San Francisco for Vegetarians
San Francisco for vegetarians is possible! 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.
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This is my San Francisco for vegetarians list:
Yank Sing – Vegetarian Dimsum
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. They have a full sampling of vegetarian dumplings.
One of my favorites is the pea shoot one, but they also have a mushroom, spinach, a mixed vegetable curry one, and several more. Yank Sing will satisfy vegetarians while pleasing meat-eaters as well. It is a win-win for everyone.
Yank Sing, 101 Spear Street
While the food is fabulous here, it would also probably win the award for the 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
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.
The Source is now permanently closed!
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. They specialize in organic food and have vegetarian, vegan, and “regular” items.
They have great salads that you can customize any way you 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.
Cha-Ya – Vegetarian Japanese
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 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
Vegetarian Food trucks
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 other 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.
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?
For a visual summary of this post, check out my San Francisco vegetarian restaurant web story!
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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.
These dishes look so great. As a vegetarian, it’s so hard to find good and healthy food to eat in my town.
@Candice, what area do you live in?
Spokane, WA. We are getting better, but I love when I travel to a bigger city with more options.
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.
@Fabian, which restaurant is magical? You provided a lot of detail, but not the actual name!
Such a great, diverse list. I love SF. I’m curious about those beet burgers!
@Colleen, they are delicious and I highly recommend them! And I am a meat-eater!
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!
@Jenna, I saw you are heading into the city soon, these are great places!
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!
The Spinach Dumplings look like Tortellini, I would eat it in a heartbeat!
I still dream of The Chairman! Cha-Ya is also so delicious. I was overwhelmed because I could eat everything on the menu!
@Olivia, I hear you, I have a problem when it comes to too many choices!
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!
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.
This is so helpful! I love San Francisco and layover there all the time, plus I’m vegetarian. I’ll definitely be hitting these places up soon.