spices, nuts, and seeds sourced from local farmers’ markets. For an extra fun treat, try the vanilla fudge gelato taco (aka, a Choco Taco). This creamery is awarded extra points for using biodegradable cups and spoons.
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For more about vegan-friendly cities, read: 
Why Rochester, New York Is the Best Small City in America for VegansThe 8 Best Places to Eat Vegan in Detroit

The 10 Best Cities in Texas With Must-Eat Vegan Restaurants