Years ago, on a trip to L.A., I stumbled across a Native Foods Cafe. I was traveling alone, so their fast casual atmosphere enticed me. But what really drew me in was their all-vegan menu. It’s an extensive collection of burgers, bowls, salads, wraps, and more with regional flavor influences from the U.S., Mexico, and Asia.
Fast forward to today, and this fresh concept now has a good smattering of locations in California, Oregon, Colorado, and Illinois. The menu is the same at each location, so you can count on your favorites when you travel.
When I ate there, I had one of the bowls. I can’t remember which one, but I do recall that it was full of flavor and quite filling. I’ve heard that their burgers are also “fully loaded” and the Twister Wrap is a house favorite. The desserts are also worth a splurge. I sampled their big, chewy chocolate chip cookie. They also offer cupcakes, seasonal chocolates, other cookies, oatmeal creme pies, and peanut butter parfaits.
Dietary Information for Native Foods Cafe
Despite the diverse locations, they source most of their food locally and focus on sustainable suppliers. Everything is plant-based and strictly vegan – they even shun honey.
For key proteins, they use tempeh cultured from non-GMO soybeans and millet and seitan made from vital non-GMO wheat gluten. They also use non-GMO soy, non-GMO wheat, and pea protein to make their faux chicken.
They serve several dairy-free cheeses, including soy-free cashew cheese and soy-free Parmesan (made from nutritional yeast). And they use Follow Your Heart cheese alternative (they soy-free varieties) in American and Smoked Gouda.
Since this is an all-vegan establishment, the menu is completely dairy-free, egg-free, fish-free, and shellfish-free. As such, they have no allergen disclaimers for milk, eggs, or seafood. But they do have a full allergen guide on their website for nuts, soy, and gluten. However, they do make the following statement:
Native Foods uses nuts, non-GMO soy, and wheat in our kitchens, and organic ingredients whenever possible. Native Foods is not a gluten-free kitchen. Please be aware that many of our ingredients share common cooking equipment and utensils, including common oils.
Where to Find Native Foods Cafe
At last check, they had locations in Northern and Southern California, Chicago, Portland (Tigard), and Colorado. Check their website below for addresses, hours, and to view the full menu.