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Feb 13, 2012 09:42 AM

Vet my vegan List for SF?

I am in SF for work for a few days and I was wondering if the vegans out there could vet my list, or suggest others. I will be working the Embarcadero area and don't really have the time on this trip to get out to the outer limits of the city, the way I would like to.

1. Loving Hut (of course), Westfield Mall and possibly the Irving location
2. Plant Cafe Organic
3. Thai Idea Vegetarian
4. Millennium
5. Marinara pizza at Tony's Pizza Napoletano
6. Enjoy Vegetarian
7. Gracias Madre (desserts only) if I have time

I've been to Lucky Creation, Golden Era, Herbivore and Ananda Fuera, so I am not interested in those three. Also, not interested in Indian restaurants. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Not sure if you'll be in need for a snack, but you could check out the Ferry Building. Acme Bread doesn't list egg glaze on their bread ingredients. Scream Sorbet is open Thus 10-2 and Hodo Soy Beanery has a Kiosk in the Ferry Building everyday:

    2 Replies
    1. re: hyperbowler

      Hodo also sells yuba and tofu at Whole Foods and many natural foods stores in the city now.

      1. re: hyperbowler

        Oh yeah, I forgot about that kiosk. It's right next to the doorway and I always pass it by. I'll have to make a note to try it this time.

      2. I'd add Minako (organic Japanese, dinner only, near 16th St BART, lots of vegan sushi as well as cooked dishes)

        I don't like Millennium or Enjoy. I'm also not a vegan or vegetarian.

        For future reference, I loved Flaco's Tacos near Ashby BART in Berkeley.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Windy

          Thanks. I was thinking about Minako, but I was scared away because I hate Cha-Ya. I might give it a try.

          1. re: choctastic

            Minako is much much better than Cha-ya if rather quirky. it's a mother/daughter operation. Judy (the daughter) is awesome. rolls are big and it's a tiny place. She's tell you if have ordered too much and they grow most of the produce themselves.

            1. re: choctastic

              It's nothing like Chaya. And despite the many sushi options, I especially recommend the cooked dishes.

          2. Millennium is a must, although it's only open for dinner. If you're working in the Embarcadero area, the Irving branch of Loving Hut is too far for a lunch trip - you'll be spending the better part of an hour on or waiting for Muni. It's a chain, so the menus are pretty much the same. If you're in that part of the city, though, there's also Cafe Gratitude on 9th near Irving and a deli, Daily Health, on 9th between Irving and the park.

            5 Replies
            1. re: tardigrade

              Cafe Gratitude hasn't been at 9th and Irving for a couple of years. I agree, MUNI takes forever to get out there for lunch.

              1. re: tardigrade

                I'm sold. I've heard conflicting reports about Millennium, but since my budget is pretty high, might as well give it a whirl this time. thanks

                1. re: choctastic

                  Millennium is pretty much the only high-end vegan restaurant. Gather in Berkeley might be the best vegan food these days, the BART ride from Embarcadero is a little over 20 minutes.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I was looking at Gather, actually. 20 mins, not including the schlep to the station and the wait for the ride. Still, good call; I may have to just suck it up and cross water for this.

                    1. re: choctastic

                      It's really good. If you go, don't miss the vegan "charcuterie."

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  galette 88 is NOT vegan friendly, they use dairy is all the crepes.

                  1. re: tjinsf

                    Galette 88's galette batter is just buckwheat flour, water, and salt, the only dairy comes from the butter they put on the griddle. For the vegan galette they use oil instead.

                    The crêpes (dessert) are made with milk and eggs.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      funny that's not what they said when we asked if they could make a vegan galette.

                      1. re: tjinsf

                        When were you there? The "Like a Vegan" galette was on the menu when I was there and I find a couple of reports about it online, one just a week ago.

                        If you asked for a vegan crêpe, I imagine they can't do that.

                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Pizza Orgaasmica sounds pretty cool, but for those prices, i'd rather eat UPN (or TPN, I guess), or Delfina's marinara. I loved Motorino, want something like that.

                    1. re: choctastic

                      Pizza Orgasmica has slices for $3-4, at least the one in Embarcadero Center 2 does. Probably not as good as Tony's Slice House, but not a mile away, either. That location also has all-you-can-eat slices and $3 pints at happy hour.


                      UPN is open only for dinner, you might have to wait in line for an hour, and if you don't get there early they might run out before you get seated. Their $20 12-inch marinara is in a class by itself as far as price goes. Tony's is $13.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        not relevant for vegans, but tony's margherita is $19, compared with still $20 at UPN. I'd consider the one at UPN to be far superior. for value, i'd recommend the marinara at a16 over either of these.

                        1. re: Dustin_E

                          To me, UPN vs. Tony's STG was a toss-up, but traditional Neapolitan is not my favorite style of pizza so they all suffer a bit compared with the popular local NY-Naples style.

                  3. what about
                    1.Greens for vegan with a view (fort mason)
                    2.Minako for homey vegan japanese with punk music (mission)
                    3.Chaya- another vegan japanese place with decent noodles (mission)

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: tjinsf

                      I will try Minako, but I'm not a fan of Cha-Ya, and I work too late to enjoy the view at Greens, though the food is good.

                      1. re: tjinsf

                        I know everyone loves Greens, but I went once a long time ago with some vegans and we had literally every dish on the menu, and NONE of it was good. It was exactly the sort of vegan meal that closed-minded omnivores ridicule: a bowl of beans, a bland soup, a plate of vegetables, and so on. It was outrageously expensive too.

                        I mean it's been quite some years since I've been there, so I don't want to put too much weight on my experience, but I should at least mention it, since the place is so expensive.

                        1. re: dunstable

                          I had the same reaction when I went to Ananda Fuara. I had a very large, bland veggie burger and a brownie. I'll never forget when I turned the brownie over and saw streaks of white fat of unknown (presumably vegetable) origin coating the bottom. I probably should give them a second chance, since they were very nice.

                          1. re: choctastic

                            That's perfectly normal, just means the pan was buttered / oiled and floured (helps keep the brownies from sticking to the pan) a little more heavily than necessary.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Oh, I know it's normal. I've made many brownies myself. It was just offputting, as I would personally use oil instead of solid fat to avoid the problem. Maybe I'm being overly harsh though.

                              1. re: choctastic

                                The white was probably from the flour rather than whatever oil they used.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  I'm goin to go and get another brownie just to make sure, but I could swear it was a solid white congealed fat, not fat/flour mixture, that I saw on the bottom of those things.

                                  1. re: choctastic

                                    If you overgrease a pan typically the fat gets absorbed and you end up with a crunchy bottom and edges. Although I suppose if they're vegan they might not behave the way that the usual butter and egg batter does.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      It behaves similarly with vegan baked goods. However, when you flour and "butter" the pan, you get a telltale residue of flour that shows up on the bottom of the baked good, and you can also feel the slight grit of the flour on your hands. If I recall correctly, these had slick fat all over the bottom of the brownie. Again, my memory may be faulty and I tend to be harsher on my fellow vegetarians than on non-vegetarians.