Discover the vibrant culinary scene of San Francisco with our guide to the best vegan restaurants in the city. Indulge in a diverse array of enticing vegan and vegetarian dishes that showcase the finest in plant-based dining, making this city a haven for those seeking incredible vegan food.
Certain attractions turn up in every San Francisco guidebook. The sea lions at Pier 39, the cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, and so on, and so forth. Someone who’s never even set foot on the left coast could probably list the very same roundup of must-see sights and for good reason.
They’re unarguably iconic pieces of the city that add to its unique allure. However, if you only browse the list of the city’s greatest hits, you’ll miss out on richer adventures that would exceed even the most accommodating itinerary.
If you travel like me, mealtimes and restaurants are the most important part of the itinerary. Your options are nearly endless in this vegan-friendly mecca. Here you can stop just about anywhere and grab a bite to eat.
For a truly unforgettable culinary experience, the 100% plant-based establishments here are worth working into your schedule. So let’s explore the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in San Francisco!
Put on your nice shoes and live like a true gourmet! Exceptionally talented chefs are at the forefront of innovative cuisine, crafting meals beyond your wildest dreams. If you only have time for a quick visit, make sure you hit at least one of these bastions of fine vegan dining.
Founded by celebrity chef Matthew Kenney, you’ll find elevated Italian classics like lasagna, pasta, and pizza, plated with the finesse you’d expect of this James Beard Awards Rising Star nominee. Don’t worry about leaving hungry. Hearty plant-based meatballs served over soft polenta and buttery garlic knots make that an utter impossibility.
For dinner and a show, this North Beach institution is your go-to hot spot. Offering a menu of half-raw, half-cooked food, you can savor Bolivian delicacies while enjoying a night of music, dancing, and special performances. Pass the yucca fries and don’t miss a beat!
This is how we roll! It’s hands-down the best vegan sushi in SF. Shizen combines classic Japanese Buddhist culinary techniques with local, seasonal ingredients. This combination sushi bar and izakaya makes maki that you must see to believe. Seaweed pearls, spicy tofu, and actual FIRE? Yes! Order the “Candlestick” roll for a real showstopper that comes to your table spouting actual flames. Shizen SF is a must-visit spot.
Emphasizing seasonal ingredients with a vegetable-forward menu, this is California cuisine at its best. This is my personal favorite “special occasion” restaurant for celebrations. They offer plenty of botanically blended cocktails to raise a toast with. Even if you don’t have a budget to feast, make sure you go for happy hour to take advantage of discounted bites and drinks.
Eat well, be well, and enjoy every bite! You can get great meals that won’t weigh you down while still treating your taste buds.
Deeply nourishing smoothies and superfood bowls are the main draws to this serene oasis in the bustling Mission District. Even if all you do is sit at the hand-carved wooden bar and take in a pot of herb tea, you’ll feel fully recharged from the zen atmosphere.
From curry udon to stuffed miso-glazed eggplant, the flavors here are rich, not heavy. This family-operated vegan Japanese restaurant crafts contemporary Buddhist cuisine that everyone can appreciate. The Creamy Yasai noodle soup is one of my favorite soups of all time. Cha-ya also has a second location in Berkeley, California on Shattuck Avenue.
Looking for no gluten, soy, or GMOs? No problem! Though it’s pickup and delivery only, you don’t need to sit down before devouring these loaded bagel sandwiches and toasts. Order ahead for truly fast food that you won’t regret later.
A throwback to the hippie era of the 70s, you’ll find green juices, hot soup, raw desserts, and sprouts galore. Grab an acai bowl and take a hike. You’re just steps away from Land’s End for a hike or Ocean Beach for surfing on a nice day. This spot is a vegan raw food lover’s dream!
This cafe is home to healthy salads, hearty grain bowls, and baked goods made without refined flours or sugars. Located in two outposts across the city, it may sound spartan at first but makes no concessions when it comes to flavor. The grilled cheese sandwiches made with fresh pesto and tomatoes are downright decadent. The almond cake, drenched in chocolate ganache, is ultra-moist and utterly crave-worthy right down to the last crumb.
Best known for their decadent cakes, soft cookies, and buttery scones, you’d never know that these treats are all gluten-free and have no refined sugars. If you forget to leave room for dessert, don’t worry; they also ship their treats nationwide.
From nostalgic, homestyle dishes to simple sandwiches, you can fulfill all your comfort food cravings, no matter how mainstream or obscure. Head to the San Francisco hills to find these treasures.
If you love vegan brunch and all-day breakfast, then you’ll love this plant-based restaurant where everything is made in house. Choose from breakfast burritos, french toast, bagels and cream cheese, hash cakes, and more. Enjoy an extensive selection of single-origin, pour-over coffee, tea, and juices.
This worldwide vegan restaurant chain with over 200 locations has one independent outpost that calls San Francisco home. The extensive menu runs the gamut from Vietnamese to Chinese, with a dose of classic American fare in the mix. Spoon into steaming bowls of vegan pho while your dining companions dig into pesto noodles. Even for the indecisive diner, you really can have it all!
If you miss the nostalgic memories of eating at McDonald’s, you can have that again—but without the cruelty. Check out Mr. Charlie’s for similarly branded but completely vegan burgers, fries, and sandwiches. Grab a “Not a Double Double” cheeseburger, Not Chicken Nuggets, Big Chuck (with two Impossible patties, and Not a Chicken Sandwich to satisfy your fast-food cravings.
Starting a revolution with burgers and shakes, this national chain now features a twin concept that focuses on plant-based chicken as well. They’re both housed in the same Whole Foods Market so it’s one-stop shopping for your kale, fries, and nuggets.
Drop into this fast-casual restaurant located in the Hayes Valley District for delicious vegan comfort food. Grab a breakfast sandwich made with JUST Egg, vegan cheese, and your choice of tempeh bacon or Beyond Sausage. Choose from several signature pizzas, truffled mac and cheese, an Impossible Burger, a crispy chick’n sandwich, oat milk-based soft serve, and much more.
Hailing from Singapore, this is the first US location for the burgeoning vegan burger chain. They’re on a mission to make fast food sustainable. They’ve succeeded with their variety of plant-based patties, rich sauces, and toppers, with loaded fries on the side.
Veganburg offers a vegan kid’s meal and a bright, modern, and clean ambiance. They are located right at Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco. The founder of VeganBurg, Alex Tan, is one of the sweetest human beings on the planet. Don’t forget to grab a cone of plant-based soft serve for dessert!
Taking the Bay Area by storm, you can now find a food truck with the same smoky, slow-cooked BBQ proteins roving the Mission District for a quick fix. Get a combo plate to try a bite of as many sides as possible, because they’re all delicious. Their original location is right across the bay in Oakland, California.
When you’ve got a craving for adventure but don’t want to leave The Golden City, you can get a taste of the whole world right within this 7×7-mile peninsula.
Although vegetarian is in the restaurant name, be assured that their expansive menu is indeed all-vegan! Enjoy dishes with mock bbq pork, chicken, tofu, prawns, soy sea bass, spare ribs, and taro lamb. Choose from a large appetizer selection, several Chef Specials, tofu-based dishes, spicy entrees, and noodle and rice-based delights.
It’s the golden age of plant-based foods, and it’s always been that way in this gleaming Civic Center Asian-fusion eatery.
Craving sizzling teriyaki vegan chicken and sushi rolls? Add a side of kale salad and a tall glass of Thai iced tea, and you’ve found your new favorite spot. For the best experience, invite a group to tackle the extensive menu and enjoy a wider range of dishes.
Get your dim sum and then sum when you visit San Francisco’s Chinatown. There’s perhaps no place else on earth where you can get Taro Fish, which is a fried taro root shaped to look like whole sea bass, served family-style. Everyone should be so lucky as to eat here at least once. Any of the entrées are enough for two meals but save room for dessert! The cheesecakes are legendary.
Even if you do leave your heart in San Francisco, don’t leave your appetite at home! The dynamic culinary scene ensures a new and exciting dining experience every time.
Located in Phonobar, this Latin International Fusion restaurant offers an impressive menu. Enjoy their jackfruit crab cakes, ceviche tostadas or clam chowder (made with oyster mushrooms), truffle mac and cheese, and Impossible Burger with crispy string onions, coconut cheese, and salsa macha aioli!
This all-vegan restaurant offers comfort food classics and international dishes. Its rotating menu includes items like a chicken and waffle sandwich, laing (Phillipino dish), pad gra pow (Thai dish), a banh mi with teriyaki tofu, wet burritos, North African “lamb” kebabs, Korean kimchi fried rice, and Japanese Chicken katsu. It’s a perfect spot for those looking to expand their palates and learn more about global cusine!
Thai it, you’ll like it! Indulge your cravings without the fear of fish sauce or shrimp paste holding you back; there are only plant-based proteins in this kitchen. You can’t go wrong with any of the standard curries or noodle stir-fries, but you must try the Wing Bomb appetizer, which are crispy vegan drumsticks glazed in a sticky, sweet, and spicy sauce.
Sadly this spot closed in 2021, but we wanted to share it as a historical reference of a beautiful vegan eatery. Brought to you by the masterminds behind Millennium Restaurant, this was their more casual spin-off in the style of a speakeasy, complete with an unassuming, graffiti-covered entryway and low, romantic lighting. The pizzas were their claim to fame, made with thin, darkly blistered crusts and bubbling cashew cheese. Above Ground is dearly missed!
The first completely plant-based establishment to put down roots in the storied Mission District, Gracias Madre, has sadly closed their doors after 16 years. They still have two other locations in southern California so make sure to stop by when you’re in LA! Try their handmade tortillas with caramelized onion and sweet potato flautas, soy chorizo tacos, and so much more. Go for brunch to enjoy a horchata latte and keep the good energy flowing.
San Francisco has you covered when it comes to vegan-friendly restaurants. These options offer a diverse array of plant-based dining options for those seeking delicious vegan and vegetarian fare. Options may change depending on seasons and menu updates, so be sure to check the menu before you head out!
We hope you enjoyed this guide sharing the best vegan restaurants San Francisco, California has to offer! If we missed any of your favorite San Francisco vegan restaurants, please show them some love in the comments below. Many thanks to Hannah Kaminsky for her help with this article. Video by Michelle Cehn and Toni Okamoto. Cover photo credit: BAIA.