4250 Capitola Road, Capitola (next to Fast Eddie's Billiards)
Everyday 8am-9pm
(Breakfast served 8am-12pm only)
Cuisine Type
1981-name changed to Dharma's in 1986
Price range
(Prices for "average" entrees)
Payment Methods
Cash, Credit Cards, Other
Yes, included with purchase


Dharma's promotes itself as a healthy, all-natural fast food joint, with all vegetarian (and mostly vegan) fare. The menu features burgers, sandwiches, Mexican food, Thai food, soup and other "American favorites" (veggie-style). All items that cannot be prepared without milk or egg ingredients are marked with a "V" with a slash through it. Most of the main ingredients are organic (there is a listing on the back of the menu of the organic ingredients they use).

Many of the menu items feature tofu as the prominent vegan protein source; others use "fakin bacon", tempeh, or their famed "Brahma Burger," which is a patty made from protein crumbles and grains.

Food is available for eat-in or carry-out, as well as for catered events. You can also call-in your order ahead of time and pick it up.

Decor and Ambiance

The restaurant is populated with all sorts of indoor plants, and a skylight in the center of the restaurant lets in considerable natural light. Parades of small plastic animals and dinosaurs can be found on some of the wooden bannisters.


If you look closely at the cow on the restaurant logo, you will notice that it's black-and-white markings are actually a map of the world.

Name Controversy

In 1986, Dharma's, which was then called "McDharma's", was sued by the McDonald's corporation, claiming that the name McDharma's was misleading to McDonald's customers. According to the restaurant's co-owners (as quoted in this article), "the idea behind the name McDharma's was to combine elements from the Eastern and Western worlds without compromising either. "Mc" was intended to convey the idea of fast service, while "Dharma" means "virtue or right action." The name McDharma's came to be associated with 'natural, fast food.'"

Although Dharma's received scads of free publicity over the dispute, the co-owners ended up losing to McDonalds and, unwilling to shell out loads of money for a legal battle, were required to drop the "Mc" from the restaurant name as part of the settlement.

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