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Special Occasion- Best place for dinner for Vegetarians in SF

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Hi Everyone,
This December will be the first Christmas holiday season my girlfriend and I will be spending together (We have been dating since February). As a result, I wanted to take her out for a very special evening that we will both remember.
We both love food and eating out so I was looking for some suggestions on where to go. I've been searching online and there just seems to be an endless amount of restaurants to choose from and I'm getting a little overwhelmed. Some of the possibilities I am looking at: Aziza, Fleur de Lys, Kokkari Estiatorio, La folie (tad expensive).

Criteria:
Nice, more upscale than casual
Romantic setting
We are both vegetarian. The restaurant does not have to be veg only but veg friendly
Price- abt 70-80$/person
Love small plates
Cocktail list doesn't matter- not huge drinkers
Preferably cuisine other than Italian. Most of the nicer places we go tend to have Italian main courses (since it is very easily made vegetarian)

We have already eaten at Greens and Millenium so we want to try something new!

Thanks so much for your help!

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  1. Chez Panisse Cafe (upstairs) always always has nice veg. options. You might call when you make the res. to see if they might seat you on the little extended porch, a lovely (romantic) setting.

    I know that @ Chez Panisse Restaurant (downstairs) (fancier/pricier, with one set multi-course meal), they will make a veg substitution--have no idea how well that works.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sundeck sue

      Thanks!
      I've read so much about Chez Panisse. But I think we are going to try to spend the day in SF and hopefully eat in the downtown area. but hopefully for another ocassion we can try chez panisse.

    2. Fleur de Lys's vegetarian menu has always been good. The atmosphere is more formal than Greens but I think it's cosy rather than stuffy. It's a good romantic space since it's is quite small and quiet. Aziza is very good although I don't think it has as many specifically vegetarian mains and it's not as "special date" in atmosphere as Fleur de Lys. La Folie's vegetarian tasting menu is 90 dollars and while good, I didn't find it nearly as good as it's non vegetarian menu and there are no veggie main if you for the 80 dollar 3 course.

      Saha might work too as they have many veggie & vegan choices.

      5 Replies
      1. re: tjinsf

        According to http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8257... it was possible to get a vegetarian version of the basteeya at Aziza--- it would be worth it to call ahead of time to confirm that they still do this since it's not listed on their online menu currently. They list only one vegetarian main, a couscous dish.

        1. re: hyperbowler

          I've had the veggie basteeya. It was good but yeah the way to eat veggie at Aziza is doing several smaller plates.

          1. re: tjinsf

            Thanks for the input!
            I'm really strongly considering Fleur de Lys. Looks amazing. Just was a little worried about the recent negative reviews I've seen around here and other places but maybe Im just reading too much into them. and the desserts look amazing there.

            As for Aziza, ya we would definitely have to make a meal of several small plates but my gf really enjoys smaller sized portions and variety, so maybe it would be a good possibility.

            And La Folie looked good but its also $90 and if the menu is not that amazing, between that and Fleur de Lys, you would recommend Fleur?
            Thanks a lot

            1. re: 49ersfan

              I would recommend Fleur personally although it could just be that since we've gone there a lot in the past when my spouse was vegetarian and my spouse is French we get better service. The food is not the most creative but I think the flavours are really good. It has been more than six months since I have been there. I know many people would prefer La Folie but I think for a vegetarian Fleur is better.

          2. re: hyperbowler

            >> They list only one vegetarian main, a couscous dish

            and i didn't think this dish was particularly impressive. certainly no better than the couscous at cafe des amis.

        2. If you could go a little higher, consider Atelier Crenn.

          I'm not a vegetarian, but several of my friends are. They were very accommodating. You don't need to get the chef's tasting menu. All their dishes are similarly artful.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Windy

            i agree crenn is very good for vegetarians.

            1. re: Windy

              I think Quince also has a vegetarian menu.

              1. re: goldangl95

                the vegetarian menu at Quince is wonderful but I think it's outside the OP's posted budget as is Creen. For sure if both are the best places for fine dining vegetarian. The veggie food at Quince is larger portions and less fanciful than Creen.