By Brittany Doohan
1. Poesia Italian Restaurant — 4072 18th Street
While most of the options on the menu may seem fit for omnivores, Poesia is very accommodating to vegan and vegetarians. “We were a mixed-dietary-restrictions crowd — my step-dad likes straightforward meaty Italian, my mom's a vegetarian, and I'm a vegan — but they were able to accommodate all of us. Delicious vegan mushroom risotto for me, adapted from a vegetarian daily special,” said Yelper Eric G., Oakland, CA. If you stop by, be sure to try the Insalata Finocchio (Lacinato kale salad, fennel, strawberries and shaved Parmesan) or the Tortello di Barbabietola con Ricotta Affumicata (roasted red beets ravioli, butter and sage, and shaved smoked ricotta cheese)!
2. Starbelly — 3583 16th Street
Whether you’re in the mood for one of Starbelly’s famous vegetarian pizzas (like the Market Mushroom with cave aged gruyere, thyme and roasted onions, or the Roasted Butternut Squash with black garlic, local goat cheese, sage and pumpkin seeds) or you want to start with the House-Made Pumpkin Dumplings appetizer with brown butter, sage, pumpkin seeds and aged goat cheese, Starbelly has plenty of options for Castro District herbivores.
3. Samovar Tea Lounge — 498 Sanchez St
Get some delicious veggie eats and a lovely cup of tea at Samovar Tea Lounge.
“First, come here to experience high quality teas artisanally crafted from small farms. Fresh, loose-leaf tea, brewed perfectly. Sip it slowly, mindfully, and fully savor every nuanced aroma and flavor. Second, the food is really good and I love that there are some of the best vegetarian options of any lounge/cafe in the city available here,” said Yelper Leo B., San Francisco, CA. Try their seasonal vegetarian quiche for breakfast or enjoy a grilled cheese with sun-dried tomatoes for lunch. For all the vegans out there, try their baked tempeh/Portobello mushroom salad with greens, cucumbers, tomatoes and tarragon-balsamic vinaigrette!
4. Thai House Express — 599 Castro Street
The options are endless at Thai House Express when you can substitute tofu or veggies in any of their dishes. “The menu was extensive, and very vegetarian-friendly. Pretty much anything can be made with tofu, and my friends ended up with piles of various vegetables on top of brown rice. They looked (and, I'm told, were) super good,” said Yelper Becca S., San Francisco.
5. Sunny Vibrations Vegan Food Truck — Roaming around Mission and Castro
Sunny Vibrations brings tasty vegan menu options to you! Made with 100% all-natural ingredients, including gluten-free, non-GMO and organic grains and produce. They have everything from fresh juices to butternut squash quesadillas to fresh pistachio avocado ice cream!
6. Ike’s Place — 3489 16th St
Ike’s is one of the most famous sandwich shops in the Bay Area — and what makes it even greater is their extensive list of vegan and vegetarian sandwiches (over 30 different options!). Try the “Vegan Brutus” with garlic and herb sauce, marinated artichoke hearts, vegan cheese and vegan chicken, or the “Sometimes I'm a Vegetarian” with grilled mushrooms, marinated artichoke hearts, pesto and provolone.