Inexpensive Vegetarian & Vegan Vietnamese Food in San Francisco


Vietnamese food lovers know that pho is a staple of that country’s diet. Pho by definition is beef stock soup. But leave it up to San Franciscans to turn this classic dish into something vegetarian and vegans can also enjoy. This is a review of some of the best vegetarian and vegan pho, one can find in San Francisco, California.

{Best Vegetarian & Vegan Vietnamese}

Sunflower – $
Locations: Potrero Hill and the Mission. I’ve been to both. The menus and pricing are pretty much the same. BUT the Potrero Hill location has lots of free street parking and they run their lunch specials on the weekend too…$10 entrees! Woohoo! For San Francisco, that’s cheap!

Dishes: Sunflower’s not 100% vegetarian, but veg and vegan friendly. Our go-to dishes are the lemongrass tofu, vermicelli with veggies, tofu and cabbage, and they make the best garlic noodles I’ve ever had…they’re so good that even though they’re covered in butter and so bad for you, you don’t want to escape that meal in food heaven.

Ambiance: casual, this is SF.

veggie bun at Sunflower
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lemongrass tofu at Sunflower, SF

I really enjoy purple rice. The texture is similar to brown rice but it has a distinct taste that pairs really well with tofu. Purple rice is actually black rice that turns purple during the cooking process, due to the grain’s anthocyanin content. Anthocyanin is water-soluble vacuolar pigment.

Tin SF – $$
This restaurant holds  special place in my heart as my husband and I had our first date here.

Location: lose to the Westfield Mall.
Dishes: They’re less veg-friendly than Sunflower. We usually order their Veggie Bun.
Ambiance: Casual, but you could get a little dressed up to meet friends, for a date and you wouldn’t be overdressed.

Mau – $$
Amongst Sunflower, Tin and Mau, Mau is the most expensive.
Location: GREAT location! In the heart of the Mission

Dishes: They make the best veggie bun I’ve ever had. It’s light, flavorful and the tofu crisped to perfection. If I’m really hungry I can crush the whole dish and as you can see the portions are pretty big. To make it extra delish, ask for a fried spring roll. They’re huge so one’s usually enough for most people. Their papaya salad’s really good as well. Sometimes my husband and I share one veggie bun + a salad.

I tried their pho (they can make vegetarian pho sans beef broth) once and I have to say I was underwhelmed. Our friends like the Bun Tofu and Lemongrass tofu. I don’t know who’s tried the Tofu Claypot.

tofu bun at Mau, in the Mission, SF

The Loving Hut
– $
Location: the best pho, IMO, is at The Loving Hut at the Westfield Mall location. Notice I pointed out the Mall location vs. Chinatown. I think the food is better at the mall location. Whenever I go there at lunch on weekdays or weekends, the line is always bananas! I love that! Especially because The Loving Hut, is 100% vegan and they are crushing it!

I always order the Pho Noodle Soup and my husband the Spicy Royal Pho. Yum! It’s the perfect place to stop for a delicious, piping hot meal after shopping or traipsing around the city. If I’m not hungry enough or a huge serving of pho or if it’s super hot out, I’ll order the fresh rolls. You get 8 sizable pieces – certainly enough to hold over a petite woman for a few hours.

If you try any of these restaurants, dishes or recommend other dishes please tell us about your experiences in the comments!Pho-travel.001.jpeg


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