As promised, my very first food guide! As you guys know by all the Insta stories and updates, I recently went on a five day trip to San Francisco, California. This was my first time that far West and my first time taking a trip so far from home without any family members. Just me, my boyfriend, and my endless appetite for all things food. I wanted to share more about my trip, so I thought what better way to do that than with a Chen approved food guide. Of course I loved all the amazing sights and mini trips we took, but you guys can find that information anywhere! We walked for miles on the roller coaster streets that make up San Fran, we biked 23 miles from the Fisherman’s Wharf, to the Golden Gate Bridge, Saulsalito, and all the way to Tiburon, and looked in awe at the beautiful architecture all around us. The sights are endless and if you want more information on what we did exactly, feel free to message me and I can tell you more, but for now I’ll stick to food. The reason you’re reading this post: FOOD! As you might already know, I love food more than most. I love planning out my meals, my snacks, my desserts, it actually brings me so much joy. So researching all the “healthy” restaurants that San Francisco had was so much fun. Around every corner there was a restaurant that had ‘organic’ in it’s title, gluten free on the menu, or vegan options for every type of eater. Of course, I could only research so much, and we found way more options just walking around the city, so I wanted to share my list of top favorites here. These are in no particular order, but I included what I ate, what my boyfriend Max ate (for all those non-picky eaters,) and a few other things the restaurant had. I took as many pictures as I could so hopefully it all makes sense! I hope you guys enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing about it. Let me know if you have any questions about anything at all. I hope this helps you plan your trip to San Fran, or maybe it pushes you to travel there simply for the food. Either way, you won’t regret going.
Nourish: 189 6th Avenue & 1030 Hyde Street
100% plant based super cute little restaurant. I was almost overwhelmed with the options because basically everything on the menu fit my dietary restrictions. They have tons of big veggie and protein bowls (tuna) which I sadly didn’t try, but drooled over someone else’s… They have sandwiches, which Max tried on the non gluten free bread that looked so fresh! And they of course have açai bowls, smoothies, teas, and coffees. I tried the dragon fruit smoothie, honestly not my favorite because I prefer thicker smoothies and this one was more juice than anything. But I was most excited for the toasts and the snacks! They have the most amazing gluten free bread made with amazing ingredients (I asked, they have a book behind the counter with the ingredients which I loved.) I tried the trio sampler because I couldn’t decide which toast to get, TWICE! They make their own Nutella so I was beyond excited to try that and they use Kite Hill cream cheese which is already a favorite. I also ate their protein balls, chocolate mousse, and coffee cake. Needless to say, I did not leave that place disappointed.
Kitava: 2011 Mission Street
Very trendy restaurant that won me over with its interior, but it helped that it was 100% free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy, peanuts, refined sugar & seed oils. I copied that directly from their site, so I’m not over exaggerating it. They have a few different savory bowls like the spaghetti squash bolognaise and zoodles and meatballs. We made our own bowls where you can pick one protein and two sides. I got a sweet potato mash, brussel sprouts, and grilled chicken. So good! And of course we had to check out their dessert menu: they also have the BEST desserts, we got the ice cream sandwich made with two almond flour cookies and a vegan vanilla bean ice cream. I left this place so happy and full
Urban Remedy: So many locations in San Fran!
They serve ready-to-eat meals on the go and snacks. They have meal plans that you can design and order, but I went for the sweets duh! I tried the almond butter protein bar, the tiramisu, and the veggie chips. All gluten and dairy free. I loved that the ingredients were listed on all their labels so I knew exactly what I was eating and I didn’t have to worry about a stomach ache later.
Mariposa Baking Co:
Gluten free artisan bakery: my heaven. They have a location at the ferry building and I fell in love. They had such a variety of sweet and savory pastries. Not everything was dairy free, but that didn’t stop me from trying just about anything else that I could. I got a breakfast there of an everything bagel with mashed avocado and seasoning. I also got their breakfast muffins to go which was helpful the next morning for our early bike ride. They have a binder behind the counter with the ingredients in everything so I was able to double check the things I wanted and make sure they were Chen friendly. I was actually sad I couldn’t try more things from this bakery because it all looked so fresh!
Basik Cafe: 1958 Polk Street
Best açai bowl I have ever had, no discussion. They’re a Hawaiian cafe chain so I was really excited to visit this place. They have a variety of different flavor combos, and endless fresh toppings. I customized my own because I’m picky as hell. I started with a simple base of açai and apple juice and went crazy on the toppings with fresh fruits, coconut flakes, gluten free granola, and almond butter. I went there twice because it was so refreshing and freaking tasty. They also have great smoothies which Max tried (and I snuck a few sips so I can testify it was amazing.)
Blue Barn: have a few locations all throughout San Fran
They have MASSIVE salads with so many options which I got and Max got a chicken sandwich and fries. It smelled so good you guys and he said he loved it! I customized my own salad with this paper form. You fill out this form with your name and ALL the toppings you want, the list was endless so I went crazy with the combos. There was protein, veggies, fruits, anything you can think of. Tasted so fresh, I ate the whole salad and felt no shame that I had to unbutton my pants lol. Definitely a pricier salad, but totally worth it.
Salt & Straw: 2201 Fillmore Street
Not “healthy” by any means, just a dang good ice cream place. They have interesting flavors, not ones you’d see anywhere else. Max got something with caramel in it which looked so good and I got the vegan strawberry ice cream and it was amazing. No sugar added, just the fruit sugars and coconut milk. Highly recommend to any vegan or non vegan out there.
Cafe Del Soul: 247 Shoreline Highway, a little outside Saulsalito
Majority vegetarian restaurant so they offer tofu as protein or, they do have organic chicken as an option which was nice to have after our long bike ride in the heat. They also give you the option to make any dish gluten free. I got a giant salad with vegan chipotle sauce and Max got a brown rice based salad. Such a good price, so much food, super fresh and tasty. They also have smoothies, juices, snacks, drinks. Really friendly place, cute atmosphere, recommend if you’re in this area of town.
Jane on Fillmore:
Amazing cafe, breakfast is served all day which is my favorite meal of the day so I loved it. They also have salads, sandwiches, and soups but we went for the breakfast. Max got the smoked salmon platter, like a make your own sandwich with tons of veggies and toppings. I got two things because I couldn’t decide and I was on vacation so why not? The first was a raw sprouted black rice porridge with almond and coconut milk, chia seeds, coconut crunch, goji berries, fresh kiwi which you can have warm or cold. I think I enjoyed the toppings more than the actual porridge. The rice threw me off for some reason. The other dish I got, which I enjoyed a lot more, was the gluten free nutty bird bread with almond butter and fruit compote. Such good bread, I wish I could have taken a whole loaf with me. They do have a bakery with tons of gluten free, dairy free options like the bread, but I didn’t think I would have room in my suitcase, I regret that decision now though. They also have a book with all the ingredients which I loved because I could see exactly what they had in all of their baked goods.
Bluestone Lane: Aussie Cafe in San Fran (two locations in the Financial District)
I was a little disappointed with their gluten free/dairy free options, but as a cafe it’s so hip and the food is very fresh. We actually went twice in one day because it was so close to our hotel and we needed breakfast and lunch before our flight home. For breakfast Max got the lox toast on normal bread which he said was really good and I got the gluten free oatmeal. They didn’t have any fresh fruit other than bananas which was a bit of a bummer. I ended up just eating the oatmeal with a little almond butter they had. I also had the beet latte with almond milk. It was an odd flavor, but such a good warm drink to have for a non coffee drinker like myself. For lunch I got the gluten free toast with a turmeric roasted sweet potato hummus which was actually super good. I asked them to add fresh cucumbers and tomato on top with a little olive oil and sea salt for the perfect lunch. Definitely a good place to get breakfast or coffee. I don’t drink coffee, but if I did it would have been from there! It smelled so good.
Little Gem: 400 Grove St. San Francisco
Probably the fanciest dinner we had there. Most places we went to you ordered at the register and sat down, but this was a normal sit down! Everything in the restaurant was gluten free and really good! They have tons of options like salads and bowls, and the little apps were so good! We tried the spiced hummus with non bread. I think that’s supposed to be a play off of Naan bread, but it was more of a thick tortilla than anything else, still good though! I got the macro bowl and added sweet potato because I was craving it and Max got the chicken plate which he liked! We also got a free dessert because they messed up our order (such good service here though, they were super swamped, but were so kind about it) of the chocolate pudding: AMAZING.
*Just a side note: the reason I check for ingredients in the food is not because I’m worried about calories or anything! I was on vacation, the last thing I worried about was calorie intake, all I wanted was to try everything. The reason I check is because there are certain foods/ingredients that I don’t eat because they really mess with my stomach. I did not want to have to deal with that while trying to soak in San Francisco so I’d rather be safe than sorry in this case.