We just returned from a weeklong road-trip up the coast of California, over to the Eastern Sierras and then back home to Southern California. This is one of the first trips we’ve taken since adopting a vegan diet. Armed with the VegOut iPhone App and a cooler full of staples, we headed up the coast to the Bay Area to visit friends.

First Stop – San Luis Obispo

We left home at 5:00 a.m. on Friday morning to avoid LA traffic. We had coffee and a scrambled tofu burrito before hitting the road. We used to stop at a McDonald’s off the 101 on the way and get an Egg McMuffin without the meat. Another benefit of going vegan is this is no longer an option. Instead we ate a Cliff Bar when we got peckish.

We arrived in San Luis Obispo mid-day and found they had many vegan-friendly restaurants downtown. SLO is a college town, so this was no surprise but greatly appreciated. We had lunch at the Natural Cafe. It’s an omnivore restaurant, but they carry vegenaise as a vegan option for their sandwiches. Dave had the grilled vegetable sandwich and I had the portobello mushroom sandwich with vegenaise and vegan cheese. Both were served with a side of tortilla chips and salsa. Their iced tea was also very good.

For dinner, we went to Oasis, a Moroccan restaurant with many vegan options. We started with the dolmas as an appetizer. I’m not a big fan of dolmas, but these were quite tasty. They were served over a drizzle of hummus which paired nicely with the stuffed grape leaves. Dave had the falafel and I had the spicy veggie curry. Both were delicious. We ordered too much as the portion sizes are huge. Unless you can take home leftovers, you may want to share a dish. We also had the Moroccan tea, which was a lovely, sweetened spicy tea served in a beautiful metal tea pot in tiny cups.

After dinner, we went next door to the Kreuzberg Cafe to see the Wild Reeds perform. We first saw them busking in Pomona a few years ago. These young women are incredibly talented multi-instrumentalists who can sing and harmonize well enough to make the gods stop and take notice. It was a treat to see them perform on the first day of vacation. The Kreuzberg Cafe also has a few vegan and vegetarian options. We each had a beer, but were too full from the Oasis to eat any more.

We left SLO on Saturday morning, heading up to Pacifica to visit our best friends. On the way out of town, we stopped at Linnea’s Cafe for coffee and a vegan pastry. The coffee was excellent as were the vegan muffins we bought for the road.

Continued…