Top 10 Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in San Francisco in 2023

Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in San Francisco

If you are looking for delicious and nutritious vegan and vegetarian restaurants in San Francisco, we’ve got you covered! San Francisco consistently ranks in the top 5 U.S. cities that are best for vegans and vegetarians. There are so many healthy, plant-based restaurants in S.F. that you can have fun working your way down the list while simultaneously exploring the city’s unique and vibrant neighborhoods.

To help you get started, we’ve reviewed the best of San Francisco’s vegan and vegetarian restaurants to come up with a Top 10 list based on positive reviews, affordability, and of course, deliciousness. There’s truly something for everyone in this list of vegan and vegetarian food options, from casual breakfast spots to fine dining and a variety of cuisines including American, Mexican/Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, and Italian.  Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents:

1. Wildseed
2. Vida Cantina
3. Golden Era Vegan Restaurant
4. Peña Pachamama
5. Thai Idea Vegetarian Restaurant
6. Ananda Fuara
7. Shizen Vegan Restaurant
8. Nourish Cafe
10. Loving Hut Vegan Cuisine

1. Wildseed

wildseed - vegan restaurants in san francisco
Source: Wildseed

Wildseed is one of the most well-known 100% vegan restaurants in San Francisco, and for good reason. It serves a wide variety of globally-inspired dishes, from curries to pizza to baba ghanoush. Despite the global cuisine, all of Wildseed’s ingredients are sourced locally in Northern California, with an emphasis on using fresh seasonal foods that pack a powerful punch of flavor. The menu changes seasonally, although favorites like the Mexican corn cakes stick around on the menu. With local sourcing comes not only delicious organic meals, but also a lower carbon footprint from transporting non-seasonal foods from abroad.

Everything about Wildseed screams California, from their eclectic booth patterns and flowery wallpaper to comfy blankets in their outdoor seating. Located on posh Union Street in the Cow Hollow neighborhood (between Pacific Heights and the Marina), Wildseed mixes earthy ambiance (lots of wood and plants) with fancier metallic decor. Wildseed makes for a perfect date night or a nice drinks meet-up with friends, and has a lovely patio for warmer evenings.

Wildseed offers brunch, lunch and dinner and is also famous for their house cocktails made from exciting fresh ingredients. While their food is on the slightly more expensive side, with entrees averaging around $17, you can get the experience for less at their happy hour, Monday-Friday 3-5pm.

As owner Adriano Paganin explains, Wildseed is “a place where you can feel good about the decisions you are making.” The Wildseed website notes that their food is “GOOD FOR YOU. GOOD FOR THE PLANET. GOOD FOR THE SOUL.” And if all the glowing reviews are evidence, this is definitely true!

2. Vida Cantina

vida cantina - veegetarian restaurant san Francisco
Source: Vida Cantina
  • Where: 56 Belden Pl, San Francisco, CA 94104 (Pine & Kearney) (Financial District)
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • $$
  • Best for: Fast service
  • Google rating: 4.8
  • Must-try dish: Baja oyster mushroom taco

This 100% plant-based Mexican restaurant surprises everyone – in a good way. For a cuisine based largely around meats, Vida Cantina provides delicious Mexican vegan dishes that many reviewers say compete with traditional taquerias. You can get everything you love in vegan form, from burritos to tacos to enchiladas, with sharp traditional flavors and creative sauces like their homemade cashew crema.

Vida Cantina is the true star of Belden Place, not far from the hustle and bustle of downtown and within walking distance of the Embarcadero. We recommend eating outside on their patio if it’s nice, but there’s a lovely interior as well. Vida Cantina is only open from 5-9pm, so it’s best for date night or a nice dinner with friends. The only drawback is that reviewers note, correctly, that their beer list is somewhat limited. However, they more than make up for this with a long list of cocktails and fruity mocktails.

We recommend this restaurant even if you’re dining with non-vegans. Check out the review below.

What customers have to say: Even before the food, who does not love Belden Pl? SF needs many more of these lively and fun alleyways! Vida Cantina takes full advantage of this location with some outdoor seating, almost making you feel like you’re in another city. As for the food, the options are more or less your standard Mexican fare, but done really well as fully plant-based dishes. Most non-vegans I know scoff when you say you’re eating at a fully vegan Mexican place. But aside from myself, the whole table I was with was not vegan and all thoroughly enjoyed their food. Two of us got plates of tacos, while the other two got different enchiladas. It was all quite delicious.” -Elite Yelp reviewer Jon T.

3. Golden Era Vegan Restaurant

  • Where: 395 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102 (cross St Larkin) (Civic Center)
  • Cuisine: Asian (Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, and Thai)
  • $$
  • Best for: A varied menu
  • Google rating: 4.5
  • Must-try dish: Vegan spicy shrimp

Golden Era offers your favorite Asian dishes – but now completely vegan. They offer an extremely wide selection of plant-based dishes, from traditional (vegan) Vietnamese pho to a Japanese sweet potato curry. Several reviews note that they’ve been to Golden Era multiple times and keep coming back to try something completely new! Reviewers also note the authenticity of the food, despite much of it relying on imitation meats.

This makes for a great lunch or dinner, and is located conveniently in Civic Center, near the Opera House and Asian Art Museum. The only downside is that parking can be a little tricky, so leave time to get a spot. However, unlike some of the other casual dining choices in the area, the inside of the restaurant is large and comfortable, giving you plenty of space to enjoy your meal, and it’s not too loud. All the greenery inside also provides a very relaxing atmosphere where you can eat your plant-based meals surrounded by…plants!

The large menu can leave some people a bit overwhelmed, so here are a few dishes we (and other reviewers) highly recommend:

  • Sweet Orange: This dish made of batter-fried soy protein coated in sweet and sour orange sauce will satisfy anyone craving the satisfying tang of traditional American-Chinese orange chicken. This is a definite must-try.
  • Vegan spicy shrimp: These battered-and-fried vegan shrimp come served on top of a heaping mound of fresh vegetables. These are a fan favorite.
  • Bánh Xèo: This Vietnamese crepe filled with tofu, mushrooms and other vegetables perfectly mirrors the classic version, but without any egg. This dish is herby and fresh, and we can’t get enough.
  • Thai Iced Tea: Who doesn’t love a completely vegan thai iced tea? Enough said.

What customers have to say: I’ve been here twice & still want to come back to try more dishes! The ambience is a comfortable spacious vibe.  You don’t feel distracted by other tables and are engaged with your own table the way it’s set up. The food is amazing for being vegetarian.  The imitations of the original Vietnamese dishes such as BBH, Banh Xeo, Spring rolls, imperial rolls, and the fake meats are pretty spot on…  -Elite Yelp reviewer and SF local Julia L.

4. Peña Pachamama

pena pachamama - vegan restaurants in san francisco
Source: Peña Pachamama
  • Where: 1630 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133 (cross st. Union) (North Beach)
  • Cuisine: Bolivian
  • $$
  • Best for: Live music and dancing
  • Google rating: 4.5
  • Must-try dish: Bolivian Combo Plate (Empanadas, Vegetables)

Peña Pachamama is where you’ll find the party! Located in colorful, culture-filled North Beach, Peña Pachamama is a San Francisco landmark – so much so that San Franciscans are currently petitioning to make it a Legacy Business Landmark. While Peña Pachamama is quite well-known for its delicious vegan Bolivian cuisine, it’s also a famous music hall that hosts Latin Fusion World Music Nights. The music hall was once one of San Francisco’s most famous speakeasies, which drew famous personalities from Hollywood and beyond. Today, the restaurant is known as a “magical oasis” of music, dance, and delicious plant-based food.

Their traditional Bolivian food is completely vegan and organic, and features a wide variety of dishes like yuca fries, plantains, and empanadas. Come for the food, but stay for the live music. You might even be inspired to dance! Then top off your evening with one of their decadent desserts like fresh coconut cream pie or a chocolate taco crepe. The food is delicious, and so is the ambience. In fact, SF Weekly called Peña Pachamama “the friendliest, most inviting night spot in the city.”

Luckily, this lively experience is even accessible by public transportation, as it’s located near several different Muni stops.

What customers have to say: I rediscovered this place and wondered to myself why I don’t come more often?  It’s truly an artist joint with so much history and so much beautiful creative energy flowing…The musicians are also the owners and they are so connected to the audience, while they’re playing- makes you feel like you’re in somebody’s home.  The food – so full of flavor! It’s so much better than the fancy vegan restaurants in San Francisco – I was really really delighted to come to this very multicultural and creative spot. Made me feel as though I was in another time and location. Very special vibe.” -Yelp reviewer and San Francisco local Layla M.

5. Thai Idea Vegetarian Restaurant

This Thai restaurant is completely vegetarian, and about 85% vegan. At Thai Idea, you can feel good about your eating choices without sacrificing any flavor or quality. Located right off of Van Ness in Little Saigon, you can count on delicious Asian food in a casual setting perfect for a quick lunch or easy dinner. The restaurant is typically fairly quiet, even when it’s busy, so you won’t have trouble making conversation.

Not only is the food delicious and affordable, but the staff are also incredibly attentive. This restaurant is perfect for anyone who loves classic Thai meals, but doesn’t want the fish sauce that’s usually included! Their dishes taste just the same, and they offer a huge selection of proteins, including tofu and vegan chicken, beef, shrimp, and duck.

While Thai Idea does serve alcohol, their beer and wine list is somewhat limited, although they have lots of non-alcoholic drinks to choose from.

What customers are saying: Elite Yelp reviewer (and nine-year repeat customer) Lanie L. raves about Thai Idea, saying it’s ahead of its time. This is what she says about their dish, Firecracker Balls: “Oh the balls of glory! Deep-fried Panko-crusted sushi pieces with what tastes like Ahi tuna & mayo on the inside. YUM. Everyone loves these, vegan or not. It’s just so crispy and warm, slightly gooey once you bite into it, and warm. GET THIS.” Who are we to argue?!

6. Ananda Fuara

ananda fuara - vegan restaurants in san francisco
Source: Ananda Fuara

Ananda Fuara translates to “Fountain of Delight” – and this vegetarian restaurant is just that. Located on Market Street, Ananda Fuara provides a peaceful ambiance that provides a nice break from the hustle and bustle of downtown. While they don’t have outdoor seating, nearly every review on Yelp mentions Ananda Fuara’s calming indoor setting, friendly staff, and all around “good vibes.” You can enjoy your delicious meal while relaxing, knowing you’re doing your part to protect the planet – and having fun doing it!

We recommend Ananda Fuara for brunch and lunch, although they do serve “dinner all day” starting when they open at 11am. They have delicious brunch options (try their vegan gingerbread pancakes) as well as a huge variety of burgers, wraps, and sandwiches. Some of their vegetarian food is Indian-inspired, like their dal and samosas, or their Curry Dinner which offers curries from across India with traditional sides like chutney, rice, and naan. Other menu items are more traditionally American, like chicken nuggets, or global, like their Mexican bowl or Greek salad.

Finally, Ananda Fuara is a mere block away from the Civic Center BART station, making it super easy to access.

What customers are saying: This place rocks! Awesome vegetarian meatloaf, awesome tea, good vibes… need couches! Need more space! Need an outdoor patio. They have some of the BEST vegetarian food on Market! Try their mango lassi too!” -Yelp reviewer and San Francisco local Robert L.

7. Shizen Vegan Restaurant

shizen - vegan restaurants in san francisco
Source: Shizen
  • Where: 370 14th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (cross st Valencia) (Mission District)
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • $$
  • Best for: Simple menu, Creative food
  • Google rating: 4.7
  • Must-try dish: Any of their specialty rolls

Shizen offers the feel of an upscale Japanese restaurant, but without the price tag. This is one of the fancier restaurants on this list, but the beautiful, architectural decor and wooden accents still feel casual and accessible.

Shizen is self-described as “an experiment in ocean conservation through responsible dining.” Through their 100% plant-based menu, Shizen provides the full sushi experience while reducing resource use and protecting animals. They offer a fully vegan sushi bar and izakaya, a type of Japanese bar that serves alcoholic dishes and small dishes and snacks. If you’re not a fan of imitation meat, this place is for you; Shizen uses traditional Japanese ingredients like tapioca, mountain yam, and bean curd to provide complex flavors and satisfying sushi rolls.

Their specialty sushi rolls are where Shizen really shines. Each with its own fun name, the rolls feature a huge variety of exciting ingredients, from shitake mushroom and pickled mango to seaweed pearls. Each roll has at least 5 unique ingredients, and some are…more unique than others. For example, their menu lists “suspense” as the final ingredient in their Surprise Ending roll, and “fire” as an ingredient in their Candlestick roll. Nearly every Yelp review mentions the specialty rolls, with each reviewer listing a different one as their favorite!

Reservations are required for their dining room, and they only allow parties of four or fewer. You can walk-in to the sushi bar, but the maximum party size is two people. Located near the Mission and right off Highway 101, Shizen is very easy to get to as long as you can find parking.

What customers are saying: Was very curious about what vegan sushi would taste like – would it contain beyond meat or something?? Short answer: no.

We were blown away by the flavor in each of the rolls we ordered. The sushi was artistically plated, and it was interesting to see how various ingredients were shaped to look like their fish equivalents, I.e. layer of salmon on top of roll.  

Even though I am not vegetarian, would definitely come back!” -Elite Yelp reviewer and San Francisco local Amy L.

8. Nourish Cafe

nourish cafe - vegetarian restaurants in san francisco
Source: Nourish Cafe

When most people think of a vegan cafe, they probably think of something close to Nourish Cafe. Nourish Cafe does “traditional vegan” well, featuring a wide variety of 100% vegan grain bowls, salads, smoothie bowls, and sandwiches. Every bowl is packed full of fresh ingredients like avocado, yams, radishes, and more. Their food uses only natural sweeteners, minimal oils, and lots and lots of whole grains. Nourish Cafe also uses only sustainable, local ingredients that have a low carbon footprint, and offers compostable takeout containers, straws and cutlery so you can enjoy your delicious meal with a lower impact.

Nourish Cafe has two locations, one near Union Square on 6th Ave, and one near the Presidio on Hyde Street. Both offer outdoor seating as well as indoor seating. While Nourish Cafe makes for a great brunch or lunch with friends, many people also go alone to do some work while grabbing a bite to eat. The outdoor seating is on a busy street, so for a quieter experience, we recommend eating inside.

While some reviewers note that the food doesn’t always taste exactly like the non-vegan food it’s going for (after all, it can be difficult to make a vegan grilled cheese), you can depend on healthy, fresh ingredients that taste delicious.

We recommend trying any of their bowls, including the smoothie bowls, to really get the most bang (fresh fruits and veggies!) for your buck. For example, the Golden Gate Bowl is jam-packed with brown rice, cabbage, avocado, yams, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, roasted mushrooms, mixed greens, and a red pepper almond dressing. Whew, that’s a lot! Unsurprisingly, reviewers also note that the services are quite large and leave you fully satisfied.

What customers are saying: Everything was delicious – the smoothie was the real standout. The sandwiches didn’t taste like their names/what they were trying to be. If you go in hoping for a Banh mi or grilled cheese you’ll be disappointed. If you go in wanting a healthy, fresh ingredient, yummy, filling sandwich you’ll walk away very happy!” – Elite Yelp reviewer Isaac A.


baia - vegan italian restaurant in san francisco
Source: BAIA
  • Where: 300 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (cross st. Franklin) (Hayes Valley)
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • $$$
  • Best for: Elegant dining space, best vegan cheese dishes
  • Google rating: 4.4
  • Must-try dish: Lasagna

BAIA offers completely plant-based Italian dishes, from pizza to pasta to classic appetizers like mozzarella sticks and bruschetta. Slightly more upscale, you can count on impeccable service, elegant decor, and, of course, delicious food. The menu changes fairly frequently, allowing you to get the best of the best no matter what kind of produce is in season. What’s more, BAIA knows how to make above-average vegan cheese, and shows it off in most of their dishes.

BAIA is located right in Civic Center, right across from the San Francisco Opera House on Grove Street. BAIA would be a perfect place to grab a nice dinner before catching a show at the Opera House, Zellerbach Hall or the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium! Parking can be tricky here, but the restaurant is located right next to a parking garage.

While they offer a fairly wide variety of Italian dishes, it’s their simple lasagna that consistently gets rave reviews.

What customers are saying: Baia knows how to impress. I’ve never dreamt of a vegan lasagna capable of tasting so heavenly. I’ve ordered the vegan lasagna to go after eating at Baia and it tastes just as good. The Milanese was tasty as well with the vegan chicken cutlet cooked to perfection…The ambiance is 10/10 and has a romantic, classy vibe.” – Elite Yelp reviewer Jade J.

10. Loving Hut Vegan Cuisine

If you’re looking for comfort Chinese takeout (or eat in), look no further than Loving Hut. This vegan Chinese chain restaurant offers classic and casual Chinese food for very affordable prices. It’s extremely casual, so it’s likely best for a quick lunch or takeout.

While this food may not be particularly healthy or fancy (much of it is fried!), it’s extremely delicious. Wiith that being said, we recommend going all in on the fried food – it’s really what they do best! For example, their Ocean Basket features a variety of fried “seafood” substitutes like imitation shrimp and mushrooms. It comes with a delicious dipping sauce that, according to reviewer Yan Z. is “very good and indistinguishable from non-vegan sauce.” They also have plenty of healthier options like tofu soups and salads.

You can find Loving Hut in the Inner Sunset, on Irving Street near Golden Gate Park. We recommend grabbing takeout and walking a few blocks for a picnic in Golden Gate Park, where you can sit on the grass or check out the nearby botanical gardens. If you’re not up for a walk, they do offer indoor and patio seating.

What customers are saying: “This Loving Hut is fantastic! I love that each location is different. The veggies here are super fresh, the vegan meats are flavorful and really unique to this spot. The menu is so huge it’s almost impossible to make a decision – but we were aiming for a light lunch and opted for the golden spring rolls, Chinese broccoli delight, and orange sesame bites with white rice. I highly recommend all but will say with absolute certainty that we’d try something different next time just because there’s so many interesting sounding dishes. I’m especially coming back to try their desserts.” – Elite Yelp reviewer Rachel S.

We hope this list of popular vegan and vegetarian restaurants has inspired you to get out and enjoy some healthy plant-based cuisine! Please let us know in the comments if you went and what your experience was, or if you have some other favorites to add to the list!

Republic of Green is your destination for green news, events, and more. Looking for additional vegan restaurants in San Francisco or elsewhere? Check out the Vegan Restaurants listings in the RoG Green Business Directory for additional plant-based restaurants to love.

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