Must Eat Vegetarian Restaurants in San Francisco

The latest pure-play vegetarian establishments are giving the more established Greens and Millennium a run for their money. At these new hotspots, even non-vegetarians rave about it. 

Candlestick: Spicy bean curd, avocado, tapioca, cucumber, seaweed pearls and FIRE

Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar and Izakaya in the Mission district adds a unique twist with their menu that encompasses all-time Japanese favorites, including sushi, ramen and izakaya dishes. As a non-meat eater myself, I avoid going to ramen places that only serve pork-based broth. My vegetarian friends also don't like going to any Japanese restaurants, fearing that there would not be anything for them to eat except for California rolls. Shizen solves all those problems. 
I loved everything that my eating buddy and I ordered. Shizen's fresh organic yuba salad satisfied my fascination with yuba, the shoyu ramen warmed my hungry soul with the right amount of saltiness, while the dramatic entrance of the Candlestick specialty roll's dancing fire tickled my senses even further. I shall be back for more.

A few blocks away from Shizen, Gracias Madre offers up its all-vegetarian Mexican fare. I had a grand time chatting up with their bartender and getting his honest recommendations. While I was savoring my totopos, I also got schooled on what cashew crema is- a mixture of cashews and fresh filtered water blended together. 

A sexier version of the regular nachos with house made chips tossed in creamy salsa roja with cashew crema and cilantro.
Shizen and Gracias Madre are priced mid-range ($30-$40 per person, including one drink). Healthy for both the body and wallet, indeed.  I just hope that more vegetarian restaurants open outside of the Mission hood. If you have any other favorites, feel free to share on the comment box.  

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