Organic Vegan Choices for Lunchtime in San Francisco
August 5th, 2010

There's a busy new restaurant filled with hipsters and worker bees in the Financial District of San Francisco called The Plant Cafe Organic. Their dedication to sustainable food, green practices, and healthcare for SF workers is admirable. I've dined there several times now, and each experience has been consistently pleasant. They have sister restaurants on Pier 3 and in the Marina District. If you try to swing by for lunchtime, expect to wait in line. This is a popular joint. All the food is fresh and 100% organic, with a wide range nutritious fusion cuisine.

The Plant Cafe Organic has won the Metropolis Smart Environment Design Award for the use of green materials and practices. Their waterfront Embarcadero location boasts a solar powered kitchen.

Their diverse menu highlights a multitude of Vegan and Gluten Free options. Today I bought Udon Noodles for $10 with Baked Tofu for an extra $3. My receipt included a 3.5% service charge for employee health care. Lunch at the Plant may cost slightly more than you'd expect, but you're paying for warm and fuzzy green ethics. I'm ok with putting my money where my mouth is. All the employees smile and look happy, even during their busiest hours. This is a something that more restaurantours should aspire to.

The generously portioned fresh food was ready in about 10 minutes. The udon noodles and spicy lemongrass broth were waiting for me underneath a thick layer of steamed vegetables and hearty cuts of baked tofu. It's spicy for sure, but not too hot. The garlic, ginger, and peppers don't overpower the natural taste of the carrots and broccoli. In a word, yum. It reminds me of the types of soup my Mom would make me when I was sick as a child. This light and deeply satisfying broth is nearly comfort food.

The Plant Cafe Organic also offers a wide array of indulgent treats like Vegan cookies and cupcakes. Their Vegan chocolate chip cookies are impressively both soft and chewy. Organic homemade cookies start at $3.

Meat eaters will enjoy organic poultry and sustainable seafood.

The Plant Cafe Organic is open from 7:30am-3pm Mon-Fri. They're located at 101 California at Pine in San Francisco. If you stop by for lunch, let them know you read about their amazingly good food in the Examiner.

Kathleen Morford, SF Vegan Examiner
August 5, 2010

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