When my partner and I moved to the Bay Area for grad school, we were sad to leave all the vegan restaurants of Orange County behind. We quickly discovered Hobee’s Restaurant, a local chain in South Bay that has a diner-like feel but serves healthy and veg-friendly food. We quickly made breakfast at Hobee’s a weekend tradition. The staff at the location down the street from our apartment recognize us now and remember that I’m vegan (and remind me to order my meals mayo- or cheese-free when I forget!).
I always start of my meal with a cup of the house cinnamon-orange black tea, which they brew in bulk. I love getting tea refills, just like you get with diner coffee! It’s a bit strong (my partner can’t stand it!) but you can get soy milk (free!) to mellow it out.
For breakfast, Hobee’s has a pretty tasty spinach and mushroom tofu scramble which comes with coffee cake or hash browns. The coffee cake is not vegan but the potatoes are! Unfortunately, the whole wheat pancakes and sweet potato pancakes are not vegan 😦 I’m working up my nerve to ask the restaurant to start making them without eggs!
Lately I’ve been obsessed with the Asian wrap, which is a bunch of steamed veggies (sub tofu for the turkey) in a spinach tortilla smothered in house-made teriyaki sauce. It comes with tortilla chips or vegetarian black bean chili. Definitely go for the chili!
This time the thing was chock-full of veggies and grain – broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, spinach, celery, carrot, red bell pepper, mushroom, zucchini, lentils, and brown rice. Yum!
I’d also recommend the portabella Aztec burger without mayo or butter on the bun (the guacamole and pico de gallo are really good!). The veggie burger is not vegan, sadly.
They also have a pretty decent salad bar, which always has one veggie soup. If you get there before 10:30 there is an oatmeal bar!
Hobee’s also recently got a gluten free menu, although it doesn’t look very xgfx. You can sub gf pasta though, which is nice.
I’d recommend this place, not as the best veggie option in South Bay, but as a good place to get healthy and reasonably priced diner-type food. It’s especially good if your omni family is in town and you want to go out for breakfast without having to get “the fruit plate” (i.e., a sad little bowl of unripe melon).