Getting kids to eat vegetables is hard enough. Why not make things a little easier on yourself by outsourcing that task to the experts? Explore these vegan, vegetarian and plant-based restaurants with new and inventive ways of serving up one of the most important food groups. These kid-friendly spots will have your crew eating their daily greens in no time.
Head on over to a cozy corner off of California Avenue for nutrient-packed lunch for you and your little ones. There are salads and nourish bowls for you, and a variety of smoothies for your family. If a house-made nut and seed "not-tuna" sandwich sounds too exotic, try the "Nourish Burger" made out of quinoa and black beans instead. Nourish is strictly breakfast and lunch only. Pro Tip: There's a second location at 1030 Hyde street that is open until 7 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.
189 6th Ave.
San Francisco, CA
Wildseed truly has something for everyone at this plant-based restaurant. They have a variety of veggie burgers, vegetarian pizzas and red velvet flaxseed pancakes (brunch only!) for the kiddos, salads, and bowls for you and a full bar for anyone needing a little pick-me-up. Wildseed attempts to keep their ingredients local, and their menu nutritious with their registered dietician on staff. Take solace knowing this restaurant is owned by the same people who own Super Duper, so the burger must measure up. Pro tip: Check out their Brunch menu on Saturday or Sunday.
2000 Union Street
San Francisco, CA
We would be remiss to NOT include Greens restaurant who has been setting the standard for vegetarian food since 1979 in San Francisco. Located in a beautiful setting right on the Bay down in Fort Mason, Greens is sure to keep kids distracted by the boats, the Bay and the foot traffic long enough for their food to arrive. Take your friends who claim to be true meat lovers to this restaurant. The food is so good, they won't know what hit them. Shhhhh there's a secret kids menu that is incredibly accommodating for any picky tiny bellies. If you're still not convinced your kids will find something to eat, try the brunch menu—it's a sure-thing!
2 Marina Blvd, Fort Mason Bldg A
San Francisco, CA
Souley Vegan opened in Oakland in 2009 and has since spread to San Francisco and even Los Angeles. This restaurant serves up all the typical soul food fare including Gumbo and Jambalaya but with a plant-based spin. For any little ones who consider this menu too adventurous, no problem Souley's got you covered with a PB&J or a delicious black bean and quinoa burger all of which are sure to get a solid two thumbs up.
Although the title would suggest otherwise, this is a 100% plant-based Italian restaurant serving up all the usual fare but with a vegetarian spin. Your kids will have no trouble finding something to whet their palate, but they may have trouble landing on a decision. Even their kid's pasta has three choices for a sauce: plant-based tomato sauce, butter sauce with nutritional yeast (they'll never know what hit them!), or a creamy cashew-based pesto sauce. Head on over to Berkeley for this delightful refresh of your usual Italian fare.
1401 University Ave
Chef, father and owner Toriano Gordon opened this restaurant in the Lakeshore district of Oakland after adapting a plant-based diet into his own life. He decided to share his cooking with a larger population outside of his own family and we're all glad he did. Your kids can choose from things like the "Smackaroni", "Deep-fried grilled cheese", or an "Impossible Burger" while you decide between the "Nacho cheesesteak" made from plant-based brisket or the "Impossible Tacos". Just don't tell your kiddos it's all vegan.
500 Lake Park Ave
Chef Reina, aka Nick's Kitchen, has been serving up Filipino plant-based fare in Daly City since 2016. It has all the usual Filipino food you would expect including a Loco Moco, Ube pancakes, and Adobo "Chicken". Chef Reina has set the standard with the Peninsula's first Filipino Vegan restaurant. The switch from Nick's Kitchen to the online storefront of Chef Reina happened due to COVID to ensure the Peninsula would not lose its beloved fare. Pro Tip: Chef Reina is available for pick-up or delivery only.
25 Washington St
Daly City, CA
Happy Hooligans is putting its own spin on fast food by creating a take-out only menu with Vegan Burgers, Vegan Fish N' Chips, and Bacon Ranch Cheese Fries made with soy and house-made cheese sauce. Your kiddos eyes will pop when you tell them (after they've eaten, of course!) that their chicken nuggets are made entirely from plant-based ingredients.
1686 Lafayette St
Santa Clara, CA
Cozy Plum Bistro
At first glance, this bistro appears to just be your typical restaurant with very typical menu items, but upon further inspection you'll find all items are plant-based. All burgers are "Impossible Meat", burritos can include farro or sunflower seeds, and the pesto pizza is made with pistachios. Be sure to save room for a cherry soda and a gluten-free peanut butter cup for dessert. Pro tip: Entice your other family members to join you with their local brews on tap.
1899 Mendocino Ave
Santa Rosa, CA
Amy's Drive Thru
It can't be, can it? Is this THE Amy's from all those vegetarian items in the freezer department of my grocery story? Yes it is! Head up to Rohnert Park, conveniently located basically right around the corner from Scandia Family Fun center miniature golf course. Their menu is complete with veggie burgers, fries and even organic milkshakes. Even if you're not in the area, but looking for a fun Sunday drive, Amy's won't disappoint. Get the full scoop here.
58 Golf Course Drive West
Rohnert Park, CA
Slice of Life
Slice of Life serves up southwestern food with a vegetarian flair. Complete with the ever-popular avocado toast, a Cali burrito made with cashew queso, and a Californian Rueben with Tempeh. If all this sounds tooo healthy for your little spinach haters, fret not as a kids menu and some healthy beverages are cleverly disguised as enticing sounding juices and shakes.
6970 McKinley Ave
Featured photo: iStock