A gourmet vegan restaurant in San Francisco. Their baked goods are nearly indistinguishable from dairy and egg filled ones (although the coloring can be a little weird sometimes due to the lack of egg.)

They have expanded beyond the restaurant to make frozen seitan turkeys available (at least as far west as Denver) and their cookies have been available in natural groceries for a long time.

On an ironic and personal note an old coworker of mine was the head chef there for a time after he graduated from the culinary academy in San Francisco. The thing that makes this story funny is that while I worked with him I was a very strict vegan (since returned to eating everything mainly because diabetes limited my choices) and he used to tease me mercilessly. Now he is one of the best vegan chefs on the planet and I eat meat.

The Now and Zen restaurant closed a couple of years ago, but Now and Zen still makes the un-turkey, cookies, whipped topping, fake ribs, fake steak, and other yummy vegan stuff. You can get these things at health food stores like Rainbow Grocery (S.F.) or Whole Foods. And, might I add, no restaurant has since been able to fill its now empty niche. Herbivore in le trendy mission doesn't even come close.



For more asian flavored cuisine, Golden Lotus in Oakland (Franklin and 13th) has Black China Bakery vegan cakes and tasty, affordable fare. I recommend the garlic 'beef' special. There's a sister store with the same menu on O'Farrell in the 'loin but I forgot what it was called. Around Jones and Taylor. You can also get Thai iced tea and coffee made with soy milk. V E R Y tasty.

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