• vegan eats in the LBC: zephyr cafe

    May 13th, 2008quarrygirltofutti, urban living, zephyr cafe

    long beach is great place to hang out in the spring. it’s got pleasant weather, tons of cool bars, a historic transatlantic relic, and now (i’ve finally found) the zephyr vegetarian cafe.

    mf burger: homemade patty, tofutti cheese, sprouts, tomato, onion, romaine, mushrooms, avocado & vegan mayo

    grilled tofu sandwich: tofu, grilled onion & mushrooms on toasted bread with vegan mayo $5

    zephyr cafe is a funky little vegan paradise tucked in between the busy streets of downtown long beach.

    the inexpensive fare, serene atmosphere, and all together tastyness of the food make zephyr a must on the list of places for vegans to hit-up when visiting the LBC.

    i, myself, was very reticent to even try out the zephyr cafe. the immediate association with a red hot chili peppers song was enough to turn me off…not to mention the hippie vibes and lack of burritos on the menu. however, being in long beach overnight surrounded by chain restaurants and fish joints was enough to make me swallow my pride and give zephyr a chance…and boy, i’m sure glad i did!

    i’ve heard a lot of complaints on reviewy type websites about the parking difficulties at zephyr cafe. well, i know from personal experience that those problems can be avoided by parking in the lot next to the rock bottom brewery just a short walk away. not only will you be able to park in downtown long beach for free, you’ll have time for a nice pint of cask ale before heading over to the organic-bottled-beer-only zephyr cafe. (i prefer to get my drinking done at a real bar and letting the nice vegan food soak up my drunkenness…rather than eating tons of lovely food with tasteless “healthy” beer—but suit yourself!)

    now, more about the amazing food.

    the mf burger, to start, is a burger to end all veggie burgers. it’s luscious, savory, covered in fresh vegetables…and even includes a delicious slice of tofutti cheese! i love tofutti, and i can never seem to find it anywhere—especially in restaurants!

    the burger is also totally huge, which is good if you have to spend the night in long beach at a hotel with absolutely no vegan options whatsoever.

    definitely one of the best veggie burgers ever sampled by quarrygirl.com, we’ll definitely be paying another visit to zephyr just for another taste of the mf next time we are in the area. unfortunately, we were too busy eating every last bite to stop and look to see how much the damn thing cost. i assure you, it was reasonable though. this restaurant is definitely not overpriced.

    next up, the tofu sandwich. definitely not as spectacular as the mf burger, but for a $5 no-frills, healthy meal, it surely can’t be beat.

    if i were face to face with the owner of zephyr, the only thing i would give him guff about are the standard blue corn tortilla chips served with every meal. they just aren’t my thing—never was a big fan. (i even heard unsubstantiated rumors once that chips of that nature were colored with squid ink…but since i can’t prove it, i’ll give zephyr the benefit of the doubt!) 

    everything else about my restaurant experience, however, was wonderful. the counter service was fast and friendly. the seats were comfortable. there was a great selection of hot sauce. say no more, say no more!

    i WILL return!

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7 responses to “vegan eats in the LBC: zephyr cafe” RSS icon

  • That burger looks incredible. Thanks for the pics and tantalizing description. Gotta try it!

  • Looks and sounds wonderful. I would love to try the grilled tofu sandwich. A trip to long beach this summer may happen after reading this review on the Zephyr Cafe.

  • miss anthrope

    you totally gotta go, i promise you’ll love it!

  • So glad to see you review a place from Long Beach! 🙂 I’ve never tried that burger at Zephyr, and I only live 6 blocks away! I’ll be sure to try it next time I go. Also, just thought you should know that any reputable blue corn chip is made with *blue corn*, which is naturally blue (no squid ink!). I understand your suspicion, though ;).

  • Oh my God, Zephyr is fantastic. Everything I’ve had their had been totally delicious. Try to get their chai cupcakes!

    Also, your blog rules. I’ve been getting bored of the same old vegan places in LA and am glad to see there’s still a few out there to try 🙂

  • I’ve been there 1000’s of times and have never parked farther away than across the street. WTF. Bring some nickels.

  • I keep wondering what you meant by the “the immediate association with a red hot chili peppers song was enough to turn me off…” comment. lol

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