With the aid of dehydrators, pressers and endless creativity the folks at vegan and raw-foods friendly Cafe Gratitude in Healdsburg approximate nachos, cheese, yogurt, pizza and burritos along with a menu of other health-inducing concoctions free of, well, just about anything bad for you.
The Healdsburg location is the latest offshoot of the vegan/raw/self-empowerment kitchen that has won fans in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Rafael.
So, deep breaths. You order by stating an affirmation that synchs with a menu item. I Am Passionate=marinara pizza. I Am Present=Caprese salad. The server confirms your affirmation when delivering the dish: You are Passionate.You are Thankful. You are Honoring. It’s hard not to feel like You Are An Idiot.
Best bets for the uninitiated: I Am Abundant sampler plate ($15). This share-worthy plate includes “live” crackers, hummus, olive tapenade, a mini-bowl of soup, a live spring roll, and “nachos”. It’s a tasty way to dip your toe into raw foods. Expect lots of chewiness, rough textures and stuff stuck in your molars for the entire meal.
My willing food assistant and I also gave the thumbs up to I Am Graceful ($12.50), a bowl of quinoa and fresh veggies with a spicy coconut Thai sauce. Also tasty are I Am Fruitful lassis with coconut yogurt ($8.50)
Skip the I Am Elated Special Enchilada of the Day ($15) unless you’re up for a full-on
assault of your taste buds. The combination of sprouted seeds, salsa and
cashew sour cream don’t quite work. It’s sharp, acidic and hard to get down. A vegan pal confirmed that this dish wasn’t a winner with her, either.
Desserts are where Gratitude shines. A single slice of key lime pie (I Am Awakening, $7.50) with a macadamia-pecan crust was rich, creamy and filling. Chocolate mint treats were a bit less impressive ($5) with odd, gritty green stuff in the middle that didn’t benefit from warming up in the car. Ack.
The lunch and dinner menu are the same and a meal can get into the stratosphere quickly: I spent a whopping $90 on lunch for two. Keep in mind that the preparation of raw
Gratitude is in some ways the anti-Healdsburg with its communal tables and crunchy aesthetic. And in other ways (like the hefty pricetag) so very Healdsburg. Its eco-consciousness and healthy, body-friendly menu clearly have appeal for the spa-set.
When it comes to Gratitude’s feel good ethos, you’ll either warm up to it immediately, go in for the novelty once or twice or run screaming toward a slab of bacon. Whatever your choice, I Am Supportive. Just don’t ask me to eat cashew sour cream again.
Cafe Gratitude, 206 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. 707.723.4462.
Cafe Gratitude | Healdsburg
Raw, vegan and vegetarian-friendly foods in Healdsburg at Cafe Gratitude
24 thoughts on “Cafe Gratitude | Healdsburg”
i just dined at the Gratitude in SF. I thought the food was beyond wonderful. i am not vegan or even vegetarian but i like good interesting food that feels good to eat. Every single thing the 3 of us ordered was so good. the whole staff was super friendly, the service was very very good. i have paid way more for way less. i think their new location m mght have been better inn, say, sebastopol rather than the tourist trappy healdsburg but i hope it works for them i will surely take a trip up there to try it out. it was a very fun night and a good diversion from the snarky election stuff going on right now…I AM ENTUSED!!
I love the fact that the Cafe Gratitude in San Rafael shares a parking lot with Phyllis’ Giant Burgers (which I am sad to say appears to have slipped into mediocrity – the onion rigns there last time were horrible: no taste whatsoever).
I was just there and thought the food was fantastic (I had the falafel)and the wait staff very nice. I went shopping at the store next door and enjoyed the whole experience. I hope others give this nice resturant a chance!
Wow. It’s really sad that someone’s blatant cynicism gets in the way of them having, you know, fun. Wouldn’t want to feel good about ourselves, or anything. Also I don’t know how you spent $90 on food for two – my boyfriend and I rarely spend more than $40-50 when we go (and last time that included two drinks, an appetizer, and two entrees). So pricey, yes, but not nearly as much as you seem to think.
Maybe going again with a better attitude would improve your visit. I’m guessing that’s where all of this negativity stems from, not the cafe or its food.
Heather, I wouldn’t expect you to apologize for being an omnivore. I would ask that you refrain from the typical omnivore’s review of vegan or veggie food which inevitably starts out explaining why they don’t like vegan or veggie food, but then goes on to say that, by gosh, THIS vegan/veggie food was actually pretty good!
In your comment to me you imply that you relish the beauty of produce and deplore chefs who disguise that pure goodness with “weird spices”. So I am confused by your statement that unless a dish contains meat or butter, it has to work extra hard to taste like food. Doesn’t that seem like a contradiction?
Finally, I’d be curious to know which restaurants make your list of “too many vegan and vegetarian restaurants….” There aren’t that many around.
All this being said, I hope you’ll vote Yes on Prop 2! As a former vegetarian, you know how bad conditions are for the animals on factory farms. Please give them your support with a Yes vote on 2!
Went there a week after opening. Must say it was disappointing. I am a long time raw vegan, and I can prepare better, tastier, and LESS EXPENSIVE food at home!
Having less “communality” and more in the way of clean, private booths or tables would be a HUGE improvement for the price-y-ness of the place. Won’t be going back anytime soon.
I suspect that omnivores might enjoy the novelty of a raw food meal more than vegetarian cooking enthusiasts do. A few years ago I ate at Cafe Gratititude in San Francisco on the recommendation of some foodie (omnivore) friends of mine & I thought it a complete waste of time. (I’ve been a vegan for the past 20 years, a vegetarian for the preceding ten, and a meat/fish-hater my entire life.) Although I can’t remember specifics, I do recall that the entire meal was expensive, rather bland, & left me hungry. I guess I shouldn’t judge on the basis of just one meal, and maybe the Healdsburg place is fine… but veggie food that’s been conventionally cooked suits me.
And you can bring your goat who will love everything on the menu!
Robin, I have to disagree with that philosophy. Ubuntu is one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to and Jeremy Fox truly understands how to use fresh grains, legumes and produce to create dynamic, flavorful dishes.
My gripe is that too many vegan and vegetarian restaurants throw a bunch of odd spices and acids together to imitate a flavorful dish rather than letting the true beauty of the produce stand out. It’s bad kitchen work that gets defended under the guise of “wholesome” food.
Keep in mind that most good restaurants in the county offer delish and well-done vegetarian options for diners.
As a former vegetarian, I wholeheartedly agree with many of the health benefits of eating a meat-restricted diet and stick to those ideals in my non-restaurant life. I won’t apologize for being an omnivore, however.
I hate reviews of vegan food that are written by people who don’t like vegan food and admit it and even brag about it in the first sentence. The reason a lot of vegan food doesn’t taste like food to the BiteClub is that their palate has been destroyed by an onslaught of heavy, fatty food their whole lives. Vegetables, grains, legumes and fruit ARE real food. I can’t wait to visit Healdsburg’s Cafe Gratitude! Along with Seed in Santa Rosa, we are lucky to finally have some good vegan restaurants in Sonoma County.
Yep. They have wine and sake drinks.
is there alcohol?
My daughter and I have already checked the Healdsburg location out. We had a fun and uplifting lunch there one friday. I had their creamy brocoli soup and she had the taco salad…Neither of us are Vegans, but…we are adventerous eaters! Our waitress was cute and engaging, and it felt comfortable sharing a table and actually being acknowledged for being there…I loved my soup and the Key Lime pie is super yummy. It is a little pricey, but a fun diversion to the “norm” humdrum lunch. I would definitely go back, and “I am glad” it is in my hometown of Healdsburg!
Yee-Haw! Sorry cowboys, this is food that makes you feel good after eating it too, not just during. There are a plethora of meat shop restaurants in this town. Go there and enjoy! There is even a pork place! I also understand that most of you people cant handle a simple positive affirmation!!??! Does happiness really make you that uncomfortable? please! I’m not even a vegetarian and I can tell you, The food tastes superb and makes you feel even better after your through!
It’s not a bad idea, just because you aren’t interested in it. There are plenty of us who like healthy, vegan food, and would love to try this place. If you ask me, it sounds great. I just won’t try the enchiladas!
I’ve been to the Cafe Gatitude in San Rafael. I imagine this is very much like it….which is nice, refreshing, positive. Too bad it brings out such negativity in some people (i.e. some of the comments above)! I wish it the best!
Will- a review is not narrow because they didn’t like the food, just like food doesn’t have to be raw to mean its prepared thoughtfully. There’s no negativity because its a new idea, but because its a BAD one!!
Too, too precious. Many thanks for this briefing–helps me know where I DON’T want to visit.
This place is annoying. I use to enjoy shopping in that store but now there is Cafe gratitude with the loud staff and congo hippie drums and the whole experience is nauseating/ Let me buy my overpriced eco products in peace. There is nothing worse then young people who think they are deep who yell about it. Ick Ick Ick Go away Cafe wannabe
Cafe gratitude is a celebration of food. a really fun place to dine.the staff make a game of it with thought provoking questions that put you on the spot abit. after repeat visits you grow to like the game.the food is prepared thoughtfully which is absent at most places i eat at, where its thrown at you.some of the ingredients are grown locally. the san rafael restaurant lets you hang out and chat endlessly with your date and friends. its more of a evening out,than just having dinner. a great new place for birthdays.shame on the bite club for such a narrow review.their sure is alot of negativity in that neck of the woods over a new idea. i suggest a trip to the graditude and count your blessings..signed,a regular contractor type guy who wants to stay healthy and is sick of run of the mill restaurants.
Yuck! I give it a year tops… Too many other wonderful places to eat in Healdsburg and in Sonoma County in general.
What a sad statement of our society.
You are not a precious snowflake!
Where in the article does it say where in Healdsburg this place is- or did I just miss it?
As a grown-in-Healdsburg local, this is NOT Healdsburg. Give me a break. This place encompasses everything that angers me about what tourists have turned this town into.