Looking for the best vegan restaurants in San Francisco? You’ve come to the right place!
San Francisco is a cozy, cloudy hub teeming with tech culture, catered lunches, and inclines so steep they’ll make even the most hardened marathoner pant. It’s also home to the oldest and most vibrant Chinatowns in the United States and some of the most significant food innovators in the nation.
While California as a whole is known for its laid back vibe and abundant plant-based alternatives, San Francisco in particular is brimming with vegan restaurants and culinary diversity. To narrow the choices down, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the best vegan restaurants in San Francisco. And with a city like San Francisco, vegan restaurants are just the beginning. From non-profit leaders like La Cocina– an organization that empowers migrant women to start their own restaurants– to sustainability champions like Just– the creator of the Just Egg– you can count on the Bay Area for vegan food that not only tastes good, but does good.
Nourish Cafe in San Francisco
- Best For: Instagramable bowls and salads
- Price Range: $11 – $20
- Neighborhood: Nob Hill, Inner Richmond
If you’re looking for a cute cafe to camp out in, Nourish Cafe in San Francisco is a top contender.
With two, light-filled, indoor-outdoor locations, Nourish Cafe makes organic, non-GMO, and locally sourced ingredients a priority in every dish. The food, however, tastes anything but restricted. With decadent offerings like the dragonfruit acai bowl, savory mediterranean toast, and quinoa coconut waffles, no one would suspect that the creators of Nourish Cafe only use natural sweeteners and extremely minimal oils. Their mission– much like their ingredient list– is exquisitely concise.
Nourish Cafe hopes to help everyone eat healthier and feel amazing through a natural, 100% plant based diet. Can’t argue with that– especially when it involves vegan chocolate cheesecake.
The Butcher’s Son in San Francisco
- Best For: Brunch
- Price Range: $5 – $15
- Neighborhood: Berkely
The Butcher’s Son in Berkely is quite literally the cool older brother of plant-based, New York, brunch phenomenon The Butcher’s Daughter. With a bright, open kitchen, exposed brick walls and a high, beamed ceiling, the Butcher’s Son is the epitome of an industrial-chic haven. The space is half market, half restaurant– Eataly style, and every food item is entirely plant-based.
In true brunch fashion their menu ranges from a donut stuffed pancake to buffalo bacon ranch fried chicken– so you never have to choose between the two most important meals of the day. Don’t miss out on the pasta salad, chicken parm sandwich or homemade ‘twix bars’– sometimes it’s best to simply stick with what works– and in this case that’s the charm, quirk and all around deliciousness of The Butcher’s Son.
Gracias Madre in San Francisco
- Best For: Margaritas and Mexican
- Price Range: 15-25
- Neighborhood: Mission District
A guide to the best vegan restaurants in San Francisco would not be complete without Gracias Madre. An instant cult favorite in Los Angeles, Gracias Madre soon made its way to the Mission district of San Francisco and we are all so much better for it.
Expect a wait past six, especially on weekends, but pass the time chatting in their hand-painted, terracotta alcove or perched by the candlelit bar. With menu items like Coliflor Frito– a flash fried cauliflower head with spicy cashew cheese– and Flautas de Camote– crispy sweet potato tacos topped with guacamole and black beans, you’ll be glad you did.
Stop by before three for plantain french toast, tempeh chorizo chimichangas and some fabulous people-watching.
In a West-Coast climate already saturated with hip and affordable plant-based eateries, Gracias Madre is the effortlessly cool girl everyone wants to be best friends with– and for the paltry price of thirteen dollars per jalapeno margarita, now you can be. Thank you Mother.
Indochine Sushi in San Francisco
- Best For: Sit down sushi
- Price Range: 10-20
- Neighborhood: Mission District
This comfy neighborhood sushi joint is hidden in plain sight– tucked between hipster bars, late night Mexican food and vintage boutiques – so you might walk right past Indochine sushi. But with menu items like rice noodle lemongrass soup, avocado nigiri, and orange sesame bites, Indochine stands out from the crowd.
As one of the first restaurants to create completely plant based Korean food, the founders of Indochine are passionate about enabling an earth friendly diet for all regardless of nationality or socioeconomic status. The flavor and uniqueness of their cuisine is simply the best kind of side effect.
Finish off the night with rich vegan cheesecake, traditional mochi, and a warm farewell from the friendly staff.
Vegan Picnic in San Francisco
- Best For: On-the-go comfort food
- Price Range: 7-15
- Neighborhood: Cow Hollow
The 100% vegan cafe and marketplace Vegan Picnic is the perfect lunch-time (or, as of recently, brunch-time) pick me up. The intimate, serve-yourself space is perfect for take-away orders– and if that’s too much work, Vegan Picnic will even deliver to your home or office!
The menu is not only gloriously diverse, but full of hearty, childhood classics like the ‘Old School’ fish fillet, chicken and waffles, and deli-style egg salad sandwich that will satiate any crash or craving.
The creator of Vegan Picnic, inspired by her independently vegan children and disappointed by the quality of neighborhood, plant-based options, struck out to change the face of vegan comfort food. So far, it’s working.
Greens in San Francisco
- Best For: Splurgy Date Night
- Price Range: 10-30
- Neighborhood: Marina- the Docks
Greens is one of the most celebrated restaurants on the West Coast. Led by nationally acclaimed chef and author Annie Somerville, Greens is a Michelin Guide recommendation, as well as recognized as one of America’s best restaurants by Zagat– and for good reason.
The vibe– and cuisine, for that matter– is sophisticated and fresh, boasting panoramic, floor-to-ceiling views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, and the Marina.
The food can only be described as Avant-Garde. With a constantly rotating, seasonal menu, Greens is truly an experience.
Commit to an incredible evening with appetizer, dinner and dessert, or pop by for a mimosa with brunch. Whatever your timeframe, mind-frame, or budget, Greens Restaurant is a must in San Francisco.
VeganBurg in San Francisco
- Best For: Vegan Burgers
- Price Range: 10-20
- Neighborhood: Haight-Ashbury
VeganBurg, while located on the chaotic and historic intersection of Haight and Ashbury, is anything but a tourist trap. Widely known– and advertised– as the World’s First 100% Plant-Based Burger Joint (founded on October 10th, 2010, thank you very much), VeganBurg is at the forefront of a “global, plant-based revolution inspiring world-wide change”.
Well, if you got, it flaunt it– and VeganBurg certainly has something special. Their menu is packed with favorites like the Smoky BBQ, Creamy Mushroom, Hawaiian Teriyaki and Avocado Beetroot burgers– all pretty self explanatory– and all equally amazing.
Once you’ve ordered, find a coveted table in the lively, highly styled interior and munch on some Seaweed fries while you wait. And don’t forget to bring your non-vegan friends– VeganBurg is that good.
More Awesome Vegan Restaurants in San Francisco
Even among the progressive, plant-based food movement that has overtaken California, San Francisco’s innovative vegan restaurants clearly stand out from the crowd. With options ranging from a take-away deli joint to a formal, seaside dinner, the Bay Area has every plant base covered– and we haven’t even touched food truck culture.
Speaking of– both JackRabbit food truck (think juicy beet and carrot veggie burgers) and Momolicious (super-soft steamed dumplings) have incredible options. Flying Falafel, Loving Hut, and Shizen Sushi are also great vegan go-tos.
Lastly, to round out the vegan food phenomenon that is San Francisco, there is Salt and Straw for dessert. With strictly local and seasonal ingredients and a public commitment to paying workers a living wage, this Portland-based ice cream company– like most of the best vegan restaurants in San Francisco– doesn’t just taste good, it does good. Seconds, anyone?
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