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If stuffed french toast or chik’n and waffles sound like the ideal brunch meal, The Wild Chive in Downtown Long Beach will not disappoint. It’s a vegan soul food restaurant that first began as a vegan pop-up series known for signature brunch items like the monte cristo sandwich and buttery grilled BLTs. After much success, it evolved into a brick-and-mortar in the fall of 2019. Soozee Nguyen is the Vietnamese American chef/owner, and she wanted to create a space that brings people together through good food that just happens to be vegan. Nguyen celebrates her roots with popular menu items like the breakfast banh mi or banh mi bowl, which our friend Crystal highly recommends ordering in addition to the shroom city burger. I’d order the warm flaky biscuits with sausage and country gravy, and bring a few friends to hang at the communal tables.

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