San Francisco is part of the Bay Area’s historical farm-to-table movement and at the forefront of mindful living, so it’s no surprise the city is home to a variety of vegetarian restaurants. The eateries here go beyond açai bowls and green juices, serving up Asian-fusion dishes, plant-based burgers and meatless Mexican cuisine.
Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant
Restaurant, Vegetarian, Asian, $$$
The family-owned and -operated Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant offers vegetarian Chinese cuisine and has two locations – one in Chinatown and one in Inner Sunset. Classic dishes like mongolian beef, kung pao chicken and veggie shark’s fin soup contain no meat. The menu includes options for vegans and both soy protein and vegetable-based meat substitutes.
Founded in 1979, Greens Restaurant is an upscale vegetarian eatery, situated along the water in Fort Mason. At the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, Greens Restaurant is a mainstay of the vegetarian food scene not only in San Francisco but in the whole of the United States. With picture-perfect views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands and a sustainable, organic wine menu, this is the spot for sophisticated vegetarian fare while in San Francisco.
While not entirely a vegetarian restaurant, Burma Love has an extensive menu full of veggie-friendly options like the yellow bean tofu curry and vegetarian fried rice. Burma Love is an excellent choice for Burmese food while in the Mission, especially if your party includes some omnivores.
If there’s one place where vegan food prospers, it is in San Francisco. Nourish Café is 100 percent plant-based, with smoothie bowls, toasts, salads and juices. With one location in Nob Hill and one in Richmond District, this is an excellent spot for wholesome, health-focused choices. But be sure to come early on weekends when the post-workout brunch crowds line up for their açai bowls.
Located right on Haight Street, VeganBurg offers 100 percent plant-based burgers – but the add-ons are what makes this spot both unique and popular. Burgers such as the Haight ‘N’ Salsa (loaded with avocado, pico de gallo, dairy-free aioli, white onion and cilantro) put typical mustard-ketchup combos to shame. Each burger can be customized with avocado, egg, bacon, pineapple or cheese (all vegan), and a side of creamy garlic fries and loaded shrooms fries complete the meal.
Shizen, an upscale vegan sushi bar located between the Mission and SoMa, aims to decrease the industry’s carbon footprint on the world one vegan sushi roll at a time. With a sleek atmosphere and Michelin distinction, Shizen offers both basic sushi rolls, like the california roll made with tofu, and more complex ones that utilize ingredients such as eggplant, beets, shiitake, seaweed and bean curd. The sushi bar also serves ramen, soba noodles and curry.
Gracias Madre fits in perfectly with the authentic Mexican cuisine that abounds in the Mission District while putting a plant-based twist on classic dishes. Tortillas and tamales are handmade from non-GMO corn, and the pozole, enchiladas, flautas and burritos are all vegetarian, made with fresh vegetables, cashew cheese and meat alternatives. Gracias Madre’s seasonal menu features ingredients from the organic Be Love Farm in Pleasants Valley, California.