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Pena Pachamama

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  • Vegan
    ( 30 reviews )
Contact 415-646-0018
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1630 Powell St (at North Beach), San Francisco, California, USA, 94133

Located in a historic speakeasy in San Francisco's old Latin Quarter, 'Peña' means a circle of people coming together and 'Pachamama' means Mother Earth. It features South American food with live performances after dinner most evenings. Menu is half raw and half cooked and fully gluten-free. Try the house-made vegan ice cream or raw kale chips. Check its webpage calendar for special events. Closed Sun.

Category: Vegan, Organic, Raw, Delivery, Take-out, Bolivian, Peruvian, Latin American

Reviews (30)

First Review by SynthVegan

AMAZING - Edit

One of the owners, a very youthful looking lady, told us she has been vegan for 16 years. She was so lovely, as are all of the staff. Awesome food, we have been twice in less than 24 hours and will probably be back tonight. Must visit if you're in San Fransisco.


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One of the best dining experiences!!! - Edit

My boyfriend and I went for an early dinner there because we were wandering through San Francisco and found this place on Happy Cow (didn't even read the reviews!). We had a pretty crappy day and our mood wasn't the best. When we got there, the restaurant was completely empty which was quite interesting. But we decided to eat there anyways. That was such a good decision. We ordered roasted potatoes as a starte. My boyfriend called them the best potatoes he ever had. As main dishes we had the beet cheese burger and the Chef's plate. Both was super good! The spinach was a little bit too salty but I loved the dish anyways! We ordered the brownie with ice cream and the chocolate crepe which were both perfect too. The atmosphere was really pleasent. The service was high quality too and we had a super nice talk with the owner (woman) who recommended us our mains. We were too early for the show but we'll definitely come back when we're in San Francisco. We left this restaurant with the best mood and a big smile, totally satisfied and it saved our day!

All in all:
This place is just perfect. The price is good, the food is excellent, the portion size is satisfying, the atmosphere is nice and you can bring omnivores (they'll love it!).
We are just sad that we don't live in San Francisco otherwise we'd come here all the time.

Updated from previous review on 2016-07-23

Pros: perfect food, perfect atmosphere, excellent service

Cons: NONE!


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Fun environment with interesting food - Edit

Pena Pachamama was an all-around enjoyable dining experience. It's a tiny spot in North Beach that you'd miss if you weren't seeking it out. Upon entering, the hostess told us they had a show starting in 20 minutes, so we'd either have to do their dinner special or pay $20 each for the show, on top of whatever we ordered. While the show aspect was unexpected, it was a pleasant surprise. The restaurant had many 8-10 tables surrounding a small stage - the decorations and atmosphere were very festive, there also seemed to be a small bar in the back of the restaurant. It's Peruvian food but all vegan, a very rare twist!

Food - The menu was generally quite vast, but the food was strongly good at best, not anything particularly special (if anything, a bit salty). I had the tacos and my boyfriend had the spicy chef's plate. The tacos were definitely preferred - there was a generous helping of guacamole, cashew cheese, some type of fake meat and spices. His chef's plate had tapioca, a black bean sauce and quinoa served in a pyramid-type structure and was surrounded by cashew cheese cooked-kale chips. His had a lot of flavors going on but they didn't necessarily work perfectly together, I did like the texture the kale chips were cooked to however. We'd split plantains with a black bean dip with friends for an appetizer - while they were a bit greasy, the sweetness combined with the saltiness from the black bean dip worked well together. For dessert we had a white chocolate cheesecake - particularly impressive and the texture was spot on with the creaminess and denseness of a true cheesecake - I loved the crust!

The show that evening was a flamenco show - three ladies singing and dancing and a guitarist, in total about 40 minutes long (two separate 20 minute segments). They were quite entertaining and a nice diversion from a typical dinner out. Service was as attentive as possible given the show going on as well. All in, it was a bit pricey given the overall experience, but it was a fun evening out with friends. While I wouldn't run back, I'd definitely go back again.


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beautiful place run by lovely people - Edit

I found this place while passed through San Fran with my dad. I walked in at about 1pm feeling kinda average and hungry. After hearing Eddie and His wife play and sing some Bolivian music, eating a cheeseburger that my omnivorous father loved, and talking with the owner about veganism, travel and music for about half an hour; I walked out with a full stomach a positive mood and a new friend. I will be back to the this place every time I pass through San Fran if I can. it was amazing.

In short:
Fully gluten free menu. half raw menu and half cooked. Raw deserts. go there. we played $70 for one platter (for two) one cheese burger, one desert and a glass of wine. definitely worth it

Pros: Fully vegan, live music, fully gluten free, lovely

Cons: a tad expensive compared to others but you pay for


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WOW!!!! - Edit

I can't praise this place enough, it was spectacular! I will recommend it to anyone who will listen. I loved everything about it. I went in for lunch and got chatting to the owners Eddy and his wife Quentin who were just charming lovely people. They told me all about their music and I had a great chat with Quentin about raw food cooking. My husband ( carnivore) came back with me the following night for dinner and a show. I had the raw sampler plate which had a bit of everything on it and he had some from the cooked side menu. We enjoyed our evening which included a show from some supremely talented musicians ( Eddy is a famous Bolivian musician) and a divine raw dessert. I love this place and if I lived in San Francisco, they'd probably have to give me a job there!

Pros: food was spectacular, hospitality of the hosts, music

Cons: I don't live in SF so can't go all the time!


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Great Energy! Almost a mystic vibe - Edit

The food tastes really good. I had something from m both the raw side and cooked vegan side of the menu. I like be on the east coast but I'm coming back here. The owners are music artists and took time to tell me their story. It's a cool one. A special special place for sure.

Pros: The food is local, organic, raw, vegan

Cons: Just a tad bit pricey


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delicious - Edit

Went here for lunch after seeing it on Happy Cow. It was very quiet but the reception was very friendly. The menu is great and our food was delicious. Some of the best food I've tasted. Also loved the history of the place. Next time I'm in San Francisco, I'll definitely go back for one of the nights they have music.


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Delicious - Edit

Entirely vegan Latin fare. The food was extraordinary. I ordered a dish with quinoa, greens, and kale chips as well as the plantain/black bean dip appetizer. I wish I had time to go back and try more items from the menu!

Pros: all vegan, moderately priced, cozy atmosphere

Cons: none!


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Excellent - Edit

An intimate and atmospheric restaurant. We went on one of the evenings without music, and found it to be wonderfully peaceful. However, I imagine it would be rather more lively when bands are playing. Service was excellent - then again, compared to the UK, service everywhere in the US is excellent - and the food was interesting, offering something different to the usual vegan options of burger, pasta or salad. We particularly recommend the beetroot neatballs.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday November 18, 2015

Pros: Atmospheric, Friendly staff, Interesting menu


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LOVED it!! - Edit

This place is so cute. I went in there to eat by myself and they made you feel like you were part of a community. It's owned by a married couple who are so sweet. When I was there they took turns entertaining us and serving us. The man brought me lots of food and drinks that I didn't even order to try them! I ended up buying their book. 100% recommend this place.

Pros: Ambiance, Entertaining, Cultural

Cons: If you like eating quietly, it's noisy


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All vegan Bolivian food! - Edit

Very tasty food, nice atmosphere, a real experience.

All the food tastes fresh and healthy. Though I have no experience of Bolivian food I really enjoyed my meal.

Pros: All vegan menu, Vegan desserts


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Wonderful Dining Experience - Edit

Pena Pachamama is a wonderful dining experience. With little knowledge of Bolivian cuisine, my family & I sampled a wide range of dishes including raw, cooked & desserts. The raw food in particular were extremely creative & delicious.

The atmosphere in the restaurant was a little lacking on the night we dined (very quiet with no music), however the restaurant had great character & a feeling of nostalgia. Overall, I would highly recommend this restaurant for those seeking a special dining experience.

Pros: Creative, delicious, healthy food, Nice restaurant interior, Great service

Cons: A little pricey


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A New World of Excellence - Edit

Everything about this experience was a pleasure. Being new to Bolivian cuisine, we asked our host to choose small plates and entrees that would give us a sense of the tradition. Everything was wonderful. Delicious complexity, wonderfully seasoned. It was all just exceptional. We went on one of the nights when they didn't have live music, so we had enjoyed a quiet, intimate atmosphere, but the food was so wonderful that we imagine the music would only add an extra layer of enjoyment. We were only in SF for a week, but chose to go back for a second dinner later in the week, which we enjoyed even more. By the way, save a little room for the desserts... they are exceptional.

Pros: Top quality food/delicious, Creative recipes, well executed, Great place/great people

Cons: forget your diet


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A must-do in San Francisco! - Edit

This place is amazing! Delicious menu set in an intimate, historic site with wonderful live performances and a sweet staff. Definitely a place for special occasions (the bill goes up quickly, but it's worth every penny). Plenty of vegan and raw food options, and the food is splendid. Can't wait to go back.

Pros: Quality food, Excellent live shows, Historic site and good atmosphere

Cons: A little pricey


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fair food and good ambiance - Edit

As vegan food lovers, and bolivian food lovers, we were a bit disappointed by the taste of the dishes that is just ok, not very tasteful nor original.

Good service and ambiance tough

Cons: fade taste


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You've got to try this place!!! - Edit

Wow absolutely delicious. Everything we ordered was fantastic. I was a little unsure when I read the menu online - it's Bolivian / South American and they really care about the taste and quality of the food. The lentil dip was amazing, my tacos were great, the buckwheat guacamole was delicious. Make an effort to get there - you won't be disappointed.

Pros: quality/care of food, taste, different/ unusual dishes

Cons: none


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Top class restaurent - Edit

Should I pick one restaurent in the world as the best, this would be it....
It is top quality food and the atmosphere are amazing. We visited twice when we were there. All the food is vegan, fresh and organic!!! The courses were unique and very tasty. We had kale chips with a slight taste of cheese. I am not a kale man, but theese were goood. Even my three years old son loved them. They did have a burger on the menu with fresh potatoes(very good), some dish with beans and vegetables, tapas, freshly homemade tacos(really good) and much more. All without flaws. They also had fresh lemonade made with agave instead of suger, so fresh and the desserts...don't get me started. Every night there will be performans and the night we were their the owners were on stages. They manage to create the most amazing atmosphere including the guest in the show. One of the guest went on stage to sing and several of us went to dance. Great evening.

Pros: Great unique food, Organic and vegan, Reasonable prices

Cons: None at all


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Delicious healthy food and lovely people - Edit

You have to try the kale chips and the richest chocolate mouse we've ever had. The portopancho and crackers with guacamole were also excellent. Good wine. The environment is really cozy and the restaurant is in a fun part of town. And the entertainment is highly entertaining.

Pros: Service, Decor, Super-friendly, warm and inviting owners


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Absolutely Amazing - Edit

This is such an amazing place. The atmosphere, the music, location, people and of course, the food.
Everything is done in house. The house made ice cream is to die for

Pros: Food, Staff, Location


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Really Delicious Vegan Restaurant - Edit

I live in San Francisco and have been to this restaurant twice now. The restaurant used to serve meat until the owners went vegan and decided to transform their entire restuarant to organic vegan (50% raw as well) and lost a lot of clients who were only interested in traditional Bolviian heavy meat-based dishes. Regardless of this consequence, they continued to pursue their beliefs and removed all animal products from their restaurant. Hearing their story was touching and the food was SO good.

I've taken non-vegans, raw vegans, and other vegans here and everyone loves it. There isn't a single dish on the menu I've tried and haven't liked.


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Amazing vegan food - Edit

We were surprised to never have been here before! The menu is 100% vegan and almost 100% gluten free! They have one salmon dish for musicians on the drinks menu, but it's not even on the main menu! It is truly a gem and anyone who lives vegetarian/vegan lifestyle would appreciate this place! Even meat eaters would be happy here! We ordered 6 different plates and enjoyed every single one!

We are musicians, so we were also happy to see the live stage in the middle of the restaurant. The owners, Quentin and Eddy, are charming and they have stories to tell! We plan on going back soon. This is our new favorite dinner place to go out to.

Pros: Amazing food, vegan, Friendly owners

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Great food, great music, great service - Edit

This place is a one of a kind restaurant. I entered the doors of Pachamama and was hooked immediately. The atmosphere is lovely and the smells were uniquely hypnotizing. I have to say that they have the best vegan food in San Francisco and I can guarantee they have options here that you won't find anywhere else. They have a vegan burger that is to die for and signature plates that could convince any meat eater to go vegan. They also have these kale chips that they make in house that are by far the best kale chips I have had in my life. They sell them in bags that you can also take home. My wife and I bought two and we finished them both the next day. The desserts were also incredible, I recommend trying the chocolate cake with a bit of their chocolate mousse. INCREDIBLE!

Just as spectacular as the food was the music. I went on a Saturday night which I must say was very lively and energetic. There wasn't an empty seat in the house. They were featuring an Arabic violinist whose talent was off the charts but mainly they play Andean music. One of the owners is from Bolivia and is a two time Grammy nominated musician! He plays this instrument called a charango which is like a guitar but smaller. Very cool. I had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife, who is the other owner, and both were extremely nice and welcoming. I really felt like they were having us in their home, a truly great experience.

The service was also excellent. Our waitress, Kat, was very kind and attended us with care and appreciation. Even though she was very busy, she was able to provide us excellent service, I was impressed.

I would give his place 10 stars if I could. Do yourself a favor and check out Pachamama. It is one of San Francisco's best kept secrets.

Pros: Food, Service, MUSIC


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AWESOME - Edit

This place has the best and most creative organic vegan food in the city! They told us there was a new menu and one side was all live food and gluten free. The other side was cooked vegan but also gluten free. Our favorites were the raw empanadas and live food BLT.and raw pecan fudge chocolate brownie. My sister had the Portopancho from the vegan cooked side of the menu. She is gluten free so was so happy knowing that everything on the main menu was gluten free. Her husband had the vegan burger, non-soy, he said that it was better than any other burger in the city. Another noteworthy food aré their Kale Chips, leagues above others! They had a great Cuban singer the night we were there, some Latín Grammy musician and one of the best violinists I have ever heard. A transformative night for my friends and i. We even danced in spite of all we had eaten. The owners are also the musicians, very special people. I am going to sign up for their raw food meetup group. Unlike any other, this place is a treasure!


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Great Food & Music - Went Veg*n January 2014 - Edit

This restaurant is such a gem. Every vegan/vegetarian in the Bay Area needs to be eating here regularly. The service is top notch, the food is superb, the entertainment is fabulous and the owner, Quentin Narvia is marvelous and sweet.

I'm visiting from New Hampshire for 10 days, (moving to the area in a couple of months) and feel so at home here. I've already eaten here twice since Friday and plan on eating here every night for the rest of the week. It's that good.

During my first visit, Quentin came and introduced herself to me, made recommendations, told me her story, and talked to me for several minutes about being a vegan and a musician and why they finally went all vegan (though they still have one Salmon dish on the menu, which I hope disappears soon). I loved how she explained the reason they went vegan, despite the warnings of others it would doom her. She said she would rather go out of business than to serve animals. They are people of principle and any true vegan need to support that.

She went upstairs and got a copy of the "musical vegan cookbook" she wrote and signed it for me. She and her husband, a Latin Grammy Nominated musician, then performed with their band for a little over an hour, with one of the customers coming on stage to perform. To top it off, our very polite and wonderful waiter Cole, ended the show with a very positive rap. You won't get this kind of experience anywhere.

After the show Quentin came and sat at my table to talk some more, even grabbing a raw brownie from the kitchen to share with us. It's rare to be made to feel so at home.

She also invited us to return on Sunday to hear Dr. Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet, speak. Of course I came, and was greeted with a warm hug and thanks for coming again. What an amazing evening it was. We got there at 5:30 to hear Dr. Tuttle, and had dinner over the span of 5 1/2 hours as they had Middle Eastern Musicians and Belly Dancers later in the evening.

Why are you still reading this...book your reservation now.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday January 15, 2014

Updated from previous review on Wednesday January 15, 2014

Updated from previous review on Thursday January 16, 2014

Pros: Good Food, Live Music, Friendly Staff and Owners


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Something different - Edit

We really liked this restaurant. We had the buckwheat crackers with guacamole to start, and they were really fresh and tasty. We had the vegan bolivian stew that is served over quinoa. It was spicy, as they advertise, and really nice flavors. We finished with the coconut cream pie, which was so yummy.

We got there on the early side since we had not eaten lunch and had to be in SF for a meeting. The staff doesn't show up until after 6, although the restaurant opens at 5:30, and the cook let us in. We had no issues though with ordering and getting our food. We were the only ones in the place until about 7, which was fine with us.

We'd definitely eat here again.

Pros: nice selection of raw and vegan items, friendly staff


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Unique and full of flavors, but service a bit slow - Edit

This is a nice little intimate space, though the live music is loud. The dishes are full of flavors and uniquely Peruvian. I had the vegetable stew with quinoa and kale chips. I hadn't had anything quite like it, so my taste buds definitely enjoyed the combination of flavors. I only wished there were more vegetables in the stew, which wasn't quite a stew either. It was much thicker than soupy.

For dessert, we shared a coconut cream pie, which was delish! It wasn't too sweet like many of the vegan dessert can be. The "cream" was made from Irish moss, a type of plant and congeals with water. Again, I've never had anything quite like it. This definitely a unique place to go. The service can be a little slow.

Pros: unique flavors in food, friendly staff

Cons: slow service


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Pena Pachamama - Nice owner! - Edit

So my friend and I figured that a Sunday night here would be slow, well we were wrong because there was a large birthday party, which led to problems as stated later in this review. There was a live Spanish band playing (which was neat) and the overall ambience of the place was nice (but very loud). The menu had several vegan and raw items - I was actually shocked by the amount of items they had. I decided to go tapas style and started with the avocado salad and intended to order more, furthermore, the waitress said she'd come back to the table to take our drink orders. Well the waitress never really came back and I never got to order a drink or additional food. To top it off, it took an hour for my friend and I to get our food. I realize that there was a large birthday party and one other table besides ours, but I think an hour is excessive. I also felt that there was too much avocado in the salad and the dressing wasn't impressive.

Originally I was going to give this place 1-2 cows because of the service, but I did talk to the owner a few days later about the situation - and she even went WAY out of her way for me regarding another situation there. I'm adding two cows for her service on top of the two cows for the live band and for having a good selection of vegan and raw items. I will give this place another shot when I return to SF.


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