When it comes to dining out in San Francisco and the Bay Area, we’re blessed with thousands of options. But if you’re trying to hunt down menus that cater to specific diets, the task can be a daunting one. Thankfully, our community has been a leader in innovative dining that is both sustainable, local and welcoming to all.
Today, we’re celebrating those businesses that make vegan and vegetarian diets easy: restaurants that prove plant-based food can be fun, flavorful and delicious. Stop by one of the spots on our list and even the meat eaters in your group will fall in love with the flavorful options.
1298 Market St | Facebook
Sri Chinmoy was an Indian spiritual leader who taught meditation in the West, and it is his teachings and his words which drive the motivation behind Ananda Fuara, a name that translates to Fountain of Delight. Offering lunch, dinner, brunch and desserts, everything at this San Francisco original is vegetarian, many are vegan, and all of the menus change with the flavors and inspiration of each season.
Cha-Ya | San Francisco + Berkeley
762 Valencia St + 1686 Shattuck Ave | Facebook
This sushi spot serves contemporary Japanese cuisine that is 100% vegan. Inspired by Shojin Ryori, the traditional dining style of Buddhist monks in Japan, the menu includes more than 40 items that anyone can enjoy.
839 Kearny Street + 754 Kirkham Street | Facebook
Named one of CNN Travel’s 50 best Chinese restaurants in the United States in 2017, Enjoy Vegetarian is a world-class Chinese restaurant that also happens to be all vegan and family-owned. Their menu of 125 dishes uses no MSG, offers egg-free and dairy-free dishes, meals free of leek, garlic and onion, dinners made with whole, natural soy protein, and dishes made with soy product substitutions like yam and mushroom. Everyone can find something to love (and to enjoy) at Enjoy!
2211 Mission St | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Gracias Madre
The mission at Gracias Madre is more than just serving great plant-based food. Through mindful and careful sourcing of ingredients, the team hopes to highlight the importance of sustainability and of buying and selling locally-grown, organic foods. Their menu of organic, plant-based, non-GMO Mexican food is as flavorful as it is environmentally conscious, so come by to try a meal you never have to feel bad about.
1954 University Ave | Facebook
This industrial-chic Berkeley spot is an all vegan delicatessen, serving bakery goods and plant-based deli dishes that change regularly based on local produce. Their innovative creations include vegan BLTs, fried “chicken” on churro waffles, smoked “whitefish” on a bagel, and dairy-inspired treats like fried vegan mozzarella, vegan cheesecake and vegan cannolis. And every faux-meat is made in-house—like the whitefish which is made from jackfruit!
Landmark Building A, Fort Mason Center | Facebook
Originally opened in 1979, Greens has become a destination vegetarian restaurant, garnering awards and recognition from all over the world. In addition to sourcing from local, organic farmers, the team also harvests produce from their very own Green Gulch Farm in Marin County. While you taste plant-based dishes suitable for every diet and every taste, you’ll also enjoy expansive waterfront views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Loving Hut | Multiple locations
Multiple locations | Facebook
Loving Hut is an international vegan restaurant chain, but each Loving Huts chef enjoys the freedom to create unique dishes and entrees inspired by local flavors and character. Bay Area locations can be found in Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara and two in San Francisco.
Garden Fresh | Palo Alto + Mountain View
460 Ramona St + 1245 W El Camino Real | Facebook
Made without meat, dairy, eggs, MSG, trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup, Chefs Robert Liang and Paul Hsueh have spent decades refining dishes that can be loved by vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. And going even further than the food, both Garden Fresh locations have partnered with the Palo Alto Humane Society to become Certified Humane businesses.
5912 College Ave | Facebook
Millennium is one of East Bay’s outstanding vegan eateries. Though they recently moved from San Francisco to Rockridge, the team has been offering the same, outstanding, globally inspired plant-based fare in a warm, fine dining setting since 1994. Because they source from small, local farms, the menu changes constantly, but you’ll always find an artfully prepared dish prepared specifically for the season.
189 6th Avenue + 1030 Hyde St | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Nourish Cafe
Offering a menu of salads, fresh juices and smoothies, sandwiches, healthy baked goods, delicious desserts, and soups, everything at Nourish Cafe is organic and made from scratch with whole, fresh foods and ingredients that are sourced from local farms and purveyors. Since opening in 2015, Owner Sarah Bacon and Head Chef Brighton Miller have developed a destination restaurant based on clean, whole food ideals.
395 Golden Gate Ave | Facebook
A landmark in downtown San Francisco since 1999, Golden Era serves wholesome, high-quality foods which are natural and 100% plant-based without MSG, eggs, honey or dairy products of any kind. Thanks to their extensive menu and their homemade desserts, everyone can find something to enjoy here, whether you’re a vegan or a meat eater.
Cafe del Soul | Mill Valley + San Rafael
247 Shoreline Hwy + 1408 4th St | Facebook
Chyna originally opened Cafe del Soul as Smoothie Love in July 2004 after she created the menu, designed the space and even laid the kitchen tiles herself. Today, the name Cafe del Soul better describes the inspiration and drive behind this café which serves only the best and the freshest ingredients prepared to accommodate every diet. Every item on the food menu begins as a vegetarian dish with the option to add organic tofu and/or hormone-free, free-range chicken. Taste the difference for yourself in Mill Valley or San Rafael!
1019 Camelia St | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Sanctuary Bistro
At Sanctuary Bistro, it’s all about eating compassionately. The neighborhood bistro serves all plant-based meals that are sustainable, local, organic, dairy-free and gluten-free. And as an added bonus, a percentage of all their profits is donated to local nonprofits that serve our communities through social justice, arts and education.
4001 Linden St | Facebook
Based on the Taoist principles of balance between yin and yang, Shangri-La serves all organic, all vegan and macrobiotic meals from a menu that is changed daily to reflect local ingredients. Find out what the team is serving today on the website.
1051 Market St + 2114 Shattuck Ave | Facebook
The Flying Falafel began as a project of Assaf Pashut while he was a student studying neuroscience. Back then, the team served their homemade falafels at local farmers markets. Today, you can be “falafelized” from their locations in San Francisco and Berkeley. Swing through to taste scratch-made falafels and discover your new favorite lunch spot.
Shizen | San Francisco
370 14th St | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Shizen
At Shizen, the mission is simple: transform the relationship between the sushi industry and ocean conservation. They assist our oceans by combining classic shojin and sushi techniques with local, seasonal ingredients to create healthy and flavorful dishes with a light footprint and impressive flavor.
301 Broadway | Facebook
Owner Tamearra Dyson has been cooking vegan soul food since the age of 18 and Chef Dyson has been a vegan for years. They’ve combined their passion for cruelty-free eating to create the impressive menu at Oakland’s Souley Vegan. Here, you can get fried okra, gumbo, creole-style spaghetti, southern fried tofu and other dishes that will transform your stereotypes about plant-based food.
710 Polk St | Facebook
Through their desire to create a safe restaurant for vegetarians to eat, to break out of the norm of the traditional Thai restaurant, and to represent Buddhist tradition, the team behind Thai Idea Vegetarian opened their doors in 2011. Today, they are still the only Thai restaurant in San Francisco that offers a strict no meat menu.
1977 Union St | Facebook
Owner Jill Ritchie became a vegan when her children decided to go vegan—and that’s when she found out just how few dining options there were for her family. So, she began cooking vegan meals at home. That’s where the knowledge and ideals of Vegan Picnic began. Today, this local spot is one of the city’s best delis and groceries, serving up classic comfort food and it just so happens that everything is plant-based.
1466 Haight St | Facebook
Photo courtesy of VeganBurg
VeganBurg is a Singapore business founded in 2010 and they opened their second location all the way across the globe in San Francisco. As the world’s first 100% plant-based burger joint, their food is handcrafted, cholesterol-free, GMO-free, mouth-watering and has a light environmental impact. That’s a winning combination and this is a winning burger!
Do you have a recommendation?
Tell us all about your favorite, local vegan or vegetarian restaurant in the comments below!