The California Bay Area is known for many things: its burgeoning tech industry, foggy coastal weather, culturally diverse communities, and now, its vegan food scene. From comforting soul food to unbelievably cheesy, meaty deli-style dishes, you can find pretty much anything made vegan.  

Vegan food happenings in California’s Bay Area

Over the past few years, this region has evolved into quite the foodie haven, and good news for vegans: it has an abundance of plant-based fare on offer beyond brunch.

Celebrity vegan chef and restaurateur Reina Montenegro teamed up with Filipinx restaurant Mama Go’s to bring vegan Filipinx food to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) earlier this year. The eatery will offer vegan meals such as OmniPork Lumpia (vegan pork-filled eggless rolls); Tocino (cured mock pork); Lechon Kawali (vegan pork belly); Kare Kare (vegetables in peanut sauce with vegan shrimp paste); and a world-famous vegan Leche Flan to busy travelers. 

A new vegan ice cream shop also just opened in Marin Country Mart in Larkspur, CA, which also features a varied collection of artisans and merchants. This marks the first California location for Seattle-based Frankie & Jo’s. Sweet-toothed patrons can now indulge in scoops of Frankie & Jo’s core flavors such as Brown Sugar Vanilla, Mint Brownie, and Strawberry Milk. 

IKEA is also set to open one of its first plant-based food halls in San Francisco. IKEA’s Swedish parent company, Ingka Group, is looking to up its sustainability efforts with the forthcoming launch of Saluhall, a food hall centered around Nordic culture that will initially serve food that is 80-percent plant-based—with an eye on going 100-percent plant-based in the future. Saluhall is its first entirely beef-free food hall concept with locations in development in Changsha, China; Gurugram, India; and yes, San Francisco, CA. 

Vegan brunch in the Bay

But we’re focused on our favorite meal of the day—brunch!—and all the places we can get our pancake, scramble, omelette fix sans animal products in the beautiful Bay. 

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1 The Butcher’s Son

Berkeley, CA

If you haven’t been to this vegan mecca yet, it’s an absolute must-stop. Get there early because the line will stretch out the door, but don’t worry if you’re a late-riser; you can contemplate your order in line. Go for the #thisismyaddiction: soft garlic bread with tofu scramble, housemade cashew mozzarella, greasy vegan bacon, avocado, and eggless mayo. And you absolutely must order a doughnut-stuffed pancake (you get to choose the doughnut you want stuffed inside, including cream-filled)—don’t forget to add chocolate chips. Hit the road with a slice of New York-style cheesecake to go. 
Find it here


2 Timeless Coffee

Oakland and Berkeley, CA

Step inside this all-vegan coffee roaster, bakery, and chocolatier shop and inhale that sweet espresso scent. This perpetually busy, order-at-the-counter shop serves up rotating brunch specials on the weekend but always offers doughnuts, cakes, cookies, scones, frittatas, quiches, cream cheese danishes, dipped biscotti, and so much more. Get a dreamy, creamy oat milk mocha without the fear of accidentally getting dairy milk in your drink, and chow down on dishes like gluten-free crispy chicken and waffles, or our personal favorite, the moist apple tea cake. 
Find it here

Screen Shot 2023-08-14 at 4.17.48 PMRad Radish

3Rad Radish

San Francisco, CA

From the owners of Wildseed (another popular San Francisco-based vegan spot), comes this fast-casual concept that serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Customers can order from kiosks (or employees at a counter) and can dine in or take their plant-based food to go. Go savory with a filling breakfast sandwich with Just Egg, American cheese, and herb aioli, or go sweet with an order of French Toast made with Levain bread, seasonal fruit, and whipped coconut cream.
Find it here


4 Souley Vegan 

Oakland, CA

Serving the Oakland community for over 16 years, this East Bay soul food institution feels home-y and lived-in, with walls covered in photos of guests and the many celebrities who have stopped in (we’re talking Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, activist Angela Davis, and NBA-legend JaVale McGee, just to name a few). Every Sunday, the eatery serves up their Sunday brunch complete with bottomless mimosas, sweet potato waffles, okra gumbo, seitan “shrimp” n’ grits, and sausage gravy over rosemary biscuits. 
Find it here


5 Nourish Café

Oakland, CA

With two locations in the City by the Bay, this light-filled, millennial-focused eatery is all about healthful dishes like fully loaded açai and smoothie bowls, towering avocado toasts, and warming chia and oatmeal bowls that are so pretty, they’re practically begging to be posted on Instagram. Their menu for toasts alone will call your name. Go for the perfectly pink Dragonfruit Bowl with pineapple, buckwheat granola, and coconut. Plus, grab an Espresso date-sweetened shake to go.
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6 Vegan Mob 

Oakland, CA

This Bay Area spot quickly became an Oakland destination, making a name for itself when it sold out in six hours on opening day. And once you try their food, you’ll totally understand why. With only limited outdoor seating, come prepared to order and go, or take it to the nearby Lake Merritt for a brunch picnic. The California Breakfast Barbequito stuffed with plant-based nacho cheese, bacon, eggs, fries, guac, sour cream, and green onions is enough to keep you full all day long, but if they happen to be serving their peach mobbler, you better grab a piece to go, as well! 
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7 St. Francis Fountain 

San Francisco, CA

The oldest ice cream parlor in the city might seem like an unlikely place to find a truly great vegan brunch, but that’s just the beauty of San Francisco. They serve up diner-style pancakes—sans eggs or dairy—and you can add strawberries, chocolate chips, bananas, walnuts, and blueberries to your stack. Craving savory? Go for the vegan jack cheese-stuffed breakfast burrito or black bean-loaded vegan rancheros. 
Find it here


8 Crêpes Bistro 

San Jose, CA

This hole-in-the-wall, local favorite crêpe shop can veganize almost any of its menu items—from savory to sweet crêpes and buzzy cacao smoothies. If you’re really feeling sweet, go for the French Affection with coconut whipped cream and homemade caramelized walnuts. And if you’re feeling savory, go for the Royal Veggie with vegan cheese, roasted eggplant, mushrooms, avocado, marinated white onion sauce, and lemon tahini sauce. Even better? Go for both! 
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9 Wildseed

San Francisco, CA

A gorgeous, well-stocked full bar awaits behind the glass doors of this totally plant-based, health-leaning restaurant. Come for the bustling atmosphere and stay for delicious eats such as carrot lox on seeded bread, banana fritters with chocolate-tahini sauce, and JUST Egg omelettes with Beyond Meat sausage. It might not seem totally brunch-y, but the Donburi bowl with kimchi, avocado, marinated mushroom, and chard is perfection if you feel like you need a reset. 
Find it here

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10Beach’n SF

San Francisco, CA

The motto at this cozy oceanside spot? “House-made everything.” You’ll find classic tofu scrambles alongside ground fennel sausage-stuffed breakfast burritos, and plates of powdered sugar-dusted French Toast. Try their speciality smothered hash cakes with cashew cheese sauce, ancho crema, or mushrooms and vegan mozzarella for a savory start to the day. 
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11 Baia 

San Francisco, CA

This Italian-inspired restaurant made headlines when it took over the bi-level space of Jardinière in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. Baia—which means “bay” in Italian—is a partnership between renowned vegan chef Matthew Kenney and Tracy Vogt, who owns farmed animal sanctuary Charlie’s Acres in nearby Sonoma, CA. Try the savory scrambles, seasonal fruit-topped semolina pancakes, vegan egg-stuffed breakfast sandwiches, and avocado brunch pizza (trust us).
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12 The Happy Vegan

San Francisco, CA

You won’t find gluten or soy on this pickup-only eatery’s menu, but we can promise you everything is tasty! Some menu stand-outs include vegan chicken spinach omelettes, carrot lox bagels, pesto-vegan egg-mozzarella breakfast sandwiches, plant-based chicken and waffles, and golden Belgian waffles. Order ahead for a super speedy pick-up! 
Find it here

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