Kosher Veggie Chinese Hideaway Shangri-La Turns 35 This Year
Irving Street between 19th and 25th Avenues is a haven for snacking, a fickle stretch where eateries are plentiful and won't last long if they don't catch on quickly. Shangri-La Vegetarian Restaurant (2026 Irving) has sat in the middle of this Outer Sunset food court for 35 years now, no small feat for a niche as seemingly small as kosher vegetarian Chinese food.
Tamara Palmer Sweet and sour walnut lunch special at Shangri-La.
- Lunch Special: Shangri-La
Shangri-La is under the supervision of the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of San Francisco, which periodically re-ensures that the kitchen is kept kosher. And while it's a vegetarian restaurant, a large percentage of the menu is vegan, and other dishes (such as mu shu vegetables) can be made vegan upon request.
Here you'll find relatively low prices and some of the most interesting fake meat dishes in the city, including an appetizer portion of "vegetal [sic] goose," a convincing Kung Pao vegetable beef, and a sweet and sour dish made with walnuts and gluten puffs. There is even a section of herbaceous soups and stews believed to ease minor ailments.
The neighborhood has seen an increase of unhealthy food options over the past few years, and Shangri-La is deserving of more attention for being consistently healthy and delicious and surviving in a land of quick fixes.