The Best Vegetarian Restaurants In SF

Where to eat when you want more vegetarian options than "seasonal market sides."
The Best Vegetarian Restaurants In SF image

This city has a ton of restaurants perfect for vegetarians, and these 12 are proof. Some, but not all, are strictly vegetarian. Others serve a high ratio of really great vegetarian dishes. But what they’re definitely not are restaurants with larger-than-average salad sections or places with a little patch of wheatgrass on the counter. These are spots where the best things to eat truly are meatless. If you're looking for vegan options, head here.


photo credit: Carly Hackbarth



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This all-vegetarian Indian spot in the Dogpatch pulls from the make-your-own-rules playbook by remixing Gujarati dishes with new ingredients. Which is why you’ll find blue cheese in the fluffy parathas, and garlicky pea shoots and raita heaped atop tender Impossible kebabs. A meal at this small-plates spot is a great way to eat your way through the regions of Gujarat: a vegetarian mix of fire-roasted eggplant that tastes like it was forged in the flames of Mount Doom, housemade maska paneer, and other dishes inspired by the chef’s family.

If you’re in search of a peaceful meal full of vegetarian Japanese food, head to Cha-Ya in the Mission. This small spot offers dine-in on a first-come, first-served basis, and like a fine-tuned machine, there are almost always tables available immediately or after a short wait. Once seated, try the massive vegetable-topped soba salad, the thick curry udon, or one of the many sushi options, like the signature Cha-Ya roll with avocado, yam, asparagus, and carrot. The best part is that no matter how buzzing this place gets, it's always a few decibel levels lower than outside, so you can continue to relax after a day of baking in the sun at Dolores Park.

With over 100 vegetarian dishes and the ability to drop in and find a seat anytime, this Chinatown spot is the answer for meat-free Chinese comfort food. You’ll find delicious stir-fried noodles, soups, dumplings, and rice dishes, all made with soy-based chicken, pork, and duck. We recommend starting with the mushroom-and-cabbage-stuffed spring rolls, the steamed dumplings, and the vegetable-heavy chow mein. If you're on the other side of town, there's a second location of Enjoy Vegetarian in the Sunset.

The Arab restaurant for comforting dishes like whole fried branzino and beef kabob plates also has a lengthy vegetarian-friendly mezze section. The mezze section also just so happens to be the big reason we keep coming back. Go for the mezze sampler with Beit Rima’s all-stars: creamy lebna, muhammara, baba ganoush, and hummus. It comes with crispy falafels. Other vegetarian options at this casual spot (you order at the counter, and servers bring everything to the table) include the baked halloumi, hearty ful, and shakshuka.

photo credit: Greens



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Greens is a Marina institution that's been serving up entirely vegetarian dishes since 1979. The waterfront dining room in Fort Mason has tons of natural light, huge windows, and colossal wood sculptures, all of which create a beautiful setting for long, leisurely meals consisting of vegan spring rolls, pizza on cornmeal crusts, and fancy imported teas. The food at the groundbreaking restaurant won't blow your mind, but it doesn't need to—a meal at Greens will always be an experience to try at least once.

This Mission spot serves up meaty, vegetarian, and vegan options, all while under the gaze of a painting of a big red yak. Start with the momos, filled with a combination of mixed vegetables with chives and homemade masala, before digging into the baigun tarkari, a hearty minced eggplant cooked with onion, garlic, and spices like cumin and turmeric. Keep in mind: you can request all house specialties and curries as vegetarian or vegan, so this is a great spot to try as many dishes as possible.

Now with two locations, Burma Love has been serving some of the city’s best Burmese food for nearly 30 years. Whether you’re looking for a lovely lunch or a last-minute dinner, this place has you covered with an extensive menu. It includes everything from vegetarian samosa soup to Shan noodles (rice noodles cooked in a tomato sauce with pickled mustard greens, cilantro, peanuts, and tofu). Many dishes here can also be modified for vegan diners, too, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Udupi Palace is where you go when you want to show up in sweats, catch up with a friend for an hour, and eat some of the best dosas in the Mission. The ones at this South Indian vegetarian spot are perfectly crispy, filled with well-spiced potatoes, and, depending on the kind you get (like the mysore) are roughly the size and shape of a small briefcase. This small spot also does a saag paneer that’s heavier on the spinach, ultra puffy poori, fried samosas that get a boost of flavor from an array of chutneys, and a big curry section. And if getting dressed in sweats and casually popping in for a meal is still too much for you to handle, don’t stress. Udupi Palace also runs a solid takeout operation. 

Tartine Manufactory is an ice cream shop, bakery, coffee bar, and actual bar, all in one. And this Mission spot sends out everything from avocado toast and yogurt bowls to a bunch of dips perfect for slathering on their freshly baked bread. But if you’re looking for a morning pick-me-up, there’s nothing better than the loaded breakfast sandwich, with an egg, sharp cheddar cheese, arugula, and dill mayo on a sweet potato bun.

Wildseed fits in nicely with the health-minded places in Cow Hollow, and it looks like Free People, Key West, and Venice had a baby. This sort of scene-y spot specializes in plant-based, Italian and Mediterranean-leaning dishes of mostly passable pizzas, pastas, salads, and sharing plates. There’s a standout king trumpet mushroom ceviche, and a paprika-heavy chicory salad, and fruity juices and cocktails to match. Another perk is that this spot has a range—come for brunch/lunch, daily Happy Hour, or to sit in the bar to drink a spiked green juice after afternoon yoga.

Great for an after-work hang, this Nob Hill spot has everything we want after six hours of virtual meetings—or any other time we just really need pizza. Sitting near the wood-fired oven will have you debating which of their vegetarian pies to try as they come out hot and blistered, but our favorites include the margherita and the Bianca (mozzarella, ricotta, basil, and garlic). If you and your coworkers are particularly hungry, share some appetizers too, specifically the little gem caesar salad with a lemon-y dressing.

Whenever we want to keep things healthy-ish (or just really feel like starting off a morning with a damn good fruit smoothie), we go to Judahlicious. This place specializes in vegan and raw foods—from gigantic acai bowls to the No Shirt, No Shoes—a burrito bowl with black beans and rice, grilled vegetables, sesame tomato sauce, cashew crème, and tomatillo sauce. It’s a good spot to come hang out for a long casual breakfast or lunch.

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