This is a list of restaurants with vegetarian options, not just restaurants that only serve vegetarian food. That doesn’t mean some of these fine San Francisco restaurants featured here aren’t exclusively plant-based: Rad Radish and Enjoy Vegetarian, for instance, leave all meat on the side. Imperial Garden Seafood Restaurant in the Bayview has an all-vegan dim sum menu. And Udupi Palace, Shizen, and Cha-Ya bring just the plants to the Mission District. But it’s also important to have restaurants, cafes, and even bars that bridge the gap for meat-eaters and herbivores. These 15 destinations in the city provide something for everyone in your dining party, as even the vegan options at these restaurants are lovely enough to convert the carnivore in your life.Read More
15 Bountiful Restaurants for Vegetarians in San Francisco
These restaurants make plants the star, not the side
Since 1979, Greens restaurant has been a proving ground for wickedly talented women chefs — starting, of course, with founding chef Deborah Madison, whose kitchen family tree also includes Annie Somerville, Denise St. Onge, and current Greens executive chef Katie Reicher. The landmark restaurant has been all vegetarian since day one and continues to star pristine local produce in spring rolls, salads, and pizzas. This longstanding San Francisco vegetarian dining room also offers stunning views of the bay and Marin Headlands beyond, though you can dine al fresco if you’d prefer.
Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant — which is run by a family of devout Buddhists — is also kosher, making the restaurants (one in the Sunset and one in Chinatown) a hit with those of many faiths. Where this Chinese-influenced spot really shines though is its soups, all of which are made with flavorful, hearty broths that put meat-based broths to shame.
Nourish Cafe SF
Nourish Cafe has two locations in San Francisco: one in the Inner Richmond, and another at 1030 Hyde Street in Nob Hill. Both locations, which are completely plant-based, serve juice, smoothies, bowls, and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch.
Thai Idea Vegetarian Restaurant
While most Thai restaurants have plenty of meatless options, this Tenderloin restaurant removed the guesswork, as all its offerings are meat-free — yes, that even means fish and seafood are off the menu. Dishes include classics like papaya salad and pad thai, and the spot also offers fresh takes on standards like fried rice and faux meat.
This fast-casual outfit from Mister Jiu’s chef Brandon Jew is a full-on delight, ranging from the vegan boba tea-inspired soft-serve sundaes to the sweet and sour cauliflower entrees. Relying on pineapple’s sweetness and a bit of pepper to balance — though a smart diner adds chili oil to really level things out — this veggie dish, alongside six other hearty and cheap options, makes a compelling case for quick vegetarian options in the Richmond and Noe Valley.
From the same team behind Wildseed comes breakfast vegetarian food (vegan, actually) every day of the week. The chicken and waffles are an inspired combination of red velvet beets, flaxseed-egg waffles, and Tindle chicken. For lunch, there are loads of sandwiches, burgers, and even flatbreads.
Beit Rima serves its exceptional hummus, falafel, and mezze to many Bay Area fans from its Castro and Cole Valley locations. It has a vegetarian-friendly menu, with the majority of items inherently free of meat. Must-orders include the ful (smashed fava bean spread with lemon relish, with a highly recommended optional soft-boiled egg), shakshuka, and delicata squash with brown butter lebneh and pine nut dukkah.
Craving tofuna? Shizen’s vegan sushi bar and izakaya offers a menu of rolls filled with creamy tofu and topped with imitation fish eggs made of tapioca, as well as tempura-fried veggies, bean curd skewers, and miso ramen.
Mohamed Aboghanem’s newest outfit in the Inner Sunset is just getting started, and the unsuspecting shop already shows promise. The former owner of Saha in Berkeley, Aboghanem has been cooking vegetarian and vegan food for well over a decade. The menu changes often, but expect dishes like wild mushroom knaffe, potato and sage tortes, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, baklava, and more.
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Cha-Ya Vegetarian Japanese Restaurant
Cha-Ya serves some of the tastiest — and prettiest — vegan Japanese fare you can find in the city, including delicate salads, hearty noodle dishes, and inventive sushi rolls. They’re back to indoor dining, takeout, and delivery five days of the week, Wednesday through Sunday.
Udupi Palace has faced some controversy over labor issues in the past, but promises to turn over a new leaf suggest vegetarians are free to enjoy the South Indian restaurant’s giant dosas, spicy curries, and sweet chutneys free of guilt over human (or animal) exploitation. Entree prices top out at around $14, even for dinner, so they’ll also fill you up without breaking the bank.
This Bernal Heights restaurant is not exclusively vegetarian, nor does it need to be. Chef-owner Greg Lutes’ restaurant landed on the Michelin Guide New Discoveries list in 2021, and it has an expansive patio, a YOLO (you only live once) wine pairing, and, thankfully, vegetarian items for the high-end diners, such as potato leek soup, casarecce (available gluten-free), and porcini mushroom and black truffle ravioli “francese.”
A favorite for sandwich-seekers on Ocean Avenue, Dinosaurs keeps two vegetarian options on its menu at all times. For $11.75 diners can score crispy tofu or roasted portobello banh mi at any of the business’ three San Francisco locations. Plus, the $10.90 tofu and taro spring rolls, complete with shreds of jicama and rice noodle, make a choice vegetarian side.
The Vegan Hood Chefs
Rheema Calloway and Ronnishia Johnson, the talented chefs behind this pop-up turned mainstay at Speakeasy in Bayview, cannot be praised enough. They cater, host classes online, and are big brunch advocates — plus their mac n’ cheese, a coconut milk-based riff, entirely changed the vegan game in San Francisco.
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Imperial Garden Seafood Restaurant
The almost 30-year-old Imperial Garden Seafood Restaurant reopened in spring 2023 with a focus on accessible dining. That means the old-school favorites for the locals supporting the business over the decades, yes, but also vegan dim sum. Fans can look forward to Impossible Meat siu mai, soy-based shrimp dumplings, and peanut tofu skewers.