The San Francisco Bay Area is known to be one of the most diverse places in the United States. Any kind of authentic and delicious cuisine from all over the world is practically available within the Bay Area. Additionally, the Bay Area residents are known to be health conscious for the most part, which allows the rise of plant-based/vegan options at almost any restaurant.
Some restaurants are even vegan-dedicated with dishes that are just as delicious, if not better, as the dishes containing meat. Below are 10 of the restaurants serving vegan dishes across different cuisines that anyone visiting the Bay Area should try!
1. Cha-Ya (San Francisco and Berkeley)
A Bay Area classic, Cha-Ya is a family-run restaurant that offers modern renditions of traditional Japanese dishes inspired by “Shojin Ryori,” or Japanese Buddhist cuisine, dating back to the 13th century. With specialty dishes such as vegan tempura, sushi rolls, and noodles, Cha-Ya will definitely satisfy your Japanese food cravings while visiting the Bay Area!
2. Vegan Mob (Oakland)
Craving for some authentic and delicious American BBQ and Soul Food? Then Vegan Mob’s got you! This Oakland-based restaurant serves up dishes based on recipes passed down through generations and is 100% plant-based. Their specialties include Smoked Plant-based Ribs, Brisket, and Links. Not only that, but they also serve classic Soul Food dishes such as Gumbo and Po’Boy! Vegan Mob is definitely the restaurant to visit when you’re looking to experience classic American dishes.
3. Gracias Madre (San Francisco)
Located right at the heart of the famous and historic Mission district in San Francisco, Gracias Madre is the city’s first plant-based Mexican eatery. Before the pandemic, the restaurant has always been crowded, and getting a table was always a challenge. The restaurant serves Mexican classics such as tacos, empanadas, and quesadillas and replaces cheese and meats common in traditional Mexican dishes with cashew cheese and mushrooms, respectively. With its location being probably the “most Mexican” place you can find in San Francisco, Gracias Madre is definitely where you want to be if you want to experience Mexican culture in the Bay Area.
4. Tadu Ethiopian Kitchen (San Francisco)
Ethiopian cuisine may not be something familiar to Indonesians, and chances are there is no one in Indonesia selling Ethiopian food. While Tadu Ethiopian Kitchen is not a vegan-dedicated restaurant, they have an extensive array of vegan dishes on their menu, including Kik Alicha Wot and Mushroom Tibs. Additionally, anyone eating Ethiopian food must not forget Injera, the Ethiopian sour fermented flatbread is traditionally the primary source of carbohydrate in Ethiopian cuisine and is also 100% vegan!
5. Mint & Basil (San Jose and Milpitas)
The San Francisco Bay Area is known to be home to large Vietnamese communities and countless delicious yet authentic Vietnamese restaurants. Mint & Basil is a Vietnamese restaurant that aims to serve flavorful and delicious dishes that are 100% vegan. They serve classic Vietnamese staples such as Pho, Spring Rolls, and Vermicelli Bowls alongside fusion dishes such as Orange Chicken. With 2 locations in San Jose and Milpitas over in the South Bay, this restaurant may be a good choice when you are visiting the Silicon Valley area.
6. Veggie Grill (Multiple Locations)
Looking to try some New American dishes? Then Veggie Grill is your answer. Veggie Grill is a fast-casual vegan restaurant originally from Los Angeles, but nowadays can be found across several states in the United States. They pride themselves in dishes many Indonesians may think of as the quintessential American food, such as burgers, salads, and cakes. Although the dishes are 100% vegan, they do not skimp on the dishes’ flavors and quality.
7. HiroNori Craft Ramen (Santa Clara)
HiroNori is a ramen restaurant originally founded in Southern California that prides themselves on various Japanese ramen dishes. Although HiroNori is not a vegan-dedicated restaurant, their Vegan Ramen is highly acclaimed and has received numerous remarkable reviews. With a rich sesame miso broth, this ramen will satisfy your ramen cravings when you are in the Bay Area!
8. The Butcher’s Son and Market (Berkeley)
The founders of The Butcher’s Son in Berkeley grew up in a family that owned an American-style diner known to serve some of the greasiest yet delicious dishes. They aim to recreate the traditional American diner dishes without a trace of the animal with dishes such as Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich, Steak Reuben Sandwich, and Steak & Cheese Sandwich. Aside from the restaurant, they also have a market where customers can purchase takeaway items.
9. Timeless Coffee (Oakland and Berkeley)
Timeless Coffee is the hangout spot for students and workers looking to study or have an afternoon break between their busy schedules. Although they specialize in small-batch coffee that can be found in drinks such as the oat milk latte, you should not skip on their pastries. The vegan cheesecakes, donuts, or pies pair up well with the drinks that will accompany your afternoon in between meals.
10. Shizen (San Francisco)
Shizen is an upscale vegan Japanese izakaya & sushi bar located at the heart of San Francisco. The restaurant was founded as a means of ocean conservation through a harmony of Japanese and Californian flavors in a unique setting. Put this restaurant on your list if you are thinking of enjoying a memorable dining experience when you find yourself in San Francisco!