10 Characteristics of a Hippie Restaurant

10 Characteristics of a Hippie Restaurant

Adding to my lists of 10 Things to Look for When Dining Vietnamese! and 10 Characteristics of a Hipster Restaurant, I bring to you 10 Characteristics of a Hippie Restaurant.

My inspiration for this post was actually from 10 Characteristics of a Hipster Restaurant because I was almost getting the two confused. I know they’re different, but there is some overlap. Unlike hipsters, hippies don’t take offense to being called “hippies”… unless you aren’t one, right? Anyways I know I’m stereotyping and again it’s for fun and there’s a degree of truth to it, but don’t take this too seriously. I apologize ahead of time if I offend some people… and I likely already did… anyways here goes!

Foodheads Cafe & Catering in Austin, Texas

1. It’s surrounded by nature and you are greeted by plants.

If it’s not on a lawn, garden, beach, or middle of a park, they’ll find a way to imitate the same effect. Even if it’s located in downtown where space is limited, the restaurant will have plants growing outside and inside. Usually there is an outdoor patio and if there’s no room outside they’ll make the roof top into some type of secret garden with perhaps pillows. Lawn chairs will also be used outside and inside and often the table settings will have fresh flowers. There is no distinction between indoors and outdoors.

Even in Manhattan, New York places like Bread will make it work.

Garage Sale – See Follow Me Foodie to Portland, Oregon!

2. If it’s not ethnic, it’s Earthy, homey or artsy decor with hints of an indoor garage sale.

If there are no carpets and cushions resembling India, the Middle East or South East Asia, then there may be beaded curtains and hand woven place mats that are made by a local designer using all organic materials. However that may be too trendy or expensive, in which case things from a garage sale will also do. Regardless, it should feel like home. Who’s home? I’m not sure, but as the restaurant may suggest, “let your imagination or inner spirit take you there”.

The Mission in San Diego, California

3. It’s vegetarian.

This could be the most obvious characteristic. It’s the no-meat movement. They are not always vegan and vegetarian restaurants, but quite often the menu will cater to that clientele. Tofu, brown rice and quinoa are common features or substitutions.

Gorilla Food in Vancouver, BC

4. There is something made with hemp seed, flax seed or Chia seed.

Seeds are no longer just for birds. Whether it’s in the homemade bread, granola, crackers, or smoothies, there is no shortage of love for seeds. The hemp seed, flax seed and Chia seed all have incredible health benefits and if they’re found all together in a dish, it might be called “super ___ “.

East is East in Vancouver, BC

5. The drink menu features Chai, freshly squeezed juice & smoothies… and the shots are green.

It’s more about the tea than it is about the coffee, and if you drink coffee it better be organic and fair trade. If you don’t drink either, than it better be freshly squeezed seasonal fruit and vegetable juice or a smoothie made with coconut milk, nuts and seeds. The smoothies are usually intended to be full meals and if there’s homemade lemonade then you might be in a hippie-hipster place. If you’re ordering a shot, most likely it will be green and made of dark leafy vegetables and some ginger for an all natural “kick”.

East is East in Vancouver, BC

6. The staff and customers either have a lot of hair or no hair.

“Gimme a head with hair!
Long, beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen” – Hair, by Cowsills

Yes, it’s either long hair or a long beard and the rest I don’t want to see, hear or even know about. If it’s not that, than it’s the bald and the beautiful. Both can be shiny in very different ways… or even matte if they’re dreadlocks.

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, BC

7. They grow their own herbs.

No, silly! Not those herbs… well not publicly at least (and the light doesn’t look like that). We live in Vancouver, but we’re not that liberal. Anyways most hippie or even hipster restaurants will grow their own herbs, or at the very least have some real plants in house. If downtown provided enough space for a garden in the back, I’m sure many of these restaurants would grow their own vegetables too. They likely do it at home.

8. Environmentally friendly.

Do you see that? Look beside the herbs. Now do you see it? Yes! They ride bikes to work! Not only that, but the packaging and take out containers should be biodegradable. The hardcore hippie places will encourage you to bring your own coffee cups too. And what about the silverware? Well who needs it when food is meant to be enjoyed with the hands. Eating is a sensual experience and connects us closer to each other… so feed the person next to you, but only if they too are a hippie and understand.

OrganicLives in Vancouver, BC

9. It’s a chalkboard menu with vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free/fair trade/local/organic options.

Forget peanut allergies, those aren’t cool anymore. And Atkins diet? That was so 10 years ago. Okay, those comments are more “hipster” than” “hippie”.

Basically, it has to offer at least 3 of the above or it doesn’t count as “authentic” hippie. The menus are often changing so the chalkboard menu makes it more environmentally friendly. The fancier places might use a mirror.

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, BC (Post coming soon!)

10. A focus on homemade & baking.

I said this in my 10 Characteristics of a Hipster Restaurant, but there is an emphasis on home made and baking at hippie restaurants too. The baking usually consists of bread, cakes, granola, and especially brownies. Again all of the above are likely offered in gluten free options and made with organic eggs if any.

Carrot cake, apple pie, dairy free cheesecake and the classic flourless chocolate cake should be available. At least one will make reference to being “best on either the planet, earth, world, or simply being Mother Nature’s best”.

The kitchen looks like a home style kitchen and if you see any jars it’s usually because they’re doing their own pickling. If you see any cans it’s likely decoration or being used to cut cookies. All baked goods are meant to be enjoyed as “mindful snacking” or with a “conscious indulgence”.

**If you didn’t find this post offensive or even funny and were actually inspired to introduce some of these traits to your restaurant… well. And if you’re not bothered by this post and are trying to figure out what kind of person I am… then please come back to visit me here more often! 🙂


  • LotusRapper says:

    Re: 4. There is something made with hemp seed, flax seed or Chia seed.

    May I add:

    – Quinoa
    – Couscous
    – Soya cheese

    Not that there’s anything wrong with them ……… 😀

  • Mimihui-Pak says:

    Looking forward to go…~

  • Bow says:

    I think that people first associated “hippie” places with TOFU. It became branded into the North American conciousness. In the ’60’s, only Asians ate Tofu frequently, along came places like the Naam and Tofu became a mainstay on veggy menus. Also, people were used to plain salads with iceberg lettuce and kraft dressing(unless you were a Euro)…all of a sudden salads had pumpkin seeds, shredded carrots, raw zucchini, raisins, etc., etc.(every combo possible became popular, unfortunately these salads were often a soggy mess). Tuna fish casserole was introduced to me in the ’60’s(UGH). Hippie places actually made real, rustic bread(unless you were a Euro), no Wonderbread, our tastebuds were in shock!

  • Linda says:

    haha i immediately thought of this one episode of sex and the city when i first read the title of this post… another characteristic is if the whole restaurant serves RAW FOOD ONLY! 🙂

  • John says:

    I’m looking forward to your Nelson the Seagull review. I went there for a private party and been curious about how the regular menu is.

  • Meghan says:

    I literally laughed out loud reading this one Mijune. But as someone who’s worked in a few hippy restaurants you forgot a few sidenotes-

    -The coffee mugs are not uniform and look like they come from a kitchy thrift store. Bonus points if they are pottery mugs.
    – Giant water cooler in some corner for people to refill self brought water bottles.
    – Local artwork jewellery/ artwork/ homemade soaps and cd demos for sale, along with posters promoting the next open mic singing or poetry night.
    -Music- usually local bluegrass or roots n’ blues wafting from the kitchen.
    -A petition taped to a counter regarding those against building a structure/ or tearing down a structure.
    – no two walls can be painted the same colour.

  • LotusRapper says:

    @Meghan – right on !!

    Also, a large bulletin board near the entrance full of ads for counselling, meditation therapies, massage/reiki/rolfing, yoga & pilates lessons, B&Bs on Salt Spring Isld, used cars under $1000 …….

  • Mijune says:

    @LR – yes!!

    @Mimi – yay!

    @Bow – I was love your little facts! Thanks for sharing Bow! See it’s funny because tuna casserole still has appeal to me *blush*

    @Linda – I remember that episode! Gorilla Food and OrganicLives in Vancouver are raw food only too.

    @John – awesome!! It will be soon! Thanks John!

    @Meghan – Omg I loved you additions!!! It makes my post feel more real!!! So glad you laughed because I’m not hippie so it was hard to nail all the characteristics!! Oh but local artwork I kind of touched upon, but I forgot to mention they would be selling them as well! Ohhh an the wall thing.. good one!!! See I thought hippies were more proactive instead of “petition driven” nowadays… am I wrong? Thanks Meghan! LOVE LOVE LOVEEEEEEE your comments!!!

    @LR – good call LR! hahh on the cars.. but I thought they don’t drive much? Bikes?

  • fmed says:

    Did you leave out the elephant in the room? The staff at hippy restaurants are either stoned or “very forgetful.”

  • LotusRapper says:

    They’re enlightened 😉

  • Mijune says:

    @fmed – lol!! what I was getting at in the home made baking part when I was referring to brownies too 😉

    @LR – aha! nice!!

  • fmed says:

    Oh haha. I missed that. Pretty subtle! And now I see the “They likely do it at home” comment in #7. OK.

  • LotusRapper says:

    And they *did* inhale, too ……..

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