We can all acknowledge that the number of plant-based establishments has skyrocketed over the past decade. If you are anything like me, picking one restaurant from tens of vegan-friendly ones can be overwhelming. But it’s a problem I’m happy to have!
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You know that San Francisco is quite vegan-friendly and offers plant-based folks plenty of options if you’ve ever been in the city. But which are the best vegan restaurants to check out?
Can you find vegan food in San Francisco?
You certainly can! Whenever I visit a new city, be it for a work trip or a weekend break, I first check how vegan-friendly the place is on Happycow. Open the website and write San Francisco in the search bar – you’ll see almost a thousand results! Now, don’t get too excited – not all are entirely plant-based. But more than 900 places with vegan options are still great! Similarly to Atlanta, 50 of them are 100% vegan. With so many options, you could eat out daily for months before getting bored of the available choices.
Best vegan restaurants in San Francisco
Like most other vegans, I love how most food establishments have started adding more and more plant-based options to their menus. But sometimes it’s nice to dine out at a place where no animal-based products are good. Not only does it save you time having to identify the vegan-friendly dishes on the menu, but it also helps to avoid any cross-contamination. And it’s always great to support plant-based smaller and bigger businesses!
Luckily for us, San Francisco offers us plenty of 100% vegan establishments. However, choosing one can be challenging with a whopping number of 50 plant-based places in town. So, I have decided for you – well, kind of! Here are some of the best vegan restaurants in San Francisco.
Wildseed is a new addition to San Francisco vegan scene – the restaurant opened its doors in 2019 and has gained quite a lot of popularity within a few years of being open. So, you might want to book a table if you’d prefer to avoid a wait.
Wildseed focuses on providing tasty whole foods and relies on seasonal ingredients. And as local ingredients change with the seasons, so does the menu at Wildseed. But what does the menu look like exactly?
The plant-based establishment isn’t focusing on one specific cuisine – instead, you can find global flavors on the menu. Risotto ai Funghi, yellow curry, and Ensalada Andalusia are a few examples.
While all the dishes will have you licking your fingers, they are also healthy. The menu was developed with the help of a registered dietician with an education in public health and practice in holistic nurture. Another aspect that many environmentally concerned vegans appreciate about Wildseed is its work with and support for several community organizations.
The interior of the restaurant is modern and minimalistic. So, don’t be shy to snap a picture or two for your Instagram. And can’t forget the friendly staff that makes the dining experience even better!
Nourish Cafe is another whole foods establishment in San Francisco serving only vegan dishes. Their menu consists of many different bowls, sandwiches, and toast. Or, if you’re in the mood for something lighter, you can choose between different smoothies, smoothie bowls, or soups of the day.
This plant-based cafe is a perfect choice for health-conscious vegans. Nourish uses the cleanest ingredients they can get their hands on and source organic when possible. The dishes and desserts are cooked with a minimum amount of oil and avoid using refined sugars and processed sweeteners. Instead, they use natural sweeteners such as fruit juices, dates, and maple syrup. Nourish not only tastes good, but it is also good for you. Well, that’s what the establishment states, and I cannot disagree.
Nourish Cafe does not just have one, but two establishments in San Francisco – one on 6th Avenue and the second on Hyde Street.
Was sushi something that held you back from ditching animal-based products? Luckily, the staple Japanese dish is no longer off-limits for plant-based folks. Shizen is one of the many places that have made the delicious rice dish available for vegans.
Shizen is all about providing a pleasant dining out experience without causing harm to our oceans and lessening the size of our footprint on this earth.
Now to the exciting part, let’s talk about the sushi bar’s menu. As appropriate for a sushi place, you can start your night with a miso soup, some veggie and tofu dumplings, a light soup, or a small plate. And, of course, finish it off with your choice of sushi. Shizen offers you nigiri, classical rolls, and specialty rolls – each category featuring plenty of different sushi flavors.
The sushi restaurant is a brilliant choice for when you want to enjoy a high-end dining experience. A visually attractive establishment with a clean interior, perfectly presented food, and professional yet friendly service.
Appreciate Italian food but are stuck in San Francisco? Run, don’t walk to Baia. The gorgeous plant-based establishment specializes in serving the best Italian dishes and comfort foods. And that in an elegant and peaceful atmosphere.
The menu is full of well-known Italian dishes with a vegan twist. Start your evening with mozzarella sticks and meatballs and move on to pizza Funghi or pesto risotto. And it’s not an Italian night if you don’t pair it with a glass of sustainable fine wine.
The restaurant is visually stunning and modern and has a beautiful bar area, giving off a fine-dining atmosphere. An ideal place for a birthday or anniversary dinner if you ask me.
While Cha Ya is also known as Cha Ya Vegetarian Japanese Restaurant, don’t let the name disappoint you – the Japanese casual establishment is 100% plant-based and only offers vegan dishes.
Cha Ya is heaven for every Japanese cuisine-loving vegan. Offering small plates, main dishes, soups, and sushi, you could either snack on some light appetizers or have a full-course meal. You can find Asian cuisine classics such as miso soup, vegetable tempura, and edamame soybeans on the menu, or you can opt for something more complex.
Cha-Ya Nabe Vegan Sukiyaki Stew made of kabocha pumpkin, napa cabbage, onion, carrots, mushrooms, lotus root, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, silver noodles, and tofu is full of flavor – probably thanks to being simmered in broth.
While the Zen cooking-inspired dishes are encouraged to be shared, the laid-back atmosphere of the restaurant makes it a perfect place for solo dates. Don’t leave your visit on a Monday or a Tuesday as they are closed on those days!
San Francisco has something for vegans, no matter what you’re in the mood for. There is beauty in simplicity, and sometimes all we want is a good serving of good old comfort food – Vegan Picnic gives us just that.
The American-style deli provides us with quick and tasty bites. You can choose between cold and hot sandwiches or grab a salad. Oh, and don’t forget about the deli dinners such as Shepherd’s pie and lasagne. The food is simple yet tastes great.
Vegan Picnic is an amazing choice for when you crave some comfort food. And for times when you’re in a rush. The service is always speedy, and you’ll have your food with you without a long wait!
Last but not least, we have VeganBurg. Can you guess from the name what the establishment is all about? If you said burgers, you are 100% correct!
I know what you’re thinking. It is no longer rare to find a vegan burger at burger joints – even many fast food places have added vegan sandwiches to their menus. But not only are all VeganBurg burgers 100% vegan, but they are also so good!
You can choose between plenty of different burgers, and I love how the taste of the burgers varies a lot. If you want to play it safe, go for their best seller Creamy Mushrooms. Or why not try their Tangy Tartar or Mustang Relish? Pair your burger with a side of your choice. You’re not limited to some fries here – bbq franks, chicken tenders, and grilled broccoli are just a few options.
More vegan places in San Francisco
Are the vegan selections in San Francisco limited to the places mentioned above? Definitely not! I tried to include a diverse selection of the most mention-worthy establishments in this article, but the only way to find your favorite is to experiment and dine around. Here are some more 100% vegan places you should pop by on your next visit to San Francisco.
- Indochine Vegan is another Asian cuisine establishment serving vegan dishes inspired by Japan, Thailand, Korea, China, and Vietnam in the Mission district.
- Gracias Madre is a vegan Mexican restaurant that offers delicious seasonal dishes made in-house.
- Vegan Mob is a great place in San Francisco for flavorful and filling soul food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where to buy a vegan pie in San Francisco?
Many different bakeries are selling vegan pies in San Francisco. If you’d prefer to buy a pie from a fully vegan establishment, check out Vegan Picnic and Vegan Mob.