The Best Vegetarian Mexican Restaurants In Berkeley, California

Alexandra Brown

With meat being such an integral part of Mexican cuisine, it is sometimes difficult for vegetarians to find viable options. Some places have very few vegetarian choices aside from a cheese quesadilla or a rice-and-bean burrito, but here we find the best Mexican restaurants in Berkeley with delicious, filling, meat-free meals for the vegetarians out there.

Grilled Cactus Taco

1. Taqueria Talavera

Cafe, Restaurant, Mexican

Mushroom Quesadilla
© NeilConway/Flickr
Located on Solano Avenue in North Berkeley, Taqueria Talavera offers many authentic Mexican dishes at low prices, with plenty of vegetarian options from which to choose. Talavera serves nopalitos (grilled cactus) in tacos, burritos and scrambles. There is also a chile relleno burrito in addition to their traditional chile relleno plate. They have a vegetarian plate that consists of seasoned, grilled vegetables served with rice, beans and plantains or a veggy green enchilada plate topped with plenty of avocado. Some vegetarian breakfast options include spinach and vegetable scrambles.

2. Comal

Bar, Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Mexican

Although slightly pricier, Comal in downtown Berkeley certainly lives up to the hype. The food here is an earthy, yet modern take on traditional Mexican food from the coastal region of Oaxaca. This restaurant is packed every night, so reservations are highly recommended. In addition to the copious amounts of tequila and mezcal served at Comal, several delicious vegetarian meals are offered. Vegetarian appetizers include the watermelon or jicama cucumber salad, and papas fritas with chipotle aïoli. The most delicious vegetarian meals here are the mushroom, epazote, tomatillo quesadilla or the corn, rajas, and pipian verde tamale.

Tacubaya

Located on the bustling shopping 4th Street in Berkeley, Tacubaya offers delicious, authentic Mexican food for those who need a break from their busy errands. There are quite a few vegetarian options at this restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast options include tofu or cactus scrambles, and a sweet blueberry jam tamale. The lunch and dinner menu is most well-known for its vegetarian torta, which is a Mexican sandwich, or the crispy masa cake sope, which can be requested vegetarian with potatoes and vegetables. The outdoor seating in front is a great spot to enjoy the food, sunshine, and people watching.
Tacubaya, 1788 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA, USA +1 510 525 5160

Legumbres Taco

3. Picante

Restaurant, Mexican

Soy Taco
Courtesy Alexandra Brown
A few blocks up from Tacubaya is Picante, a very popular, authentic Mexican restaurant. A separate vegetarian menu also offers vegan options; some favorites on this menu are the legumbres picadillo dishes served in burritos, tacos, tostadas and tamales. There are also some rajas and cactus dishes for customers who prefer those flavors. As you wait for your food, watch tortillas being made fresh at the back of the restaurant. With ample indoor and outdoor seating, this is one spot that should not be missed.

4. Flacos

Restaurant, American

Flacos distinguishes itself from the others on this list as the only completely vegan Mexican restaurant. With locations in Berkeley and Fresno, people all over the Bay Area can enjoy this rare take on Mexican cuisine. Instead of carnitas or beef, Flacos uses soy protein marinated in a rich, flavorful sauce. This unique alternative can be enjoyed in taquitos, tacos, or tamales. Different days of the week offer special deals like, ‘Taquito Tuesday,’ ‘Huarache Wednesday,’ and ‘Taco Thursday,’ with lowed prices. The restaurant itself is quite small, but there is outdoor seating offered.

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