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Feb 1, 2013 06:31 AM

Best Vegetarian Restaurants

I will be staying in the Concord area for 5 days next week. What are the best veggie restaurants in SF and the surrounding areas. Any tips are appreciated.

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  1. You want only strictly vegetarian restaurants or places that are vegetarian-friendly as well?

    1 Reply
    1. Gather in Berkeley

      Encuentro in Oakland

      In SF, AQ, Barbacco, Epic Roasthouse (ironically)

      6 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Have there been positive reports of AQ from vegetarians? A vegetarian friend of mine went and had a bad experience. She said that there was a lack of choice, too much ingredient overlap across the dishes, and felt she paid too much for a lackluster meal. The meat eaters enjoyed themselves ...

        1. re: hyperbowler

          Lack of choice might be an issue at AQ, I just mentioned it because I had one of the best vegetarian entrees ever last night.

          I was making no effort to avoid meat, but I think four of the six dishes we had were vegetarian.

          1. re: hyperbowler

            AQ is ok for vegetarians (not vegans) if you want to do a couple of the smaller dishes. There is usually only one veggie main and it can be hit or miss.

            Mission Chinese sometimes uses meat stocks and has seafood in dishes that they say are vegetarian. Double check with the server for sure.

            San Francisco: All vegetarian I like Golden Era in the Loin and Greens at Fort Mason. Some vegan friends love Source in Soma, I find it annoying and overpriced but it fills the void that used to taken by Cafe Gratitude minus the cult mentality.
            Veggie friendly Updupi, Canela in the Castro has lots of veggie tapas.

            1. re: tjinsf

              I can't speak to the meat stock but I did inform Mission Chinese that I have a shellfish allergy when ordering my food.

              1. re: tjinsf

                Can you clarify whether "sometimes" means "on some days" or "in some dishes." I remember hearing that there were days when the Lung Shan staff, rather than Bowien's staff, prepared the Mission Chinese menu. Does that still (or ever...) happen?

                Like at a lot of Chinese restaurants, there are lots of dishes that contain meat but which a vegetarian might mistakenly order (e.g., ma po tofu). But I find it hard to believe that Danny Bowien would advertise dishes as "vegan" when using obvious animal products. I mean, restauranteurs use the term "vegetarian" liberally, but short of oddities like honey and isinglass, anyone using the term "vegan" knows what it means, certainly that animal broths and fish sauce aren't cool.

                1. re: hyperbowler

                  I meant some dishes. Don't know if they were labelled as vegan. There was no mention of meat in them. In the first case we asked if a broth had seafood or meat in it and the server said no, got the dish, friend tasted it and we asked again and sure enough meat stock. In the other cases I don't know if the people confirmed with servers that it was indeed really truly all creature free. I always tell vegan and veg friends visiting here to ask before ordering.

          2. In SF:
            Gracias Madre
            Udupi SF
            Yank Sing - dim sum
            Mission Chinese

            Walnut Creek - Babalou's Mediterranean (on TV's check please?


            Berkeley - Ajanta

            Concord - Spice Grill (Indian) seems to have good Yelp reviews.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ceekskat

              What's good for vegetarians at Mission Chinese? I know they have veg choices on the menu but meat and fish seem central to their thing.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                We enjoyed both stir fried pork jowl and the thrice cooked bacon vegan style (just no pork). Considering there are other veg possibilities on the menu, I think Mission Chinese is a viable option for vegetarians.

                And then there's hyperbowler's report on this thread...

              1. re: LabLady

                I'm curious to try Millennium again. I was talking with one of their servers at a bar and it sounded like they got off the non-fat kick that made the food so horrible a few years ago. Are they still vegan? The web site just says vegetarian, but the menu reads like they're still vegan.

              2. We ate at Millennium a few days ago and the menu was entirely vegan.