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Jul 18, 2011 08:23 PM

Ethiopian and Indian food suggestions (Vegetarian)

Hi there,

My partner and our 3 month old daughter will be visiting San Francisco in August. The last time I was in town I had not so great Ethiopian food at a place located in the Mission. I am looking for suggestions for an Ethiopian restaurant that has an excellent vegetarian platter. Or an Ethiopian restaurant that is completely vegetarian.

I would also be interested in hearing of any suggestions for Indian restaurants that have a good vegetarian selection or is completely vegetarian.

Thank you,

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  1. For Ethiopian I like Axum in the Lower Haight. Dinner only, very cheap, nice people. I always get the vegetarian plate. The injera is white rather than red. Generally Oakland has more/better Ethiopian than the city does. It's not really something this area is known for.

    Udupi Palace on Valencia is your spot for South Indian vegetarian. Cheap, friendly, decent dosas. Nearby and much more upscale Dosa is not vegetarian, but does have a better wine list. You can also get kati rolls at Kasa on 18th and Noe.

    (And there are lots of IMO better vegetarian options that aren't Indian or Ethiopian: Minako for Japanese vegetarian, Gracias Madre for vegan Mexican, etc.)

    995 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Udupi Palace
    1007 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    Kasa Indian Eatery
    4001 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

    Gracias Madre
    2211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    7 Replies
    1. re: Windy

      Just as a warning for Shannon, Axum literally reduced me to tears from heavy MSG. It tasted good, but 15 minutes later I needed to be rolled into a cab and sent home.

      If you're sensitive to MSG, avoid.

      I'll second the recommendation for Udupi Palace.

      For a different take on vegetarian, there's Souley Vegan, but it's in Oakland . . . and not Ethiopian or Indian . . .

      1. re: drewskiSF

        I've seen people eating the Souley Vegan stuff at Beer Revolution, and it looks worse than it reads on the menu.

        If you're in the East Bay, the vegetarian sampler at Cafe Colucci (Ethiopian) is great.

        Cafe Colucci
        6427 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I think the one at Dareye, across the street from Cafe Colucci, is even better.

          Dareye Hide-A-Way Cafe
          6430 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            sounds like the start of a progressive dinner: going back and forth across the street to compare dishes! a plethora of riches...

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Dareye is currently closed for renovations. As of a week or so ago the sign did not indicate when when they will re-open.

            2. re: Robert Lauriston

              have you eaten at Souley Vegan? the BBQ Tofu & Southern Fried Tofu dishes were surprisingly good. the greens and biscuit were also tasty, but the mac & "cheese" had way over-cooked pasta.

              we have also gone for Brunch once that was really underwhelming. the tofu scramble was in a pool of oil and the vegan pancakes had this dense texture which wasn't appealing at all so they definitely have some hits & misses, but it is a different take on Vegan / Vegetarian.

          2. re: Windy

            A dosa at Udupi Palace is a great suggestion. As are the kati rolls at Kasa. Kasa tends to have a small menu and a rotating veggie special so maybe call to see whats cooking that day. I find the dosas at Dosa to be a bit overpriced and underwhelming, however I do enjoy some of the other dishes like the Dahi Vada.

          3. The timtomo at Axum may be what I miss most about lower haight, which says a lot considering how into beer I am.

            I do not know about them using bigtime MSG; maybe more in some dishes than others but I am fairly sensitive and have never had a problem with the lentils or lamb.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tj442x

              Axum is also across the street from Palmyra, a great new Syrian restaurant open from breakfast on, with the best hummus in town. (Also delicious roast chicken, for the non-vegetarians.)

              Axum Cafe
              698 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

              700 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117