Here's where to find the gut-healthy, plant-based, and otherwise healthy foods that exemplify clean eating in San Francisco.

You are here

February 11, 2020

9 Ways to Eat Healthy in San Francisco

When you’re on vacation, you'll want to sample as much local flavor as possible—but that doesn’t mean you have to throw good habits out the window. The beauty of San Francisco is the variety of food to discover. This is a city that sets the culinary trends and can modify dishes to every visitor's dietary requirements. Here are 9 ways to eat healthy in San Francisco.

For Plant-Based Diets

We love a good hamburger as much as anyone else, but the benefits of a plant-based diet, both for you and your environment, can't be denied. Head to Nourish Café (189 Sixth Ave.) in the Richmond for full plant-based meals. Try their acai bowls and lunch meals. The veggie wraps with hummus and avocado are delightful, and their delicious baked goods and sweets prove you don’t have to give up every guilty pleasure to be healthy.

For the Keto Diet

There's a reason the Keto Diet has become so popular. The combination of high-fat, moderate protein, and very limited carbs make it easy to find dishes without sacrificing variety or taste.

The Michelin-starred team at Luce (888 Howard St.) has curated a menu supplied by farms surrounding San Francisco. Their tasting menu includes Pacific blue prawns, handmade ricotta ravioli, and a selection of artisanal cheeses.


Fish and shellfish are popular with folks on the Keto Diet. They are rich in Vitamin B and yet light on carbs. Visit Bouche Restaurant (603 Bush St.) and try their octopus on a bed of cauliflower rice, tuna tartare, or load up on the veggie plate with sautéed romanesco and truffle oil.


For Gut-Healthy Foods

Being on vacation can wreak havoc on your gut health, affecting your body in multiple ways. Combat this with the healthy bacteria, or lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt.

Visit My Tofu House (4627 Geary Blvd.) and get energized with hot tofu soup (soon dubu), then dig into a side of kimchi along with delicious servings of Asian-style pork ribs.

Indian restaurants often serve a yogurt dish (curd) along with meals. It's refreshing and tasty, plus it helps keep you healthy. You can have some at New Delhi Restaurant (160 Ellis St.), as well as their popular butter chicken and lamb masala curry.


For Fast and Healthy Foods

Sometimes you just need a quick meal in between activities on your San Francisco itinerary. Getting something fast doesn't mean getting something unhealthy. The Plant Café Organic has a few locations around the city, including neighborhoods like Dogpatch and the Marina. You can fill up with quick meals that include white-meat burgers, salads, and gluten-free sides.

For the Mediterranean Diet

Folks who are blessed to live by the Mediterranean Sea are said to be some of the healthiest in the world. Why not follow their example and eat the way they do? Head to Oren's Hummus (71 Third St.) for authentic Israeli, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Choose gluten-free pita sandwiches, traditional shakshuka, or Moroccan carrot sides.

For A Japanese Diet

Historically, the Japanese people enjoy low rates of obesity and long life expectancy. Many attribute this to their diet. For excellent Japanese meals, dine at OZUMO (161 Steuart St.), a gorgeous restaurant that blends the traditional and the contemporary. The shaki-shaki salad is a delicious mix of salmon and fried shitake mushrooms. All their grilled skewers are gluten-free, so order the duck breast or black tiger shrimp for everyone in your party.


For Your Daily Dose of Vitamins

No matter how good your diet or workout routine may be, you need those daily vitamins. That's why you should have a meal at Seed + Salt (2240 Chestnut St.). There is no meat, no gluten, and no GMOs on the menu; just vitamin-packed meals that taste delicious, too. Popular choices are their beet-and-grains burger and quinoa falafel wrapped in collard greens.

For A Healthy Dose of Spice

If you think of spices as just ingredients, think again. Spices and herbs are a great source of plant phytonutrients, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. At Thai Spice Restaurant (1730 Polk St.), you'll get a well-rounded sampling of aromatic herbs. After trying the papaya salad, tuck into a warm bowl of tom ka gai (chicken in coconut soup and lime) and a creamy massaman curry that includes potatoes and peanuts.


For Sustainable Seafood

Being healthy goes beyond just you. We want the world we share to stay healthy, too. That's why sustainable seafood is such an important movement in the culinary world. For delicious, freshly caught seafood, visit Scoma's (Pier 47) at Fisherman's Wharf. There are no bad options at this San Francisco institution. Try their clam chowder, smoked salmon bruschetta, and prawns annuzzi in garlic lemon butter.


You may also like