As you walk up to Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe’s Greenwood location, you get a preview of what’s inside before you even walk in the door. A rainbow pride flag hangs in the front window, and a large painting of a purple cabbage to the right of the door let’s you know that you are in for a large serving of veggies with a side of love. Chaco Canyon doesn’t shy away from letting its patrons know what it is all about–local, organic, earth-friendly, community-friendly, vegan eats.

Money: Okay

Since Chaco Canyon is all about honesty when it comes to food, let’s be honest about the price. Chaco Canyon is expensive. The grain bowls are in the $10 range; sandwiches are $14-15; and juices and smoothies range from $6-9. However, when you take an objective step back and think about the quality (and quantity) of food you are getting for the price, it seems fairly reasonable. Chaco Canyon uses local, fresh produce and no processed sugar in their food. I do my best to cook this way at home, so I know the higher cost of these organic ingredients and the time that goes into making this kind of food. Additionally, they have many options for people with alternative dietary needs and are great at accommodating patrons with food allergies. The portions are also generous, so often I can save some money by squeezing leftovers out of my meal.

Consciousness: Excellent

Chaco Canyon’s food philosophy is proudly displayed on a large chalkboard in the restaurant. Their goal is to serve organic, clean, vegan food that is good for you, the community and the environment. They value food transparency, and the friendly staff isn’t afraid to tell you about their cooking methods or where they source their food.

If you dig a little deeper, you will learn that the founder was motivated not only to create a place that provided delicious local plant-based food, but to act as a model for other businesses looking to be more environmentally friendly. All of the waste is composted or recycled, and you won’t see any disposable utensils in sight. Taking your meal to go? You are welcome to borrow some real silverware from the restaurant. Mother Earth is surely proud.

The cafe also actively works to promote and support other local businesses in the community. They leave local publications like The Stranger on the table so you can catch up on what’s new around town while you sip your smoothie and browse the local community board.  

All the Feels: Okay

Peace. Love. Vegan food. The cafe is brightly lit, and the sunny interior and disposition of the staff are a welcome ray of sunshine on a cloudy Seattle day. The walls are adorned with bright murals that don’t shy away from a hippy vibe.

When you walk up to the counter to order your food, you will likely be greeted by a young staff member with numerous tattoos and body piercings. Razors optional and that’s why I love it. It’s a place that says, ‘come as you are’ and means it. . I’ve yet to meet a staff member that doesn’t embody the principles of the restaurant–inclusive, happy, and health oriented.

One downside is that it gets crowded at lunchtime. I often feel like the entire neighborhood is there, but the staff are well-equipped for the crowds and have their system down. You never have to wait too long for your food, but you won’t want to stay long either. The wooden chairs are not incredibly comfortable (maybe this is the way they get people in and out the door during lunch?).

Menu Run Down

Smokey Yam and Kale Bowl

I have to be careful not to eat this every time I go! It’s my favorite bowl on the menu. Savory and a little sweet (thanks to the roasted yams), this bowl is delicious and filling. The kale and roasted yams are served over quinoa. The nutty flavor of the quinoa and spices are balanced out by a tangy, garlicky tahini sauce that is drizzled over the top of the bowl.

Mighty Breakfast Burrito

I was very excited to order this item as I love a good breakfast burrito. Filled with black beans, avocado, rice, and a zucchini tofu scramble, I had high hopes for this dish. I expected it to be a vegan twist on a classic breakfast burrito and while all of the ingredients sounded good together, the burrito was just OK. It wasn’t nearly as flavorful as I expected, especially considering how delicious my other meals had been.

GF French Toast

This french toast is amazeballs! My kid absolutely loves it, and if I’m being honest so do I!  You would have no idea that the bread is gluten free and because all of the sugar is natural (maple syrup, honey), it’s sweet, but not too sweet. They even have a vegan whipped cream that has to be made from coconut oil and something because it’s better than the real thing. Add tempeh bacon for an extra $2 and enjoy this guilt-free sweet treat.

Artichoke Melt

This sandwich tastes impossibly cheesy considering that it is completely vegan. Thanks to house-made cashew cheese, this melt in your mouth sandwich is some serious plant-based comfort food. The downside is that it is a little greasy, and probably not the healthiest choice on the menu but definitely leaves you happily full and ready for the rest of your day.