Veggie Grill hits UTC with healthy food options
The veggie grill in University City offers several healthy fast food options. Veggiegrill’s menu features a satisfying and energizing variety of hot sandwiches and burgers, entrée salads, homestyle plates, daily soups and housemade desserts made from hearty “veggie-proteins” and wholesome ingredients. With 16 locations in California, Oregon and Washington, Veggie Grill renders the impossible possible: 100-percent plant-based food that is convenient, affordable and craveable.
This hip new spot in university city is located inside of utc mall.
After opening 19 outlets up and down the West Coast, the owners of the Veggie Grill chain finally decided the time was right to open its first location in San Diego County, opting for the Westfield UTC mall.
The vegetarian-style eatery, whose menu is entirely free of animal fat, dairy and eggs, falls within the fast casual segment, which, while still a relatively small niche, has far outpaced all other categories in restaurant visits growth.
Santa Monica-based Veggie Gill had been eying the San Diego County market for some time but was careful about choosing the right location to fit its demographic, which includes highly educated women, said CEO Greg Dollarhyde.
“It’s a little bit bohemian mix and money and brains. people who have education and income,” said Dollaryhyde. “Our most important target is the educated woman who wants herself, family, husband or boyfriend to eat better. Twenty-five percent of our guests have graduate degrees, and only 30 percent are vegetarian eaters. We’re not trying to go after just the vegetarian or vegan eater.”
The menu includes a variety of hot sandwiches, wraps, burgers, entrée salads and soups and even has familiar comfort food favorites like fried chicken and Buffalo wings, but made with ingredients like soy, wheat gluten and beet and pea fiber. Dollarhyde explained.
“People have this image of vegetarian food as bland and mushy, but we sell fried chicken sandwiches and carne asada and carrot cake but they’re all plant-based,” said Dollarhyde, who noted that many of his senior team members are vegetarians.
Located near Macy’s in the Westfield mall, the 2,300-square-foot Veggie Grill has its own patio. Each new restaurant, built from the ground up, typically costs between $800,000 and $1 million to develop, Dollarhyde said.
Future San Diego County locations are planned, including Carlsbad, which is expected to open in the next six months. Additional California expansion is also slated for Westlake Village, Pasadena, Corte Madera, and Mountain View. Veggie Grill currently has 19 other locations, mostly in Southern California, as well as in Portland and Seattle.