We embarked on a new adventure on the west coast of the United States. After our adventure in the U.S. Half Marathon in San Francisco we made our way onto finding good places to eat out and of course with some vegan or vegetarian options.
We had heard that eating vegan in California was not difficult and in fact is not, you just have to search them up. San Francisco and I believe California on it’s own, has a very local culture that has sought to maintain its roots preventing the entry of large restaurant chains and maintaining a culture of neighborhoods and districts where you only find a restaurant once, it’s difficult to see the same restaurant in other neighbors. That makes SFO an exquisite destination for all who love to try new things.
Everyday we can see more and more how a vast majority of restaurants offer vegan and vegetarian options in San Francisco but not only that but also an organic addition to the local trend.
The recycling culture is amazing and people consciousness with the use of waste products is overwhelming. It is now a law that for any purchases you do, if you do not bring your own bag each bad has a cost of 10 cents, which encourages even more the use of recycling bags, which I think it’s a great place to start.
Getting back into our initial subject, we can say San Francisco is a great city to try new tastes and trends with multiple vegan/vegetarian options.
Here is our review of places we visited:
You might not get a very good first impression since the place it self is not fancy, or anywhere near cozy, yet the food shows up for it, so as we’ve been told…do not judge the book by its cover .
We started with a Banana and Strawberry Smoothie, very thick, we expected something more refreshing, but it seemed it wad made with some type of vegan milk or yogurt. Regardless of that, definitely a good smoothie.
We ordered an appetizer to share (as we do 99% of the time). We had a spring roll, stuffed with noodles and lettuce, accompanied by a peanut-based sauce, I have to say it was delicious. It’s the perfect size to order as an appetizer and share or as a main dish.
We then shared a “Fancy Wrap” made up of lettuce, tomato, rice, tofu, avocado, and eggplant, and with a side portion of potato salad. At first sight this may not seem vegan, but believe us, it was. SM says “is too good to be true, I can’t believe even the potato salad is vegan”. This makes a great point, if you are afraid of trying something vegan because it might not taste good, this might a good place to start off, or just for the sake of tasting something different.
We went to this place looking for a brunch, something we do not often, but considering we got up quite late, we wanted to find a good brunch. The place is certainly very nice also have one located in a local shopping street, very cozy.
This time it was the first time I tried the Flexi-Vegan (read the story here).
We ordered french toast, pancakes and take some orange juice and chocolate soy milk. Really the only thing that was saved was the chocolate soy milk. It was amazing, creamy, thick, foam, long ago I did not take such a rich chocolate. However, neither the French toast or pancakes were really out of this world, in fact lacked flavor, and as both dishes were supremely great, one would have sufficed. It makes me wonder if the taste for food vegan final changes when you become the truth …. I still do not know deciphering.
On the list of restaurants this was the second best of what we visited in San Francisco. Not only is the atmosphere, and location pretty nice and cozy, but it’s also a place with strong flavors and very different preparations, making this place special. We ordered some “Shiitake Spring Rolls” to share. They are much like those who ordered from The Loving Hut, but certainly the sauce and the combination of flavors is much stronger, which gives this dish a 10/10.
(I apologize for the terrible pictures, but the place was supremely dark (we did the best we could))
We then ordered a “Plant Burger” which is certainly a very big dish, enough to share. The “hamburger meat” is made in the restaurant itself, from lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews and flour. It comes with grille onions, lettuce, tomato and vegan alioli (a sauce made out of oil, garlic and lemon). This turned out to be one of the best vegan/vegetarian burger I’ve ever tasted. You can choose the bread so yeah this one doesn’t look like a burger itself.
If you go to San Francisco sometime this is definitely one of the restaurants that we recommend as a must! It is important to make a reservation a day in advance as the place is pretty full.
For starters I was curious to find a place Mexican place with 100 % Vegan food. The place appeared among the best recommendations for vegan food in San Francisco, but we never imagined the place it was located nor the food that was offered. The place is quite far from the tourist area, which we like a lot, but it is in an industrial area which made us wondered if we were lost when we where on our way there, so keep your eyes open, you might miss it.
What I really want to share from this restaurant is that being vegan does not necessarily mean that all the food is healthy. And I don’t mean to say the food at this place wasn’t, but as a good Mexican dish, portions were astronomically big, including guacamole, sauces, nuts, tortillas and refried beans which automatically makes the dish calorie-dense. So yeah, It’s something to consider!
To start (not being aware of big portion sizes, and after being told by the waiter it was a perfect size to share) we ordered “quesadillas” in which there is no cheese, but instead a pumpkin mixture. The flavor and texture was really spectacular, but what I really didn’t like was it’s spiciness, it came with guacamole on top, but we were told the spiciness was very mild (WARNING!, if a Mexican tells you that spiciness level is mild, but you can’t even bear with pepper DO NOT ORDER IT!)
With our mouth completely numb, the main course arrived just to figure out we order way too much food. The appetizer would have been enough. We ordered vegan tacos, 3 tacos each with a different flavor. We chose eggplant, mushrooms and banana (or plantain I should say). Pretty exotic mixtures, especially the plantain. If you remove the guacamole you can have a non-spicy taco.
Finally and to celebrate a very special day we went to a restaurant where all lovers of good food, and those who enjoy experiencing unique flavors and preparations must go.
A place that is characterized by its own growth of herbs and traditional spices within the restaurant, and by buying all foods at the local market. This makes the menu a flexible one, since depending on the seasons and offers at the local market the restaurant creates new dishes.
Bar Agricole offers really small dishes, they are meant to be some kind of appetizers so you can order a bunch and get a very good taste of everything they prepare. We ordered 3 dishes and I must say that I couldn’t find anything plain or simple. Plus the place is not vegan or vegetarian in fact its strong is a sea salt chicken that takes hours to prepare, but the waiters are attentive and came up with multiple options to convert the dishes onto vegans without losing their essence, and they definitely succeeded.
The starter was an Escarole salad made with escarole (a type of lettuce), avocado, roasted beets, and a vinaigrette made with lemon which is different from the original, because the original was made from milk. 10 out of 10 for this salad.
The second dish was a preparation with Farro, a grain that we had never heard, but certainly spectacular. It’s preparation is a somewhat a risotto style, making farro the main ingredient, mixed with pumpkin, mushrooms and dandelions, which is a leave very similar to the arugala. I must say that a cream based risotto has nothing to envy
With our palate completely seduced we were convinced by the waitress to order one more dish, some Brussel Sprouts, with roasted corn and Pomegranate, a sweet fruit, originally from Iran, that is now grown in parts of California. The sweet combination of Pomegranate, and the salty corn make this dish a delicious blend of flavors. We had heard about the Pomegranate several times but never had the opportunity of tasting it, now I know it’s a must when it is available.
When we thought we had finished our dinner, the waitress offered us dessert which we automatically said no, but with the incredible description and the promise that despite not being vegan we would love it, we surrendered, well it had been a long time since our palate had been exquisitely seduced. Becoming a flexi-vegan we order our greatest weakness, Chocolate cake with Pomegranate as a topping.
I don’t have word to describe this dessert, I just can say that if you have the opportunity to visit this place, order this dish!
So this way we get to the end of our dining experience and finding vegan/vegetarian options and our adversities on the way. If you have more places in San Francisco you want to share please leave them in comments below, because as a community we want to continue creating opportunities for feedback.
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