Best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area – San Francisco Chronicle

We use a lot of different phrases to talk about the cuisines that the restaurants on this list do: plant-based, vegetarian, meat-free. What this should indicate is that there is no monolithic way to not eat meat. My visits to the purely meat-free restaurants in the region brought lots of newfangled burgers into my life, and there are certainly a handful of places on this list that do them well. But I also saw cooking steeped in tradition, like at Cha-ya, where Japanese Buddhist cuisine informs the menu. Central American and Asian cultures have long histories of meat-free eating, a fact revealed by the elegance with which iconic dishes like tamales and pho can fit into a vegan mindset. I saw diversity in the variety of presentations and price points here, too: We have upscale vegetarian and vegan restaurants like Millennium and Greens, and popular places like Golden Era can readily quench your weeknight pho cravings. This list will help cover all your bases, whether you’re a long-time vegetarian or a fellow traveler hoping to reduce your meat consumption for environmental, ethical or health-related reasons.