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Best Vegan/Vegetarian in and around SF

  • j


I will be in San Fran for 3 days, and my girl friend is vegan, so I was looking to find some options maybe for lunch or something. I have a car so I can drive anywhere but I am staying in the city at Clift Hotel.


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  1. Check out:

    Cafe Gratitude

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      We went to SF last weekend and we got reservations at Fleur de Lys and Millenium. The Fleur de Lys vegetarian tasting menu was fantastic - expensive but worth it. Food, service, wine all great (decor not to my taste, but you can't have everything). Millenium was a disappointment - the place was too busy and the service was very spotty. We ordered 2 small plates, 1st course and 2nd course. We waited forever, then got one of the small plates along with the 1st course. Then the second small plate came with the 2nd course. Food was good, but this was not how we anticipated it would be served and should have been told. The waiter rarely came around and it took forever to get a 2nd glass of wine. Still, it would be nice to have a vegetarian restaurant of this caliber in LA.

    2. a couple other vegetarian/vegan friendly options:

      Herbivore, good for lunch (or a casual dinner)
      All about Herbs - sandwiches during the day and vegan-friendly vegetarian for dinner
      Greens - pretty good vegetarian food with a great view

      If you want to do something special, I'd suggest Millennium, it is a much more upscale experience than of your standard vegan/vegetarian places.

      Happy Cow is a pretty good vegetarian/vegan restaurant source:

      Greens Restaurant
      Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94123

      Millennium Restaurant
      580 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102

      All About Herbs
      704 Post St, San Francisco, CA

      531 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

      983 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      5 Replies
      1. re: alis

        This is the latest word on Herbivore branch Berkeley. Does it apply to the 2 in San Francisco?

        1. re: wolfe

          Yes, sadly it does describe the SF versions too. I feel there's such a big market for delicious vegan food out there but Herbivore does not fit the bill. Every cooked dish I've had is criminally underseasoned, which could easily be overcome with anyone in the kitchen who would care. The salads are OK.

          1. re: wolfe

            I feel that way; Cafe Gratitude is better (but different).

          2. re: alis

            I'm not sure Greens is very good for vegans.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Greens usually has vegan options up their sleeve that are not printed on the menu. I went for the Saturday prix fixe with two vegans and IIRC, the kitchen had vegan alternatives for all but one of the dishes.

          3. I would second (or third) Millenium (very close to where you are staying), Cha-Ya, and Herbivore. Also, check out Golden Era in the Tenderloin (gritty location, but great vegan Vietnamese)

            1. Lucky Creation is vegan (Chinese Buddhist). It is something of a dive, but it is exotic (well, Chinatown is exotic for some). And you can walk from the Clift -- it's about nine blocks, a pleasant walk uphill.
              It's closed one day week on a weekday -- I forget which day.

              Lucky Creation Vegetarian
              854 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94108

              1. I would avoid Herbivore. My GF and I have been there a few times the last couple years and have been consistently disappointed. The Millenium is great. Also, for lunch, right around the corner from your hotel are three great Indian restaurants, Shalimar, Pakwani and Lahore Karahi. If you eat fish, Lahore has a killer fish tandoori. All of these Indian restaurants are BYOB.

                1. As a 7-year veg here in the city, these are my top picks:

                  Millennium (for that special night out)
                  Golden Era (almost all vegan Vietnamese)
                  Shangri-la (veg and vegan Chinese)

                  I've never been a fan of Greens; their vegan items seem to be hit or miss (more often a miss).

                  If you're near the Haight, try El Balazo (they have several veggie burritos, including the Jerry's. Ask for it w/out the cheese). Papalote does a tofu burrito and a soyrizo burrito, among others. Their beans and rice are vegan. Mariachi's also offers tons of veggie options.

                  New Ganges offers vegetarian Indian; they make killer samosas!

                  Try Minako in the Mission for sushi (dinner only). They have a whole page of vegan sushi, including hand rolls. Definitely get the vegan miso (no fish broth) and inari with mushrooms!

                  If you're into raw cuisine, Cafe Gratitude is the place to go (as mentioned above). Fellini's in Berkeley does a great vegan brunch. Boogaloos in the Mission offers vegan options for brunch, too.

                  If you're looking for vegan donuts, keep an eye out for People's Donuts (http://www.peoplesdonuts.com/).

                  Pizza Plaza near the Oakland/Berkeley border offers all vegetarian and vegan pizzas. They deliver to the surrounding area, but not to SF.

                  Maggie Mudd's in Bernald Heights serves dairy and non-dairy ice cream.

                  Lucky Creation was mentioned; it's a hole in the wall, but very tasty. Be prepared to share a table with other people, and when in doubt, ask! They also sell fake meat up at the counter "to go."

                  Rainbow Grocery is located in SOMA, and it's a meat-free grocery co-op.

                  I'm not a fan of All About Herbs or Cha-ya, so those are staying off my suggestion list (along with Greens).

                  Have a wonderful time!

                  Edited to add:
                  Jay's Cheesteak offers cheesesteaks (duh!), but also seitan versions of all their sandwiches. You can get them with or without cheese and mayo.

                  Rainbow Grocery
                  1745 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                  Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant
                  2154 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  Papalote Mexican Grill
                  3409 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  Golden Era Vegetarian
                  572 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                  903 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  Mariachi's Taqueria
                  508 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  Lucky Creation Vegetarian
                  854 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                  Papalote Mexican Grill
                  1777 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                  Cafe Gratitude
                  2400 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  Cafe Gratitude
                  1336 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

                  Shangri-La Vegetarian
                  2026 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                  Pizza Plaza
                  6211 Shattuck Ave, Oakland, CA

                  3296 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  El Balazo
                  1654 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                  New Ganges Restaurant
                  775 Frederick St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                  1401 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

                  Millenium Restaurant
                  580 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rahir

                    How does Pizza Plaza's vegan pizza compare with Lanesplitter's?

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I've never been to Lanesplitter's, but Pizza Plaza is ALL vegetarian and vegan. No meat served on the premises, and they have several handfuls of vegan pizzas (in addition to make-your-own).

                  2. --

                    Jay's Cheesesteak 2
                    553 Divisadero, San Francisco, CA

                    Jay's Cheesesteak
                    3285 21st St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    1. Ubuntu, Ubuntu, Ubuntu, Ubuntu ... Ubuntu

                      Did I mention Ubuntu?

                      Not only the best vegetarian / vegan restaurant in the Bay Area ... one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area period.

                      In Napa ... so worth the drive.

                      1. New World Vegetarian 464 8th Street in Oakland (510) 444-2891 has pretty good food. I've eaten there a few times and liked it. Very nice and pleasant environment inside. Just be sure to park close by since it's not the best area.

                        1. This might be too out of the way - but the best vegan & vegi food I've had up here is Andy & Cindy's Thai Food at Farmers' Markets in the East Bay. I think they're in the following: Tuesday Berkeley, Saturday Berkeley, Saturday Oakland/Grand Lake, and Sunday Temescal. All of those are great markets, so it might be a fun trip if you have time.

                          Disclaimer: at this point, I'm friends with Andy! But when I first had his food, I didn't know him at all. He does offer some carnivorous food, but he himself is a vegetarian - his veggie curry, vegan spring rolls, and veggie egg rolls are all incredible.

                          1. Trying out this adding a place thing.... In doing so, discovered they have a website: http://www.acthaicuisine.com/index.html.

                            Andy & Cindy Thai Cuisine
                            6613 hollis St, Emeryville, CA