Looking to veg out a little more this year? You’re not alone: While just a small percentage of Americans are strict vegans or vegetarians, 10 percent of Americans say they now follow a largely vegetarian-inclined diet–and 43 percent of non-vegan or vegetarian people say they eat one or more vegetarian meals per week.
With so many people on the hunt for green, restaurants in San Francisco have stepped up to meet the demand. In fact, San Francisco is ranked the third-most vegetarian-friendly city in the country.
“San Francisco makes it easy to find a tasty vegan or vegetarian meal,” says Mark Berman, MD, of One Medical Group. Continues Berman–who has been vegan for 23 years–“Not only does San Francisco feature many exclusively vegan or vegetarian restaurants, but the vast majority of restaurants are happy to offer or modify their fare to create a satisfying plant-based meal.”
Here are 100 delicious vegan dishes to try in one of the country’s greenest cities. We’ve even mapped all of the restaurants on this list for your convenience, and if you like our guide, feel free to share it on your web site or blog. Enjoy!
Ike’s Place – 3489 16th Street
Vegan Reuben: If you thought this traditionally cheesy, meaty sandwich couldn’t be done vegan-style, think again. This version comes with French dressing, homemade poppy seed coleslaw, and vegan versions of cheese and turkey.
Other Dishes to Try: Vegan Meatless Mike, Vegan Strawberry Girl, Vegan Tom Brady
AT&T Park – 24 Willie Mays Plaza
Veggie Hot Dog: Did you know that San Francisco’s beloved ballpark is one of PETA’s “Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Major League Ballparks” of 2013? The stadium serves vegan frankfurters from Field Roast made from grains, garlic, onion, and organic oils and spices. This dog is nothing like the bland, store-bought variety and its flavor and texture are “super legit” according to the SF Gate food blog.
Golden Era Vegan – 572 O’Farrell Street
Sauteed Jalapeño Tofu: Golden Era calls this their “best tofu dish,” and Yelpers agree. Of the tofu sauteed with onion, bell peppers, and jalapeño, served with steamed broccoli, cucumber, and tomato, one diner says the dish is “similar to what I ate growing up,” and another calls the tofu “nice and chewy.”
Other Dishes to Try: Spring Rolls, Spicy Eggplant Mushroom
Lucky Creation – 854 Washington Street
Deep Fried Taro Root Fish: This faux favorite is “shaped like a fish, fried and breaded with sweet and sour sauce over a bed of lettuce.” As one Yelp reviewer notes, “No one prepares taro like these ladies.”
Other Dishes to Try: Lemon Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork
Ananda Fuara – 1298 Market Street
Neatloaf Sandwich: The restaurant’s best-selling sandwich features two thick slices of its famous neatloaf, made from grains, eggs, ricotta cheese, tofu and spices blended together and baked and topped with a tangy tomato-based sauce, on whole wheat or ciabatta bread. If you want it vegan, it’s available by request.
Other Dishes to Try: Curry Wrap, Roasted Vegetable Ravioli
Thai Idea Vegetarian – 710 Polk Street
Veggie Crab Cakes: One Yelper described these appetizers as “delicate and flavorful,” and others call them “excellent” and “exceptional.” Three cakes come with wasabi cream and homemade soy syrup and are perfect pre-dinner starters.
Other Dishes to Try: Bangkok Veggie Duck, Wing Bomb, Veggie Hot Dog
La Mediterranee - 288 Noe Street
Vegan Middle Eastern Plate: Falafel, dolma, lentil salad, and hummus make for a sumptuous, satisfying meal. One diner said the falafel was “small and light and perfectly cooked,” and another said the dolma “was full of yummy goodness.”
Other Dishes to Try: Salad Mediterranee, Armenian Tomato Salad, Vegan Chocolate Cake
Donna’s Tamales - Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market
Vegan Burrito: Whether you order it hot or cold, this Farmers’ Market treat hits the spot. A whole-wheat tortilla wraps up organic brown rice, organic red beans, curtido (cabbage slaw), and Donna’s special ranchero sauce.
Fleur de Sel – 308 Kearny Street
Roasted Tomato Soup: Accompanied by house-made rosemary croutons, this scrumptious starter was described as “delicious crack” by one happily addicted customer.
Other Dishes to Try: Sweet Potato with Leek Soup
Mixt Greens – 475 Sansome Street
Be Wello Salad: Don’t expect a plate of plain iceberg lettuce when you order a Mixt Greens salad. This version comes with a mix of greens, avocado, chickpeas, quinoa, lentils, edamame, cucumber, red onion, fresh herbs, and jalapeño vinaigrette. As one customer summed it up, “What’s not to love?”
Other Dishes to Try: Slam Salad
Plant Café – 101 California Street
PLANT Burger: This decadent burger is made in-house from lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews, and bulgur wheat, and comes complete with tomato, grilled onions, lettuce, and vegan aioli atop a sourdough bun. The mouthwatering combo inspired one Yelper to deem the burger “heavenly.” A side salad and house-made pickles round out the celestial experience.
Other Dishes to Try: Masala Vegetable Stew, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad, MnM Bowl, Dino Kale Salad, Quinoa Bowl, Thai Green Curry, Chinese Five Spice Tempeh, Sambazon Bowl, Basil Tofu Scramble
Love N Haight Deli - 553 Haight Street
Vegan Chicken Steak Sandwich: Non-meat eaters who crave a sandwich with substance will love this savory and sweet meal that incorporates warm, vegan chicken steak patties with tomato, sprouts, avocado, pickles, lettuce, and a smattering of hummus. One fan called the sandwich “light, delicious, and satisfying,” and another raved that it was “one of the tastiest sandwiches I’ve had in a long time.”
Other Dishes to Try: Vegetarian Meat Chunk Sandwich
Lers Ros Thai – 307 Hayes Street
Kang Karee Pak: One Lers Ros fan chose to describe this yellow curry with potatoes, vegetables, and tofu with one simple reaction: “Mmmm.” Others raved about the dish’s flavorful combination of seasonings and spices.
Other Dishes to Try: Pad Makuer Tofu
Japantown/Lower Pac Heights
Dosa – 1700 Fillmore Street
Masala Dosa: If you’ve never tried the savory deliciousness of a dosa, this vegan version will shake up your taste buds. A rice and lentil crepe is filled with mashed spiced potatoes, onions, and cashew nuts, and the beautiful dish is served with dipping sauce and chutney.
Other Dishes to Try: Onion Rava Dosa, Red Beet and Cumin Soup
Greens Restaurant – Fort Mason Center, Building A
Summer Curry: This eggplant dish is delicious during any season and comes with green beans, little farm potatoes, and English peas with coconut milk. Lemongrass, ginger, chilies, and cilantro punch up the flavor, while jasmine rice and plum-mango chutney are a sweet and satisfying side.
Other Dishes to Try: Fresh Spring Rolls, Fire Roasted Poblano Chili, Grilled Fennel and Onion Pizza, Eggplant and Summer Squash Gratin, and Pumpkin Crème Caramel
Big Lantern – 3170 16th Street
Vegetarian Dim Sum Combination: Three veggie dumplings, three meatless chicken siu mais, and three BBQ meatless pork buns make up this plentiful dim sum platter. Customers not only love the variety of meat-free options, but rave about the availability: The dim sum is served all day long.
Other Dishes to Try: Black Mushroom with Bok Choy, Basil Meatless Chicken, Kung Pao Tofu
Cha-Ya - 762 Valencia Street
Cha-Ya Roll: One Yelp fan referred to this asparagus, avocado, yam, and carrot-filled roll as “deep fried goodness.” Another called it “amazing,” saying it was “one of the best vegetarian rolls” she’d ever had.
Other Dishes to Try: Sansai, Tonchi Nasu, Chaya-Delight
Gracias Madre - 2211 Mission Street
Guacamole con Tortillas: Diners often fill up on this delicious appetizer before the main meal is even served. Cilantro, onion, chile, and lime are expertly mashed with fresh avocado and served with warm corn tortillas that many fans simply called “delicious.”
Other Dishes to Try: Coliflor Con Queso Fundido, Papas Al Horno
Ken Ken Ramen – 3378 18th St
Miso Vegan Ramen: Vegan ramen lovers, rejoice! Many ramen dishes are made from eggs, which is why this soup is so special. The broth, noodles, and veggies are all vegan-friendly.
Minako – 2154 Mission Street
Almond Encrusted Tofu: Diners can’t get enough of this unique and tasty vegan treat, which makes a great addition to the restaurant’s other plentiful vegan options.
Other Dishes to Try: Vegan Chicken Karaage, Vegan Scallop, Vegan Eel Teriyaki
Mission Pie – 2901 Mission Street
Vegan Spiced Apple Pie: Several customers couldn’t help but notice that every bite of a Mission Pie delicacy is more delectable than the last, and the vegan options are no exception. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, this apple treat will do the job.
Other Dishes to Try: Vegan Tomato and Collard Pot Pie, Vegan Ginger Black Bean and Carrot Stew with Kale and Farro
Herbivore – 531 Divisadero Street
BLT Sandwich: You’ve never had a BLT quite like this. Traditional bacon is swapped for a flavorful tempeh version and served with vegannaise on sliced sourdough or whole wheat. Don’t worry; you’ll still find the classic tomato and lettuce combo on this vegan version, and the burger comes with a hearty helping of house potatoes.
Other Dishes to Try: Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Quinoa Tabbouleh, Vegan German Cake
Enjoy Vegetarian – 5344 Geary Boulevard
Sea Bass Eggplant: Locals agree that this faux fish dish ranks supreme. The eggplant “melts in your mouth” and the fish “tastes like sea bass” and is “so damn good!”
Other Dishes to Try: Lotus Root, Veggie Deluxe, Pai Pai Tofu Balls with Broccoli
Burma SuperStar – 309 Clement Street
Tea Leaf Salad: This one-of-a-kind salad incorporates ingredients like sunflower seeds, fried garlic, peanuts, and tea imported from (you guessed it) Burma. It’s so distinctive, it was even featured on the Food Network!
Other Dishes to Try: Pea Shoots
Samovar Tea House – 730 Howard Street
Jook: This savory Chinese rice porridge is served with a variety of tasty toppings like scallions, toasted garlic, peanuts, nori, cilantro, sriracha, and tamari soy sauce.
Other Dishes to Try: Tea Soup, Coconut Rice Pudding, Matcha Shake
Source – 11 Division Street
Baked Vegan Spinach Artichoke Fondue: With roasted peppers, spinach cashew cream, truffle oil, and pita bread (or living chips), this is a local favorite. As one Yelp reviewer notes, it’s “warm, gooey and delicious…crisp on the outside and moist and tender on the inside.”
Other Dishes to Try: Truffle Macaroni and Cheese (vegan version available), Source Salad, Moo Lettuce Tacos, Chipwich
Daily Health – 1235 9th Avenue
Garden Vegan Burger: This organic tofu burger is made from soybeans and veggies, and served on a toasted, organic whole-wheat bun with organic mixed greens, veggies, mustard, and mayonnaise.
Other Dishes to Try: Green Noodle Soup, Vegan Wrap, Vegan Mediterranean Plate
Holy Gelato! – 1392 9th Avenue
The Bomb: It’s hard to pick a favorite vegan treat at Holy Gelato!–just ask manager John Lee. But according to Lee, this soymilk-based chocolate/peanut butter combo that features swirls of vegan marshmallow sauce and vegan brownies is “super good–it’s one of our standouts.”
Other Dishes to Try: Spicy Chocolate, Irish Morning, Mango Sorbet
Patxi’s – 822 Irving Street
Vegan Pizza: Vegan pizzas can be tricky, but Patxi’s nails it with this spinach, crushed garlic, and red onion creation. The Daiya vegan cheese atop a whole wheat crust is so tasty that the dish is a favorite of non-vegans, too. “The regular pizza is fantastic,” one fan said of a meat-topped option. But “the vegan pizza was even better.” Another said “the pizza was so amazingly, incredibly, stunning, unbelievable, wonderful, and delicious that I thought I had died and gone to heaven.”
Millennium – 580 Geary Street
King Trumpet Mushroom and Hearts of Palm Ceviche: This clever spin on the Peruvian dish pairs mushrooms and hearts of palms with chili kumara coconut leche de tigre, avocado, heirloom tomato, Belgian endive, radish and crisp corn hominy. Perfect acidity and crunch!
Other Dishes to Try: Sweet Potato Tamale, Black Garlic Sweet Soy Glazed Tempeh, Crusted King Trumpet Mushrooms, Tempura Oyster Mushrooms
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