Taking its name from the majestic river that snakes across the plains of northern India, New Ganges Restaurant escorts diners on a culinary tour of the subcontinent with a diverse, all-vegetarian menu. The elegant dishes of cheesy paneer, rice-based biryani, and crispy pakora combine powerful flavors and vibrant color, exciting eyes and taste buds with an aromatic tapestry of yellows, greens, and reds akin to Candyland's decadent stoplights. Chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes, and greens punctuate the menu's simmering stews and dals, and fluffy loaves of chapatti and fragrant basmati rice sop up each spice-laden sauce. Chefs cap off sumptuous feastings with spoonfuls of rich pudding or sips of sweet, creamy lassi.
Maharani, named for the Sanskrit word for empress, brings authentic Indian cuisine to San Francisco with a menu of savory selections from the subcontinent. The Peacock Lounge shines under two shimmering crystal chandeliers and among the plethora of pearls and gems dressing the space. Bollywood banquets may begin with a side of garlic naan, a traditional Indian bread, topped with garlic and cilantro ($2.50). Ramp up your palate on Maharani's popular chicken tikka masala, which is first covered in a fire-safe blanket of spices and then fire-roasted ($14.75). Herbivores and herbivoyeurs, meanwhile, can avoid carnivorous desires with the saag paneer, spinach cooked in a blend of herbs and spices that pleases the biceps of sailor men everywhere ($8.95).
Its name translating to "fountain of delight," Ananda Fuara provides eaters of all dietary proclivities with an effervescent wellspring of vegetarian and vegan cuisine. The menu focuses on fresh, natural, and organic ingredients combined in delicious dishes brimming with the flavors of India, the Mediterranean, and the Americas. For lunch, choose from a list of one-plate specials such as the neatloaf, conjured from grains, eggs, ricotta, tofu, and spices and served with soup or salad ($7.25; vegan upon request). The soy turkey, avocado, and cheese wrap is served on a whole-wheat tortilla and beribboned with mayo made from tofu ($8.45) rather than the eggs of endangered howler monkeys. Come eventide, feast on toothsome ravioli stuffed with roasted squash, red peppers, spinach, onions, tofu, and spices ($8.95), or a grilled barbecue tofu burger ($7.95). Swab the digestive deck with mango lhassi, shakes, or loose-leaf tea ($2.95–$4.95), and sweeten down the hatches with a slice of the best vegan chocolate cake, according to SF Weekly.
A mélange of glowing press surrounds Source's vegan and vegetarian menu, which chefs craft with compassion for all life forms amid purified air and shimmering light shows. The eatery feeds the senses and uplifts down-on-their-luck rainbows with waterfall sounds and soothing ambient music. An enormous stone dragon's head draws attention to brick-oven-fired pizzas cloaked adventurously in house-made mozzarella, truffle oil, and guacamole. As cool waves of filtered air carry snippets of happy chatter, ionically filtered water serves as a building block for organic veggie burgers, raw salads, and sandwiches on freshly baked bread. Raw agave nectar leaps into beverages to kick sugar to the curb and allow patrons to enjoy natural sweetness without stealing beekeepers' thermoses. A tent over the outdoor patio admits sun on warm days and releases sated sighs to soar up into the sky.
Opened in 1979, Saturn Cafe blends traditional American diner dishes with a contemporary, forward-looking focus on social and environmental responsibility. The café puts a vegetarian and vegan spin on classic eats, including cholesterol-free veggie burgers and french fries cooked in trans fat-free oils. Whenever possible, Saturn Cafe culls organic ingredients from local farmers, instead of importing them from, say, Saturn.