Souley Vegan
Souley Vegan's flagship location in Oakland, California, in 2014.
Restaurant information
Owner(s)Tamearra Dyson
Head chefTamearra Dyson
Food typeVegan soul food
Dress codeCasual
Other locations4

Souley Vegan is a vegan soul food restaurant group based in Oakland, California in the United States. Their only remaining location closed in October 2023, although the owner intends to reopen elsewhere.[1] Their flagship restaurant was in Oakland. The restaurant group is owned by chef-founder Tamearra Dyson. They had additional locations, which have since closed, in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.


Tamearra Dyson opened Souley Vegan in Oakland in 2009.[2][3] Dyson, a single mother attending nursing school while working in healthcare, has been vegan since she was seventeen. She began cooking vegan food for the general public at a local farmers market in 2006. In 2009, she quit her healthcare job and opened Souley Vegan in West Oakland.[4] She completely funded the opening herself without investors. To this day, Souley Vegan remains solely funded by the business itself, no investors.[3] Dyson's made her mission to educate the Black community on how to eat healthfully. Initially, Souley Vegan's guests were 95% white. As of 2020, 60% of her customers are Black.[4]

During the COVID-19 pandemic in the San Francisco Bay Area in early 2020, which called for the closure of in-house dining for restaurants across the region, Souley Vegan saw a 70% decline in business.[3]

In July 2020, Dyson announced that she would open three take out and delivery restaurants in California, specifically in West Hollywood, San Francisco, and a second Oakland location.[5] The San Francisco and East Hollywood locations opened in August 2020, and a second Oakland location opened in September 2020.[3] The following year, in September 2021, Dyson shared that she would open a sister restaurant, The Back Porch, behind her flagship Souley Vegan in Oakland. The Back Porch serves cocktails and upscale vegan Cajun food.[6]

The Back Porch never opened, and the Oakland location closed in October 2023. [1]

Architecture and design

The flagship Souley Vegan, at 301 Broadway in East Oakland, is located in the oldest building in Oakland. The building was built in 1857 out of brick and plaster in the simplified Italianate style.[7]


Souley Vegan specializes in vegan soul food. As of 2020, sides averaged $5.50 and entrees ranged from $11-$14. Entrees include seitan steaks and mashed potatoes, crispy seitan and waffles, and a Southern Staples Bowl with grits, jambalaya, and roasted zucchini étouffée.[4][5][2] Souley Vegan also sells sandwiches, including the Toasty Crispy: cornmeal crusted tofu topped with barbecued tofu, barbecue sauce, garlic sauce, and spicy seasoning.[8] The most popular dish at the Oakland location is the Soul Food Platter, which includes southern fried tofu, red beans and rice, and macaroni and cheese made with cashew cream.[2] Side offerings at Souley Vegan include vegan macaroni and cheese and collard greens.[4]

Souley Vegan makes all their own vegan sauces, proteins and cheeses. All of their food is natural, with no additives. Produce is sourced from local, Black-owned farm Acta Non Verba Farms.[4]


In 2021, VegNews called Souley Vegan "one of the premier vegan soul food restaurants in the country."[2] The restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in 2016 and Check, Please! Bay Area.[2][9]

See also


  1. ^ a b >"After 14 Years, Oakland's Souley Vegan Closes Permanently". SF Eater. 20 October 2023. Retrieved 16 December 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e "How Oakland's Souley Vegan Became a Soul Food Empire". VegNews. 5 February 2021. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d Phillips, Justin (8 August 2020). "Oakland staple Souley Vegan is doing a big expansion across California — in ghost kitchens". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e Petre, Holly (28 August 2020). "Tamearra Dyson's Souley Vegan makes healthful food friendly, familiar and affordable". Restaurant Hospitality. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  5. ^ a b Axworthy, Nicole (21 July 2020). "Oakland's Iconic Black-Owned Souley Vegan to Open Three New Locations". VegNews. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  6. ^ La Ninfa, Erin (2 September 2021). "Owner of Souley Vegan to Open Upscale Vegan Cajun Restaurant in Oakland". VegOut. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  7. ^ Jones, Carolyn (1 April 2014). "Oakland location makes history, along with dinner". SFGATE. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  8. ^ Beck, Laura (28 April 2011). "Souley Vegan's Toasty Crispy". Eater SF. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Z & Y Restaurant, Pausa, Souley Vegan". KQED. Retrieved 25 December 2021.