After a two-year battle with delays caused by the COVID pandemic and numerous changes and issues Veronica Cabrera and her family dealt with concerning their café & deli, Sabor a Vida Café & Deli opened the doors to their first customer on March 10th. They had to deal with fixing their entrance way, so it met ADA compliance as well as moving the existing toilet in the bathroom, along with changes required in the kitchen including deciding not to put in a grill and hood area. Veronica said she and husband Mario began the process in 2020 and almost stopped their dream on three different occasions, but their patience and commitment finally paid off as Sabor a Vida Café & Deli is finally open for business. This café & deli has been a dream Veronica has had offering delicious, plant-based, and healthier alternatives that are sustainable and environmentally friendly served in a comfortable neighborhood setting.
Sabor a Vida Cafe & Deli is located at 735 Shadowridge Dr. in a small strip mall, taking over the home of a former real estate office. The corner café is easy to spot from the roadway and has a very warm, inviting atmosphere. The large menu offers a variety of handcrafted coffees, teas, lattes, smoothies, super food beverages and homemade plant-based plates, all at reasonable prices. Recently, a family from Escondido stopped in for lunch saying the only other vegan eatery they knew of was in Escondido and they wanted to try Sabor a Vida.
Veronica said she and her husband decided to open the café & deli as they changed their personal eating philosophy, recognizing “a meat-eating diet is devastating our earth’s environment and is one of the root causes of human diseases while causing unnecessary suffering to billions of animals. While battling and overcoming cancer, we learned how meat consumption was carcinogenic. We are committed to being part of the solution and combating the consequences of animal agriculture.”
The name of the café & deli is Sabor a Vida, meaning Taste of Life. In Veronica’s words, “We want to make delicious vegan food accessible to everyone, so they can see that you don’t have to sacrifice taste when you go meatless.” As you read through the large menu hanging above the front counter, you will find every kind of food choice you can imagine and numerous selections within these choices. A true Taste of Life.
Some examples of the menu items include Vida Bowls with choices like the Tropical Delight with banana, mango, pineapple, ginger, coconut milk, toasted coconut, and maple syrup. Finger Food items to choose from are Parientes Hummus Platter or the Dos Amigos Salsa and Chips Platter. Everything in the café is freshly made on site except the pastries. They also offer Vegan Pastries, brought in freshly made daily from Split House Bakery in San Diego.
Other menu items include a selection of four Salads, like the Fuego with salad mix, corn, black beans, roasted poblano, garbanzo beans, red onion, tortilla strips, cilantro, and a homemade jalapeno dressing. Three Sabor Bowls are offered, such as the Bosque with quinoa, black beans, rice, kale, tomato, chickpea tuna, feta, and homemade jalapeno cashew cream. Three Wraps on the menu offer flour or spinach tortilla options. Four Burrito choices have unique names – Thunder, Lightning, Storm, and Morning Glory. The Thunder comes with rice, black beans, marinated tofu, cilantro, avocado, and the homemade cashew cream.
There are three Avocado Toast choices, three Superfood Toast choices and five Sandwich choices. One of the sandwiches is the Nature – homemade roasted garlic cashew spread, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and cilantro micro greens. Bread choices include sourdough, multigrain, white and gluten free and side potions are kettle chips, fresh seasonal fruit of a side salad. Other sandwiches are called Cloud, Wind, Moon BLT and Rainbow. The Paninis are served on Ciabatta Bread and come with side options. They are called Hope, Peace, Love and Happy. The Love Panini is spinach, cherry tomato, red roasted pepper, mozzarella cheese and Pesto spread. Sandwiches and Paninis range between $8.75 to $11.00 and include a side option.
There are seven coffee options and four latte options. I highly recommend the Maple Cinnamon Latte. There are fourteen Super Food options and other drinks include Mexican Hot Chocolate and Homemade Mint Lemonade.
Veronica is also the owner of Exclusive 4 U Boutique, located at 3529 Canon, close to the McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Montessori School off Melrose. She opened the boutique in 2018. Veronica had to close for a while the café & deli was under construction, but the boutique will soon reopen on a regular schedule and her sister Susana will be helping to run the shop.
As you can see, you will not go hungry at Sabor a Vida. Even if you are a meat eater, take a break from that food choice and try something different. You will not be disappointed. Stop in for a delicious drink, great food, enjoy the homemade decorations on the wall and friendly vibe.
When asked about all the delays in getting the café up and running, Veronica said, “Time always comes, and everything comes at a right time with the right people helping.” This is her time, and you will see the wait was well worth it. They are Vista Chamber of Commerce Members and she said at their Grand Opening and Red Ribbon Cutting (time to be announced later) one feature will be Impossible Burgers grilled outside, an alternative you will enjoy.