Veg out with San Francisco's top all-plant options for World Vegan Day

Every year since 1994, people have been celebrating World Vegan Day on November 1. That being said, you don't have to be a strict vegan to enjoy San Francisco's vegan fare.

The city offers plenty of top-notch vegan options from which to choose. To help, Hoodline combed through Yelp data and applied our own secret sauce to come up with the best destinations for vegan eats in San Francisco.

1. Shizen

Photo: Dhinal C./Yelp

Topping the list is all-vegan sushi bar and izakaya Shizen. Located at 370 14th St. (between Julian Avenue and Stevenson Street) in the Mission, it is the most universally acclaimed vegan restaurant in San Francisco, boasting 4.5 stars out of 1,199 reviews on Yelp.

What makes it so beloved? Reviewers praise its casual atmosphere and reasonable pricing for the quality of the food. Popular items include specialty rolls like the Boddy and Soul, a deep-fried roll filled with spicy tofu and topped with shichimi togarashi and spicy aioli.

The restaurant only takes a few reservations each night, and the wait can be daunting. Yelpers advise other prospective patrons to arrive just before it opens, or put their names on the online waitlist after 5:30 p.m.

2. Gracias Madre

Photo: Mina O./Yelp

Next up is the Mission's Gracias Madre, situated at 2211 Mission St. (between 18th and 19th streets). With four stars out of 2,927 reviews on Yelp, the vegan Mexican joint has proven to be a local favorite.

Yelpers praise Gracias Madre's food as filling and rich, especially dishes like the chimichanga (a deep-fried burrito filled with black beans, red peppers and cashew cheese) and the sweet potato and caramelized onion flautas. In addition to a dog-friendly patio, the spot offers a special brunch menu on weekends. You can check out all the menus here.

If you're thinking of visiting later in the month, keep in mind that the restaurant will be closed for minor renovations from November 12 to November 15; it will reopen as normal on November 16. 

3. The Flying Falafel

Photo: Liza X./Yelp

SoMa's The Flying Falafel, located at 1051 Market St. (between Golden Gate Avenue and Taylor Street), is another top choice. The vegan Mediterranean spot has earned 4.5 stars out of 782 reviews for its eponymous falafel — served solo, in platters and in pita sandwiches.

Reviewers also praise the vegan chick'n pita sandwiches, vegan kebabs, and desserts like cinnamon baklava and vegan cheesecake. Although there's not much seating inside, the bistro provides takeout and delivery options. (You can view the menu here.)

4. Greens

Photo: Shweta K./Yelp

39-year-old Marina mainstay Greens was veggie before veggie was cool. These days, the upscale vegetarian and vegan restaurant is another high-traffic go-to, with four stars out of 1,916 Yelp reviews.

Though some of its dishes use eggs and dairy, most of Greens' menu can be made vegan by request, from the roasted squash and pesto pizza to the fall Thai red pumpkin curry.

The large space overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge has enough space for big parties and private events in a separate dining room. Head over to Fort Mason's Building A to see for yourself, or check out the full menu here.    

5. Golden Era

Photo: Nicholas G./Yelp

Last but not least, there's Civic Center favorite Golden Era Vegan Restaurant. The Vietnamese veggie venue is especially popular for its noodle dishes and entrees like Mama's Clay Pot, with fried tofu, eggplant, and soy "fish" cooked in a house-made special sauce. (You can check out the menu here.)

You can find the plant-based phở parlor at 395 Golden Gate Ave. (at Larkin Street), where it has earned 4.5 stars out of 485 reviews on Yelp. 

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