Coast Big Sur: Best Vegan Food in Big Sur California
If you’re driving up highway 1 up to San Francisco, you might find yourself along the curvy cliffs of Big sur. Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places to check out in all of California, but if you’re looking for a place to eat vegan in Big Sur, you might find that the options are lackluster at best. Thankfully, I happened to come across a restaurant called Coast Gallery along highway 1 that serves up plant-based dishes and snacks to take on the go.
Located along the rugged coastline of Big Sur, this cafe is flanked by the Santa Lucia Mountains and faces the Pacific Ocean.
This place is hard to miss because it’s a converted water tank turned art gallery/cafe. This place was founded in 1958 and use to be a haven for artists and writers. Nicknamed “The Bank” this place was a hub for intellectuals and artists who would have exhibits and shows here after World War II. The water tanks that the restaurant is made of is made from Redwood trees (and are the same width of the General Sherman tree that they come from!)
The best part about this restaurant Coast Gallery is that it’s absolutely stunning and offers ocean views from their top deck where you can eat your food. Once you enter this place, you’ll find yourself in an art gallery. Once you pass through the art gallery, you’ll arrive at the cafe downstairs where you can order food.
The vegan dish on the menu was soup. The soup here is all made from scratch with local ingredients and is made daily. The vegan soup on offer here when I visited was “Lafler Canyon Soup” which was a mushroom quinoa, and kale in a shiitake broth that was fragrant with herbs and persevered lemon. I thought to myself, how good could some roadside soup be? Oh wow, was I happily surprised to discover that Coast Gallery makes the best vegan soup in Big Sur!
The soup was absolutely fantastic and tasted super gourmet. The portions were decent and I drank every drop in my bowl. My husband Nate and I took our soup to the top deck of the restaurant overlooking the Big Sur coast and basked in the sunshine while eating our meal. It was a great way to stretch our legs and enjoy the view before continuing up on our coast drive.
Coast Gallery also offers a ton of vegan snacks and food items that you can take with you on the go. They have a refrigerated section filled with kombucha, vegan hummus and vegan dips. Nate and I tried out the Babaganoush which was smokey eggplant with sesame seeds and that ended up being our favorite. We also picked up a sprouted classic hummus with chili roasted chickpeas and thought that tasted delicious as well. The hummus is a little pricey, about $6 a pop but they are artisan ally made and sprouted, plus we are in the middle of nowhere so I figure there is a bit of convenience tax.
Other vegan snack items at Coast Gallery included vegan chips, dark chocolate chocolate, dried fruit that is displayed on a huge table with prices clearly marked. If you have some free time to kill they also have a book area with some pretty cool titles that you can browse or purchase as a gift.
I checked their website and looked at their other dishes. It looks like their “Sofia Salad” can also be made vegan upon request. The Sofia salad is comprised of tomatoes cucumbers and is topped off with a lemon balm vinaigrette.
The aspect I liked most about Coast Gallery was the amazing customer service. The people who work here are super friendly and will make your visit enjoyable. They take the time to learn your name and ask you how the food was after you eat. I also think their top deck with ocean views was super incredible, and worth the stop for that alone.
Whether you need to fuel up on some healthy calories or you just need a coffee, this place has got you covered.
The price of our soup was $9 which again may seem a little pricey but I think being in the middle of nowhere justifies the price. I was also very impressed by the quality of the ingredients, and how delicious my soup was… so I was a happy camper when I left.
There is free parking outside of this restaurant so you can just park right out front. The top deck is available for eating your meal if the weather is nice, you should totally go up there and enjoy the views.
If you’re looking for vegan food in Big Sur, Coast Gallery is a restaurant that I highly recommend. It’s a great place to grab some caffeine, enjoy the views, and even maybe do some shopping.
After being on the road for hours on our drive up from San Diego, I was so grateful to find a place that offers healthy dishes. Coast Gallery made our trip up the coast memorable, and I’m so happy places like this exist.
If you find yourself starving while driving, looking for a place to eat vegan food in Big Sur, I recommend checking this place out. They are super great about telling you what’s in the ingredients of everything they make, and the food is top notch.
I haven’t confirmed whether or not they serve vegan milk here like almond, coconut or soy, but I have a feeling they do so the next time I pass by this place I’ll probably grab a tea latte.
If you happen to eat at this place and enjoyed your time there, feel free to leave a comment about your experience.
Coast Big Sur Address
Coast Big Sur
Address: 49901 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Phone: (831) 667-2301