Java Surf Café and Espresso Bar

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Location:

Java Surf Café and Espresso Bar

301 25th Street

Virginia Beach, VA

757.963.6600

Atmosphere:

This is a quirky little coffee and sandwich spot located in a strip mall.  With outdoor seating, a chill surfer motif, and plenty of seasonal menu items to choose from, it’s no wonder why this seems to be a favorite of local hipsters and tourists. You’ll always know when a certain employee is around because evidently he failed the oh-so-important “indoor voices” challenge in 1st grade, and still seems to struggle to master that lesson.  Nonetheless, there’s free wifi, so just bring your headphones and let some Fleetwood Foxes drown that guy out.

Food:

Almond and soy milk are in the building for coffees and lattés. Woo hoo! I’m always grateful for establishments that cater to my raging coffee addiction. I actually ordered 2 iced lattes, coconut and vanilla for $4 a pop. They were smooth, sweet, flavorful, and strong.  What more could you ask for in an iced latté?

There was only 1 menu item that was specifically labelled as vegan… So I got it for $9. The “Chicken Avocado Panini” was pretty damn good! As you can tell from the picture, they didn’t skimp on the avocado (and you didn’t have to hear them say “Guac is extra, is that OK?”).  I believe the chiken was Gardien. It was cooked perfectly and had a nice grilled flavor. The combo of the fresh avo, tomato, seasoned chiken, and the bakery quality bread, made this a home run for sure.

DIG IT or DITCH IT?

Dig it!  The relaxed, friendly atmosphere, along with awesome coffee and quality ingredients, makes this place a winner.  The waitress let me know that they can veganize just about any of the menu items, so I’m going back for sure! Now put on some sunglasses and practice your best surfer-stoner accent, and head on over! Order a coffee for me, dude!

Zeke’s Beans N Bowls

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Location:

Zeke’s Beans N Bowls

616 Norfolk Ave.

Virginia Beach, VA

757-963-5155

Atmosphere:

As I pulled up to this place, I wasn’t sure what I was going to find.  Zeke’s outer appearance is what some might call “shabby”.  I was happily surprised when I walked in the door.  Mom was right again, damn it, don’t judge a book by its cover.

For lack of a better term, the style of this place is “surf hipster”.  Mismatched sofas and cushioned chairs, retro stereo equipment that played some sort of dance/electronic songs, books that looked liked they have been kicked around for a decade or so, surf magazines and boards, and random items such as old school badminton rackets.  They even had paintings on the walls for sale, including a yogi meditating in a sunset and a psychedelic storm trooper right next to it.

Food:

Well, there were plenty of vegan options here. From smoothie bowls to salads, and an array of pitas and sandwiches that could sub-out the meat for tofu. Yay!

I ordered a latté and the “North Pole Bowl”, both pictured above. The latté went for $4.00 and the bowl went for $9.00. I ordered the Regular size, but there is also a smaller option.

The latté  had a lotté of cinnamon. Haha, see what I did there?! I did not get much of a coffee flavor, just a mouthful of cinnamon, but I appreciated that it was made with almond milk and had lots of foam. Party in my mouth!

The North Pole Bowl featured an acai smoothie with cinnamon granola, mango, sliced banana, blueberries, almonds, and shredded coconut.  This was exactly what I didn’t know I needed in my life! So fresh, fruity, and flavorful, my vegan heart and tastebuds were singing Katy Perry’s “Firework”, and I’m pretty sure I was dancing a little as I ate this cool, crunchy, and sweet combo.

DIG IT or DITCH IT? 

DIG IT! The relaxed hipster attitude, delicious and fresh ingredients, along with the multitude of vegan options, makes this place a must. I’ll definitely be returning in the future, and also recreating this bowl at home!