We’re staying in Union Square (see hotel details below) so we’re right in the middle of lots of shopping and great things to do. There’s a bunch of department stores, designer shopping as well as a Westfield with a movie theatre so it’s easy to leave the hotel and find something to do. But let’s talk about what you’re really interested in- the food!
So in that Westfield I was talking about, there’s a Loving Hut in the food court. Yep, you read that right, a Loving Hut in a food court. It’s a much smaller menu than what you get at the restaurant but I’ve pretty much worked my way through it all in my stay here. The Philly Sandwich and Loving Hut Sandwich are both super tasty choices; filled with marinated mock meats and salad plus served with a little coleslaw and orange slices. I also tried the mock chicken nuggets with sweet potato fries, which were served with an awesome homemade barbecue sauce!
They also have a little buffet with about 10 dishes to choose from. You can pick 2 dishes with noodles or rice for less than $10 and it is HUGE. I opted for noodles with the sweet potato curry and lemongrass tofu PLUS they have a dessert case so I had to try some of their cheesecake. Der.
Loving Hut is a great easy option if you want to take a quick shopping break. The food is pretty tasty and inexpensive plus there’s something on the menu to suit all tastes.
If you’re up for a really hearty meal, get yourself over to Herbivore in The Mission (they have some other locations as well. I got myself an amazing meatball sandwich with potato salad on the side and a vanilla shake. The sandwich was meaty, cheesy and saucy but it was not messy at all, I managed to not spill any on myself which is always a good sign. The shake was just the right thickness, smooth and tasty.
Also a quick walk from Union Square is ZPizza. They serve meat so if you’ve got omni travel companions, this is a good stop for you if you’re looking to get your pizza fix. The Berkeley Vegan pizza has a bunch of veggies and veggie burger crumbles and topped with vegan cheese plus they have an option to build your own pizza so you’re only limited by your imagination (and their ingredients) They also deliver if you want a late night snack but don’t want to leave the hotel room. I’m used to pretty poor vegan pizza options at home so this was a real treat!
WholeFoods is basically where I want to be buried when I die. The biggest range of delicious vegan groceries included fresh produce, vegan dairy, mock meats, frozen meals and bakery goods. OH and they have a little self serve restaurant section so you can pick up a meal while you’re there. I grabbed myself the vegan sausage, taquitos and sesame tofu from the buffet as well as a couple of vegan doughnuts (they have a bunch of flavours). For a quick, self serve meal this stuff is pretty great and the fact you can eat before or after you do your groceries is AWESOME.
If you’re heading down to Pier 39 to see the adorable sea lions or popping over to Alcatraz, why not stop by The Plant at Pier 3. Also a good one for omnis, you can sit outside and look out over the water while you enjoy some organic treats. I opted for the Wasabi Plant Burger which after a lot of cheesy, mock-meaty fare was a great healthy meal. They also have desserts but I was too full after my burger to even think about it.
If you’re looking for something a bit fancy while in San Francisco, you have to get yourself over to Millennium for a special night of vegan delights. For this visit I was joined by Jacinda and Natalie, thanks guys! I had the Autumn Harvest Menu so I got to try a bunch of awesome courses made from seasonal ingredients.
First course was the Roasted Kuri Squash salad served with almond camembert. It was such a light and tasty start to the meal that was to come an the almond camembert had the most perfect texture.
Second course was a grilled flatbread served with garlic cream, caramelised escarole, sunchoke confit, smoked abalone mushrooms and olio nuovo, It was SO TASTY and my only criticism is that I wished there was more. That was until the third course!
For the third course I got to select from two choices and I chose the Potato Tikki Cake which was served with mustard green coconut saag, tofu paneer and a bunch of other delicious bits and pieces. OMG. That course blew my mind. The flavours worked so well together and was the perfect winter meal. I want to eat it again right now.
Dessert was a Frangelico Cream Eclair with warm chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, vanilla bean infused persimmon fillet and candied hazelnuts. Now that’s a dessert. I was so full that I could only manage a few bites but I would have loved to finish it if I could.
After so many huge meals I decided to tone things down a bit and visit Cha-Ya Vegetarian for some light Japanese cuisine. Everything here is so refreshing and tasty, perfect for sharing but I was there on my own so only got to sample a few things. I started off with the miso soup which was salty, tasty and perfect for warming up on a cold autumn evening. Next I had the Goma Ae; blanched spinach and broccolini in a sesame sauce. Nobody does this dish like Cha-Ya, trust me! In my opinion it’s their number one dish. The final dish I had was the Agedashi Tofu. Normally when you get this vegan it’s not that great but Cha-Ya make it super tasty. The broth the tofu is served in is crazy dope, salty and flavoursome.
Taking a wander around Haight Ashbury? Don’t let the run-down look of Love N Haight deli fool you! They have a bunch of vegan sandwiches and salads with a bunch of delicious mock meats. You can eat in the deli but walk a little up the hill and there’s a great looking park you could eat in too.
On my last night I met up with Natalie again to eat some Mexican grub at Gracias Madre and people weren’t lying when they said it was some of the best Mexican around! I had the Gorditas (potato cakes with salsa verde, avocado and cashew crema), Empanada (filled with plaintain and onion served with spicy mole sauce and cashew crema and Ensalada de Cesar (cesar salad). All three dishes were outta sight, I wish I had the chance to go back and try more.
Also be sure to stop by Rainbow Grocery while you’re in San Francisco to stock up on vegan grocery items and baked goods. I may or may not have bought 20 chocolate bars to bring home.
I think it’s safe to say that San Francisco is my favourite city so far on this trip (possibly ever). I would love to live here if they didn’t make it so difficult!
Where We Stayed
Pros: Location, free wifi, nice decor
Cons: No bar fridge, smaller room
Stay tuned for my post on my next stop, Portland!