The Root Cafe is as much about the atmosphere as it is about the food. This hipster hangout hosts open mics, art shows and other events, in addition to operating a bustling, high-quality vegetarian restaurant. While not everybody comes in for the food—they might be here just to grab a cup of locally roasted coffee or an herbal iced tea, meet up with friends or check out the latest work by a local artist—it feels like everybody ends up munching on something.
The all-vegetarian menu is big with all the requisite fare (salads, sandwiches, beans and rice), along with gluten-free pizzas and calzones. Round that out with some delicious sides like spicy, crunchy kale chips ($5) and finish things off with sweet treats from a well-stocked vegan bakery. There's truly something here to please anybody, anytime. Come for Raw Food Thursdays or Sunday brunch.
All dishes balance textures and flavors; this is the kind of food that tastes and feels good for you because it is, not just because the meat’s been left out. If you can’t figure out what to order, ask the counter staff for the low-down on specials. They’ll steer you toward the freshest fare, often made with ingredients grown in nearby neighborhood gardens. That’s how we got our hands on a yummy roasted veggie sandwich with Swiss and pesto ($8). Just don't get in a hurry; these meals can take an unusually long time to come out of the kitchen.