Greens Restaurant

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 50 reviews )

2 Marina Boulevard Fort Mason Center, Building A (at Marina District), San Francisco, California, USA, 94123

Vegetarian dining in San Francisco with view: the windows on the side frame a sweeping view of the Bay, Marina, Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marin Headlands. Thirty-foot ceiling, contemporary paintings, and redwood sculptures decorate the interior. Food is mostly ovo-lacto vegetarian with some vegan (though most dishes can be made vegan upon request). Also Greens-To-Go take away counter. Est. 1979 as part of San Francisco Zen Center. Open daily.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Gourmet, Banquet

50 Reviews

First Review by aaronsk

Well Done - Edit

Solid place for vegetarian food.

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Gourmet cuisine with a view - Edit

Wonderfully located on the bay with a terrific view over the Golden Gate Bridge, this essential, yet sophisticated restaurant offers some interesting vegan options with Middle Eastern and Asian influences. Some dishes are delicately spicy, such as the fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce, while others offer a nice experience, such as the mesquite grilled brochettes. The staff are friendly but not overwhelming.

Pros: terrific view over the bay, location, professional staff, food quality

Cons: limited vegan options

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Elegant - Edit

My daughter and I ate here on our last day in San Francisco for brunch. We had a reservation and we were seated immediately. Everything was lovely and elegant but it was very busy causing it to be loud. I ordered what I think was the only vegan item on the menu that had a fancy name for a tofu and vegetable skewer with a lemony green sauce, served with great red and brown rice and a cabbage salad with a a very delicious and subtle dressing. We also had wonderful tea. My daughter broke the vegan rule to have the pizza but it was very sophisticated in its taste and as she said probably the best pizza she ever had. We had vegan desserts. My daughter had a three kinds of sorbet and I had chocolate mouse with cobnut ice cream. The wait staff was friendly and attentive and the setting was open and airy with a lovely view. My daughter and I felt that the experienced spoiled us for every day life! I don't know if I will ever be in San Francisco again, but if I am I will be sure to visit here.

Updated from previous review on 2018-01-08

Pros: Deliscious, Eelgent setting and food, Attentive staff

Cons: Noisy due to its popularity, Not enough vegan options, Expensive but worth it

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NYE Prixe fixe - Edit

Visited on NYE for their prixe fixe four course dinner for $68/pp. the ambience was beautiful and the staff was so nice and the view was great. Food was delicious too, but was a little disappointed. I figured for a vegetarian restaurant they would be a lot more creative and vegan forward. I found the menu strictly vegetarian with the ability to go vegan without vegan cheese substitutes or seitan or tofu. Would still recommend though.

Pros: atmosphere , view, service

Cons: not as vegan creative as I was hoping

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It was good - Edit

I would go again. The staff is super friendly and the view is priceless. We enjoyed the food and it is worth a visit when you are in SF!

Pros: tasty, friendly staff, great view

Cons: pricey

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Excellent all around! - Edit

Went for my 28 wedding anniversary this evening and enjoyed an exceptional meal. Had the brochettes, beans and avocado and warm cauliflower salad. Our waiter Lesley did an excellent job working with my present dietary restrictions of vegan, gluten free and sugar free. He knew the menu and was able to make suggestions for me right away. We sat by the window and watched the beautiful sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge. A perfect ending to beautiful day. We shall come back to Greens the next time in town.

Pros: quality fresh food, excellent service, wonderful location

Cons: none

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OK - Edit

We went on a Saturday afternoon. It was busy, but we found a table quickly.

The food was decent, but not outstanding. I've had many better vegan-ish meals in SF. Greens is well known and a stalwart, but not super exciting.

It was pretty pricy for the quality of the meal.

Updated from previous review on 2017-04-02

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Fancy night out! - Edit

I had my birthday dinner here. Expensive, delicious, and beautiful views, this is the place you come to if you want to treat yourself. Recommend

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Vegan options - Edit

We rushed here after flying in from Australia for lunch to get some takeaway vegan food. We got a coffee, chilli with rice and soup. We sat in a large park nearby and and ate the food while the sun was shining! Most of the take away foods had vegan options. It was all tasty and reasonably priced.

Pros: Clear on what is vegan and what isn't

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Not Vegan Friendly and Very Rude - Edit

I had been looking forward to having brunch at Greens for months while planning my trip to San Francisco. Unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment.

I have dined at vegetarian and vegan restaurants all over the world, there is usually a kind of comradery and kindness shared, knowing that it is a safe space for all trying to eat more consciously. At the very least there is a mutual respect and an understanding of vegan options. This, sadly, was not the case at Greens.

Or server was extremely rude to us from the get go, acting as if it was a bother we were there.

I had read on Happy Cow and numerous other guides that Greens, while vegetarian, was extremely vegan friendly (as almost all vegetarian restaurants are). This was not the case. When I got the menu I noticed that nothing was marked vegan. When our server came back to ask if we had questions, I asked him if they had a vegan menu and he just answered, "no."

I then asked how the vegan options are indicated on the menu and he answered, "they aren't."
I responded, "so you don't have any vegan options?"
He pointed to one thing and said, "just this" and then walked away.

My friend and I were stunned. We could see him just leaning against a wall on the other side of the room. He didn't come back for quite some time and no one seemed to notice us or fill our water glasses, so we decided to take our business elsewhere. I told the hostess why we were leaving and she just said, "oh."

I have never been so talked down to or treated so poorly at a vegetarian restaurant. They do not have vegan options, nor are they the least bit accommodating. I've had a million times better treatment and service as a vegan at a steakhouse than I did at Greens. Please spend your money at one of San Francisco's other veg friendly eateries. Most are happy to accommodate and understand what vegan options are.

Pros: Nice atmosphere and view

Cons: Not vegan friendly, very rude wait staff

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Not worth it - Edit

Was very disappointed with this place. The quality of the food and the portions didn't warrant the price of the food. For example, my sister paid $14 for a cut up peach with some goat cheese and honey. I mean, really?

Their vegan options were decent, as they were able to make around half of the menu items vegan, but the quality again wasn't that great. I ordered a spring roll dish, $14 again, and one small spring roll came out cut up into 4 pieces with a side of peanut sauce and a small mushroom/radish salad with no flavor.

We tried a few more dishes and they aren't even worth mentioning. Overall a fairly pretentious, overpriced place and I wouldn't recommend going.

Pros: views

Cons: quality of food , prices , portions

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well thought out food - Edit

The food and atmosphere was as close to fine dining as vegetarians will get in my opinion. The dishes were presented well and there was care and attention paid to the ingredients. The price was moderate to high but you get what you pay for. There were very accommodating to make vegetarian dishes vegan as I don't eat dairy. The menu was concise and fresh. An excellent choice for a nice night out!

Pros: high quality ingredients , great presentation , accommodating staff

Cons: a little bit pricy , dishes lacking in vegetable protein

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Nice View! - Edit

Window seats afford you a nice view of the golden gate and seals lounging on docks below. The food was good but didn't match the high expectations created by the great ambiance and service. We had the Indian sampler, which seemed like a rather small amount of food for the $18 price tag plus the flavors were very subtle. Also had mushroom spinach wrapped in philo which was also good and a vegetable brochette, which was probably the best of our selections. The banana chocolate cake was so-so, perhaps because it seemed refrigerator cold so wasn't soft and moist. Wouldn't recommend it. Service was great however. So food was good, just not great. I would return if looking for fantastic view but would likely look elsewhere if I wanted a great veg meal out.

Pros: easy paid parking in ft mason parking lot, beautiful dining room, great views

Cons: somewhat uninspired flavores

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Great view, Great food - Edit

Great: Ambiance, food, view, sunset! All great.

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Zen? More like Bleh. - Edit

I get that we ate there for lunch, and service during the lunch hour can be chaotic because you're serving business clientele. But for what the price you're paying? I'll never return.

The food was unmemorable. I couldn't believe I spent $50 on my meal. I should've just gone to Safeway down the street and prepared a meal for my veteran friend and made it tastier.

The worst was when the espresso and coffee arrived well after our dessert.

Maybe the flow of the restaurant has to do with its mission (pun intended). But, for the price and value, it's very overrated.

Pros: The ambiance.

Cons: Poor Service., Food came disorganized., Overpriced for bad service.

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Wonderful view, limited vegan options - Edit

The amazing view of the bay and GG bridge (IMPORTANT: be certain to ask for a table by the window when making reservations) alone make Greens the #1 choice for vegetarian/health-conscious out-of-towners visiting. They do have a nice vegetarian food selection, but the food itself isn't, in my opinion, outstanding enough to warrant high prices. The restaurant is beautiful and feels luxurious so if that is important to you you will probably like it here. They source some ingredients from a farm in Marin so that is nice.

The big problem is they seem to be pretty un-sympathetic to vegan customers, with really limited vegan offerings. It doesn't make much sense. As a vegan, I would not go here except with guests. That's disappointing.

I think this is a better option for high-end vegetarian dining than its main competition, Millenium downtown, because it's easier to park, the restaurant is more spacious and beautiful, and the view is amazing.

If it's your first time here, the Fort Mason buildings can be a little confusing. Inside the gated parking area, stay along the row of buildings to the left and keep walking towards the water. Watch for signs and you'll find it, disguised from the outside like all the other formerly military buildings.

Pros: View, Ample parking

Cons: Very limited vegan selection, Expensive

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Great vegetarian food & view - Edit

This is one of San Francisco's best gourmet vegetarian restaurants. We have been coming here for years. The menu changes regularly. Most recently we had some of their non alcoholic wine, the mushroom farro risotto, a side of artichokes, asparagus pizza, soup (kale or chard), & avocado salad. The appetizers were better than the entrees, which at Greens I have found to be slightly bland. I rate the food as being slightly lower than Millenium (the other high end gourmet restaurant in San Francisco), but Greens has the San Francisco Bay & Golden Gate Bridge view (Millenium has no view) & is cheaper. All in all, a place you should eat at. The food is creative & my comments are more subtleties from a self-appointed vegetarian food connoisseur. Be sure to reserve your table in advance, as they are booked months in advance for prime time, & weeks in advance for other dates. They are located in Fort Mason. You can park for free just outside Fort Mason or pay $2 per hour to park in the Fort Mason parking lot.

Pros: creative menu, good quality food, good service

Cons: small portions, taste is not very strong

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Great chilli to go - Edit

Have eaten here several times in last ten years whenever in SF. Good menu selection, albeit not cheap. Despite beautiful view from windows a takeout bean chilli is my favourite!

Pros: Fantastic views, Choice of dishes , Takeout available

Cons: A bit pricey

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  Contributions +35

Great vegan lunch - Edit

When I asked our concierge for a vegan restaurant nearby, he did not hesitate to recommend Greens. There were several options for vegans, so I am a little surprised by some of the reviews. I had the Mexican ragout with polenta. I just asked them to leave out the butter. My husband, who is vegetarian, opted for the linguini with garlic, pesto and veggies. He loved it.

The service was friendly and very fast. The cook, a delightful woman named Annie, stopped by our table and gave us some great recommendations for other vegan meals.

We had a wonderful table by the window from where we could watch the boats coming into the marina. A perfect experience.

Pros: Great ambiance, Courteous, quick service, Vegan and vegetarian options

Cons: A little pricey, but typical for SF

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Second-Hand Review (for my wife) - Edit

Two facts to begin:
- My "wife" of 25 years is not veg*n
- When she was diagnosed as terminally ill, Greens is where she wanted to go.

I couldn't call it her "last meal" wish, but it was the one place she wanted to revisit before departing. Some part of this desire stemmed from good memories of meals eaten here in the past. She also loves the setting. But, in the end, it is all about the food for her.

We have always gone on Saturday evenings for the prix fixe meals. She enjoys the variety and the fact that the food is "richer" than many vegetarian places offer.

As others have noted, it is something of a compromise for vegans, since few dishes are vegan "as is", though, sometimes, modifications are possible - less so on the prix fixe menu.

Service has always been impeccable, including prompt seating at the hour of the reservation.

For my "wife", five cows. From me, "yes dear, five cows".

Pros: Location and view, Service

Cons: A little sparse on the vegan offerings

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Not a good place for vegans - Edit

This restaurant is good if you are a vegetarian and do not mine overpaying for food. It is in a very pretty location. The menu does not cater to vegans and they are not as accommodating as they could be. They said you could call ahead and they will make sure that there is something suitable for a vegan, but it doesn't seem worth it when there are places that will feed me without that hassle.

Pros: Location

Cons: Not enough vegan options, Price

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Always a delight - Edit

I recently had lunch at Greens. It was a delightful experience as always. I had a Moroccan Chick Pea soup, the stir fry as entree and for dessert the strawberry rhubarb crisp, but with page mandarin sorbet substituted for the vanilla sorbet. All the items were well prepared and tasty. Most items on the menu could be made vegan. The ambiance was very pleasant. If you want to take out from Greens to Go, you should do it early. Even though they are open until 4 or 5 PM,they make everything beforehand, so will likely have run out well before closing.

Pros: most items can be made vegan, great food, pleasant dining

Cons: take out runs out of items early

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Unbelievable - Edit

I cannot figure out why anyone would give this restaurant a bad review. I went there twice when I was in CA last year and without exaggeration, it was the best restaurant food I've ever had in my life. None of my family is vegetarian, and even they couldn't get enough of it. I'm also surprised people said it didn't accommodate vegans well. In my experience, the servers were nothing short of amazing (always checking if things were okay, refilling our drinks, providing detailed responses to questions we asked about the dishes) and in both of my experiences at the restaurant, they never had any problem giving advice about what was vegan and what wasn't.

I wish I could give details of exactly what I ate there, but it was a while ago and I only remember little bits of it. One thing was plate with pita bread, olives, hummous, and a spiced tomato dip. It was delicious, and the same attention to detail that I felt was reflected in the excellent service was strongly reflected in the presentation of the food. The hummous came with cracked coriander seeds and the spices of the tomato dip just really made the dish "pop." Another dish I had was I think a fresh spring roll dish with tofu, vegetables and herbs, which came with an Asian mushroom salad and a nutty sauce. It was really good, and I was just sad that the portion size wasn't bigger (it was really quite small, but it was an entree as far as I know). I can't recall what dessert was the first time we went there, but on the second night it was a crumble/crisp with berries, I think, and vanilla soy ice cream. It was truly delicious and as a diehard vanilla fan, I was pleased that the creamy ice cream had real vanilla flavour. The two nights of food we had there haven't been forgotten by me, and they have become the yardstick by which I judge restaurant meals. None have compared since.

The only bad thing I have to say about the restaurant is that, since we all know how much better being vegan is for us and for the environment, I wish they made more of an effort to move toward veganism or at least tried make 50% of the menu vegan. Although, as I said, they are helpful about what is vegan and there's consistently vegan choices, a huge amount of what's served there does include cheese and many things include butter. It's possible at this time to make modern, trendy cuisine that is also vegan, and I think they should do so. Their chefs are obviously quite skilled, and I think they could do a good job of it.

Pros: Best food ever, Good staff, Beautiful setting

Cons: Hard to get a table, Fairly pricey, Not vegan

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Great Food & Ambience - Edit

Greens is a tradition for us whenever we're in SFO, Never disappoints.

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Great View - Edit

My first vegan meal in San Francisco. Good choice.

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Greens Restaurant - Edit

We made reservations for brunch at Greens, and I will say that if you like to dine with nice views, by all means make a reservation. Because we made a reservation, we were given one of the nice seats along the windows facing the bay/bridge. While there isn't much for a vegan on the breakfast menu, maybe two items, I fell in love with my order which was the Mesquite Grilled Brochettes. It came with potatoes, summer squash, peppers, white corn, red onions, cherry tomatoes and Hodo Soy tofu with chimichurri served with Massa Organics brown and red rice with Mexican cabbage slaw - I can't articulate how good it was but I will say the tofu in this dish was amazing (and I'm not a huge fan of tofu). The veggies were all also cooked perfectly and the chimichurri sauce was quite good. They also have a grab and go cafe up front of the building, so if you're not in the mood to sit and eat, by all means, go to the cafe counter they have more vegan options there (sandwiches, etc.). 4.5 cows.

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Acceptable - Edit

The views are amazing. Excellent location. The tables are nicely spaced so that you're not right on top of each other. The food was good, but I was expecting it to be great. The prices were high.

I'm glad I went once, but I would only come back to this restaurant again if I lived here. As a tourist, there are so many other wonderful veg*n options around that Greens falls lower on the list.

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