Happy Cheeseburger Day! Here are the best vegetarian-friendly restaurants

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Cheeseburgers are delicious, period. Perfectly caramelized meat meets crunchy lettuce, brined pickles and plump tomatoes, with the addition of melted and gooey cheese to coat everything with a delicious flavor. In celebration of National Cheeseburger Day, however, we at the Clog compiled a list of our favorite, must-visit vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the Bay Area. Don’t be mad! It’s in our nature to be contrary.

Here’s our list of mouthwatering, veggie-forward spots!

Café Mezzo

Topping the list is our beloved Mezzo, the holy grail of ginormous salads and sandwiches. Mezzo’s specialty, as mentioned, is serving giant portions of healthy foods — load your plate up with piles of fresh lettuce, avocado and legumes, and be sure to ask for the house tofu! It’s the perfect mix of sweet and spicy and makes for the perfect addition to Mezzo’s sandwiches and salads.
Mezzo also offers a “Berkeley Special” sandwich, which comes with fresh hummus and crunchy vegetables layered onto its homemade bread. For the meat eaters, Mezzo also offers a variety of house deli cuts — no single food preference is ever left out of the mix.

Bartavelle’s Coffee and Wine Bar

For those looking to venture beyond the UC Berkeley bubble (which has trapped many in the tragic cycle of frequenting the same restaurants day after day), be sure to check out the amazing Bartavelle. This spot is elevated and sophisticated while still being incredibly welcoming — Saturday mornings will see everyone from mothers with their babies in prams to elder couples walking their dogs, lining up outside the door to order from this popular breakfast spot. Whether you get their impeccable avocado toast or try their Persian Breakfast (a sumptuous mix of labneh, feta, housemade fig jam and pizza blanca) your tastebuds will be astounded!
Bonus: Bartavelle is located right next to the famous Acme Bread, so pick up a fresh loaf after you finish eating!

Sweetgreen

While Sweetgreen is technically a chain of restaurants, their dedication to sourcing from local organic farms in the Bay Area has earned them a top spot in our hearts. Their menu evolves in turn with the seasons, so you can be sure that Sweetgreen’s offerings are chock-full of nutrition and bursting with flavor. Order one of the signature salads or custom-build your own bowl! The options here are truly limitless.

Souvla

Sadly, our last recommendation can’t be found in Berkeley — its closest locations are all in San Francisco. Take this as an excuse to explore the nearby city, and thank us later! Souvla is an incredible Greek counter-service spot that offers four main dishes: sweet potatoes (for the veggie-lovers!), pork, chicken and lamb. All the mains are roasted to perfection and drenched in flavor, and you can opt to add them to a salad bowl (filled with delicious veggies and feta!) or a traditional gyro. Add a housemade Greek yogurt dressing (these are absolutely life-changing!) and your life will be complete. Trust us on this.

Although today might be National Cheeseburger Day, it’s always great to consider alternatives — namely, our curated list of vegetable-forward restaurants and eateries! Grab a friend and venture out to try our recommended spots … you might just find a new favorite.

Contact Jazmin Cubilla at [email protected].