Café Gratitude

All goodness, all the time at this vegan mainstay

By Jen Jones Donatelli

If the old adage “You are what you eat” is in fact true, then the place to be doing all of your eating has to be Café Gratitude. With aptly named dishes like “Dazzling,” “Vivacious,” and “Warm-Hearted,” the menu of plant-based, all-organic fare at this oasis of goodness is conceived from the ground up to help you manifest your best self.

The Café Gratitude experience begins when your server poses the “Question of the Day,” designed to spark conversation and reflection. After that, it’s time to peruse the inviting menu—which showcases a healthy helping of vegan and raw options, alongside a slew of bevvies from wellness shots to elixirs to smoothies. The act of ordering becomes as much a declaration as a decision, as you’re urged to state your selection affirmation-style—for instance, “I am Awesome,” which will not only feel great to say, but also score you a delicious eggplant Parmesan panini. Win-win.
So who do you want to be today? Perhaps you’re feeling “Liberated” and want to nosh on the restaurant’s popular pad Thai kelp noodles. Or maybe you crave that feeling of being “Whole,” which will come to you in the form of a macrobiotic mash-up of veggies, greens, and more served over probiotic brown rice or quinoa. You can also make it a “Magical” day, and sink your teeth into a double patty black bean burger dressed with cashew-macademia Cheddar and chipotle ketchup.

Over its six years in SoCal, and amid expansion to multiple locations, Café Gratitude has become a hotspot amongst forward-thinking foodies, but what some may not know is that the concept was rooted in a board game created by founders Matthew and Terces Engelhart. Dubbed “The Abounding River,” the game centers on the principles of abundance, and the café was initially created as a place for people to gather and explore its ideas.

After all, at Café Gratitude, everyone’s a winner.


8 AM–10 PM daily

price range

$12 (Grateful bowl) to $16 (Bountiful entrée)