11 Restaurants for Real Food in San Francisco

Parsley Health
November 3, 2016

At Parsley Health, we believe that food is medicine. What you eat has the ability to hurt or heal you. We take this seriously. So when we landed in San Francisco , naturally we scoped out the best eats for plant-based paleo fuel in the city. Fortunately, the words “organic” and “plant-based” are no strangers to the Bay Area restaurant scene.

Gracias Madre

If you’re a foodie, you’ve heard of the deliciousness that is Gracias Madre. Created by the same amazing people that created Cafe Gratitude (a Parsley LA favorite), Gracias Madre is the place to be. The entire mexican-themed menu is organic, plant-based, non-GMO and locally sourced whenever possible. Sustainable and ethical sourcing is of the utmost importance to this restaurant as well.

The menu features beautiful produce determined by what is currently available at their farm… we aren’t joking. Guacamole with handmade, organic corn tortillas, what more could you ask for?

Parsley Favorite: Bowl Uno

Nourish Cafe

In need of a quick, healthy meal on-the-go? Nourish Cafe is your answer. This adorable plant-based eatery is dedicated to helping people “eat healthier and feel amazing through a natural, plant-based diet”. Sounds about right! They prioritize organic, non-GMO, whole foods, natural sweeteners and minimal oils, which is always a concern when eating out. This restaurant is serving up fresh salads, juices, smoothies açaí bowls, wraps, sandwiches and of course, avocado toast. Two of the many reasons why we love this place: the Veggie Wrap (just beating the Nourish Bowl as our favorite dish on the menu) is wrapped in a raw spirulina wrap; the Green Acai Bowl has spinach AND broccoli in it.

Parsley Favorite: Veggie Wrap


HeyDay is the healthy upgrade to your favorite neighborhood deli and sandwich shop. Organic produce, sustainably raised meats and homemade…well everything, take this lunch spot to the next level, making it a staple on our list. Think rows of yummy sandwiches, huge colorful salads and seasonal soups. The menu changes every three months to reflect seasonal, local ingredients, so you’ll be alright when you find yourself “forgetting” to pack your lunch a bit more than usual. HeyDay now offers takeout dinners like roasted organic chickens and carrots, which is a deep sigh of relief after a long day at the office.

Parsley Favorite: Split Pea Soup with the Moroccan Chickpea Salad

Little Gem

As a menu free of gluten , dairy and refined sugar, clearly Little Gem was making it on our go-to restaurant list. This fast-casual (breakfast and lunch are counter service) SF restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you can enjoy their high quality eats any day you wish. Sourcing is incredibly important to this restaurant, with all of their produce being naturally grown and free of additives, chemicals and modification. You can even find information about their suppliers on their website. The menu is veggie-heavy with well sourced proteins sprinkled about, just the way we like it.

Parsley Favorite: King of Hayes


Judahlicious is the epitome of a “crunchy granola” local eatery, and we are digging it. This spot is known for the many elaborate raw meals they craft like collard leaf tacos and fresh juices. While their smoothies tend to be loaded with a bit too much fruit and not enough veg, their food items hit the nail on the head. You can find something to satisfy whatever you’re craving – sweet, salty, fresh or comforting. Everything is organic, non-GMO, made in house and local whenever possible, making the food even easier to enjoy. Grab a salad, and hit the beach (that’s only 5 blocks away).

Parsley Favorite: Nekked Burrito

Green Heart Foods Cafe

Green Heart Foods started as a catering business helping promote healthy eating in the office and, thankfully, opened up a cafe a few years ago. The care here is real. The produce is organic and locally sourced as much as possible. All meats come from single ranchers who raise animals without hormones or antibiotics. The chicken is local, free-range, organic, pasture-raised and fed a non-GMO, vegetarian diet. You can find white sugar and flour in only one item on the menu – the classic cookie. Green Heart Foods conjures up weekly specials featuring amazing salads, delicious soups and their signature blue plate (think protein + veggies). As if it couldn’t get any better, they have housemade kimchi. The one thing that bothers us: the chefs thought of putting miso and gomashio on avocado toast before we did.

Parsley Favorite: Chai Chai Chia with a Matcha Latte

Blue Barn Gourmet

Simple and delicious, Blue Barn offers some of the best in elevated quintessential lunch food – salads, sandwiches and soups. This is not a restaurant where you order a salad and leave unsatisfied. The salad options are outstanding and the portions are huge, making getting in your daily leafy greens a breeze. We like to create our own with virtually anything and everything you could ever want (roasted brussels sprouts, roasted mixed mushrooms, beets). Then top it with grilled organic king salmon and call it a day. Salad bar dreams do come true. Presumably, the restaurant promotes organic, local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. Blue Barn has two adorably decorated locations in the San Francisco area, complete with chalkboard menus, wooden stools, flowers and mason jars.

Parsley Favorite: U-Pick Salad

Mission Heirloom

This Berkeley staple takes eating well seriously. Everything from their non-toxic kitchen supplies to their biodynamic farmers supports Mission Heirloom’s mission to make “a truly chemical-free meal”. Being 100% organic, grass-fed, gluten-free, non-GMO, sustainable and AIP friendly, they are serving up some of the best in paleo food. These dietary requirements may have you expecting a flavorless salad. We are here to tell you: expect the opposite. While the menu changes seasonally, some innovative items featured include Chicken and Waffles and Beef Empanadas. Garnished with industrial light bulbs and hanging potted plants, the Mission Heirloom Garden Cafe is a stunning mixture of modern and rustic. Check out their website for a plethora of information on their concept, standards and how to live healthfully and mindfully.

Parsley Favorite: Shepherd’s Pie

As Quoted

With all-white walls, marble countertops and stainless steal appliances, As Quoted is as beautiful as it is delicious. The community eatery specializes in dairy-, gluten-, nut- and soy-free cuisine, utilizing as many locally grown ingredients as possible. As Quoted’s slogan is “SLOW” – seasonal, local, organic, & wholesome. They offer all-organic pastries, salads, smoothies, soups, open-faced sandwiches and great coffees by Andytown Coffee Roasters, a local coffee roaster from the Outer Sunset area. As Quoted is definitely worth a visit, whether you are in need of tasty fuel or design inspiration.

Parsley Favorite: Daily Bone Broth, perfect for the microbiome

Native Juice Co

Juicing can be dangerous if you aren’t smart about it (cue constipation and blood sugar spikes), which is why we don’t participate in juice cleanses or high-sugar juices. However, this new juice shop in SF offers a green juice with no fruit (our go-to), as well as smoothies and delicious bites. Native Juice Co started as a stand at various Bay Area Farmer’s Markets and just recently opened in the Financial District. All of the ingredients used in the made-to-order smoothies, juices and food is organically grown in California with all of their supplying farms listed on their website. That is about as local as you can get.

Parsley Favorite: Soba Noodle Salad

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