Veggie Grill to offer another vegetarian option in Berkeley

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Ujval Misra/Staff

Veggie Grill, a plant-based restaurant, will be coming this summer to the location formerly occupied by Copy Central at 48 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley.

The restaurant is planned to open in the summer, but the opening date still depends on permitting and construction, according to Veggie Grill CEO Steve Heeley. Veggie Grill is a plant-based restaurant that serves food free of animal products, antibiotics and hormones.

Berkeley was an attractive place to open a restaurant, Heeley said in an emailed statement, because Veggie Grill knows that the student population in Berkeley is looking for plant-based options. According to Heeley, Berkeley is also known for being the center of the “veggie centric movement.”

“We chose Berkeley because we believe that there are a lot of Veggie positive people that live in the area,” Heeley said in the statement. “We have received a lot of location requests from Berkeley. Berkeley was an early center for the veggie centric movement, starting with small co-ops and with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse.”

According to its website, the restaurant serves meat-free protein options such as the “Beyond Burger” by Beyond Meat — a plant-based burger that mimics the look and taste of ground beef without genetically modified organisms, soy or gluten. The restaurant’s website also states that it caters to people who do not eat gluten and that it only uses monounsaturated fats that are rich in antioxidants and reduce bad cholesterol.

Suzannah Smith, a campus freshman who is vegan, said there are a lot of vegan options in Berkeley. With regard to vegan eating around campus, Smith said she enjoys going to The Butcher’s Son but also frequents Café 3, Chipotle, La Burrita, Famous Bao and Thai Basil, which have vegetarian or vegan options.

Smith said the way she will decide whether to frequent Veggie Grill will probably be how expensive it is.

“I’m actually from south of Nashville. There were maybe two vegetarian (or) vegan restaurants — there are a lot more here,” Smith said. “The community is really nice here, and it’s really cool to have a lot more inclusivity than in Nashville.”

Contact Sabrina Dong at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @Sabrina_Dong_.