Last weekend we were lucky enough to try lunch at the cutest, most awesome little veg-friendly cafe in Oceanside, California. We stumbled across the quaint Hill Street Cafe after a playoff game for Alex's hockey team. Thanks to the ever-handy Happy Cow phone app, we were able to search for and locate vegan restaurants in the area. We found this little gem and stopped in...and we're so glad we did! The restaurant is mostly vegetarian but had a wide selection of vegan options and menu items that could be made vegan if not already. It was very reasonably priced and our waitress was the coolest. She was happy to suggest menu items and clarify the vegan stuff for us. The parking is all located in the back of the restaurant from what we could tell, but the back entrance is just as interesting to walk through as the front. There is a large koi pond filled with beautiful white and orange fish, tons of flowers and greenery, and even a little stone wall contained in the small courtyard.
The restaurant is a converted house and registered historic landmark, built in 1888, with a completely glassed in porch for your dining pleasure. Filled with 2 & 4 top tables, we promptly seated ourselves in the main dining room (all of the coveted porch tables were filled). Our waitress was really great. She was whizzing around the place, helping every table. She never ignored us, stopping by to make suggestions and recommendations whenever possible. She had a couple of bussers helping her, but she was really a one-woman, do-it-all kinda girl. And she was good, too! The restaurant is a Certified Green Restaurant, meaning they use no harmful chemicals for cleaning, recycle and compost everything they can, and promise to be styrofoam free! There is also an art gallery upstairs, but we didn't have any time to poke around.
Steaming hot chai latte made with rice milk and freshly squeezed blood orange juice!
We began our order with a tall glass of freshly squeezed blood orange juice and a rice milk-made chai latte. The latte was incredible- the best vegan chai latte I have ever had. It was light, frothy, and had just the right amount of spice. The blood orange juice was too good to put into words. I had never previously been lucky enough to have an entire glass to drink...which is probably good, considering this entire glass was finished in minutes. The juice was freshly squeezed from the same oranges available at the front. They also had freshly squeezed lemonade from the meyer lemons they grow, and it was seriously tempting.
Alex ordered the potato tacos plate, which came with 3 potato tacos, a side of rice, beans, and a small salad...plus a spicy homemade chipotle salsa! I had never had a potato taco before, and these ones blew my mind. Its the last thing you'd think to pair together- chunky mashed potatoes in a taco? But hell yes. Topped with avocado and some of their homemade salsa it was incredible. I ordered the falafel wrap on a whole wheat tortilla. The wrap was stuffed full of spicy fried falafel, carrots, avocado, lettuce, and onions with a tangy sauce. It was so delicious. The chips and homemade chipotle salsa capped everything off nicely.
Falafal Wrap with chips and salsa!
And the coolest part? Just outside the entrance is a four tiered shelf containing the days freshest produce. I think our waitress said it was all grown by the owner himself; anyway, with an optional but suggested donation, you can have some of the fresh, delicious produce for yourself! They had blood oranges and meyer lemons when we visited, and we snagged a couple of each before we left. Look how great these blood oranges are! Super juicy and gorgeous coloring...plus they turned into GREAT carrot & orange juice the next morning.
Fresh Blood Oranges-look at those colors!
Overall, a truly pleasant experience. If we lived closer to the San Diego area we would be very frequent visitors. The atmosphere was funky, the service was terrific, and the food was truly phenomenal.
To see their yelp page for hours and exact location, click here.