Portland >Food & Dining > Vita Cafe
3024 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721145.558961 -122.634220
Monday To Sunday From 11:00 AM To 10:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Concordia
Around since the birth of the – Around since the birth of Alberta's gentrification, Vita Cafe can credit its hearty vegetarian and vegan fare at affordable prices for its longevity. Kids eat for only one dollar every day between 5 & 7.
bad food, bad servce, bad karma – Dear PDX eaters, Don't do it! DO NOT EAT AT CAFE VITA. After several years being gone from pdx, my husband and I were curious about Alberta and picked Cafe Vita for its patio. When we walked in, we were looked through as if we were not actual real people! The blonde (shoulder-length hair, blue eyes, tattoos) was the most disgusting server we met while in Portland. She ignored us (we felt like we were standing there holding our d****) and finally just--MISTAKENLY--sat ourselves. The waitress actually seemed disappointed that we sat in her section! This was gross, truly gross. I'm sorry that you are a 40-year old waitress, man, and that customers are a drag!! We were polite anyway because that's who we are. It was embarrassing. Next came the pretentious menu, complete with a manifesto on FOOD. This place has no idea what good vegetarian food can be. When demon waitress finally brought food, it was cold because it sat on the slide for 15 minutes after the cooks were done with the order. She brought me a salad that was comprised of rotten-edged industral romaine. Cafe Vita is pretentious, not democratic in the slightest, and the service is HELL>>>>>>>>>>Incidentally, I called the cafe to complain but the owner/manager, Aaron Whoo, wasn't in, so I told the girl on the phone what I a telling you now. Her glib hipster response: "That's totally cool..."
if you like being treated like a leper... – I don't get how the Vita can have 4 1/2 stars?? Oh well. The food is a mediocre attempt at vegetarian food. They do have pretty good pancakes, but the rest of the food is just "meh". Actually some of their cakes are pretty good too. It's really the service that causes me to give it only 2 stars. I know Portland has this dumb thing where people in the service industy act like they're God's gift, but the kids at the Vita? Man, they are on a whole 'nother level. I have never been treated with such disdain at an establishment where my patronage is what pays the bills. I have a friend who lives out of town, and loves their food, so I find myself in here maybe once a year. Last time I was in, I waited over an hour for my (disgusting) veggie rueben. I actually had to get the food to go and eat it on my way to work, leaving my two friends in the restaurant. Each "worker" you talk to, acts like you are really harshin their mellow, and you get the feeling they'd rather you just get up and walk out. All the staff are a**holes, not worth your time or money.
I enjoyed the coffee... – And that was probably because I hadn't had any that morning. My girlfriend and I were the first people in the restaurant (actually, I was there first and had to wait awhile before the waitress acknowledged me..nothing like wrapping up conversation before getting to customers), but you would have thought that the place was hopping given the inattentiveness. Whenever I requested something within normal range( additional half & half, an extra napkin), the waitress had the flattest affect and appeared that I was taking her away, not from normal job duties, but other coworkers who were helping themselves behind the bar and fixing their own breakfasts. I was excited to try the thai corn cake because friends raved about it. It was mediocre at best and the coconut 'syrup', was nothing to write home about. Bland, like they just opened the can and poured it into the bowl. Also, the almond gravy, was at best brown. I do have to say that my eggs over medium were good. Not going to put this at the top of my breakfast list.
p.s. If you are going to have a dessert case where customers can see inside, make sure that the crumbs are cleaned out and the whole cake is wrapped. Don't just keep using the same ole plastic wrap against the cut parts. The rest of the cake can still dry out. Bleh.
The cakes rock – not so much a fan.
i went there with a girl that i mentor. she has autism and eats a very specific diet to improve brain functioning. vegan cafes usually offer more variety for her than other restaurants.
not impressed by the interior - stark. bare. maybe they thought it was creative but i thought it just looked cheap. the benches were not comfy! The service was slow. we had to flag down the waitress for water, drinks, to order our dessert and also to ask for the bill. i'm not normally a "flagger," meaning, i let the waitperson come to me when he or she is available... but we were there for over an hour an a half because the service was so slow. (there were only 2 other tables occupied, mind you). part of me thinks it was because the waitress might have been intimidated by my companion. sometimes people fear individuals with disabilities. but she spent the majority of her time flirting with the guys at the next table who really loved to use the "f" word. they also enjoyed talking about illicit substane abuse and often would get up to use the restroom and "powder" their noses. not exactly classy.
the food was bad. my riblet wrap was covered in some mock bbq sauce (i wonder how vegan bbq sauce is hard to make? sugar, vinegar, ketchup?) well, they messed it up. it was red, grainy and tasted like liquid smoke. bleh! i'm not a picky eater, but this was not tasty.
the one saving grace of this place was the delicious cake we shared for dessert! a delicious chocolatey ganache that was very impressive. especially considering how limited they are with the ingredients. I think the cakes are shipped in though, so you might as well just go to that bakery.
portland has lots of vegan cafes, and i'd only recommend this one if you have a lot of time and are looking for dessert.
Nastiest "veggie" burger anywhere, rude service – First of all, it was a long wait...and not because it was super busy really, but because the wait staff was just not efficient. Then, when we were seated, our server gave us complete attitude. then we didn't even get water for about 10 minutes...we were actually about to walk, but then she finally came to take our order. I got a VEGGIE burger. Usually, I ask at restaurants whether their fake burgers are veggie or soy (because wannabe boca burgers gross me out) but since it said VEGGIE I figured I was fine. I figured wrong. I tried to ketchup the taste out of it, but it didn't really work. Then the waitress tried to make up for her rudeness at the end so we'd tip her well (I was a server, I know that ploy). It didn't work. (The cakes did look tempting...but not for the rip-off price of $5!)
Best Vegetarian Burger Anywhere – Their veggie burger is fantastic! For all those who want to give up beef, but aren't sure, this is the place for you. My boyfriend is not a vegetarian (I am) and he has not liked one single veggie burger we've tried anywhere (frozen and in restaurants), but he was floored by his Chili Burger. I had the Mushroom and Onion Burger. Excellent and affordable. We both had burgers, fries, and tea for $20. It wouldn've been cheaper but we added extras. Lots of choices on the menu and we'll definitely be back.
Good food, horrible waiter – I have been going to vita for a few years now, and always bringing new people along. Most people are so pleased to find a vegetarian and vegan friendly place that the few drawbacks can be overlooked. The food is great but the service is sometimes lacking.
To be fair I have had plenty of friendly and helpful servers in the past, however the last two or three times I have had the same waiter. I am not quite sure how he has stuck around so long considering he is downright rude to customers. I really don't know that it is worth coming here for the food when you have to put up with him.
I recommend Vita Cafe for the food, however maybe avoid it if you can't handle a rude server, I can't seem to escape him even though there are other servers there!
Yummy neighborhood spot – Here's the deal with the Vita. It's a casual cafe that has the best selection of vegan and vegetarian comfort food around - breakfast, lunch and dinner. If your a meat eater, don't freak. try some of the vegan delights or if you must have a real free range burger, some spicey salmon cakes or add some shrimp to your salad. More like a diner, the service can be slow and sometimes frustrating but that's ok. Just keep my cup of joe full and I'll gladly wait.
It's a cool place that is not pretentious or trying to be something contrived. The Vita serves up tasty, wholesome food for a fair price. Large portions too...
Horrible!!! – I guess that you get what you pay for, right?!! The worst service ever ,and I got real sick from eating their gravy. Would absolutely not recommend this place unless they get a manager and start monitoring the food quality. Yuck!
Awesome gravy. – Great place for the little ones. Big tables, friendly service, cheap menu. My 10 y/o had the "fish" and chips and she loved the vegan tartar sauce.
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