In college, I was all about living Vegan. That is until I discovered being vegan conflicted with my love of shoes and designer handbags after a confrontation with an overly opinionated and self-righteous vegan. While I digress, the encounter was a life-altering moment. One in which, I discovered veganism is an idea. As much as I love and respect the concept, there are ways to reduce reliance on animal products ethically and sustainably.
While no longer vegan, I am a vegetarian and have been for over a decade now. When I cook, I cook vegan, and in a new city, I always make an effort to dine at the vegan restaurant of the day. Lucky for me, In San Francisco that meant eating tacos at the vegan Mexican eatery, Gracias Madres.
The name pays homage to Mother Earth, and mothers everywhere. In thanks for all the gifts they provide. On the back wall, you’ll find a letter of thanks to MaMa.
Thank you Mother, Gracias Madres, can be found in the city’s Mission District. The decor is hip and on par with what you expect from a Mexican restaurant. The clientele is a mix of hipsters, regular Joes, and celebrities. I sat a table away from Jayden Smith and was utterly oblivious to the jr. Smith beside me; until the host asked if I saw Will Smith’s mini-me.
The food, while classically Mexican in flavor, has been reimagined, reworked, and is unbelievable. I ordered, and devoured, the Enchiladas Verdes. So good! Of course, is paired perfectly with a side of fresh guac and a mezcal margarita.
My enchilada was extra cashew cheesy. For the non-vegetarians, I was surprised to hear the guy (to my other side) ask the waitress if the dish was really vegan as the cheese was just so creamy.
Regardless of your dietary preferences, Gracias Madre is a must. If you find yourself in the Golden Gate City, plug in Gracias Madre into your City Mapper and make a stop for the best “vegan” Mexican you’ll ever have.
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