Vegetable Butcher

4.4
205 reviews
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$30 and under
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Latin American
As the name implies, Vegetable Butcher combines locally sourced, premium meats and sustainable seafood, with the bounty from North County area farmer’s markets, offering vegan and vegetarian residents and visitors fresh, ethnically diverse cuisine with a playful twist!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Latin American, Mexican, Vegan
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Mon–Sat 11:00 am–4:00 pm
Brunch
Sun 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Tamale
Tue 11:00 am–9:00 pm
Happy Hour
Mon–Fri 3:30 pm–6:30 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu 4:00 pm–9:00 pm
Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–9:30 pm
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Phone number
(805) 439-4801
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Becky Windels
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Catering
Vegetable Butcher is proud to accommodate your offsite event needs. Please contact our Catering and Banquet Manager, Rachel McDermott, to discuss arrangements. She may be reached at rachel@vbculturekitchen.com
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Marsh and Broad
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Parking details
Public parking-garage on Marsh and Pacific Street.
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Entertainment
Jumbo projection TV
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 205 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.1
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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1
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W
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was wonderful. We shared the tempura kale and each had one taco. I had the vegan of the moment and it was all so good. We will be back soon.

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S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Our meals were amazing! Creative and unusual flavors made for pleasing experience. Amazing value for the superb quality. Service wonderful and very accommodating!

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TV
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great vegan and gluten free options! Friendly knowledgeable wait staff!

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MM
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very unique and delicious menu choices. Can’t wait to revisit it!

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LA
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The owner/chef of the restaurant came over and greeted us. She is delightful and really focused on creating a wonderful experience for her guests

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DL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great place! Really liked the personal attention. Even though the food took a little longer to arrive than I would have liked (we had a 9 year-old with us who was really hungry), they made up for it. Can't wait to go again when I'm in town.

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JM
Sacramento
4 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We understood that the restaurant had a leaning towards vegetarian. While that was true, the vegetarian dishes we had were fabulous. Try them. We liked it.

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VE
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I enjoyed the vegan potato taco and would definitely order again. The cauliflower starter was not good-the cauliflower was peppery but lacked other flavors and sat on a bed of black rice which had no flavor at all-would definitely not order again. Cocktails were just ok; my friend had tangerine/thyme/ hibiscus margarita which she thought lacked the personality that should be there with a $12 signature cocktail; my strawberry elixir also pretty bland. I would give this place another chance because the taco was outstanding ...The menu contains many interesting vegetarian and vegan options and I saw some really tasty looking salads being served when we were there. Nice ambiance and is quiet enough to enjoy conversation.

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h
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

This was our second meal at Vegetable Butcher and it was every bit as good as the first. The food is excellent and out of the ordinary and the service was outstanding. In particular, I recommend the Shishito Frito appetizer and the Mahi Torta.

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TH
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Wine list could be stronger, but tasty, innovative dishes make it worth coming back!

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LT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Sorry to have all negatives, but after recommending this to friends and going in last weekend, was very disappointed. Asked a server who wasn't busy for water but since our table wasn't assigned to her she didn't bring it and we had to wait a long time after menus to get the attention from the very busy, and more senior staff. Took a long time for bar drinks too. One order of a salad dressing not on the menu (distaste for peppers, which leaves not a whole lot of menu choices) was NOT put on the salad even though my friend said "Nothing with peppers" and she didn't get the alternative dressing. Steak strips were overcooked on the end of the skewer and undercooked in the middle.

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KY
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

I was introduced to The Vegetable Butch on a walking food tour my daughters and I went on. For a mom’s night out, I suggested it and my friends were so excited to go. I love the shareable appetizers. Our service was not that great and we waited a long time for our dinner. Our waitress didn’t really check on us or clear our dirty plates. We had to send back and item for it being cold. We would totally go back for appetizers but we are a little apprehensive for main dishes. I love the idea of this restaurant and their atmosphere is amazing.

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AR
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am always so excited about date night dinner at Vegetable Butcher and it never disappoints. There are so many things to love about the space, the staff, and the menu. For foodies, this food is unlike anything i’ve had anywhere else. It’s as much art as a delicious and satisfying meal.

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S
San Diego
28 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This is the third time we have been to the vegetable butcher and it has been consistently good each time. The wait staff is friendly and knowledgeable regarding the menu selections.

I would definitely recommend this restaurant for their good selection of vegetarian/vegan foods as well as a good beer and wine selection.

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s
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The selection is reasonable with some meat dishes available. The server was gracious though the service a bit slow. The food thoughtfully crafted and exquisitely prepared.

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j
Central Coast
38 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this pace. Terrific food and service.

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GF
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Vegetable Butcher! Every time I am in town I dine here at least 2 to 4 times. The service, food, creativity, wines and knowledge of Gluten Free is OUTSTANDING!

Thanks for being my NEIGHBORHOOD FAVORITE!

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L
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We really like this place but are always surprised at the cost. The food is creative and tasty with great vegan and gluten free choices but the bill is always twice what we’d expect. We will go back but tote our own wine and order more judiciously. For the record, all the food was great.

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JB
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

I was referred her by a member of my gym who suggested they can accommodate a strict meal plan. Found that to be not true. Ordering off menu not easy. Spent way too much in order to get what I needed & wasted food.

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R
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My sons are vegan and vegetarian. They found great choices on the menu. I appreciated that the food is not what we cook at home. It is different and delicious. The waiter was great. Atmosphere was quiet enough that we could talk with each other all through dinner.

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n
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was excellent. Many creative optoions. Service was great. Atmosphere is comfortable. Will visit again!

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KT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious and service was excellent! This is a great place for vegetarians who want something out of the ordinary.

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SF
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Our party of 4 had an early dinner at The Vegetable Butcher, before heading to a concert in the park. At 5pm we had the restaurant to ourselves! When I inquired about whether or not the fried chicken taco could be made gluten free, they were more than willing to give it a try and fried a piece of chicken in their garbanzo batter to see how it would turn out. It was awesome!! I was thrilled that they were able to modify this for me and I really appreciated their willingness to do so. Between the 4 of us, we had 3 fried chicken tacos, 2 mahi tacos, the little casa ensalada (not little at all!) and a vegetarian enchilada meal. We were all very pleased with our selections. This was my second time dining at this restaurant and I will definitely return!

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JM
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a great find! Food was wonderful, and service even better. I mentioned an allergy to tree nuts as I placed my order, asking that one ingredient be omitted. After leaving our table, our server realized there was another nut ingredient I hadn't noticed, so he wisely addressed that with the chef, and they came up with a delicious alternative presentation for me. It's rare that people take that extra step, and I so appreciated it! Im not in SLO often, but I'll visit here every chance i get!

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RE
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great spot while visiting SLO! Creative use of vegetables and although they serve meat, we wouldn't have missed it! Definitely recommend the cauliflower. Awesome beers and their version of tequila cocktails! (they serve a type of liquor that is similar to tequila but less alcohol content, so it can be served with a beer/wine license). It was really good!

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M
Los Angeles
106 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

This was my second visit here. I was blown away the first time. The service was terrible, but the food was really good. The server told us that they were short staffed, and comped an iced tea for the bad service. I would go back, just because last time was a great experience, and the menu is so fantastic.

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SL
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

First time here and very pleased. The food was interesting and healthful. We tried two of the share plates and enjoyed them both. Will be back to try more.

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M
Washington DC
210 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Vegetable Butcher is such a wonderful restaurant...a perfect mix of mindful preparation and absolute deliciousness! My wife and I are that annoying couple who split everything, so the fact that VB designs their dishes for sharing elevates it for us. VB's salad game is strong, and we added a chimichurri steak skewer that was perfection. Our fave dish was the enchilada special...we literally scraped the skillet. Although not usually dessert people, we trusted our server on the chocolate chia cake and were very appreciative...yum. This is the place downtown that we plan to bring friends from out of town to sample Central Coast cuisine.

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KF
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was inventive and interesting at Vegetable Butcher. Curious name as the restaurant is vegetable “forward” but by no means vegetarian as there are many meat additions that can be added to you meal.
The kitchen used the deep fryer very liberally, so if your not a huge fan of deep fried foods, ask before you order. We split a plate of some fingerling potatoes with shushito peppers, that I was unaware would meet the fryer, and I really didn’t enjoy that dish too much being deep fried adverse.

All in all we would recommend this place, but there was one service element of which they should pay more attention. When we arrived, it wasn’t very busy, and the service was prompt. However, we ordered way to much food, as the prices reflected portions we thought were going to be smaller. We were a bit disappointed that there was no suggestion from the waiter about our over enthusiastic order. But even more unsettling was this great abundance of food all came out at once. There was not even a suggestion of spacing out the meal, rather all thrown at us at once. The menu would have you believe that there are starters and entrees by the way it’s listed, but in retrospect it may have been a bit more of a “sharing” style/tapas type structure. Nonetheless, more care should have been given to the timing, what otherwise was, deliciously prepared food.

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AM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The food was good, but every dish we had from starter to meat was sweet. The food was not cloyingly sweet, but the attempt to enhance flavors with sugar got old. The service was slow and as others have written missed some basic steps. When we sat down we were given the food menu but not the drink menu. My drink arrived only after the food. Cocktails are all wine cocktails, no hard liquor.

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KK
St. Louis
9 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first time at the vegetable butcher, we tried the Forbidden sesame Cauliflower and loved it! Also tried the sweet potato taco and it was so good that we ordered a second one! Yummy vegan goodness! Thank you for having vegan options!

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GF
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

ALWAYS 🍴ALWAYS 🍷ALWAYS 🥄EXCELLENT!
I have been back 3 times in 5 days...
For a GFer this is the place to dine, so many SAFE options.
Staff is GREAT! A must to dine here!

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S
San Francisco
46 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

VB is strongest on appetizers / shared plates; we always get the Sesame Cauliflower and the Fingerling and Shishito dish. But what happened to the Fundido, that is the best dish we've ever had there? Tacos were interesting but not as satisfying as the apps.
2 warnings: unbeknownst to us they changed Happy Hour from ending at 6:30 to ending at 5:00 so don't get caught as we did. Other warning is that we ordered one of the most expensive bottles of red wine on the list and it was served at least 15 degrees too warm, had to get an ice bucket! When you're selling wine in the $50/60 range you should be storing and serving it properly.

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OT
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Our food was delicious, but much spicier than expected. Both my partner and I love spicy food, so it wasn’t a problem, but I can see how this might put off other diners. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the unique ingredients used in some of the dishes.

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TR
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing. The server was knowledgeable and helpful with food suggestions. The menu is reasonably priced. As for the noise level, I can't really comment, as we were there early before it got crowded.
Will diffinetly be back.

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SG
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

When we made our reservation through Open Table, we were unaware that we were reserving our special college graduation meal for 8 at the bar as a group. Open Table should have made it more clear. If we knew we were selecting the bar, we would not have selected this restaurant.
Additionally, we knew it nothing about the prix fixed menu. Not sure if it was up to Open Table to share this information upon reservation, or the restaurant, when they phoned and texted asking for confirmation a few days before.
Owners rectified the situation and we had a wonderful time.

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AF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, friendly and helpful staff that assisted with an inexplicable reservation snafu, good spot!

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GM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was a bit annoyed when we got to the restaurant and they only were serving a special "grads" menu this weekend as Cal Poly commencement was taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Was pleasantly surprised with the choices (even if a little disappointed as I had looked at their regular menu when choosing the restaurant for our celebration dinner). $26/person for three courses was a good price for what we had. There were vegetarian and vegan choices in the mix so everyone was happy. Dishes were served family style. First course salad was delicious! Dessert was a bit weak in that it was a wedge of flavored watermelon on a skewer, but it was refreshing nonetheless. Would definitely go back if ever in SLO again to try their regular menu.

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CB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

This was my second visit to this restaurant. Trendy casual vibe and easy to access. Big plus: Tables are spaced far enough apart that you can have a private conversation without having to whisper. Two fails: The server recited a long list of specials, and we chose two of them. No prices were given, but we ordered from that list believing the food would be the freshest and most original of the current menu - the usual reason a person would order a “special” item. One item delivered was the wrong one entirely. The second was essentially a half a roasted chicken with very little seasoning, not cut into sections, accompanied by a single roasted small chili pepper and two small cups of dipping sauces. The chicken meat was not at all special and wasn’t interesting or flavorful at all. Zero fun with this item. I can easily buy a more flavorful whole or half chicken roasted at most markets and enjoy them a lot more. The wrong plate was taken away and replaced with the correct one, which was flavorful and satisfying. Price was about $18 for that one. My blah roasted chicken was $26!! I was pretty shocked at that but paid and left. I might go back if invited by my friend but would absolutely require statements of item cost and careful description of “specials.” I don’t like to slam restaurants, but I have to be honest in that this was a big disappointment.

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OT
Kansas City
10 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

We are visitors from Palm Desert. We dine out frequently and are vegetarians. The options here for vegetarians are limited but the had a very good vegan chocolate pudding dessert that was the best of what we ate. Overall an ok place to eat. Very attentive and great waiter.

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