Our top 5 Vegan Restaurant picks for San Francisco
There are many advantages to eating vegan, such as the health benefits of this type of diet, no cruelty towards animals, more sustainable than meat production, and better for the environment. However, one of the biggest benefits of eating vegan, especially in San Francisco, is the opportunity to eat some extraordinarily creative and tasty fare.
Gracias Madre (www.gracias-madre.com) 221 Mission Street: located in the heart of the Mission District, Gracias Madre prepares some incredible Mexican cuisine, which I, as a Mexican myself, love, even though they have turned some traditionally animal-protein-rich dishes into vegan fare. For example, their chilaquiles and tacos, which are, of course, prepared cheese and meat-free, yet you will not miss these ingredients because the food is just so damn good! In addition, I love their mural with a saintly figure in the middle of a cornfield. The woman’s heart is reminiscent of Frida Kahlo’s art style.
Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar and Izakaya (www.shizensf.com) 370 14th Street: located just a block east of Valencia Street on 14th, this restaurant does what I thought was impossible: prepare tasty fish-less sushi. Their slogan is “May all beings everywhere be happy and free.” And they contribute to this philosophy by preparing healthy and savory sushi using local and seasonal vegetables. My personal favorites are their ramen and vegetable nigiri, especially the avocado and green mango nigiri. By the way, the tern “izakaya” refers to the preparation of small snacks served with drinks, sort of like a Japanese version of tapas.
VeganBurg San Francisco (www.veganburg.com) 1466 Haight Street: located in the heart of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood on Haight Street, just east of Ashbury, this vegan burger place has created some of the most delicious meatless burgers I have ever eaten. And, as you might have noted by now, the first three restaurants on this list stand out because they have converted traditionally meat and fish fare into vegetable-based foods and still make it tasty and worth trying. VeganBurg’s slogan is “Burgers that make you and the planet happy,” which they accomplish by preparing amazing burgers, of which my favorites are the “Cracked Mayo” and “Tangy Tartar.”
Golden Era (https://www.goldeneravegan.com/) 395 Golden Gate Avenue: located in the edgy Tenderloin district, this vegan restaurant offers a mixed variety of Asian inspired vegan dishes, ranging from non-fried spring rolls (my favorite in the City) to curry wraps to pad thai. What the dishes may lack in not including chicken, beef, or pork, they more than makeup for it in the vegetables and spices they use. Also, the fact that they offer such a wide variety of cuisines means that you can go with family and friends with different cravings. Someone might be in the mood for Chinese, while someone else might prefer Thai or Indian, and you can get them all here.
Nourish Café (www.nourishcafesf.com) has two locations. One is at 189 6th Avenue, just about ½ mile north of the famous Green Apple Books. Therefore, I recommend you visit the bookstore before or after you eat. And the second location is at 1030 Hyde Street in the PolkGulch neighborhood. Both cafés offer a casual eating experience with lots of comfort food options, such as their salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and baked goods “to die for.” In addition to their sandwiches, I love their “brekkie” bowls and quinoa waffles; uncommonly good and a treat whenever I eat here since not all restaurants prepare them.
We’d love to know what your favorites are; leave a comment below and let us know.