San Francisco for Vegetarians

San Francisco for Vegetarians

San Francisco for vegetarians is possbile! I have had several people reach out to me to say they were on their way to San Francisco and traveling with vegetarians and/or vegans and did I know some good restaurants to recommend.

Food is on my mind 24/7 and I am constantly seeking out new things to try in San Francisco (or wherever I go) so I have had the opportunity to eat at some great vegetarian spots or restaurants that cater extensively to vegetarians.  It is not something I seek out specifically but more and more of my friends and co-workers are vegetarians so I happily tag along and try their recommendations.

This is my San Francisco for vegetarians list:

Yank Sing

San Francisco for Vegetarians Spinach-Dumpling-Yank-Sing
Yank Sing’s Spinach Dumpling

I eat dimsum nearly every weekend.  I have tried many dimsum restaurants all around the San Francisco Bay Area and I think the only one that really has a robust offering for vegetarians is Yank Sing.  The have a full sampling of vegetarian dumplings.  One of my favorites is the pea shoot one, but they also have mushroom, spinach, a mixed vegetable curry one and several more.  Yank Sing will satisfy vegetarians while pleasing meat-eaters as well.  It is win-win for everyone.

Yank Sing, 101 Spear Street


 San Francisco for Vegetarians Greens-Lost-in-Cheeseland
Greens view, Photo credit: Lindsey of Lost in Cheeseland

While the food is fabulous here, it would also probably win the award for best view of any of these restaurants!  Located in Fort Mason on the water, you get amazing dishes with a stunning backdrop.  It is a vegetarian-only restaurant that my Parisian blogging pal Lindsey of Lost in Cheeseland visited this spot on her last trip and her raving review piqued my interest.  When I visited I had the farro risotto and it was amazing!

Greens, 2 Marina Boulevard, Fort Mason Building A


San Francisco for Vegetarians Source-Beet-Burger
Source Beet Burger, Photo Credit: Baking Me Hungry

A strictly vegetarian and vegan restaurant would it surprise you that one of the best burgers I have ever had was their beet burger? Insane, but true.  It is sensational (my one complaint is that it should be served on a “real” bun rather than a pita, but that is minor)!  Order that along with their Orange Julius smoothie and you will forget where you are.  I think this is one of the least-known best vegetarian restaurants in the city.  They have great pizzas, amazing fries and a wide variety of cuisines that appeal to everyone.

Source, 11 Division Street

The Plant

San Francisco for Vegetarians The-Plant-Salad
One of their many salads, courtesy The Plant website

The Plant has several locations, one happens to be right across the street from my office which has allowed me to explore a lot of their menu.  There is also a great location next to Pier 7, as well as a few other spots around the city.  The specialize in organic food and have vegetarian, vegan and “regular” items.  They have great salads that you can customize any way your want, pizzas, burgers, noodles dishes, you name it. Lots of great juice options and Blue Bottle drip coffee. Yummy!

The Plant has various locations in San Francisco.


San Francisco for Vegetarians Food-Librarian-Cha-ya
Cha-Ya dish, Photo credit: The Food-Librarian

Despite eating a ton of dimsum, my favorite cuisine is Japanese.  I have not met a Japanese dish that I didn’t like.  If you are a vegetarian and like Japanese, you are in for a real treat at Cha-Ya.  I tried the buckwheat soba noodles and agadashi tofu.  I normally have soba with a protein, but the version here has so many different kinds of vegetables piled on top, I didn’t miss it! The sushi is great too.

Cha-Ya, 762 Valencia Street

Food trucks

San Francisco for Vegetarians The-Chairman-Tofu-Bao
Crispy Miso Cured Tofu with Garlic-Tofu Mayo & Baby Choy Sum, photo courtesy The Chairman

I am a bit nuts for food trucks.  Here in San Francisco most food trucks have at least one vegetarian item.  Two of my favorites are the Tofu Teriyaki Zen at KoJa Kitchen and the Crispy Miso Cured Tofu with Garlic-Tofu Mayo & Baby Choy Sum from The Chairman.

Lastly, there are a ton of juice shops popping up all over the city, from the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building to every corner in the Financial District (lucky me!).  There is Thrive, Native, Pressed and Juiced to You.  But my favorite by far is The Juice Shop.

Their cold-pressed method makes all their juices taste bright and fresh (sorry that is the only way I can describe them) in a way I don’t quite get with the others shops.  I am particularly nuts for their Five Seed Juice and their cold-pressed Lemonade.  No matter where you go, these juices are sure to please any vegetarian or vegan.

San Francisco for Vegetarians The-Juice-Shop
The Juice Shop, Photo credit: Anne Sage

There are many, many more vegetarian restaurants in San Francisco, I just haven’t tried them all yet!

Here are a few additional resources for vegetarian and vegan spots:

SFist > Best vegetarian restaurants

Bay Area Vegetarians > Top 10 Vegetarian Restaurants

7 x7 Magazine > 50 Vegetarian (Or Vegan) Things to Eat Before You Die in SF

How about you?  Have you been to other vegetarian restaurants around the city that you can recommend?

Check out other delicious vegetarian delights around the world, visit my Wanderlist on AFAR dedicated to just that!

Like it? PIN it!

San Francisco for Vegetarians




  1. The Wanderfull Traveler
    August 22, 2013

    Gwyneth Paltrow highly recommends the Juice Shop but unfortunately they do no deliver to Canada.
    Maybe I’ll see if I can sneak a couple bottles in my luggage – fingers crossed they don’t break.


  2. Candice
    August 23, 2013

    These dishes look so great. As a vegetarian, it’s so hard to find good and healthy food to eat in my town.

    1. Andi Fisher
      August 24, 2013

      @Candice, what area do you live in?

  3. Candice
    August 24, 2013

    Spokane, WA. We are getting better, but I love when I travel to a bigger city with more options.

  4. Fabian J. Schultz
    August 26, 2013

    This is a magical place for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. I have been going here with my boyfriend for years and there’s no other place in the city that I would rather eat at. The top three things to be ordered are: Spare ribs, Spicy Fish (made with eggplant) and the wonton soup. It’s always best to be a little exploitative and try the fake meat. It’s very good! The owners are very sweet and work very hard to make a great menu. It’s an authentic lil’ hole in the wall shop with all kinds of people enjoying great food. It’s much better than anything you’ll find in Chinatown.

    1. Andi Fisher
      August 29, 2013

      @Fabian, which restaurant is magical? You provided a lot of detail, but not the actual name!

  5. Colleen Brynn
    August 29, 2013

    Such a great, diverse list. I love SF. I’m curious about those beet burgers!

    1. Andi Fisher
      August 29, 2013

      @Colleen, they are delicious and I highly recommend them! And I am a meat-eater!

  6. Jenna
    October 2, 2013

    I missed this post earlier and am so glad i saw it now. I used to be vegetarian but eat a bit of meat now, but I prefer to eat vegetarian. some of these dishes look and sound just amazing!

    1. Andi Fisher
      October 6, 2013

      @Jenna, I saw you are heading into the city soon, these are great places!

  7. Charu
    October 3, 2013

    These are amazing! Thanks so much for writing, I’d come back there and try these in a heartbeat. And you ‘ve inspired me to do a similar post on New York City!

  8. Heather
    November 23, 2013

    The Spinach Dumplings look like Tortellini, I would eat it in a heartbeat!

  9. Olivia
    December 14, 2013

    I still dream of The Chairman! Cha-Ya is also so delicious. I was overwhelmed because I could eat everything on the menu!

    1. Andi Fisher
      December 14, 2013

      @Olivia, I hear you, I have a problem when it comes to too many choices!

  10. md Kennedy
    December 14, 2013

    I’ve never heard of a beet burger, but I am now intrigued. Guess ‘ll have to get my butt to San Francisco again soon!

  11. Shannon
    October 4, 2015

    I love beet burgers as well. I make them all of the time from Isa’s PPK recipe. I also saute the greens with chopped onions and serve with a little red wine vinegar and feta cheese, salt and pepper. It is one of our fave meals ever.

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