Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Apr 14, 2009 12:15 PM

San Francisco Trip 4/22-27

Hello All,

A girlfriend and I are headed to the Bay Area from Maryland for several days later this month. While I've been to San Francisco several times, she's never been. I've enjoyed Ace Wasabi, Mama's and several other good picks, in addition to some searches on this board. We're both vegetarians, she dabbles in veganism, I dabble in seafood.

In addition to places that are uniquely "San Francisco." I'd love a few recommendations for hip places with interesting cocktail/wine/beer menus as well as excellent, creative food. We're both adventurous eaters and travelers so local joints off the beaten path would be great. We'll have a car and an open schedule.

She got some information on Millenium. How's that place?

We're also headed up to Healdsburg to stay with some friends for a night while we're there--any recommendations en route will also be investigated.

Thanks in advance for your help. I'm so looking forward to this vacation!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I was in SF last year for vacation. We went to Greens- loved it, though many people think it's just ok. Also went to Herbivore (the one in Divasadero sp?) a few times. We were there for a brunch and two lunches. My husband and I LOVED everything. Cafe Gratitude was good but a funky vibe. It's all raw, except the soup and I think one cooked grain a day.

    1. I've talked to people who love Millenium -- it's a bit pricey but they thought it was worth it.

      1. It would be an hour detour on the way to or from Healdsburg, but Ubuntu in Napa is highly recommended. It is a restaurant that doesn't serve meat or fish rather than a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. Even people who are meat eaters love it.

        A few items and these are vegam ... and until Ubuntu I never had a vegan dish in a restaurant I actually liked much ... I am always amazed to find the vegan dishes there some of my favorites
        - castelvetrano olives marinated in CHOCOLATE MINT pesto
        - cool pureed soup of ESCAROLE & roscoe’s asparagus spring ROOTS & FLOWERS, black garlic coulis, NETTLE

        Anyway, the dishes are innovative the capitalized words are from their own garden. They do amazingly beautiful things with flowers.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          Vegetarian Times had a feature about Ubuntu in this month's issue. The food sounded and looked delish! I wish I knew about this place when we were on vacation in the area last year.

          1. re: rworange

            I absolutely second rworange's suggestion. I went just last weekend for the tasting menu, it is truly an exceptional value.

          2. Millenium is one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the City, and they have a great cocktail program. I would definitely recommend it for you.

            Outside of the strictly vegetarian-only restaurants, I would recommend Coi and Dosa.

            Coi is one of the best restaurants in San Francisco and the vegetarian items are among the best items on the menu. However, they have a fairly limited set of menu choices so you should ask when/if you call for a reservation whether they can accommodate your dietary restrictions. It's very expensive - I think 120/head before drinks, tax, and tip.

            Dosa is an Indian restaurant specializing in dosas (lentil crepes) but they have other South Indian dishes as well. Over half of the items on the menu, including many of the best are vegetarian. The Fillmore branch has a full bar and an interesting cocktail program. It's been a while since I've been to the other branch on Valencia (in the mission district) but my recollection is that they have only wine & beer and that they don't take reservations, so the wait can be long.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Truffle Dog

              Thanks, y'all! I'll definitely report back!

            2. jc, I wanted to point out that Cafe Gratitude has a branch in Healdsburg. At the other end of the scale, Cyrus has a vegetarian tasting menu. For fancy cocktails, Cyrus and Barndiva are the spots in healdsburg to check out.

              Other spots you might want to check out along the way are Seed, which is vegan, and GG's Earth & Surf in Santa Rosa. I've not been to either of those, but if you click on the Places links, you'll find reports. I recently tried Abyssinia, an Ethiopian spot, and found it excellent. Or a stop in Windsor for a casual meal at Green Grocer, owned by ex-French Laundry cooks.

              If you're considering Ubuntu, I wouldn't go this Friday night, as Chef Jeremy Fox will be speaking in Santa Rosa as part of a panel discussion on biodynamic farming. I'm attending and have suggested it as a chowdown to North Bay hounds, maybe you'd like to join us. Here's the ticket ($20 in advance) info,
              I inquired about the food and wine reception that's part of the event and rec'd this answer from one of the sponsors,
              "The program starts with a talk among experts (Paul Dolan, winemaker, Alan York, farmer, and Jeremy Fox, chef, moderated by Jeff Cox, restaurant critic and organic gardening author) and then there is a tasting of wines and food grown with Biodynamic methods.

              What makes this program special is that we have some of the most knowledgeable and articulate proponents of Biodynamic methods speaking to the questions that the skeptics among us have been asking. Then there is the proof of the pudding, the wines and the foods that are made using the methods that right now are sparking some controversy. You get to taste not only wines by Paul Dolan, Truett Hurst, Bonterra, Quivira, Benzinger and others, but also indulge in fresh, sassy, sensuous Biodynamic foods prepared by Doug Nicasio of Sensuous Farms. He farms for Quivira and for a number of other Biodynamic food producers, is firmly committed to the wholistic vision of Biodynamics, with the added jolt scandalous adjectives like sensuous and voluptuous that seek to convey the utter drool-triggering rawness of this sustainable produce."

              Our area is so abundant in produce and so many people are vegetarian, it's rare to not find an entree or two of vege selections or a chef who can't whip up something for you easily. So, you need not restrict yourself to designated vegetarian restaurants.

              Cyrus Restaurant
              29 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

              231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

              913 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

              Seed Restaurant
              463 Sebastopol Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

              Green Grocer
              Windsor, CA, Windsor, CA

              Cafe Gratitude
              206 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448

              GG's Earth & Surf
              630 3rd Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404