Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jan 6, 2007 06:46 PM

Vegetarian Chowhounds in the bay area recommendations?

Ok... I have to admit that I really really miss Seattle for two reasons. 1> The great Vegetarian Restaurants, 2> Good place to anchor your boat.

We live in Alameda, so trecking into the city is a special occasion thing for us. Most of the time that we have done it we go to the same two places, mostly the Stinking Rose with friends. Not cause we want to always end up there..... Massa once it was really good, and heck they even knew how to deal with Veg heads!!!! It isn't really a veggie restaurant though.

Now there really is nothing to be done about #2, however I am hoping that someone here can help with #1.

We have been to the following which were not bad. Nothing to rave about.

Long Life Vegie House in Berkley. Not bad, horrid decor, bathrooms make me want to hold it till I leave. :-)

New World Vegetarian. Not bad, although was better before chef change. Little overpriced for portion size.

Golden Lotus Oakland. Good food, seems clean. Lunch service isn't great, haven't tried the dinner service.

Manzinata Cafe. TOOOOOOO Funky for words. One good meal one horrid meal. Depends too much on luck for our taste.

That is about it for just veggie restaurants. Some other places have good options we have been to are such as:

La Pinata in Alameda Not bad Mexican, nothing to really write home about.

Hinn Tha In Alameda. Not bad, way too pricey now, wrote a review here somewhere on the boards about it.

El Caballo next to Paganos in Alameda, great Lunch!!! Good food, clean, great owners.

Pizza well we have sampled a lot of pies. Some good some bad...

We had hoped that the bay area would be vegie mecca, however it really hasn't done much compared to Seattle. Carmalitas, Cafe Flora, The Bamboo Garden..... Oh it makes we want to do a road trip just to eat out..... :-)

Feeling like trying something new, somewhere new, but can't seem to get a good recommendation on veggie fare anywhere.

Thanks for any help you can lend, we appreciate it greatly. And if we go somewhere new we will make sure we review it here.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wow, have you been to Berkeley ... especially Shattuck Avenue around Chez Panisse? I can't think of too much there that isn't vegetarian or with LOTS of vegetarian options.

    What about Cafe Gratitude? Have you been to the Soup place in Epicurious Gardens. Seating is sort of al fresco as this is take out.

    Here's a link on a veg sandwich shop in SF, should you be in that area. I didn't try it yet.

    There was a link to this veg restaurant site in it.

    It doesn't have everything in it, but it might give you a few new ideas. On your SF visits, have you been to Greens?

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Alameda's not the crunchy part of the east bay, that's for sure - I'm sure you've figured that out long ago.

      A second thumb up for Cafe Gratitude - I think it's what you're looking for. I'm a meat-ivore and I like it - big-bang taste, as long as you can get over the attitude. (Grrrr, attitude). Nearby Cha ya is also a great steer, although the infinitesimal size of the joint can be problematic.

      It sounds like you want a veggie restaurant, not a restaurant with good veggie options. As you've figured, that's not how the east bay does things. The vegetarians have assimilated, just like other groups (try finding a gay male bar in the east bay - even though Berkeley has the last remaining bathhouse). It's a good trend - assimilation is about all of us getting along, together. Post-sectarian, you might say.

      Regarding assimilation - Barney's offers all its burgers with one or two kinds of veggie patties. Indian food is fairly plentiful (my fav - mid-range - is Khana Peena). There must be a thread about favorite veggie burritos. Most japanese/sushi places have a wide selection of veggie maki, and the robata places will give you skewers of grilled veg.

      I know you said you wanted east bay, but for a special occasion you might think about Millennium in SF. It gets very mixed reviews (I've been twice, liked it, but not going back anytime soon), but you should probably experience it once yourself.

      Good luck ---

      1. re: bbulkow

        I'll second assimilation. I'm a veg, but if you want to eat well, you've gotta steer clear of 95% of the veg-only spots (it's like there's a lower standard for food if you cater to our crowd).

        Also, Cheeseboard Pizza and Vik's Chaat constitute at least 25% of the cells in my body.

    2. There is some vegetarian restaurant in San Jose that vegetarian friends rave about the food at the same time as laughing about the bizarre religion of the owner and the pictures of the supreme enlighted one on the walls. Yes, not very PC, but there it is. Damned if I know the name, however, as I generally have to avoid veg restaurants because of a garlic intollerance.

      However, if you go down to Santa Cruz/Capitola, I can heartily recommend both the Saturn Cafe and Dharmas, Saturn more for their desserts and ambiance, Dharmas for their food. Dharmas I'd recommend the burrito with soy strips.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kevin Andrew Murphy

        I know that place. . . if I can only remember what it's called. I think it's Vegetarian House. There are a lot of Asian vegetarian places that are part of this same community with the same "enlightened one."

        In San Jose, Di Lac (vietnamese veg) is great, and we've also enjoyed White Lotus.

      2. I recently took some visitors to my favorite place - Saha - and they loved it. I like the well-balanced menu.

        1. We've been into the vegan Japanese restaurant Cha Ya lately. There is one on Shattuck in Berkeley, and a new one on Valencia in SF (around 19th or 20th St). Reasonable prices, cash only. Not much atmosphere, but the fluorescent lights somehow aren't too bad.
          Papalote on 24th St at Valencia has lots of veggie Mexican options - soyrizo and tofu burritos, great salsa and guacamole. It's not super-authentic, but it is tasty and a nice place to eat, although not a destination.

          Slow Club on Mariposa doesn't have a veggie-friendly menu, but they can always make up a veggie plate from all the sides. The last one that I had was polenta with greens - it didn't look like much coming to the table, but it was actually extremely good and full of flavor.

          1. I know that, for some reason, Greens Restaurant in Fort Mason doesn't get the big accolades on Chowhound. I have been there twice over the last two years, and had absolutely spectacular meals, accompanied by a wonderful view, and a very nice, unusual, and reasonable wine list.

            I love Greens. I had a transcendent meal there the last time I went, in late August.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rruben1

              I agree. I'll take Greens over Millennium any day. Great food and service, but both have gone up and down over the many years we've been eating there, which is why the mixed reviews on Chowhound.