Departed Business

This entry refers to a departed business that has closed or left town. All information here is for historical reference only.


500 1st Street , in the Davis Commons shopping center
Every day 11 AM – 10 PM
Web site
"Fresh Food For A Hungry Universe"

Pluto's was a restaurant that served food in a fun, stylish atmosphere. Think "The Jetsons" or "Buck Rogers". The food is served cafeteria-style. You first took a "guest check" (order form) as you enter. Then you found the food(s) you desire and told the server(s) behind the counter what you wish. They handed you your order and filedl out your order form. Gave the form to the cashier when you paid. The advantage of cafeteria-style service was that it eliminates the labor needed to bring food to tables. A worker bussed your table after you left.

The guest check order forms are now obsolete, though still provided. The preparers have forms that create a carbon copy, one of which is given to you and the other of which stays with your food until you pay.

The menu is divided into these categories:

Greens & Things Pluto's salads are incredible. You can choose up to seven additions to either romaine or a mix. Delicious, sauces, bread and an option for meat finish them off. These are delicious, not to mention an excellent value.

Meats & Poultry They have a nice hot gas grill operating right in front of you to cook your meat. The options include flank steak, sausages, chicken, and roast turkey.

Veggies & Spuds This category includes all sorts of delicious side dishes. They usually even have brussel sprouts. The garlic potato rings and onion rings are incredible. Note that the onion rings come with spicy BBQ sauce by default; mild is available on request.

Sweets Lemon bars, brownies and cookies fill a glass-covered cake case next to the register. Prices are a little high for the quality of the treats.

Quenchers Water, beer and a good selection of non-standard sodas are available, amongst other things.

Little Astronauts (the children's menu)

And it is so fun. Really, you walk in, grab a menu form, and as you make your rounds to each different category, the chef behind the counter fills out your form. Then you check out at the counter and voila! Eat your stellar meal. If you eat there often, be sure to ask to be put "in the book". They'll enter your name in the binder and after 10 meals, your 11th is free!

Pluto's also has a handful of other restaurants in nearby galaxies. For a full listing, check out their webpage.






Meats & poultry counter Salad ingredients and tossing action Mixed greens salad with chicken and au jus sandwich with garlic fries a plate of their delicious garlic fries

This page needs a picture of the interior during a busy period. Also a photo of: a card and the wall to the right as you enter with the many different science fiction references.

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Older Reviews

More Current Reviews

2009-01-19 14:09:31   I think the salads taste much better than the sandwiches (which tend to be a little dry). A great place overall, considering there is always a line! —renee415

2009-02-02 13:56:11   Great place for a well-priced salad. Lots of ingredients to choose from and they always have an interesting salad dressing flavor. However, during peak hours, it gets really busy and you basically have to shout at the chef to get your order in. —AmanpreetSingh

2009-03-14 20:13:09   Very yummy salads and other tasty treats. Highly customizable. I like their sandwiches too. Their lines are seriously long though. On more than one occasion, I've wanted to just get a dessert item here (which requires you to request it from the cashier), but would have had to wait through the entire line to get it. I eventually gave up hope and went elsewhere. The line is much slower than it needs to be because the cashier, in addition to taking your money, is also performing a lot of other tasks as well. So it can take 2-3 minutes to get an order rung up. If they were to give these duties to someone else, the entire line would move much faster, and I would buy food here more often. —IDoNotExist

2009-05-26 01:28:26   found a bug in my salad today. —Yesenia

  • That adds protein! Not everyone gets one. —IDoNotExist

2009-05-31 07:47:39   Two words: Garlic fries. They are to die for.

Also, beware of the salads. A side salad is easily enough for a big eater like me, so going for the full size is best reserved for sharing. The rosemary focaccia is absolutely delicious. And of course, my favorite thing to do is come in and try the running special sandwich. I've had some pretty good results with them, never a bad one, certainly.

But yes. Did I mention the garlic fries? ...good. —KBathory

2009-06-02 21:46:03   Their salads are great and the employees are really cool, in my awesome opinion. —RonB 2009-06-05 BEWARE! A handful of my friends and I all got food poisoning from sandwiches we got from this place last weekend. In talking to others, I found out we weren't the only ones. I also heard that this isn't the first report of people getting sick from Pluto's food. Too bad! :( I loved their food. But it's not worth what we all went through last weekend (and it was unquestionably the sandwiches).

2009-06-05 BEWARE! A handful of my friends and I all got food poisoning from sandwiches we got from this place last weekend. In talking to others, I found out we weren't the only ones. I also heard that this isn't the first report of people getting sick from Pluto's food. Too bad! :( I loved their food. But it's not worth what we all went through last weekend (and it was unquestionably the sandwiches).

2009-06-20 17:01:12   One of the big words on the wall is "ORGANIC." Are any of their foods organic? I've asked them before but never received an answer. The implication is that the salad bar is all organic; the word is right above it, I think. —jsg718

2009-06-27 10:44:57   No, Pluto's isn't organic. I used to really like this place, but then the salads started getting skimpier, and they decided to start charging extra for walnuts... it's not that fabulous anymore. Most of the time I feel like I'm paying more for the dressing than for the salad (they don't know the meaning of 'go easy on the dressing') and some of the vegetables sometimes appear to be previously frozen/thawed. I personally like the completely bottomless salad at Crepeville (also not organic, but larger and fresher) and the new salad bar at the co-op much better. Even the salad bar at the Nugget on Covell is looking better these days, for the value. —calvin2

2009-06-27 11:47:38   I've got food poisoning from plutos twice this year. I believe it's due to the way they handle the meat. Tried veggie salad yesterday and didn't get sick (amazingly..). It concerns me that the salad is located on the floor. —shraken

2009-07-17 17:41:26   I tend to agree with Calvin2. Pluto's seems to have gone down hill in all but one area, which is the strength and quality of the bleach odor that greets you upon entering into the restaurant. Were it not for outdoor seating, I would not eat here ever. If you have a lung infection, you might disinfect your lungs by breathing the air in Pluto's for a few minutes, but this is not medical advice. Consult your doctor first. —MichaelPlotkin

2009-07-20 20:00:11   While a bit pricey for what you get, this has some of the best food in town. Everything is real fresh. —longboardlover

2009-08-15 22:30:50   the meat always has a lot of fat on it, the kind that is not chewable in any shape form or matter. And i agree with shraken i have definitly gotten food poisoning. but i think it was from the water and the way the cups are washed , if that is possible... —lajolla4joya

2010-01-29 11:54:11   I really hate this place. It's basically a cafeteria, but you pay more and it's less convenient. And depending on the Cafeteria, the food is probably worse as well. I personally avoid at all costs - if you want a salad, go to a supermarket and save five bucks. —rfrazier

2010-03-23 11:52:16   One of the reasons people get sick from Pluto's is the meat sitting out on the counter for sometimes HOURS! The "heat lamp" they use does not have sufficient heat. I have never liked Pluto's —ashleyinthemist

2010-03-31 10:04:14   We have enjoyed lunches, especially salads, from Pluto's and have never had a problem. It has a fun atmosphere and there is lots do around after dining. —willows

2010-05-12 11:54:38   *i LOVE Pluto's!! The staff is amazing and always friendly— how would you feel if all these hungry eyes were staring at you?? The line gets long but it's worth it. I am shocked to see that people are getting sick from their ingredients, I have never gotten sick from the food and have been eating there for years, at least twice a week. Pluto's is a great alternative to all the fast-food options that are awful for our bodies.. —LRosales

2010-06-13 00:02:53   went here with a friend...she got a salad which were humongous. but i don't think i'll waste $6 on a salad that i can make for free. i got their chicken sandwich and it was so dry that it was literally absorbing all my saliva in my mouth. it was also very tiny though the lettuce was very fresh.

if you tried Burgers & Brew's garlic fries then Pluto's garlic fries is equivalent to cow dung. not saying it's not edible...but the status between the two just cannot be compared. —binladen

2010-07-07 17:21:29   Salads are good and reasonably priced. Meat is bland, but a good value. Vegetables are overcooked, but again, cheap. One veg mix is mostly squash and red pepper, the other is a gray broccoli cauliflower carrot medley. Macaroni is like that orange KFC stuff, and actually not as appealing as Stouffer's (I know some people eat that stuff, and some don't. If you don't eat Stouffer's, don't eat Pluto's.). The mashed potatoes are sort of nice with some red-skinned chucks, slightly on the salty side. Gravy tastes like a mix. The focaccia and the sourdough are good quality. Desserts are pretty good and cheap. Other than that, the warm food is like what you serve if you volunteer at a soup kitchen over the holidays. The staff are incredibly friendly considering the bombardment of customers talking at them over the glass barriers. The air conditioning is not adequate for these people, and I'm not surprised that someone got sick considering the ambient temperature when I have visited. If you're picky, stick to salads and sandwiches. The manager is not very friendly, but not especially rude. Sides are really cheap. The breaded chicken astro thingies off the kids menu are good in a fast-grub way (nice on a salad), and the curly fries with fresh garlic are what they should be, but you will get a larger portion if you order them as a separate side. A side salad with meat should be enough dinner. The full size salad is like a personal garden. Drink refills are free!, and the patio is nice if you don't mind close quarters. Lots of kiddies, prams, strange audible lectures to children, and wasted food left on tables with stacks of soiled napkins, and absence of tips for the help. —seesharp

2010-08-06 15:24:28   This is a good place to go for something fresh and quick. I always get the balsamic or cilantro-lime dressing on farmers market greens on whatever they have in season. Salads are served with local bread from Village Bakery. Also, I really like how they try to have mostly fresh ingredients (like fresh beets vs. canned ones), although I think they've scaled down the portion sizes this past year which is a little disappointing. —AmberMa

2010-08-11 11:46:48   Love Plutos, have eaten here a lot over the years. About half of their staff is good, and half is horrible. They just flat out don't care. You can walk up to the counter, and the cooks are talking to one another, know you're there, but don't even take your order. They move slow and sometimes you can tell that they really don't want to me there. I have noticed that it seems to be by shift, and it depends on the time of the day you go. It's usually the people on the sandwich side. Management is usually nice though. Also, I haven't felt good twice after eating here, I think the chicken that sits out all day on the salad bar can be dangerous as it gets to room temperature, I'm not sure though. —aggie2009

2010-08-12 23:05:11   A forgettable place to get quick and mildly healthy meals that are a tad too pricey for their own good. A large salad (choice of veggie base, ?# of toppings, choice of meat, and bread) will cost you at least $6, if I'm not mistaken. This is of course, nonsensical since you could make an entire week's worth of salads with $6, but then we're all lazy and irrational people - myself included. Beyond the salads there are sandwiches that are also equally overpriced but unlike the salads are lacking in flavor. In my experience the chicken and turkey-based sandwiches have generally been a bit too dry.

Overall Pluto's joins the already swelling cast of mediocre Davis joints that aren't terrible (and at times may be genuinely tasty) but cost a few dollars too much. —blastoff

I would love to see what kind of salad you make for $6, especially with adding meat AND purporting to make salad for a week (you would also have to include some nuts, which breaks the budget right there) Daubert

2010-08-19 14:21:29   I LOVE pluto's! Honestly, you pay an even price for a very large salad. There are endless options, and the dressings and breads are always ALWAYS delicious. I would recommend getting the main salad (it's barely more expensive than the side) and then saving some for later. Don't even try to save the foccacia they give you for later'll be so good, you'll eat it in two seconds ;) —RachaelLeonie

2010-11-09 19:59:58   A caveat: if you are allergic to any one of their salad ingredients I recommend vigilance as the workers are haphazardly tossing salads all day. In other words, things fly around. I found some unrequested sweet walnuts mixed-in with my order (unknowingly bit into one, actually). Only bothered me insofar that I dislike finding unknown "surprises" in my food. Moreover, if I happened to be allergic to nuts, well, you can guess the worst. Anyway, keep an eye on what you're eating because if deathly allergens happen to appear on your medical chart then Pluto's is tempting death! —blastoff

2010-11-15 22:11:56   I don't know why there are so many rave reviews about this place. I'm a salad lover and was totally thrilled to see this place that specializes in gourmet salads. I was expecting the main salad to be gargantuan according to the above reviews, but really it was a little smaller than something you would get at Red Robin. The music was too loud so the salad tosser (lol) couldn't hear what I was saying, the lettuce tasted dirty and was full of spines (the part of lettuce that is usually removed at places that specialize in salads), and I ordered ceasar dressing but I'm pretty sure what he gave me wasn't ceasar, it tasted more like a vinaigrette. The WORST part was the chicken I ordered as a topping. It was COLD little flakes of chicken, and about enough for a side salad, definitely not a meal like salad. I expect when I pay $7 for a salad, that my chicken could at least be hot. AND the side bread was disgusting, my boyfriend put it like this "it tasted like someone spilled chemicals on this!". My BF ate at Habit, so I got some extra ranch to try to cover up the bad taste of my salad, and even magical ranch could not solve this travesty of a salad. McDonalds serves a much better salad than Pluto's so I recommend saving a few bucks and eating there instead. The only up side to this place was the large variety of toppings, but the same could be achieved at home for much less. —jwieland1989

2011-03-26 19:49:39   I love to go there for the garlic fries. They are under $3 for a plate. Deelliiiicciiouss —Ryu

2011-07-27 16:36:05   Another one of a very select few quality restaurants in Davis. Great food, great service, and neither my girlfriend nor I have gotten food poisoning here! Yay! Give it a 5/5. —angrychair

2011-08-16 16:46:01   The food is fairly priced and they give you big portions as well. The customer service is "meh," probably because its always busy during lunch hour. I like this place and will definitely be going back. —PaulV

2011-09-20 11:35:10   I used to go here all the time as it is relatively healthy with enough variety to satisfy even picky eaters. However, one night I came in and saw two giant cockroaches on the wall behind the sandwich breads. I know the employee working there saw it and noticed I saw it too but he did nothing. While I understand that it is difficult to keep all vermin out of a restaurant, it is an image that I cannot forget and have avoided the place since. —jdkurushima

2011-10-11 14:55:12   The sweet potato fries are amazing! I've noticed the sandwiches at least though are better if you order them when it's busy and a lot worse when barely anyone's in there (the difference between a nice hot sandwich and a cold lukewarm one) - might be because the grill cools down and they don't wait long enough for it to heat up your food to get hot? No clue. —Ravyn

2012-03-24 13:00:33   I've been to Pluto's several times now and always enjoyed their salads. It's a good deal in terms of quality and size for the price and I like being able to customize the salad with 7 different selections from their wide variety of ingredients. Their onion rings are tasty and the barbecue sauce that it comes with is amazing! Sweet, with a nice spicy kick at the end, it's the perfect dip for onion rings. I tried their stuffing for the first time and it's decent, although a little bland. The service is good though—when I was unsure whether to have beef gravy or turkey gravy with the stuffing, the server gave me a cup of each with my order to determine which I would like more. When I'm in the mood for a quick and inexpensive salad, Pluto's is my go-to place. —AlexHirsch

2012-09-11 20:42:34   Apparently the inside is all demolished right now? Does anyone know what's going on? They can't be GONE, as they're always packed whenever I go! —deeray82

They are only temporarily closed for a short refresh and will be reopening September 17th, at least according to a prerecorded message on their phone. CecilioPadilla

2013-02-09 15:30:17   Ely is so cute :D —TiaMiceli

2013-04-05 20:08:23   Favorite place in Davis! Amazing food and AMAZING people working there! <3 —HeatherStan

2013-07-10 00:22:33   Great service great food. Thanks plutos for helping me over 166 lbs. —bcartoscelli

2013-07-26 10:54:44   Balsamic Vinaigrette!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and croutons! best salad in town! no more to be said! —CandaceSmith

2015-06-09 18:35:41   I went in today after not going here for a couple years and unless I have misremembered the main salad was about $2 more expensive and half as large as it was when I was here last. —RRR