Chicana Vegana is a plant-based restaurant that includes a mix of Mexican and American cuisine. The business started off as a pop-up tent turned food truck but is now a storefront restaurant right in the heart of Downtown Fullerton.
The owner of Chicana Vegana, Jasmine Hernandez first got her ideas from changing her lifestyle when she chose not to partake in purchasing and consuming animal products. She challenged herself to recreate vegan versions of things she loved to eat and her business started from there.
Her family also went vegan about two months after she stopped consuming animal products. This lifestyle became the foundation for her restaurant.
“We like to think our food expresses our Chicana upbringing,” Hernandez said.
The restaurant has been in business since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, where they began with curbside pick-up. After the first few weeks of lockdown, the restaurant opened for takeout later in June. Now, because of Orange County’s status in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, they are finally open for indoor dining.
Hernandez chose Fullerton as the location because she and her father grew up in the city. She also attended school locally and is even a Fullerton College alumni. She feels that being back in the same city she grew up in with a restaurant now is a “strange surreal experience”.
The menu consists of a variety of vegan food including tacos, burritos, and burgers but they are mainly known for their “Asada fries” and “Cali burritos.” Hernandez said that her favorite items from the menu are the nachos with al pastor and chili cheese fries because they are “classics.”
The shroom steak burger includes a vegan meat patty, cheese, fried onion crisps, and a special sauce that brings everything together. There are options for the burger patty which include the Impossible or Beyond meat.
Their french fries are made so crispy that people can hear the sound of a crunch in every bite.
“Maybe being vegan isn’t all that bad,” first-time customer Odalysse Reyes said.
The loaded nachos are even better than the shroom steak burger. It is almost identical to the typical regular nachos with carne asada, except they are entirely made with soy-based protein.
“I will say it has an aftertaste, like a little bit but it’s not bad,” Reyes added.
Since their cheese is made from cashews, some people may find the cheese tasting nuttier rather than an imitation cheese.
There is a slight difference in texture between the real carne asada meat from the plant-based meat but that is common amongst soy-based protein. Overall, the restaurant is one of the few great and authentic vegan spots in Orange County.
Aside from indoor dining and takeout, the restaurant also offers an option for online orders. To place an order, click on their website here. Because the restaurant started during the first few weeks of the pandemic, Hernandez quickly adapted to it by starting online ordering platforms overnight.
The restaurant is located at 113 Est. Commonwealth Avenue. and is open from are 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays, and is closed on Mondays.
For more information about Chicana Vegana, click here.