vegan holiday options

Pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, green beans, and… tofurkey.

As more Americans turn to plant-based lifestyles, be it vegan or vegetarian, they must reckon with how to handle the holidays. For some, it’s not so hard, while others may miss that classic turkey. 

Anthony Gerbino, the owner and chef of Julia’s, describes himself as more of a flexitarian. Sometimes called a semi-vegetarian diet, it’s centered on plant-based foods with some occasional meat-eating.

Gerbino thinks it’s easy to embrace the plant-based lifestyle. 

“Everything we do on Thanksgiving is amazing in terms of flavor,” he said. “It’s just about making the decision to do it.”

Jennifer Barnes, left, talks with Leo Razo inside Julia's Vegetarian Restaurant in Pacific Grove, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.

Julia’s, a vegetarian restaurant, ups the ante for their Thanksgiving menu, making all the items vegan and gluten-free as well. The multi-course meal includes roasted persimmons, walnut cranberry salad, and your choice of pie. 

The restaurant was started 10 years ago by another chef and Gerbino took over in 2016, after working in other restaurants and being involved with cooking since he was a kid. He says the goal of the restaurant was to provide other, healthy options and that’s one of the reasons they opened back up after closing down temporarily in March.