Sage Cafe serves filling gourmet vegan meals out of a small kitchen in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

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Sage Cafe serves filling gourmet vegan meals out of a small kitchen in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Formerly known as Hillside Quickie’s Cafe, the restaurant is best known for its vegan burgers and grilled and seasoned seitan (wheat gluten). Sage Cafe’s seating — four round high tables inside and two tables outside — can make it challenging to dine in during peak times of the day.

The menu: Nearly a dozen vegan burgers (about $10), savory crepes ($9 to $12), grilled gyros and other grilled sandwiches (about $10) offer a wide range of flavors, spices and fillings to tempt even those who shy away from vegetarian food. On Saturdays, Sage Cafe also serves pizza by the slice. The dessert case offers cupcakes and brownies.

What to write home about: We’ve sampled many of the burgers and haven’t found one we didn’t like yet. The Spicy Little Kiss is a hot seller: This grilled tofustrami burger is topped with avocados, cucumber, caramelized purple onions, tomatoes and vegan lime jalapeño mayo. The really Big Burger ($10) is a house-smoked, juicy tofu burger with grilled sweet onions, tomatoes and lettuce; the burger’s tangy flavor comes from the blend of vegan mayo, ketchup and mustard. For those looking for fusion food, the Thai curried gyro ($10) features red curry-flavored seitan on spinach naan, topped with caramelized onions, heirloom tomatoes, English cucumbers and vegan dill mayo. Get a peanut-butter chocolate brownie ($3) to go — and microwave it for 15 seconds for warm, gooey deliciousness.

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The setting: A tiny cafe, with about four high tables and chairs, plus two tables for two outside. The walls feature colorful paintings by local artists.

Summing up: Sage Cafe offers a tasty respite from the hustle and bustle of Capitol Hill. Two burgers and a bottle of fresh tangerine juice, plus tax, came to $25.05.

Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or

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