As much as I love eating out at all sorts of restaurants, recently I’ve been wanting to eat healthier and exercise more.
I know it’s pretty much everyone’s New Year’s resolution to live a healthier lifestyle but I really feel that as I get older, this is much more important to me. Over the last few years, I’ve pretty much cut out all types of alcohol from my diet (hence you rarely see any cocktails, wine, and other alcoholic beverages in my reviews). Living in the Bay Area, people are very health conscious so eating healthy and exercising regularly isn’t as difficult as it may seem. I’m lucky enough to have parents who are both very physically active (my father is a marathon runner and my mother is a yoga fanatic) which motivates me to stay in shape. Also, the Bay Area has so many great “healthy” restaurants including vegetarian and vegan spots that are actually really yummy.
1. Basik Café: I know, I’m extremely late on the acaí bowl craze but I finally had my first one at Basik Café and it didn’t disappoint. Located on Polk Street in San Francisco, this is one of the most popular places to get your acaí fix. Basically on the bottom of each bowl, there is a smoothie of acaí (small berry that is a cross between grapes and blueberries with lots of antioxidants) and other ingredients topped with various fruit, nuts, and granola. They have five types of acaí bowls and seven types of smoothies. All of the acaí bowls sounded bomb but I ordered the forager which was a blend of acaí, cacao powder, and cashew milk topped with strawberries, bananas, granola, cacao nibs, raw cashews, and honey. It was really good. Fresh, simple, and delicious. I can’t wait to go back to try the other types! Other popular places in the city for acaí bowls are Blue Hawaii Acaí Café and Bowl’D Acaí.
2. Seed + Salt: This is probably one of the most adorable cafés in the Marina District in San Francisco. Seed + Salt specializes in plant based organic vegan food that is also gluten free. To any meat lover, this might sound like a nightmare but the chefs here really try to make healthy food taste and look great. In the morning they offer breakfast items and during the day they have salads, soups, and sandwiches. Everything on the menu sounded enticing and delicious. I decided to order their eggplant BLT sandwich that consisted of whole grain gluten free bread, eggplant “bacon”, little gem lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, pimentón mayonnaise, and I added avocado (because everything is better with avocado, duh). The sandwich was pretty darn tasty and the eggplant bacon was crispy and complex. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the gluten free bread since it was denser and slightly drier than normal bread. Another popular item here is the quinoa falafel wrap stuffed with vegetables wrapped in collard greens (it looked amazing).
3. Razan’s Organic Kitchen: This tiny café in Berkeley serves all organic Mediterranean food including vegetarian and vegan options. Razan’s Organic Kitchen has all sorts of delicious goodies such as burritos, wraps, combo plates, soups, salads, and even smoothies. I decided to get the Mediterranean plate which consists of hummus, lentil and rice salad, falafel, tabouleh, pita bread, and a salad. Fresh and healthy!
4. Analog: This quaint hipsterish joint in downtown Oakland is not your typical sandwich shop. Analog serves not only typical “deli” sandos but also vegan options as well. What’s even cooler is that they have hella beers on tap too. I got the dirty hippie sandwich which consisted of homemade hummus and vegan pesto with pickled red onions, tomato, avocado, and mixed greens. For most of their vegan sandwiches they use seitan, basically wheat fake meat, that takes on the flavor of whatever you season it with!
5. Farm:Table: This is probably one of the tiniest cafés I’ve ever seen! Located in Nob Hill in San Francisco, farm:table is the perfect go to spot for fresh and simple treats. The menu is pretty limited with just a few breakfast pastries and some savory sandwiches. I knew I had to try their famous daily toast, a thick slice of toasted honey bread smeared with house blended Mascarpone topped with local farmer’s market fruit and a sprinkle of pistachios. Therefore, depending on the day, the daily toast will be different in terms of what kind of bread and what types of fresh fruit are used.