16 Mar Bay Area’s Favorite Vegan BBQ Black Owned Joint
If you haven’t noticed, vegan is back. Big time. It’s not just the food, either. Vegan culture and plant-based diets are gaining ground in every aspect of life, from what we eat to what we wear to how we get around. It’s gotten to the point where, more than the food you eat, being vegan has become a lifestyle for millions of people.
One restaurant that captures the vegan culture in all its glory is Vegan Mob, a young restaurant that combines soul food, black culture, plant-based ingredients and mouth-watering flavors in just one lunch box. While the Bay Area has many great choices when it comes to plant-based cuisine, those of you who are looking for an authentic BBQ joint should definitely pay a visit to this place.
We couldn’t be more proud to be part of Vegan Mob’s journey, being their wholesale food supplier wholesale restaurant supplier so they have what they need to make delicious, healthy food available to the entire Bay Area community. This is their story.
The Culinary Soul of Oakland
Drawn by the neon green structure, Vegan Mob customers can be seen standing in line all day long. They probably don’t mind the wait, either, as the DJ that plays hip hop music out of loudspeakers makes the wait more fun.
The chef and owner here is Toriano Gordon, a former rapper-turned-restaurateur who has achieved national acclaim in just over a year since opening. Gordon is a San Francisco native and spent his childhood hanging around his grandfather’s restaurants.
He started Vegan Mob out of his truck, selling to Farmers’ Markets. Less than half a year later he had doubled his social media following, was making headlines and garnering massive lines of both omnivores and vegan diners. Expanding to a second location was just a matter of time.
Vegan Mob was built as a pickup-only operation, but to better serve customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gordon’s healthy guilty pleasures are now also available for delivery.
Are You Sure There's No Meat in This?!
It’s hard to believe that the creamy scoops of Smackaroni are acutally made from pea protein milk, or that the gumbo has seaweed in it, or that the piles of smoky collard greens spiked with bacon bits are in fact vegan. But it’s all true. The Mac and Cheese, shrimp, brisket and ribs, which are served with traditional Texas barbecue sauce, are all plant-based.
Every dish on the menu is part of Gordon’s own brand of vegan fusion, a blend of plant-based barbecue, soul food, and Creole food. But it’s really the culture behind the joint that makes it stand out amidst the Bay Area sea of vegan eateries.
Keeping the looks, texture and flavors of popular comfort food true to the original is what makes plant-based options more approachable for people in communities that aren’t typically vegan, according to Gordon.
If you own a restaurant and want to know more about strategies to reopen it, check out our Guide to Reopen Your Restaurant.
Plant-Based Barbecue & Hip-Hop Culture Mash Up
As we’ve already mentioned, Vegan Mob is more than just a BBQ joint. It represents and entire culture of soul food, rap and hip hop music, the black community and vegan lifestyle of an entire generation that is more environmentally conscious than ever before. And what more obvious way to celebrate culture than through the clothes we wear?
Check out OVM Clothing, a line of hoodies and sweatsuits that says exactly what Vegan Mob is all about: healthy, vegan-friendly, and damn delicious food for the community.
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