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SAN FRANCISCO’S BEST VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN EATS

17 PLACES

UPDATED NOV 1, 2019

San Francisco knows how to make meat-free and dairy-free eating delicious. Whether you’re searching for tempeh chorizo or a tofu banh mi, these plant-based restaurants have you covered.

author

CASSANDRA PISONE

FITT SAN-FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTOR

San Francisco’s premier plant-based burger destination is here. This Haight-Ashbury spot showcases the future of food — healthy meals made with ethically sourced, whole ingredients. Stop by for one of their “Sidekicks” options like seaweed fries or loaded 'shrooms fries. Just make sure to save room for your burger!

If you thought Mexican food couldn’t be vegan, think again. Gracias Madre in the Mission is the place for vegan Mexican food in SF. Who needs cheese when you have queso made from cashews on top of tempeh chorizo? If you want to add a little green to your meal, their dino kale salad is one of the best salads we’ve ever had.

This Berkley spot is a vegan deli that makes all of their “meats” and “cheeses” in house. They've got you covered with Buffalo Bacon Ranch Fried Chicken to satisfy any late-night comfort food cravings. We also recommend checking out their signature #thisismyaddiction sandwich… one bite, and you'll see how fitting the name is. The deli recently moved across the street from their original location and got a major upgrade. Expect more takeout options, vegan ice cream, and more space to relax and enjoy your BLT.

Ananda Fuara sums up everything about the San Francisco vegetarian food scene. This Civic Center mainstay was created by guru Sri Chinmoy and is anything but “that crunchy vegan place”. Just check out their Neatloaf Dinner if you need convincing.

You’ll find some of the most inspired vegan and gluten-free toasts, salads, and wraps at Nourish Cafe in the Richmond. You can also find us here post-yoga session (Yoga Tree is across the street!), snacking on their acai bowl, “lox” toast, or digging into their Nourish Bowl.

Looking for a quick grab-and-go salad or wrap in the Marina or Hayes Valley? Head to Urban Remedy for a number of pre-made salads, wraps, and pressed juices to keep you on the healthy track even if you’re on the run. The vegan caesar (with cumin chickpea croutons) is our go-to order. Can’t make it in person? Urban Remedy delivers straight to your door, and their juices can be found in Whole Foods locations around the city.

We don’t know how Eatsa makes mushroom poke a thing, but they do — and well. Along with tandoori tofu and asada portobello, this SoMa and FiDi restaurant somehow puts a vegetarian swing on all of our favorite meat staples. Also, they’re completely tech-enabled, so forget about long lines. Simply order at a kiosk, and pick up at a cubby in this futuristic restaurant.

Our all-time favorite acai place is now stateside! This Polk St. outpost of the Big Island’s Basik Cafe has the same menu, so now we can get a Banyan Bowl without booking a flight to Hawaii.

Just because you’ve gone meat- and dairy-free doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some of your favorites like chili, burgers, or burritos—Judahlicious successfully veganizes them all! This old-school spot is super SF — and if you’re out early, this Outer Sunset staple also serves up made-to-order vegan waffles, pancakes, and acai bowls before 2pm!

“James Beard Nominated” aren’t three words that typically go with “vegetarian and vegan restaurant”, but Greens is changing that. They’ve been nominated and been a semi-finalist for Best Overall Restaurant in America multiple years. And they’re definitely worthy of a fancy date night spot or a special meal to impress your out of town friends. While you’re in Fort Mason, we recommend grabbing a drink at The Interval next door if you have to wait for a table. The best part? You can now order Greens to go! They’re available on Caviar or for pick up during the week until 2:30pm.

Japanese food takes a vegetarian/vegan turn at Cha-Ya in the Mission. Vegetarian sushi might be a real letdown at some restaurants, but the avocado nigiri here will totally change your mind. We’re also big fans of their sushi bowls, filled with every veggie ever imaginable. Fitt tip: this place is a bit old school (cash only), so be sure to stop by the ATM on your way over.

This award-winning Oakland spot is taking vegan cuisine to the next level. And with one step into this restaurant, you’ll be in awe of the place. Treat yourself to the likes of Pistachio Stuffed Dates or Torpedo Onion Turnip Cake after the main meal. Fitt Tip: got a special event coming up? Make a call to Millennium, they have the vegan cake hookup.

This tiny, Cow Hollow spot is a vegan’s dream. Their motto is “Guiltlessly Delicious,” and their menu consists of sandwiches like the Crispy Chicken and VP Meatball. None of their food has meat or dairy, but it tastes just as good and indulgent as the originals. Grab a sandwich, and head over to Marina Green for a perfect SF afternoon.

If you’re looking for a fancy restaurant that is also vegan, then Shizen is your spot. This trendy restaurant in the Mission is super-classy and proudly features a vegan sushi bar. Their Secret Weapon sushi is to-die-for, but so is everything on the menu. Be sure to make reservations in advance — you’ll need them.

Sick of having to opt for a bean burrito every time you hit up a Mexican restaurant with your friends? Same. Well, that’s where FLACOS comes in. This plant-based hot spot started as a farmers market stand in 2001 but now slings all your favorite cuisine out of their brick-and-mortar location in Berkeley. Scan the menu, and you’ll find tacos and tamales that are entirely plant-based and absolutely delicious.

All natural, all meatless, and all amazing — that’s the name of the game at Souley Vegan in Oakland. Inspired by Southern-style cuisine and flavors, you’ll find everything from Zucchini “Crab” Cakes to Creole Pop’Ens (house-made spice seitan strips) and Okra Gumbo on the menu. The next time you’ve got a serious comfort food craving, you know where to go.

Indian food is almost always a great option for vegetarian or vegan cuisine since most of their dishes are heavy on the beans and veggies. This spot, Udupi Palace, is no exception. The Indian joint is our go-to for chana masala, samosas, and mango lassis (the best damn smoothie-like yogurt drink ever). This South Indian restaurant has dosa on lock. You can find their restaurant in the Mission, but they deliver to neighboring areas, too.

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