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Take It From a Local: 8 Vegetarian Options in San Francisco

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Azalina Eusope SF Chef and Rest Owner PicmonkeyAzalina Eusope serves Malaysian food

By Paula Keung

The name San Francisco is derived from Saint Francis of Assisi, a Roman friar who was canonized in 1228. What’s interesting about Saint Francis is that he is the patron saint of animals and the environment. So it is only natural that the vegetarian lifestyle is so popular in the scenic City by the Bay. We tapped into the veg-scene via two locals, Mirran and Jenny, who shared with us some of the best places for deliciously conscientious dining.

Mirran Raphaely, Founder & CEO at FLOW GLOBAL

“I’m a lifelong vegetarian at 41 and have never eaten meat, fish or fowl. Our unparalleled quality of produce combined with the creative talents of food entrepreneurs who truly care about their wares makes this an ideal city for vegetarians!” Here are her picks:


Lunch Place - Seed + Salt (2240 Chestnut St.)

“A wonderful eatery created and maintained with thoughtfulness, high standards, love and culinary talent. Everyone feels so good being there and eating there! The raw vegan lemon curd is made in heaven, while the “Not Tuna Salad" has inspired me to drive from the East Bay just for it!”


Gourmet - Sons & Daughters (708 Bush St.)

“Part of a small restaurant group, it owns a private farm that supplies the produce and ingredients used in their recipes. This place offers a vegetarian pre-fixe menu worth every penny of the $115 charge. Call in advance for a reservation or book online.”

Veg Options - Azalina's (1355 Market St.)

“Best Malaysian street food ever. There’s a reason for the hype—it’s not fully vegetarian but has amazing choices for those interested. Find them in a couple of places, including The Market on Market. Try the Pineapple Tea Leaf Salad.”

Jenny Phu, Web Analyst & Designer

“Foodies here are an adventurous bunch; we appreciate the value of good food whether it's from a street vendor or a Michelin-star restaurant. Or maybe we just eat everything! SF offers a big city feel in a small seven-mile square. We have just about everything—including amazing food, and we joke that this place is so awesome people travel from afar just to see our prisons. Hashtag 'Alcatraz.'” Here are her favorite vegetarian spots in San Francisco:


Casual - Thai Idea (710 Polk St.)

“This is in a dingy part of town, but the inside is really comfortable and the food is super tasty. There are many great Thai restaurants in town, but if you're looking for strictly vegetarian, this is the place.”


Brunchtastic - Red Door Cafe (1608 Bush St.)

“Red Door is a small vegetarian brunch spot that is run by an eccentric, fun owner who you might love...or not. He has interesting choices in clothing. The food is really good-the decor is what people will notice first, second are the menu item names. I ordered the Brie Whore the other day. MMMMM!”


Mexican - Gracias Madre (2211 Mission St.)

“Mexican food with a twist. Everything here is vegan. The menu changes based on what’s in season, but I wait every year for their strawberry cheesecake, which is almond-crusted, vegan, and gluten-free. Ssooooo good.”

Gluten Free - Pica Pica (401 Valencia St.)

“Although not fully vegetarian, this wonderful little place serves amazing 100% gluten free Venezuelan food. Not fancy but certainly yummy! Their nachos are made with taro chips.”


All Vegan - Loving Hut (1365 Stockton St.)

“I first discovered this vegan Vietnamese chain in Honolulu years ago. Locally I go to the North Beach location, but there is one in Westfield Centre, as well as in the suburban Sunset neighborhood. If you wander over to Oakland, check out Golden Lotus.”

Editor’s Note:   If you’re planning a visit to San Francisco you can visit the websites of hundreds of local Lodging and Dining options, as well as many purveyors of Craft Beer, at Taste California Travel’s Resource Directory.

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