Vegetarian, mostly vegan small Thai restaurant. Affordable and not super fancy, but a step up from the standard. Focus on presentation so each dish looks colorful. Mostly classic Thai food but with re-interpreted flavors and ingredient combinations. Open Mon-Tue 11:00am-2:30pm, 5:00pm-9:30pm, Thu-Fri 11:00am-2:30pm, 5:00pm-9:30pm, Sat-Sun 12:00pm-9:30pm. Hours reported to be irregular - call ahead.

Venue map for Thai Idea Vegetarian
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53 Reviews

First Review by tartarugafechada


Points +30

24 Nov 2023

Great Thai food but not for the budget-conscious

Thai Idea is in a pretty sketchy part of town—you have to ring the doorbell to be let in. But once you are inside, it's a cozy place with really great food. I highly recommend the pad kee mao or pad see ew, or any of their curries, but it's all really good. Entrees are slightly above average price, but appetizers are nearly the same price as the entrees. You might be better off skipping them and getting more entrees/soups.

Service is super friendly. I used to go here every week when I wasn't watching my spending so much. Now it's an occasional treat.

Pros: Really good food., Friendly staff., Say "pet mahk mahk" for extra spicy!

Cons: Pricy appetizers., Sketchy neighborhood., Tough to find parking.



Points +742

22 Nov 2023

Very good

The food was very good and so is the service.

Pros: Quick


Points +17

Mostly Veg
10 Oct 2023

Delicious must try

Pumpkin curry
Yellow curry
Crab Rangoon’s
Thai tea

Updated from previous review on 2023-10-10

Pros: Everything is delicious. , Staff is super friendly and very atentative, Clean and prompt.

Cons: Parking is at times hard to find. , Neighborhood is rough


Points +98

15 Jul 2023

Beautifully spiced

Mostly Vegan. Despite being in a rough part of town you are welcome with a happy and calmly smile.

Pros: Flavor , Service , Speed


Points +2239

05 Jun 2023

All Veg Thai Food in the Tenderloin

I first went to San Francisco in 2002 & during that visit made a pilgrimage to Eric Tucker's Millennium restaurant that was in the Tenderloin yet is now based in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood.

The Tenderloin is still the Tenderloin as it reminds me of how Times Square in NYC used to be. Times Square has changed yet the TL still has a gritty edge to it along w/ being a great place to visit if you are a vegan.

There is Golden Era, Thai Idea Vegetarian, L & G for a tofu Banh Mi, & the energy of Millennium's legacy in the neighborhood. In fact it was countless visits to Golden Era over the last few months that have kept me from visiting Thai Idea sooner yet am glad I made the visit.

Thai is always a good idea & is especially a good idea if you dine at an all vegetarian restaurant called Thai Idea Vegetarian. It is in fact an ovo-vegetarian restaurant that is vegan except for serving eggs & dishes can easily be made vegan be omitting the egg on selected dishes.

The website link to Thai Idea on Yelp was down so the prices listed on Yelp were in fact higher than prices actually are here. Besides that rice isn't an additional charge as rice comes w/ all the dishes except if you have brown rice there is a minimal charge of around .50 cents which is very reasonable.

Many of the dishes offer choice of protein as either:
veggie chicken
veggie beef
veggie shrimp
veggie lamb

As is the case w/ dining at a vegan or vegetarian restaurant there is too much choice. I decided to go w/ the Green Curry as my server recommended it.

The Green Curry came w/ bell pepper, bamboo shoots, eggplant, string bean, baby corn, & basil. I opted to get it w/ veggie chicken. It was quite good & not too spicy yet spiced it up a bit w/ the spice condiments.

I look forward to returning here again in the future.

Pros: All Veg Thai Food in the Tenderloin


Points +136

12 Mar 2023


This place is SOOO GOOD. I have been craving vegan Thai since moving to the Bay Area and this went above and beyond my expectations! We ordered the vegan firecrackers, pad Thai (vegan sans egg) and Thai iced tea…then our server threw in some samosas leftover from a catering order, all insanely delicious! Can’t recommend enough!


Points +156

02 Mar 2023

Good veg Thai

I really like Thai Idea. I've been eating here for several years now. It's always solid and the staff is very kind and friendly. The only reason it's 4 stars is because of the neighborhood and lack of parking. Very reasonable prices.


Points +201

02 Jan 2023

Vegan Thai, need I say more?!

The first time I saw the sign on their window, Vegan Thai Food, I thought it must be some kind of trick or trap. How on earth could there be a vegan thai place in walking distance from where I work?! This is going to sound crazy but I didn't even go in there right away because it seemed too good to be true. Weird I know. When I finally did I was sad for the time I'd wasted. The food is fresh and delicious. The Pumpkin Curry is amazing, as is the Chow Fun, and their soups and starter plates are all inspired. My meat eater coworkers all love the place too.

Updated from previous review on 2018-04-07

Pros: Really delicious Thai food, Very pretty place


Points +3863

23 Dec 2022

Good Thai in the City

I believe their menu is 90% vegan at this point and they'll label something vegetarian otherwise.

- Firecracker Balls ($11.25) were like it's name... absolutely FIRE. Crunchy panko crusted bites which really resembled a fried tuna roll. A must start to your meal.

- Tom Kha Veggies ($14) is a classic coconut-milk based soup with plenty of veggies and tofu. You really can't go wrong with this dish.

- Rad Na ($14) - these flat-wide noodles cooked in a gravy sauce with mock meats were packed with flavor. The gravy was delicious and not overly oily.

- Roasted Duck Curry ($14) was also a huge hit. There were plenty of veggies and the creamy, red curry they used complimented well with the piping hot sticky rice bundles ordered on the side.

We ended the meal with their homemade Fried Banana and Ice Cream ($10), a melty goodness and tasty way to finish off a hearty meal.

Pros: All plant based Thai, Variety of options


Points +398

22 Nov 2022

Bland but healthy

I had a massaman curry, but it completely lacked flavor. It looked like only coconut milk with a bit of chili mixed in. Almost completely white.

Pros: Very healthy food

Cons: Most bland massaman curry I’ve had


Points +13

30 Jun 2022

Really yummy!! Friendly staff. Veggie meat is all soy based and made in house.

Very friendly staff and timely service. Fresh and delicious.

Pros: Vegan options , Authentic Thai with veggie meat

Cons: None


Points +167

16 Jun 2022

Great food, great service

Our food was delicious and plated beautifully. Loved the Pad Thai and the Satay. Would absolutely recommend!

Pros: Very cognizant of vegan vs vegetarian, Great menu with lots of options, Plating was well executed

Cons: Location is sketchy, unfortunately


Points +84

15 Apr 2022

Delicious thai food and amazing service!

Go check out this restaurant — you won’t be disappointed.


Points +20

05 Apr 2022

Love this restaurant

I have been ordering from them for two years. Every order has been great. Very accomodating of my allergies, very nice people and amazing food. Who could ask for more?


Points +116

28 Feb 2022

Good food but they have some issues

I used to love this place and I still do, but they've been racking up the issues. No less than three times one of the dishes we ordered had egg in it, even though we specified "vegan" and "no egg". Honestly, it's weird that they keep the egg dishes at all, just make the whole place vegan already.

Secondly, they have some weird system when you order online where it forces you to choose a "protein" or something, but then it replaces the regular ingredients with that, like what? For example, I really like their pineapple fried rice, as I've eaten it at their restaurant. But when ordering online I chose "tofu", since I thought these were add-ons, and then there was no shrimp in the rice, which is one of the normal components. Something along these lines also happened 2-3 times, so maybe it's better to just call them instead of using ordering platforms.

Lastly, last night we got food there and my stomach has been very upset. I'm wondering if it might be something to do with the vegan lamb.... maybe it had expired, or it's not entirely vegan? Maybe another issue? Not sure, but my stomach is sure it doesn't agree with it.

Pros: Good food, Friendly staff

Cons: Egg repeatedly in dishes when we ask for no egg, Problems with online platforms, Tummy....


Points +204

22 Jan 2022

Still great vegan food

Haven’t been here (due to work and Covid) for several years. Lots of Asian options. Lots of mock vegan foods and all fantastic! We started with spring rolls and crab cakes (vegan!). Both delicious! I had panang curry and my friend had green curry. You have to order rice to go with it. Mango sticky rice for dessert. #Veganuary

Updated from previous review on 2019-01-19

Pros: Lots of different Asian options , All delicious , Dessert good

Cons: You have to order rice to go with the curry


Points +210

07 Jan 2022

A delicious place to enjoy Vfood

Food was amazing

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Dishes can be veganized, Spacious, quiet and friendly

Cons: The neighborhood


Points +592

05 Jan 2022

Incredible food and service

I've been here several times and their food is always delicious. Serving size is massive, so expect to leave full and happy. Customer service is A1!


Points +6689

25 Nov 2021

Super vegan!

Everything is vegan or can be made vegan. So great. Cute restaurant with nice furnishings, the bathroom was nice but the toilet was just really messy... that's the only downside it just needs to be checked in on and cleaned more. The food tastes so great and they do some lovely plating. There are many little details that make Thai Idea stand out amongst other options for Thai food in the area. Another great thing is that even though there are a couple dishes that can have egg in them, the waitress double and triple checked with our table and every other table about whether or not we wanted egg or if we're vegan. Best attention to detail I've ever seen from restaurant that isn't technically fully vegan

Updated from previous review on 2021-11-25

Pros: Pretty much everything is vegan, They know what vegan means & are careful about it


Points +909

08 Nov 2021

Diverse menu

The menu is one of the best Thai places I’ve seen, having many different and unique dishes. I had vegan Catfish which I have no idea what that is or that it could exist, but I’m not complaining in the slightest.

Pros: Clearly labeled vegan options, Diverse menu , Good atmosphere

Cons: Bad area


Points +11

Mostly Veg
07 Oct 2021

Awesome Thai

Amazing and authentic Thai dishes - mostly vegan menu.
The pumpkin curry w/fake chicken, fried rice w/green curry and pad kee mao w/fake beef were all amazing.
Don’t miss the Thai crepe dessert!
Service is top notch too.


Points +759

28 Sep 2021

Good food

We enjoyed everything we ordered.


Points +591

12 Aug 2021

Best Thai Place Around

The spicy catfish and the Tom Yum fried rice are sooooooo good! I’m usually not a fan of faux meats (a lot of them taste like cardboard to me), but they do an excellent job with plant proteins here!

The portions are huge, so I didn’t have room for dessert. I’ll be back for the crepes! 🤤

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Delicious faux meats


Points +3324

31 May 2021

Thai Idea is always a good idea

Thai Idea is as good as I remember it. A friend who was visiting was in the neighborhood which was the perfect opportunity to visit the restaurant since things started to reopen.

The Papaya Salad is always a refreshing choice especially on a warm day. The Wing Bomb is a classic and a must have. Knowing we had two solid dishes, we felt adventurous and ordered the Spicy Catfish which blew our expectations. I’m currently into peppercorn and this dish had an abundance of that floral-spice mix that I love.

So many good things to choose from the menu that I easily forget that Thai Idea is not vegan. Just make sure to tell your waiter so they can make the necessary adjustments.


Points +42

02 Nov 2020

Fantastic Vegan food

This place is almost 100% vegan except for eggs in the fried rice.. They serve many plant based meats, all plant based meats are really good flavor and texture. There's lots of amazing dishes to choose from and the presentation is lovely. The desserts are vegan and delicious.

Updated from previous review on 2020-11-02

Pros: Lots of amazing dishes to choose from., Good sized portions, Great flavors and presentation

Cons: There are eggs in a couple of the fried rice dishe


Points +86

19 Aug 2020


This restaurant has some really good thai food that I enjoyed a lot with my partner. Very kind staff.


Points +124

27 Jul 2020

Curries are better

I had several items here before, including pad kee mao (my usual order at Thai restaurants), tom yum noodle soup, duck curry, and catfish special. I was not impressed with the pad kee mao or tom yum noodle soup which tasted rather basic, but the catfish with peppercorns was excellent and the curry was good too.

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