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San Francisco Bay Area Vegetarian Napa Valley

Need recs for SF/Napa for 2 NYC vegetarians who are serious about good food


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Need recs for SF/Napa for 2 NYC vegetarians who are serious about good food

scarlet starlet | Apr 12, 2011 09:38 PM

I know there are a number of other posts on similar topics, but none of them are really proving to be helpful.

My husband and I will be in Napa, SF, and Berkeley/Oakland in late May/early June. We are both vegetarian and have high standards for food. As a point of reference, our favorite restaurants in NYC are Roberta's, Dirt Candy, Sripraphai, and Buttermilk Channel. We were disappointed by the lackluster vegetarian dishes on Blue Hill at Stone Barns' farmers feast and I make better food at home than most of the restaurants in this new wave of seasonal/local/organic food that seems to be most popular in Brooklyn (where we live), so just having vegetarian dishes on the menu isn't enough - it has to be great. And just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's good - some of our favorite food is served from a truck or a hole in the wall.

I've done a ridiculous amount of research and have come up with a list of all the places at which we'd like to eat (and I've made a lot of reservations!) but I need a little help in refining and finalizing the list and filling in some of the blanks. Basically, I'm looking for places that epitomize California cuisine but also have a good amount of (and good quality) vegetarian dishes. So many of the places that I came upon in my research had rave reviews but didn't float my boat when it came to the selection and/or appeal of their vegetarian dishes, so they didn't make the cut. Also, Thai and Indian food are not options, as there are amazing versions of both in NYC.

So here's what I've got so far:

Lunches at Oxbow Market and Bouchon
Dinner: Ubuntu; need a recommendation for a Saturday night. I'm considering Oenotri but am not sure I want to have pizza given that we're going to flour and water and possibly A16 in SF. I love good Neapolitan pizza, but I think three nights of it is too much. Considering Redd, but the menu didn't wow me, and I thought Bistro Jeanty was a little overpriced for the vegetarian options. Also, not going to French Laundry, as we have friends who recnelty went and weren't impressed with the vegetarian menu and we very recently went to Per Se (and loved it, but it's a bit too soon to repeat the experience).

Lunch at Cafe at Chez Panisse (although I am ambivalent about one hand I feel like I need to eat at the temple of Alice Waters but on the other I'm not bowled over by the vegetarian options on her menus and think I may be passing up on something else that's really good but not as well-known)
Dinner at Plum (definitely doing this unless you can really convince me otherwise, I'm a huge fan of Jeremy Fox and Daniel Patterson, and since we're not eating at Coi now that the lounge has closed, we just have to eat here).

Palo Alto
Need a lunch suggestion

Evening 1: progressive dinner from Orson (dessert first!) to Sons & Daughters (two small plates) and finally Canteen (one of each vegetarian small plate), followed by drinks at Bourbon and Branch.

Day 1: breakfast at Tartine Bakery, lunch at taquerias in Mission, ice cream from Humphry Slocombe, dinner at flour and water, drinks at Beretta (this is already my favorite day!)

Day 2: lunch at Ferry Plaza Market, dinner at A16, Slanted Door, or somewhere else - I'm not tied to either of these options and want something that's uniquely SF so please weigh in on this one. I feel like A16, while great, is too similar to flour + water. I haven't been fully convinced on the quality of the food at Slanted Door and I'm not totally bowled over by other places (also considering Commonwealth, Range, Nopa, although I get the sense that the quality of food there sn't astounding). Drinks at 15 Romolo.

Day 3: lunch at Alembic or Magnolia Brewing - not tied to either of these, so I'd love recommendations for great places nearby (i.e., Haight, near Alamo Square, Hayes Valley), although we do love good craft beer which is why these options are on the list even though there are probably better restaurants (although not sure which ones are open for lunch). We're going to a friend's party for dinner.

Day 4: lunch at Greens (which we have to do, this one is more important to me than Chez Panisse). Another private dinner this evening.

And that's it. What do you think? I'm hoping the expertise of SF hounds will come to my rescue in filling in the blanks and possibly suggesting alternatives to places i've selected in the event that I'm totally missing out on something amazing. Thank you so so so much for your help!

Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

842 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Bistro Jeanty
6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Bourbon & Branch
501 Jones St, San Francisco, CA

1199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

15 Romolo
15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
2790 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Flour + Water
2401 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

Chez Panisse Cafe
1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

Sons & Daughters
708 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108

2224 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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