• i am stuffed: cafe gratitude

    October 13th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), san francisco

    we visited a lot of restaurants last month when we were in the bay area, and one of the highlights was cafe gratitude in san francisco. the small eclectic eatery specializes in mainly raw healthy food and is almost entirely vegan, with only a few dishes that contain honey. i’d heard mixed reviews about the place, from people saying they were wonderful to people calling them a cult, and i’m just glad we decided to check it out for ourselves because the food was absolutely delicious.

    as i said earlier, the cuisine at cafe gratitude is mostly raw….but we were in the mood for something cooked. we tried to order a couple of the cooked entrees off the menu, but the waitress informed us that they weren’t available at this location (there are a few other cafe gratitudes in the bay area). she then quickly pointed to a “grain bowl” section on the menu and said that they were cooked and available to order. BOWLS! yes, i fucking love bowls, so i knew we were in business.

    i am graceful indian biryani bowl: Steamed brown rice or quinoa tossed with seasonal veggies, basil, cilantro, mint & cashews in an Indian coconut-curry sauce. $15

    one thing you gotta get past right away at cafe gratitude are the menu descriptions, which i will admit made me giggle a bit. they are all worded as affirmations, stuff like the “i am insightful spring rolls” and “i am fabulous lasagna”. we decided to get a couple bowls, starting with the “i am graceful indian biryani bowl,” which came with steamed brown rice, vegetables, basil, cilantro, mint and cashews in a coconut curry sauce. each bowl is available in a half size for $10, or a full size for $15. because we were hungry and wanted to get the most for our money, we ordered full-sized bowls, and they were HUGE. i mean MASSIVE. enough to feed 2 people each for sure. anyways, the indian bowl was actually my husbands meal, and he assured me it was amazing. i didn’t try it because it had bell peppers in it (which i hate), but the creamy sauce looked and smelled really good.

    i am whole macrobiotic bowl: Shredded kale, sea vegetables, choice of grain, house-made kim chee & sprouts with garlic-tahini sauce & teriyaki almonds. $15

    for my lunch, i went with the “i am whole macrobiotic bowl,” which was absolutely fantastic! it came with brown rice, shredded kale, sea vegetables, house-made kim chee, and sprouts with garlic-tahini sauce and teriyaki almonds. i got mine with no nuts and the sauce on the side, and i just couldn’t believe how flavorful all the fresh and pickled vegetables were. i did eat a little bit of the sauce (which was phenomenal), but the bowl honestly didn’t even need it. it’s a shame the photo doesn’t do this dish justice, hidden underneath those carrots is a whole array of greens and vegetables. i would definitely order this again.

    we went with every intention of sharing a piece of raw vegan tiramisu, but after eating 2 entire rice bowls that were bigger than my head, we had absolutely no room for any more food. i hear the desserts at cafe gratitude are awesome though, and i can’t wait to return.

    inside, cafe gratitude has a sort of hippie vibe going on. it’s light and airy with a long bar, huge communal tables, and extremely friendly staff. they’ve even got this inspirational and spiritual board game available to play at your table. whaa??!! definitely unlike any restaurant i’ve ever visited before.

    the atmosphere and affirmations may not appeal to everyone, but i can promise you cafe gratitude has insanely tasty food. that alone is worth the trip. i know i will be back whenever i am up north.

    check out cafe gratitude’s website for hours and locations.

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14 responses to “i am stuffed: cafe gratitude” RSS icon

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    The vegan biriyani bowl looks quite good.

  • You went to Cafe Gratitude and that’s what you got?! Man, what a disappointing post. I’ve seen so many amazing, interesting pictures of food there and this looks like something you could get anywhere. Boring.

  • @runlinds haha awww, sorry to disappoint you. I love bowls though, and prefer them to raw food…which was the only other option. luckily i wasn’t disappointed though; the food was amazing!

  • those bowls may not be photogenic, but i think they are some of the best things on the menu. thanks for talking about them qg, hopefully more people will order them

  • there is one opening in my hood in l.a.! i’d love to go check it out with you!

  • Oh man this looks right up my alley. If it’s anywhere near as good as Kind Kreme (aren’t they related somehow?) it must be amazing,

  • @¡Yo Soy Liz!, that’s because the woman who runs Kind Kreme is the daughter of the folks who run Cafe Gratitude. They’re all associated with the Landmark Forum, which is where the “weird menu names” come from. Landmark Forum is a Large Group Awareness Training kind of cult, so yes, there is a cult connection. But I hear the food is great at Gratitude, and Kind Kreme is also great stuff. Whaddyagonnado.

  • They look good to me, photogenic or not! 🙂

  • Johnny on the dpot

    Hahaha landmark a cult that’s historical. Did you know that almost every fortune 500 company makes there higher end employees take the landmark forum……. Landmark helps you improve your communication skills it’s not a cult

  • I’m with @runlinds. The food looks as bland as dirt (and shredded kale 😛 ). The only reason why @runlinds and I have left “bland” comments is because QuarryGirl ALWAYS leaves me salivating at my computer screen every single day!!! QuarryGirl postings make my morning!!!!!

  • At first I had no problem with Cafe Gratitude being part of the Landmark Forum, to each their own right? But then when articles came out about people not getting promoted at Cafe Gratitute because they chose not to become part of Landmark?? Now, that I have issues with. I find Cafe Gratitute to be quite bland. Gracias Madre, however, is a delicious restaurant of theirs that I will go to everytime I visit SF!

  • This is the article about Cafe Gratitude and Landmark. I am not a big fan of CG only because I find them fairly pretentious and I’m not a huge fan of raw food. This article really turned me off of them for good…


  • i live in australia and ive seen so many pics of the food and heard so much about the place and im hoping that they will expand from L.A and move around the world to australia (NSW)if possible. if not im on my way over to L.A to try the food!

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