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Lucky Creation Vegetarian

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 37 reviews )
Contact 415-989-0818

854 Washington St (at Stockton St, in Chinatown), San Francisco, California, USA, 94108

Vegetarian Chinese restaurant. Menu is all vegan and features a range of simple, very inexpensive Cantonese-style Chinese dishes. From the street, look for restaurant sign in green letters. Tiny, basic space. Has a glass case displaying some faux meats, steamed buns, and Chinese pastry cakes for takeaway. Open Mon-Tue 11:00am-9:00pm, Thu-Sun 11:00am-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan, Chinese, Take-out

Reviews (37)

First Review by juliotnunes

Authentic, humble vegan Chineese food - Edit

Lucky creation is the heart of Chinatown S.F.. The portions are big, the prices are reasonable but it is not upscale. It is authentic Chinese food and it is without pretension. There are few tables, and so often you will share a large table with others and meet some nice people. Frequently Buddhist monastics sit there and chat with the locals. It is busy, small, crowded and alive with the pulse of Vegan Chinatown. The soups are not as good as some of the main courses. It is so fun to have a place in Chinatown to eat because it is a great place to play tourist. Try tea at a tea bar after eating.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday August 19, 2014

Updated from previous review on Tuesday August 19, 2014

Updated from previous review on 2014-08-20

Pros: Taste of food, Price, Location

Cons: Small, Busy, Crowded

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Great Starters... Everything Else Pretty Bland - Edit

We came here based on seeing the relatively high rating, but hadn't read a lot of reviews (otherwise we probably would have skipped it). We got spring rolls and dumplings, which we both thought were some of the best we'd ever had. However, our actual meals were both very bland -- I got sautéed bean paste with mushrooms, and he got mushrooms with tofu. Both had extremely bland sauces. Also, you do walk through the kitchen to get to the bathrooms, both of which somehow smell like cat litter. Definitely not the cleanest place, which I'd forgive if the meal had been spectacular. But alas... not this time. Definitely surprised a how highly rated this place is.

Pros: Spring Rolls, Dumplings

Cons: Tasteless entrees, Definitely not clean

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Best Cantonese cuisine in the US! - Edit

I lived in Hong Kong a few years ago and this place reminds be of the awesome vegan food I would get there! In South Asia restaurants like this are set up to serve several dishes meant to be ordered for several people. Getting one thing on the menu may be anticlimactic. Ask your server to suggest something on the menu if you are ordering just one thing.

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Bland and Boring - Edit

I didn't like anything we ordered. The sauces were tasteless and were a gelatinous constancy. The teapot had lots of crusties around the rim.

Looking around the room, other people's food looked better than ours. I should have asked to try theirs. Ha

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over priced and tasteless - Edit

On a visit to Chinatown I was hoping to achieve a more sincere experience than Loving Hut, but I found Lucky Creation to be completely underwhelming. The menu isn't very variable and I found the price to be high for what was offered. My spring rolls were incredibly greasy and devoid of flavor and my entree was essentially just watery veggies.
I would definitely not recommend this place to anyone for any reason other than the minimal mock-meat selection (and I've had better mock-meat elsewhere as well). CASH ONLY.

Pros: none

Cons: overpriced, greasy (not in a good way), cash only

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basic & cheap - Edit

I liked this place because I prefer a vegetarian/vegan restaurant over a "normal" one and hoping that they have veg dishes on the menu and truly know what vegan implies. This place appeared to be one of the few in china town which is vegan, which is good because I didn't want to walk 10 blocks for food.

The food was served fast, questionably possibly too fast for it to be freshly made. Taste was OK, but rather bland and not much use of spices (I however found this to be the case in most of my american food experiences).

Service was basic but friendly.

Pros: cheap, one of the few vegan places in the area, Large portions

Cons: tast is bland, Not sure how fresh the food was

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Warning to Vegans & Vegetarians - Edit

Straight to the point- as we were eating a delivery man came in with boxes of chicken bouillon and brought them in. It doesn't necessarily mean they use it for the restaurant but its very suspicious.
Onto the rest- the place is seriously dirty. The bathroom is in the kitchen and the kitchen was extremely filthy.
The food wasn't great or disgusting, just average unhealthy Chinese food. I read some of the other reviews regarding money/check discrepancies and we experienced the same thing. First of all, they didn't bring us three items, two sparking waters and brown rice. They also gave me white rice when I ordered brown. But when we got the check they charged us for everything. When my partner stated that we didn't get the water and brown rice, she fought him over it. The bill was at least 5 dollars still more than what it was supposed to be but he just paid it and we left.
I would not eat here again, personally, but if you are in a bind and need some vegan food, fast (with the understanding they aren't putting chicken bouillon in the food) go for it.

Cons: dirty place, chicken bouillon , incorrect check total

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Felt like an authentic Chinatown experience - Edit

I've been to many Chinatown areas in big cities (NYC, London etc) and China itself and this restaurant felt authentic, so it was nice to find a vegan restaurant among the many eating establishments available.

Found the staff to be friendly and the service was quick

Spring rolls (3 large) and Potstickers (6) both nice

Main dishes
STUFF EGG PLANT, BELL PEPPER, BEAN CAKE - stuffed with a weird substance a bit like mashed potato which I didn't really like. Very oily but not unpleasant taste

DEEP FRIED CRISPY TARO ROLLS & BEAN CURD - basically deep fried very light pastry and deep fried balls with the same weird "mashed potato" stuffing

MEATLESS CHICKEN With curry sauce - the best of the main dishes, tasty curry sauce. The tofu texture was actually like fish. Nice broccoli

Whole meal was just over $30 so good value but I wouldn't rush back

Pros: inexpensive, quick service, seemed to be cooked to order

Cons: bit rough & ready premises

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hole in the wall, cheap but unimpressive - Edit

Just off the main drag of Chinatown (which in general isn't a nice place for people who don't like seeing dead animals), Lucky Creation is definitely a hole-in-the-wall. When we arrived an employee reading a newspaper was shooed away from a table in Chinese so we could sit. They close at 9 or 9:30 depending on the day, and they did seem to allow anyone who arrived by then to sit, although they might have rushed their ordering a bit. The ambiance is definitely authentic; the restaurant is not clean, quiet or fancy at all, but nothing suggested a concerning lack of hygiene in regards to the food. It is cash only, with dishes in the range $5-10.

Like another reviewer, I unfortunately saw kitchen employees sit down to their own dinner at a table in the restaurant which was definitely not vegan. I am left to assume it was cooked on shared utensils from their kitchen at the end of the day. Unlike other reviewers, I had no other problems with the staff or service.

What was disappointing was the food. The fried taro "fish" that I saw recommended was so sticky (think a plate of taro mashed-potato style) and bland. The potstickers were super oily and again, bland. Chow fun had the nicest texture of the 3 dishes we tried but again, flavorless. The tea was actually my favorite part of the meal. Nothing was bad, it just wasn't good either. Perhaps I didn't order well.

Do come here:
People with fond memories of Asia
Veg*ns on tight budgets wanting to try something different

Don't come here:
Showing out-of-town veg*ns around SF
Don't like "empty calories"
Worried about cleanliness/professionalism

Pros: cheap, vegan

Cons: cheap

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Absolutely Disgusting - Edit

THE WORST DINING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. I am shocked at the positive reviews for this place. Not only was the food slimy, cold, gelatinous and sour-smelling, the servers were rude, 3 different women asking us if we were ready to order within the first two minutes we sat down, and scowling when we said, "not yet, sorry"... My friend puked on the sidewalk as soon as we walked out the door.

Cons: dirty, disgusting food, rude servers, sickening

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Really 100% vegan..? - Edit

I went to Lucky Creation last Thursday, just before 9 pm (closing time). The staff was nice enough to still let us, and pretty much closed as soon as we set at the table. The food was basic, but very ok and affordable. I have been to Lucky Creation a few years ago, and came back as I liked the authentic chinese atmosphere (apart from the fact that the food is vegan), and the simple yet tasty dishes. This time, however, I am not so sure I will return.
Once they had served our food (we had simple spring rolls, and fried rice with veggies), the staff sat together at the round table in the restaurant for their own dinner. And much to our shock and dismay, they had meat, a large bowl of cooked chicken and fish. Now I am not squeamish about going to omnivore places as long as they can accomodate a vegan, but if I go to a restaurant which is vegan and even has the word 'vegetarian' in its name, then I expect the kitchen to be meat-free. I would also expect the staff to not devour on meat dishes in the middle of a vegan restaurant.
This left a bitter aftertaste even though it obviously has no impact on their menue and food quality.

Pros: Inexpensive

Cons: Toilets in kitchen need serious cleaning

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Authentic Chinese - Edit

We popped in here for lunch and enjoyed our 3 dishes for the most part. It's a small, locally owned all-vegetarian Chinese place...nice to have that as an option in the sea of Chinatown restaurants. It's not fancy but it's good.

Pros: good food, all-veg

Cons: could use a little extra cleaning

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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this place! - Edit

Yes, it's a hole in the wall, but it's a CLEAN hole in the wall! The food is wonderful! The Lucky Creation Chow Mein is my absolute favorite--full of mushrooms, veggies, and a wonderful sauce. I order it with tofu (an extra $1.00 or $2.00--depends on how they're feeling that day....) to really round it out.

The wait staff are absolutely lovely ladies, very sweet and friendly. And you know what? Buddhist monks and nuns eat here -- THAT tells you something!

Go! You'll love it!
Updated from previous review on Saturday January 11, 2014

Pros: Great Tasting Food at a Cheap Price, Portion Size (YUM!), Wait Staff

Cons: Not a de lux venue -- but who cares?

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Best vegan Chinese food. Anywhere. - Edit

Lucky Creation has been my favorite restaurant for almost 20 years! Favorite dishes: wheat gluten puff combination, veggie sausage (from the case), seaweed rolls (from the case), pot stickers, won ton soup, mixed vegetables in golden nest, gluten puff with curry sauce chow mein, meatless lemon chicken. Be prepared to walk through the kitchen to get to the bathroom.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday June 25, 2013

Pros: Delicious vegan food

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Chinese in China Town - Edit

From the reviews, I was a bit skeptical, but I happened to be checking out China Town while on vacation and it was time for lunch. As others have stated, it is located on the side street off the Main Street. Inside, it is small, and at the counter, there is an assortment of faux meats cooked you can get by weight. The menu was pretty good, and dishes could be shared. the pot stickers where a bit greasy, but soooo good. Fried rice dish really was really good. also had the chow mien....not really sure what was in it but it was good. overall, I would go back especially for the price. the staff was nice!

Pros: price, taste, location

Cons: cash only

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Disappointment - Edit

I went here in May 2011 and Lucky Creation is one of the most disappointing restaurants I went to.One man's dirty is another man's quaint, but this joint was just outright shabby. Our appetizer which was supposed to be warm was ice cold and only reheated in the microwave when I mentioned it. The rest of the food was not worth the money. My boyfriend(who is non veg)didn't complain, but I felt so bad making him have such a bad meal. Maybe this place changed over the years, based on previous reviews, but I would not recommend this place at all.

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Tolorable food, gross environment. - Edit

So, to be fair, it has been years since I've eaten here. The consensus seems unwaivering, however. Mediocre food in an unhygienic setting. Only go to if it's the only option. Which, in vegan friendly SF, is clearly never the case.

Pros: veggie, hopefully.

Cons: dirty, not good, probably use VegFarm, not vegan mock meats.

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mushrooms are the highlight. - Edit

This is a hole-in-the-wall, but as long as you don't have other expectations its fine. I ordered the "deluxe vegetables" which were fantastic! There were like 6 or more types of mushrooms. I also ordered the fried bean sheets with lemon sauce as recommended by another review. It was flavourless and dripping with sauce, I barely touched it and left what remained.
I would highly recommend the vegetable/mushroom dishes.

Pros: mushrooms, quick service

Cons: small location, deep fried food

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Hit the spot - Edit

My daughter and I loved this place. Our food was excellent, which is really all that matters to us. The service left a little to be desired, but they were trying to serve quite a crowd of people. It's a very small place, but people were packed in and I kept thinking we were all going to burst out like wearing jeans two sizes too small. When we first arrived there was quite a line and I spent a good time waiting in it before realizing they were all actually just headed to the counter for to-go items. To be seated you basically just need to barge in. Cash only. If having strangers really close bothers you get something to go (and in full disclosure I ate there on Chinese New Year so it may not always be that busy).

Pros: Tasty, All vegan, Cheap

Cons: Crowded, Cash only, Small

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Greasy Chinese in Chinatown - Edit

This is the greasy fast-foody Chinese that you crave. Er, if you crave that sort of thing. I've eaten at this place quite a few times, and while I've never been floored by the food it is really good. They do gluten very good. I also really like the fried taro appetizer. The downside is it is an unclean little greasy spoon. If you need to use the restroom you'll have to walk through the kitchen, and it is not at all an appetizing experience. My girlfriend even saw a dead fish in there once!

Pros: Good greasy Chinese, Gluten puffs, taro, Cheap

Cons: Not the greatest service, Kinda gross kitchen, kinda REALLY gross, Kitchen used to prepare meat for staff

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Good food, not nice to look at. - Edit

Lucky Creation has really good food. I had a mixed vegetable dish. It was mostly a bunch of different types mushrooms. It was really good though. The prices were cheap too. They have a lunch special as well. It was run down and not that clean though.

Pros: good food, cheap, good portions

Cons: run down, dirty

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Addiction - Edit

Whenever I visit San Francisco I go here every single day. Now - I'm not exaggerating...it's absolutely true. I am addicted to the Bean Sheets with Lemon Sauce. A few years back I used to try the other dishes...the mushroom ones always made me happy, but the rest never really did "it" for me...as I'm not a big mock meat fan. BUT now that I've had the bean sheets I barely order anything else. I think if you have a chance to visit Chinatown you should definitely try this neat little place out. It is small, and you have to look up for the Green Sign with it's name on it..otherwise you're likely to pass right by it.
It is a bit dingy and 'hole in the wall-ish' but well worth at least one try.

Pros: vegan, good prices, unique

Cons: a bit dingy, small/may be hard, to get a table when busy

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Great food, Hole in the Wall - Edit

The potstickers are fantastic. My advice is to stick with the vegetable dishes. I'm not a big fan of fake meat dishes. The mushroom dishes are fantastic. The curry noodles and vegetables also fantastic. The vegetables in bird's nest (fried noodles shaped like a nest) is fantastic. This truly is a hole in the wall. The front counter is scary looking, but the service is friendly, and the food is great.

Pros: Food, Prices, Services

Cons: Dingy, Dingy, Dingy

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Disgusting hygiene, rancid food - Edit

So I'm going directly from the best veggie Chinese I've ever had (in Quebec City) to the worst - this one.

I walked in to the dirtiest restaurant I have ever seen. There was so much dirt on the floor - dirt from a day's tables but also dirt like hair and other revolting miscellany. The serving counter grille had ground-in grime the like of which I would have expected the authorities to close down years ago. As we sat eating, a kitchen staffmember wheeled a huge trash bin right through the dining area, brushing its exterior encrusted with filth against guests' clothes - I have never seen anything so unhygenic.

I had chicken with chilli sauce, someone already remarked about the unpleasantness of the Worthington fake meat, others remarked about the blandness of the sauces - I second both, it's as if the chef just heated up some revolting Unilever emulsion since he had no imagination to add any flavours of his own. It had a rancid aftertaste, which was at least more taste than it had in the first place. The table next to me barely touched their food yet the staff just took their money without asking what was wrong. Charging for rice was cheeky, too.

I called ahead to check on their closing time - they said 9.30, yet at 9.11 they put up the closed sign and locked the door. Worth knowing if you're crazy enough to want to go here.

Pros: your only option in Chinatown

Cons: filthy dirty, not cheap, filthy dirty again

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Definitely different - Edit

Went on a Tuesday evening (7/22) and a small line had formed inside. A friendly local young woman gave me a heads up on what to order and what to avoid and I was so excited as well as hungry. The place is small, but run efficiently. They have specials on the table as well as their regular menu. We ordered the potstickers and stuffed bean cake as our appetizers. The potstickers were good, the bean cake just strange. For our entrees, we had the chicken with vegetables (spicy) off the specials menu along with the vegetables with shrimp balls (spicy), also off the specials menu and the taro fish. The taro fish was the best -- crispy on the outside, shaped like a fish and yummy. The specials I am sorry to say were not so good. The chicken was cubed fake meat a la Worthington canned fake meat. It had a strange taste and the veggies were fresh, but could not compensate for the taste. The shrimp balls dish was just awful -- the sauce was gloppy and tasteless and no amount of sambal could fix it. The service was fast and efficient and I only wish the food had tasted better.

Pros: Location was easy to find, Affordable, One of a few vegetarian places in SF

Cons: Food was not so good, Fake meat shouldn't taste like meat

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Great food, service, location - Edit

This is a quaint, small restaurant run by a few women. The service was consistently friendly and the menu is large with a number of mockmeat and vegan Chinese dishes. They even have unusual mockmeats like mock-goose.

I loved my diced chicken curry, which was light, fresh and filling. Their mock chicken looks like tofu, but the taste and texture is actually quite close to real chicken, which might be a plus or minus point depending on your point of view. I was not so impressed with the vegetable deluxe stir fry, which was a variety of different mushrooms (including unusual white fungus), with a couple of vegetables, in a watery soy sauce. It lacked zing. On a whole, though, I think their food was excellent. Prices are extremely low (under $7-8 for most dishes), but you have to pay $0.70 for each small cup of rice, so it adds up to much more. I was disappointed that they didn't have brown rice. Still, this is a nice joint to get a simple, fresh, tasty vegan Chinese meal.

Pros: Prices, Location, Tasty food

Cons: Charges for rice, No brown rice

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Yummy - Edit

The food was fabulous. At first we were a little scared of the hole in the wall atmosphere but once we realized the tantilizing smell in the air was coming from the fresh roasted candied walnuts cooling on the table next to us our bellies began to rumble. It is a definate must see next time you are in SanFrancisco's China Town.

Pros: Excellent Food, Easy to Find, Friendly Staff

Cons: Small, Scary Bathroom

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great - Edit

very much a hole in the wall cafe. Very small, with two lovely ladies in charge.
great hot and sour soup and the price are a bargain. you guys in the usa, don't realise how great you have it. the only downside was the rice could ahve been steamed rather than boiled.a bit harsh i know!!!!

Pros: great staff, great price

Cons: boild rice!!!

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Reviewer Avatar

i LOVE this place - Edit

we eat here daily when we visit san francisco... i have dreams about the chicken-less fried rice. it is amazing! the best vegan fried rice i've ever had. what every town needs is it's own lucky creation. :)

Pros: amazing food, affordable prices, large portions

Cons: small seating area

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Such a dive and I love it - Edit

I go here whenever I get to San Fran. A total dive, avoid the bathroom if you can. Food is great and reasonably priced. I love the service and always look forward to going there when I am in the Bay Area! I love the sweet and sour pork the best!

Pros: good food, good price, good service

Cons: frightening bathroom

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Lucky Creation - Edit

Nice small tasty restaurant. Food was very good and the service was very promt. Number 26 meatless chicken with churry sauce and number 40 braised bean cake with assorted vegetables with churry sauce. Would diffiantly go back again.

Pros: Promt, Affortable

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