Gracias Madre

Gracias Madre sits unassumingly in the midst of the foodie paradise that is the Mission district in San Francisco. It’s mere blocks from Mission Dolores and amongst the open street markets that line Mission Street. This is a vegan restaurant… and 100% gluten-free.

It took me a while to get here. I foolishly thought I could save a few dollars and walk the 2-miles to the restaurant from my hotel… not realizing that 2-miles is a long way and the Mission district has some very dodgy areas.

It was worth the hike, however, and if the rest of the world could figure out how to make Vegan food like Gracias Madre, I would be vegan forever… and never look back. The food is fantastic and memorable. I’ve never considered a squash taco as one of the world’s great culinary feats and yet they make it not only work… but they make it spectacular (and it’s filling). An appetizer at Gracias Madre is a filling meal.

Earlier in the day I was disappointed that I couldn’t get gluten-free guacamole from the Cheesecake Factory in Palo Alto (I know…!). In hindsight, it was a good thing, because I would have bypassed the guacamole at Gracias Madre… and that would have been a shame. The appetizer comes with amazing handmade hominy corn tortillas… that they make mere seconds before serving.

Not surprisingly, this restaurant is always packed, so be prepared to wait for a seat. There’s both inside and heated outside seating. The cost per meal is cheap. Even with wine, I ate for less than $20.

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