Gracias Madre SF
2211 Mission St. San Francisco, CA
Monday & Tuesday 11am - 10pm
Wednesday - Friday 11am - 11pm
Saturday 10am - 11pm
Sunday 10am - 10pm
Gracias Madre was created by Terces and Matthew Engelhart of Cafe Gratitude. When it first opened in 2010 in San Francisco, I was a bit worried that the food would have those annoying names like “I am Insightful” or “I am enlightened.” Or that the servers would ask you what you were grateful for when they first approached your table. Now, I’m someone who is grateful everyday for what I have and what I’ve survived—I just don’t find it necessary to share that with a stranger. It always felt forced the few times I visited Care Gratitude in Berkeley (now closed), and actually made me not want to patronize the place. But that’s just me.
However, the vibe at Gracias is totally different. No servers accost you at your table asking unnecessarily person questions, and the menu is straight forward—no “I am a happy tortilla” or anything. Everything is vegan, so whatever your thoughts on the Engelhart’s new dietary and lifestyle choices, know that this restaurant is a straight forward, if slightly up-scale, vegan Mexican restaurant. And the food is fucking delicious.
And I do want to say that I totally understand the controversy around the Engelhart’s, and I have my own thoughts and opinions on it, but that’s not what this blog is about. It’s about finding great vegan food in the general San Francisco area, and Gracias Madre fits the bill. You can choose to go or not to go; but if you do go, you won’t be disappointed. The food is rich, satisfying, organic and homemade. No Daiya here (thank goodness), but homemade cashew cream, coconut bacon and tempeh chorizo. This is seriously satisfying—and spicy—Mexican cuisine. I’ve eaten here many times over the years, and I’ve never had anything I didn’t like (I mean, for realz…).
They take reservations—best to make one just in case—and most of the tables are communal. There is a full bar, with several specialties (including a few delightful libations with cannabinoids; I was chillin’…) and brunch on the weekends. While Cody and I have been many times over the years, including birthday celebrations and bridal showers (okay, Cody wasn’t there for that), we had never had brunch. The weekend menus are a little different than the weekend day menus (check out all the menus here), but still delicious. Take a look at the photos below of our meal, beverages and the joint in general. What do you think? I’m thinking Valentines Day…..
There is also a Gracias Madre in West Hollywood.