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Healthy Living Guide: San Francisco

February 9, 2012

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San Francisco is one of my all-time favorite cities. From the cable cars rumbling down the steep streets to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge peaking out of the fog, how could you not be charmed by this picture perfect city? One of my favorite things about San Fran is the diversity of its neighborhoods. Looking for an authentic slice of pizza and unrivaled views of the city? Head over to the Italian district, North Beach. If you’re in the mood from some boutique shopping, head over to Filmore Street in Pacific Heights. And of course, a trip to San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without a jaunt through Chinatown, which happens to be the largest enclave of Chinese culture in America.

Like many cities on the West Coast, San Francisco is a health-minded city with no shortage of healthy restaurants, parks, and farmers markets. Here is a list of a few of our favorites in the area – make sure you check them out next time you are in the Bay Area!

Not  planning a trip to San Francisco? Check out our other Healthy Living Guides for healthy options a little bit closer to home.



Café Gratitude
Multiple Locations

Café Gratitude has several locations throughout California, each serving 100% local, organic, and vegan fare. The food is free of refined sugar, flour, and additives. They also have several raw options on their menu. This is the perfect place for a relaxed brunch or lunch with friends in the funky Mission district of San Fran.

roam burgers

1785 Union Street

This burger joint serves delicious burgers made of 100% grass-fed beef, free-range turkey, or all-natural bison as well as organic veggie burgers. They source their ingredients locally and pair the burgers with delicious Straus Family Creamery Shakes, house-made sodas, local brews, or wine and kombucha that they have on tap!

greens san francisco

Building A, Fort Mason

One of the very first high-profile vegetarian restaurants in America, Greens is located in a beautiful, refurbished warehouse in Fort Mason. The dining room features giant floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the Marina, Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marin headlands. With a local, organic menu and an artsy atmosphere, Greens is a true San Francisco gem.


762 Valencia Street

Another healthy find in the Mission District, Cha-Ya is a popular vegetarian and vegan Japanese restaurant. The ambience is casual, and the food is inexpensive and delicious. We love this spot for a quick weeknight dinner or take-out!


3215 Mission Street

The name says it all. Locavore features a menu of New American dishes created with local, seasonal ingredients. The dining room has a familiar, relaxed feeling, offering a very comfortable space to enjoy your meal. Although the dinner menu is excellent, we can’t get enough of Locavore’s brunch, especially the Hash of Winter Squash and Yam with roasted shallots, kale and poached eggs!


1123 Folsom Street

This SOMA restaurant is a very popular spot for brunch and dinner. The food is all locally sourced from organic California farmers and purveyors. In fact, nothing comes from farther than 100 miles from the restaurant!

the plant

The Plant
Multiple Locations

The Plant has several locations throughout the San Francisco area, all of them offering a trendy environment for patrons to enjoy organic, healthy meals. This is the perfect spot for lunch, brunch or an after-work cocktail. In need of a detox? The place also offers a popular cleanse program.


Multiple Locations

This trendy café also has several locations in San Francisco, all of which offer an internationally inspired menu of vegan dishes. The restaurant is the proud winner of several awards, including a Best of the Bay Area award in 2007 and Best of San Francisco in 2005.

gracias madre

Gracias Madre
2211 Mission Street

Gracias Madre serves high quality, organic, and vegan Mexican food in the Mission District. Their seasonal menu is meant to honor and give thanks to Mother Earth by using fruits and vegetables that are at their peak. While the menu does change, some of our favorites right now are the butternut squash and caramelized onion quesadillas followed by the homemade empanada filled with grilled plantains and topped with cashew cream!


11 Division Street

This vegetarian, vegan restaurant has a multi-faceted menu with a truly international flare. Whether you are in the mood for Thai (try the Peking Quack Spring Rolls!), American or Italian, there is something on the menu for everyone’s taste!


580 Geary Street

Millennium is a fine-dining local, organic restaurant that sources all of their ingredients from small farms. They believe in supporting sustainable agriculture, and try to run their business as sustainably as possible by recycling and composting. This is a great choice for a delicious, celebratory meal!


754 Post Street

This tiny coffee shop barely has room to seat more than 15 people, but it is always busy and full! This ever-popular spot is great for both take-out or sit-down. Enjoy the changing menu of the day, which can be found on their Twitter account: @farmtable.

sons and daughters

Sons & Daughters
708 Bush Street

This trendy restaurant is located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Lower Nob Hill. The chef created a menu that offers seasonal food and wine pairs, creating a unique and approachable dining experience. The restaurant is tiny, with only 29 seats, so make sure you have a reservation if you plan to go!



ferry plaza market

Ferry Building Farmer’s Market
1 Ferry Building 

A farmer’s market as unique as the city that hosts it, this market is located behind the Ferry Building with spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay. Local farmers and artisan food purveyors pack this market to the brim, so make sure you have plenty of time to explore!

farmers market

San Francisco Farmer’s Market at Crocker Galleria
50 Post Street

This large, year-round farmer’s market offers a variety of seasonal, local organic produce from the Bay Area.


Rainbow Grocery
1745 Folsom Street

A popular food co-op, the Rainbow Grocery offers its members a huge selection of organic produce and health foods. Check their website for membership information.



golden gate park

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is to San Francisco what Central Park is to Manhattan: an absolute must-see in you are visiting the city for the first time or the 100th time! The park is huge, with plenty of place for running, hiking, biking, or just hanging out in the grass, enjoying the California sun.

crissy field

Crissy Field

This educational facility aims to educate people on urban environmental issues in the Bay Area.

land's end

Land’s End

Part of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Land’s End is San Francisco’s wildest and rockiest coast. Trails offer a cliff-top walk with scenic, 30-mile views of the coast. 

For more restaurant options around the country, have a look at all of Integrative Nutrition's Healthy Living Guides, or explore all our recommendations on the map below!

View IIN's Healthy Living Guide Map in a larger map

Do you have any restaurant suggestions for our upcoming Healthy Living Guides? Just send us an email to and we’ll do our best to include your suggestion when we get to your city!