While I cook most of my meals at home nowadays, I still enjoy dining out. Fortunately, San Francisco has a large number of vegan, vegetarian, and veggie-friendly restaurants to choose from. I prefer to patronize vegan and vegetarian restaurants whenever possible. In the twenty years I've lived in the SF Bay Area, my favorite such restaurant is Source.
Opened by a pair of brothers from the Bronx about a year and a half ago, this hidden gem (tucked away in the design district) has received rave reviews and a steady influx of customers, veg and omni alike. They promise a "multi-dimensional dining experience" with quadruple-filtered water and purified air, but honestly, I don't care too much about that; I'm there for the food!
And food there is a-plenty, with dishes to satisfy everyone from raw-foodists and macrobiotics to those craving vegan versions of hot dogs and Twinkies. Everything can be made vegan. I could actually stick to McDougall-style eating here, but I am generally more lenient on oil and refined/processed foods when eating away from home.
I especially love Source's burgers, served on a huge hearth-baked pita. They don't taste like typical fake-meat veggie burgers; they're made with beets and all other kinds of goodness. As my sister-in-law demonstrates, you need two hands to hold one of these! (You can click through to Flickr for a close-up of the burger; I won't display it here per VeganMofo rules as she got dairy cheese on it.)
The manager, Andrew, has been on site almost every time I've visited, regardless of the day or hour. Very personable and hard-working guy. His brother Mitchell is the chef. They got an awesome review on Check Please! Bay Area. Good for them!
Source is my favorite restaurant, but if you're looking for a 100% vegan restaurant in San Francisco, I can recommend:
- Herbivore (lots of comfort food)
- Golden Era (service not great, but huge menu)
- Cha-Ya (ambiance not great, but creative and tasty)
- Millennium (gourmet; a definite splurge!)