By ERIN KIM
Next time you visit the Tustin District to watch a movie or shop with friends, consider grabbing a bite at Native Foods Cafe, located next to the AMC Theater. Available in nine different regions in the U.S., Native Foods Cafe is a franchise restaurant that serves quality vegan food.
Veganism prohibits the consumption of animal products, including meat, seafood and dairy. Although Native Foods caters mainly to those who follow a vegan diet, it is just as welcoming to meat-eaters. By serving a multitude of meat and dairy substitutes, the café recreates classic dishes such as cheeseburgers and chicken wraps using all-natural ingredients without sacrificing taste and quality. For example, the Native Nachos are a delicious take on traditional nachos: tortilla chips cooked in coconut oil are served with vegan cheese and optional imitation-meat toppings such as BBQ chicken. The vegan cheese is made of cashews and replicates the thick texture and taste of regular cheese. Its slight tanginess and sweetness balance out the saltier components of the dish. The chips are a perfectly crispy base to scoop up soft toppings that add variation to each bite. Best of all, the Native Nachos are completely guilt free, and do not leave you with a greasy, weighed-down feeling as traditional nachos often do.
In addition to a wide variety of menu options that satisfy both vegans and non-vegans, Native Foods attracts customers with its bright and lively atmosphere. With quotes and pictures decorating the walls and a sunny outdoor patio, it is a comfortable place to enjoy a casual meal. The staff is friendly and cooperative, further ensuring a pleasant dining experience. “Native Foods is a very family friendly restaurant,” said Lakshmi Kannan (Jr.). “It’s well spaced out, which is what I really like about it.” A vegetarian since birth, Kannan finds herself frequently visiting this café to grab their Chicken, Bacon and Avo Club.
At Native Foods, prices for main dishes generally range from $8 to $15, which is slightly pricier than conventional eateries. However, for great service, little waiting time and tasty and nutritious meals made with top quality ingredients, the food is well worth the few extra dollars. In addition, Native Foods partners with organizations that aim to combat animal cruelty and makes an effort to be environmentally friendly by using recycled packaging. If you want to eat a satisfying, nutritious meal and simultaneously help the environment, stop by Native Foods for your next outing.
Native Foods Cafe at the District
Open Everyday 11 A.M. – 10 P.M.
2453 Park Ave, Tustin, CA 92782