vegetarian and lactose intolerant
I will be going to SF in a couple of months and one of my friends is both a vegetarian and lactose intolerant. I know this may be a tough one but thought I would give it ago. Will be staying in the downtown area. Any cuisine is acceptable and moderate price.
Also, were is the best sushi or dim sum?
These places do exist! I am lactose intolerant and was vegetarian for a long while.
Mekong Thai (791 O'Farrell) is in the Tenderloin and might be a reasonable distance from you, depending on where you are downtown, and mostly everything on the menu is or can be made vegetarian/vegan.
There is also a chainlet of raw vegan restaurants called Cafe Gratitude. They have kind of a corny menu scheme going, in which all their entrees began with "I am..." followed by some positive adjective. One of the branches (1336 9th Avenue) is not near downtown, but is located right on the N-Judah Muni Metro line, which does go downtown, so there's easy access.
There's lots of vegetarian in San Francisco, though, so I'm sure others will pipe in with other choices.
As for best sushi, and dim sum, I recommend you do a search of the board. Just in the past couple days, there has been some discussion on both sushi and dim sum, so you could just look through some recent threads. These questions come up all the time. For sushi, it will depend on whether you're a nigiri/sashimi purist or more into the Americanized rolls, so you may want to specify more about what your preferences are to get more thorough answers.
There is a great Vegan Japanese place on Valencia - I believe it is called Cha Ya.
Very good food!
For a cheap, hole-in-the-wall experience, try Lucky Creation on Washington between Grant and Stockton.
It is Buddhist-style Chinese; vegan, no eggs, no milk, no garlic or onions. It is a pleasant walk from downtown, if the weather is nice. It's closed on one weekday (Tues or Weds -- I forget).
Millennium is a really nice up scale Vegan place you really have to go to! You won't miss the meat and dairy and your friends will be able to order any and everything on the menu! Great bar too!
Cafe Gratitude is hit or miss. They always seem to be out of what ever I want to order. Bummer!