Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CA

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CA

San Jose is the most local city to me. I must admit I have shunned it for the brighter lights of the vegan options in places like the East Bay but lately I have found some great vegan gems in San Jose. It's a good lesson to look closer to home even when you don't think it will offer much. Check them out because I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I know I was!

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CAHappiness Cafe
1688 Hostetter Road, Suite C
San Jose, CA 95131
(408) 573-8699

Happiness Cafe is an all vegan cafe in a crazy busy Asian marketplace. It has a full food menu but the dessert menu is were it excels. For dinner we had the crescent rolls which were actually pretty good and the tofu strips with brown rice that was passable. They have quite a few vegan ice cream flavors for scoops but they also offer other options like cakes, sundaes, banana splits, and waffles with ice cream. My favorite is the banana split which you can see in all it's glory below. The food menu is ok but I recommend having dinner or lunch somewhere else and coming in for a glorious dessert. So good!

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CA

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CA

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CA

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CACutesy Cupcakes
1645 Saratoga Ave Ste. 20
San Jose, CA 95129
(669) 230-5950

Cutesy Cupcakes is a cupcake shop that usually has two or three vegan flavors every day. The place is super cute and the cupcakes never disappoint. The cupcake shown below is the cookies and cream which has a full size Oreo surprise inside. YUM! They have a pretty large list of vegan flavors that you can order for parties or if you just like to have your fridge stocked with vegan cupcakes. Not that I'm one of those people!

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CAHappy Hooligans
1711 Branham Ln # A9
San Jose, CA 95118
(408) 694-0740

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CAHappy Hooligans is a smallish vegan restaurant that does a lot of things well and a few things amazingly. I've never hated a meal I've had there but only a dish or two have blown me away. My favorite being the Reuben. I am in love with this thing and it's really hard for me to try anything else when we go there. It's just THAT good!  Also shown is the pesto fries, Backyard BBQ Burger, and the Fiesta Salad. Their desserts are pretty banging as well. Make sure you try the S'mores pie for sure!

Happy Hooligans was the best secret in the South Bay vegan scene but with the crowds that are turning up there lately, it seems the secret is out! If you come at a peak meal time, be prepared to wait a while!

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CA
Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CA

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CAVegetarian House
520 E Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 292-3798

Vegetarian House is a all vegan Chinese restaurant that has tons of seating and is a great place for large groups. It has all of the usual items you would expect and all of them are pretty good! I usually get the Chow Mein and spring rolls and I'm always happy with them. The staff is always super attentive and friendly.
Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CA

Mint and Basil
969 Story Rd #6039
San Jose, CA 95122
(408) 275-6388

Mint and Basil is a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant where pretty much everything can be requested vegan if it isn't already. I've tried several of their rolls and the noodle dishes which I really enjoyed. Mint and Basil also has plenty of seating and some interesting decor that I quite enjoyed!

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CAGood Karma
37 S 1st St.
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 294-2694

Traveling Vegan: San Jose, CAI really wanted to like Good Karma but it just wasn't to be. It's a vegan cafe and bar in Downtown San Jose. The first time we went there they were almost out of everything on the chalk board menu (not nothing marked sold out). We finally settled on something, I can't even remember what, and ate it without water as the water thingy was empty. I think we also had a hard time getting silverware as well. With this experience I was really for my first time at Good Karma to be my last but with my husband's urging we tried it again maybe a year later. The ordering process was much improved but the food still left something to be desired and it wasn't good enough for me want to come back and have it again.

If you are in the area and in need of a bite to eat, it could work for you but it's for sure not one of my favorite places.

What are your favorite vegan spots in San Jose? Let me know in the comments!

All photos by Ashley of

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