California (Northern): Bay Area and Beyond for Dairy-Free Eats

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Last Updated in July 2021! We’ve created this ever-growing guide to restaurants, bakeries, cafes, ice cream shops, and stores in Northern California that are friendly to dairy-free diners. It’s a collection based on research and reader recommendations (send yours!) that’s divided into restaurants & shops by city (first) and major chains found throughout the state (second). And we’ve started a section for specialty dairy-free foods produced in this state.

We Update Continuously! You can ignore the original date on this post going forward. We update the information below whenever we’re alerted to a new recommendation, change, or closure.

Dairy-Free Northern California: Recommended Restaurants & Shops with vegan and gluten-free optionsPhoto from Stand-Up Burgers in Berkeley, California

Dairy-Free Northern California: Recommended Restaurants & Shops

We’ve listed these recommendations alphabetically by city and then by the restaurant or shop name. For large chains with locations throughout the state, see the Major Restaurant & Grocery Chains section below. We have dedicated posts with dairy-free details for many of the big guys.

⭐️ = Restaurant is either dairy-free, has a dairy-free menu, has dairy-free labels on their menu(s), or lists top allergens with menu items. (At the time of our last review.)

Local Northern California Restaurants Recommended for Dairy-Free Eats

Northern California has been referred to as the breadbasket of the world. This is where vegetables take center stage on menus, avocado is served on almost everything, and garlic isn’t just a flavoring, it’s a main ingredient. You’ll want to enjoy their boisterous salads, since every ingredient was probably grown or made in the region. And take advantage of the heavy Asian influence in this region. Authentic Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and other Eastern influences make it easy to find flavorful dairy-free cuisine.

Like everywhere in the U.S., the locals like their cheese. But due to the widespread popularity of veganism in the Bay Area, you won’t have much trouble asking for dairy-free options at restaurants. But the restaurants listed below go above and beyond with dairy-free, and often vegan and gluten-free, choices. We’ve listed these recommendations alphabetically by city, and then by the restaurant or shop name.

⭐️ = Restaurant is either dairy-free, has a dairy-free menu, has dairy-free labels on their menu(s), or lists top allergens with menu items. (At the time of our last review.)

Albany

  • Mr. Dewie’s Cashew Creamery ⭐️ – This dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free ice cream shop offers a range of cashew-based flavors and several vegan treats (like cookies, ice cream sandwiches, and sweet sauces by the jar).

Auburn

  • Nectar Cafe – Their vegetarian menu is filled with dairy-free and vegan options, including starters, wraps, bowls, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and Mexican fare. They also have vegan smoothies and shakes, gelato bars, and raw dessert cups.
  • The Healthy Habit – Several of their menu items can be ordered dairy free. They serve a range of smoothies, superfood bowls, breakfasts, salads, wraps, and sandwiches. They use almond or coconut milk for many of their dishes, and have coconut whip for a sweet topping.

Berkeley

  • Casa de Chocolates – This chocolate shop doesn’t leave anyone out. Their offerings include vegan bon bons, chocolate bars, sugar-free chocolate bars, and hot chocolate.
  • Cha-Ya ⭐️ – Their menu is completely vegan, and focuses on Asian food, with sushi, vegetable, rice,  noodle dishes, and dessert.
  • Cinnaholic – See our Cinnaholic Dairy-Free Info for full details.
  • CREAM Nation ⭐️ – Although this is a traditional ice cream sandwich shop, they do offer some vegan goodies. On the menu, you should see at least a couple dairy-free, plant-based ice cream flavors. And to make your dairy-free ice cream sandwich experience complete, they have a nice little selection of vegan cookies. Once your dairy-free dessert is assembled, it can be rolled in or garnished with select dairy-free toppings. Alternatively, you can order scoops, sundaes, shakes, and coffee drinks at this cool spot.
  • Earthbar – This wellness shop also contains a dairy-free juice and smoothie bar, where you can also order vegan waffles and toasts (with various toppings – including almondmilk ricotta), superfood bowls, and coffee drinks.
  • Flacos Authentic Vegetarian Comida ⭐️ – If you’re craving handmade corn tortillas and a traditional taste of Mexico, then you’ll want to stop by Flacos. Their menu is 100% vegan, and boasts taquitos, tacos, and tamales for a fair price.
  • Gather – This locavore restaurant serves a mix of healthy fresh eats and comfort cuisine in a warm atmosphere. They clearly label vegan and gluten-free options, and have a lot to choose from. They offer vegan pizzas, share plates, portobello burgers, cookies, and more. You can see some photos of their vegan dishes on Bittersweet. Even more dishes can be made dairy-free on request.
  • Lanesplitter Pizza & Pub – They have two vegan pizzas and a vegan calzone on their menu. Instead of mozza, they use a “notta ricotta” which is soy-based. You can order most of their pizzas without dairy.
  • Palm Acai Cafe – This is a great spot for acai bowls, smoothie bowls, and smoothies. At last check, their plant-based menu was dairy-free, but they do say they handle dairy (and other allergens) in their kitchen.
  • Stand-Up Burgers ⭐️ – You can order burgers, chili dogs, onion rings, fries, shakes – all of the fast food favorites at this vegan restaurant.
  • Tender Greens – Salads, bowls, sandwiches, and build-your-own plates are the specialty at this quintessentially California chain. Their menu boasts fresh and healthful cuisine with ample dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and other special diet options.
  • The Butcher’s Son ⭐️ – This was the second all-vegan “butcher” shop to pop up in North America. It’s situated in a popular vegan-friendly area, but only open midday (see The King’s Feet below for dinner). They offer house-made plant-based meats, dairy-free cheeses, pre-made meals, and so much more. Their menu has an impressive list of sandwiches, from Chicken Parm to Steak Banh Mi.
  • The Flying Falafel ⭐️ – This is a vegan Mediterranean restaurant that focuses on, you guessed it, falafel. They offer a handful of other dishes and also serve baklava, shakes, and “cheesecake.”
  • The Happy Hooligans ⭐️ – Their all-vegan menu is also labeled for gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free guests. It includes a big array of starters, burgers, sandwiches, bowls, burritos, and more. They also bake an array of cakes, including cheesecakes.
  • The Xocolate Bar – They make their own chocolates, and carry fine chocolate brands from around the world. They have many vegan products, including bon bons, chocolate bar flights, cacao fruit jam, hot chocolate, filled bars, and more.
  • Timeless Coffee Roasters ⭐️ – This is a purely vegan coffee shop and bakery. They pour lattes with your choice of oat, soy, or almond milk, bake all types of sweet and savory pastries, craft chocolates, and take orders for decadent cakes.
  • Vital Vittles Organic Bakery ⭐️ – This is an organic mill and bakery that bakes dairy-free and vegan breads and cookies.

Burlingame

  • Blue Line Pizza – They are reportedly well-versed at handling allergy orders, and they offer a vegan pizza crust and Daiya dairy-free cheese, so most pizzas can be ordered without dairy.

Campbell

  • Blue Line Pizza – They are reportedly well-versed at handling allergy orders, and they offer a vegan pizza crust and Daiya dairy-free cheese, so most pizzas can be ordered without dairy.
  • Burger Lounge – This SoCal chain serves grass-fed burgers alongside a whole menu of vegan burgers. They offer vegan buns, dairy-free cheese, and bunless paleo and keto options. Select locations (check in advance) offer dairy-free milkshakes and root beer floats made with cashew milk ice cream.

Carmel

  • Alvarado Street Brewery – They offer (canned) vegan hard smoothies, and offer a vegan burger on the menu, but many more dishes can be ordered dairy free. They are reportedly quite accommodating to dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan guests.

Concord

  • Cinnaholic – See our Cinnaholic Dairy-Free Info for full details.
  • Next Level Burger ⭐️ – This fledgling chain touts itself as America’s first fully vegan burger joint. It’s a counter-serve spot with an array of plant-based burgers, “chicken” sandwiches, fries, and tots. They also blend dairy-free shakes and have house-made soft serve. This location is inside Whole Foods.

Corte Madera

  • Amy’s Drive Thru ⭐️ – This is their second location – the first is in Rohnert Park. It’s an all-vegetarian fast food spot serving a big array of Amy’s organic cuisine. “Everything” on the menu has vegan and gluten-free options, and includes veggie burgers, burritos, chili, soups, and salads. They also have dairy-free smoothies and kombucha and nitro cold brew on tap.
  • The Counter – They have a few outposts in other U.S. states, but The Counter is primarily a California burger chain with an expansive vegan menu. They even offer vegan cheese. Consequently, their burgers and many other savory items can be made dairy-free on request.
  • Veggie Grill ⭐️ – This vegan fast-casual restaurant chain serves burgers, sandwiches, bowls, salads, and plant-based variations on popular dishes. Their selection ranges from fresh and healthy to comfort food. They also have a menu of desserts.

Cupertino

  • CREAM Nation ⭐️ – Although this is a traditional ice cream sandwich shop, they do offer some vegan goodies. On the menu, you should see at least a couple dairy-free, plant-based ice cream flavors. And to make your dairy-free ice cream sandwich experience complete, they have a nice little selection of vegan cookies. Once your dairy-free dessert is assembled, it can be rolled in or garnished with select dairy-free toppings. Alternatively, you can order scoops, sundaes, shakes, and coffee drinks at this cool spot.
  • The Counter – They have a few outposts in other U.S. states, but The Counter is primarily a California burger chain with an expansive vegan menu. They even offer vegan cheese. Consequently, their burgers and many other savory items can be made dairy-free on request.

Daly City

  • Blue Line Pizza – They are reportedly well-versed at handling allergy orders, and they offer a vegan pizza crust and Daiya dairy-free cheese, so most pizzas can be ordered without dairy.

Danville

  • Acai & Bowls Cafe – A reader named Diana recommended this acai bowl spot to us. All of their bowls and smoothies are dairy-free, they have gluten-free granola available, and according to Diana, they are very allergy-friendly. “If you have any other allergies like I do to kiwi fruit they will wash down all cutting boards before making your bowl!” Just take note that they do serve cheese on their sandwiches.
  • Blue Line Pizza – They are reportedly well-versed at handling allergy orders, and they offer a vegan pizza crust and Daiya dairy-free cheese, so most pizzas can be ordered without dairy.

Davis

  • Farmers Kitchen Cafe – This is a seasonal restaurant, so their menu can change. But they typically offer burgers, sandwiches, and salads, and can make most menu items dairy free.

Elk Grove

Emeryville

  • Lanesplitter Pizza & Pub – They have two vegan pizzas and a vegan calzone on their menu. Instead of mozza, they use a “notta ricotta” which is soy-based. You can order most of their pizzas without dairy.
  • Monster Pho – My friend Sharon at Nut Free Wok recommended this popular local Vietnamese restaurant. Most Vietnamese restaurants offer a highly dairy-free menu, but Sharon felt this one was best for both food and special diet service. “Monster Pho has the best food and is very kind and inclusive to people with food allergies. Their desserts contain dairy but the entrée items do not have dairy, be sure to let them know about your food allergies.”
  • Mr. Dewie’s Cashew Creamery ⭐️ – This dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free ice cream shop offers a range of cashew-based flavors and several vegan treats (like cookies, ice cream sandwiches, and sweet sauces by the jar).

Folsom

Fremont

  • The Counter – They have a few outposts in other U.S. states, but The Counter is primarily a California burger chain with an expansive vegan menu. They even offer vegan cheese. Consequently, their burgers and many other savory items can be made dairy-free on request.

Fresno

  • Hummus Republic – Their build-your-own pita, wrap, or bowl menu is filled with dairy-free options. They even offer vegan proteins, and most components are dairy-free (includes hummuses and dressings). They clearly label for vegan and gluten-free guests.
  • Loving Hut ⭐️ – See our Loving Hut Post for more information on this vegan restaurant chain.
  • Raw Fresno – This laid back, California casual cafe (and food truck) serves an array of mostly raw, all vegan food. They offer wraps, tacos, and an array of creative eats, but also make cakes! They craft healthier dairy-free cheesecakes, layer cakes, pies, and other treats.

Grass Valley

  • Pine Street Burgers – You can order their burgers, chicken sandwiches, and vegan burgers dairy-free, because they offer vegan cheese and vegan buns as options. They also blend dairy-free shakes with Coconut Bliss.

Hollister

  • Saladworks – Pretty much their entire menu contains dairy, but they offer an interactive allergen menu that tells you how to custom order most items without dairy (or other special diet needs). You can choose between salads, warm grain bowls, wraps, and a few other items. They offer a good handful of dairy-free dressings, and do have gluten-free and vegan options.

Lafayette

  • Proposition Chicken – This is a local Bay Area chain. Their fried and fake (tofu) chicken is dairy-free. Their flipped chicken is dairy-free, but reheated in butter – just request “no butter” and they will use olive oil. All of their sandwiches and entrees are dairy-free or can be made dairy-free on request. They can also make a custom order kale salad. Just be sure to ask which dipping sauces are dairy-free when placing your order – they have options like chimichurri, bbq sauce, and habanero.

Lathrop

Los Altos

  • Bluestone Lane Los Altos Café – They label their menu for items that contain dairy, which seems like a lot. But they actually have a good handful of dairy-free items, including sandwiches, wraps, salads, and bowls. A few more items can be custom ordered without dairy.
  • Ladle & Leaf – In 2020, they turned to more of a pick-up model, and we aren’t sure if their cafes will reopen. Either way, they label their menu items for dairy-free ang gluten-free customers, and have a good selection of dairy-free soups, salads, and ready-made entrees.
  • Sweet Diplomacy ⭐️ – Everything at this bake shop, coffeehouse, and local market is gluten-free, soy-free, and peanut-free. But they also offer a big selection for dairy-free customers, including cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, meringue, clafoutis, and more. They also have vegan and paleo options. Their coffee drinks can be made with soy, almond, or oat milk.

Los Gatos

  • Blue Line Pizza – They are reportedly well-versed at handling allergy orders, and they offer a vegan pizza crust and Daiya dairy-free cheese, so most pizzas can be ordered without dairy.

Marin

  • Gott’s Roadside – They have an extensive menu of burgers that you can order with beef, turkey, or vegan Impossible patties. You do need to custom order for dairy-free and vegan, but they do offer a vegan bun and lettuce wrap. Their menu also includes various salads, tacos, poke, and more.

Martinez

  • Slow Hand BBQ – A Go Dairy Free fan named Diana emailed this recommendation. “All the meats at Slow Hand BBQ are gluten free and dairy free. This was a secret find because they don’t advertise it but they hardly put any ingredients in their meat. They feel smoking it gives it the flavor. Their BBQ sauces are even gluten free and dairy free! The sides that are dairy free are the coleslaw and German potato salad – they are even egg free with no mayo. Just tell them about your allergies and they will work with you.”

Menlo Park

  • Proposition Chicken – This is a local Bay Area chain. Their fried and fake (tofu) chicken is dairy-free. Their flipped chicken is dairy-free, but reheated in butter – just request “no butter” and they will use olive oil. All of their sandwiches and entrees are dairy-free or can be made dairy-free on request. They can also make a custom order kale salad. Just be sure to ask which dipping sauces are dairy-free when placing your order – they have options like chimichurri, bbq sauce, and habanero.

Mill Valley

  • Flour Craft Bakery & Cafe – This is a gluten-free establishment, but they offer several vegan goodies. This includes vegan donuts (flavors change seasonally), bread (additional loaves are “just” dairy-free), cookies, brownies, granola, and chocolate layer cakes (on order). You can also custom order dairy-free toasts, tartines, and salads from their cafe.

Milpitas

  • CREAM Nation ⭐️ – Although this is a traditional ice cream sandwich shop, they do offer some vegan goodies. On the menu, you should see at least a couple dairy-free, plant-based ice cream flavors. And to make your dairy-free ice cream sandwich experience complete, they have a nice little selection of vegan cookies. Once your dairy-free dessert is assembled, it can be rolled in or garnished with select dairy-free toppings. Alternatively, you can order scoops, sundaes, shakes, and coffee drinks at this cool spot.
  • Loving Hut ⭐️ – See our Loving Hut Post for more information on this vegan restaurant chain.

Modesto

  • MidiCi Pizza – Their signature Neapolitan dough is light, thin, soft, and chewy, with a high crust, and it’s dairy-free. It’s made purely with a special Neapolitan flour, water, sea salt, and yeast. They also offer dairy-free cheese alternative and vegan sausage, and have several custom order salad options.
  • Yogurt Mill – They offer dairy-free soft serve in creamy (made with oat milk), sorbet, and acai varieties. Depending on the day and location, they might have 2 to 5 dairy-free flavor options. They also offer non-dairy fudge sauce and a good selection of toppings.

Monterey

  • Alvarado Street Brewery – They offer (canned) vegan hard smoothies, and offer a vegan burger on the menu, but many more dishes can be ordered dairy free. They are reportedly quite accommodating to dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan guests.
  • El Cantaro ⭐️ – Everything is vegan at this Mexican restaurant. They make quesadillas, enchiladas, taco, burritos, plates, and much more.
  • Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop – They’ve added dairy-free Coconut Bliss Madagascan Vanilla ice cream to their scoop menu. They also offer floats, and select dairy-free toppings for sundaes. In the chocolate shop, check out their hot cocoa mixes, they have options made without dairy.
  • Hula’s Island Grill – Enjoy the tiki-atmosphere at this 1960s throwback restaurant. They have a wonderful atmosphere for happy hour, lunch or dinner. We also found them to be extremely helpful and kind with special diet requests. They have a gluten-free menu and many naturally dairy-free selections. Their menus are fish-heavy, but include loads of burgers, sandwiches, salads, bowls, entrees, and “pupus” – all with a Hawaiian flavor flair. They also have a fun assortment of “adults-only” drinks, many served in tiki glasses, of course.
  • MidiCi Pizza – Their signature Neapolitan dough is light, thin, soft, and chewy, with a high crust, and it’s dairy-free. It’s made purely with a special Neapolitan flour, water, sea salt, and yeast. They also offer dairy-free cheese alternative and vegan sausage, and have several custom order salad options.
  • Monterey’s Tasty Olive Bar – For a fun dairy-free tasting, head to this olive oil and vinegar shop. They have over 70 varieties available for tasting, and they also sell flavorful spices, and some dairy-free sauces.
  • Nece’s Gluten Free Baked Goods – Their bakery is dedicated gluten-free, and they offer some vegan cookies, muffins, and custom order cakes.
  • Paprika Cafe – They serve traditional Mediterranean pita, salad, and combo plate meals with many dairy-free options. But they also make vegan baklava.
  • Revival Ice Cream – This local ice cream shop offers several creamy dairy-free flavors, like chocolate hazelnut, passionfruit mango, peanut butter chip, salted caramel, milk & cookies, and summer lemonade. They also make gluten-free, dairy-free ice cream cakes, vegan ice cream sandwiches, and offer vegan, gluten-free waffle cones.
  • The Morning Dove Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe – They offer tons of dairy-free and vegan options! Customers can pick up vegan cinnamon rolls, mini pies, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, breads, and pot pies. They will also make you a sandwich with your choice of toppings.

Mountain View

  • Blue Line Pizza – They are reportedly well-versed at handling allergy orders, and they offer a vegan pizza crust and Daiya dairy-free cheese, so most pizzas can be ordered without dairy.
  • Garden Fresh – It isn’t too hard to find dairy-free options at Chinese restaurants, but this popular spot is completely vegan. They receive top ratings for their Chinese cuisine made with plant-based mock meats. And you’ll want to stick around for dessert, which includes carrot cake and chocolate cake.
  • The Counter – They have a few outposts in other U.S. states, but The Counter is primarily a California burger chain with an expansive vegan menu. They even offer vegan cheese. Consequently, their burgers and many other savory items can be made dairy-free on request.
  • Veggie Grill ⭐️ – This vegan fast-casual restaurant chain serves burgers, sandwiches, bowls, salads, and plant-based variations on popular dishes. Their selection ranges from fresh and healthy to comfort food. They also have a menu of desserts.

Napa

  • Gott’s Roadside – They have an extensive menu of burgers that you can order with beef, turkey, or vegan Impossible patties. You do need to custom order for dairy-free and vegan, but they do offer a vegan bun and lettuce wrap. Their menu also includes various salads, tacos, poke, and more.

Newark

  • Hummus Republic – Their build-your-own pita, wrap, or bowl menu is filled with dairy-free options. They even offer vegan proteins, and most components are dairy-free (includes hummuses and dressings). They clearly label for vegan and gluten-free guests.
  • Indigo Burger ⭐️ – Thank you to Rachel for this recommendation, “Totally vegan and totally good! I have had their burgers, fries, shakes, nachos and even cashew cheese based mozzarella sticks. Yum!” Their menu also includes cream sodas and floats, and grilled “cheese” sandwiches for the kids.

Novato

Oakland

  • Curbside CreameryHannah recommended this ice cream shop. It’s not exclusively vegan, but they offer a rotating variety of dairy-free cashew-based ice creams, from Cookies ‘n Cream to Rocky Road. All of their toppings and cones are also vegan, and they offer vegan ice cream sandwiches.
  • Delightful Foods / The No Cookie Bakery – This local bakery offers “The No Cookie” cookies, which are vegan and come in a handful of flavors.
  • Don’t Be Chick’n ⭐️ – This is a vegan pop-up, turned food truck that specializes in plant-based, Southern style food with an emphasis on fried chicken alternatives and popular sides, like dairy-free biscuits, mashed potatoes, and mac and “cheese.”
  • Homeroom – Mac and cheese is a staple at this lunch spot, and they do have a vegan option! you can load it up with veggies, meats, or faux “meats,” or order it with different spices. They also have some dairy-free sides and a gluten-free vegan brownie (from Inspired Cookie Co) for dessert.
  • Mariposa Baking Co – Every artisan-crafted bite is made in their own dedicated gluten-free bakery. They do use dairy in some products, but reportedly sanitize between production of products with any top allergens. Their dairy-free selection includes several types of cookies, muffins, cakes, cupcakes, tea loaves, pies, and their famous biscotti. They also make dairy-free pizzas.
  • Millennium ⭐️ – You might have seen this restaurant name on our site before, their chef shared a great recipe for vegan pecan pie with us. But you can get much more than dessert at this all-vegan restaurant. They serve an award-winning menu with burgers, tacos, alfredo, and several other dishes.
  • Monster Pho – My friend Sharon at Nut Free Wok recommended this popular local Vietnamese restaurant. Most Vietnamese restaurants offer a highly dairy-free menu, but Sharon felt this one was best for both food and special diet service. “Monster Pho has the best food and is very kind and inclusive to people with food allergies. Their desserts contain dairy but the entrée items do not have dairy, be sure to let them know about your food allergies.”
  • Mr. Dewie’s Cashew Creamery ⭐️ – This dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free ice cream shop offers a range of cashew-based flavors and several vegan treats (like cookies, ice cream sandwiches, and sweet sauces by the jar).
  • Pepples Donut Farm ⭐️ – You can’t leave the Bay Area without trying these artisanal vegan donuts. You might spot them at other stores or restaurants in the area, but if you go to their shop, you will also discover full vegan breakfast and lunch menus.
  • Planted Table ⭐️ – This plant-based kitchen offers meal plans, and they deliver throughout the Bay Area. You can also pick up at their Oakland location.
  • Proposition Chicken – This is a local Bay Area chain. Their fried and fake (tofu) chicken is dairy-free. Their flipped chicken is dairy-free, but reheated in butter – just request “no butter” and they will use olive oil. All of their sandwiches and entrees are dairy-free or can be made dairy-free on request. They can also make a custom order kale salad. Just be sure to ask which dipping sauces are dairy-free when placing your order – they have options like chimichurri, bbq sauce, and habanero.
  • Señor Sisig – They serve Filipino street food, most of which can be ordered dairy free. But they also offer a very full vegan menu.
  • Soul Slice – Think all the foods and flavors of soul food, but in a pizza format, and you’ve defined this restaurant. Their biscuit crust is vegan, and they have dairy-free and vegan options, when ordered without cheese. They also have a vegan dessert, complete with dairy-free ice cream.
  • Timeless Coffee Roasters ⭐️ – This is a purely vegan coffee shop and bakery. They pour lattes with your choice of oat, soy, or almond milk, bake all types of sweet and savory pastries, craft chocolates, and take orders for decadent cakes.
  • Vegan Donut Gelato ⭐️ – The name says it all. Their dairy-free, egg-free gelato is slow churned Italian ice cream that promises a rich, creamy experience with less fat, calries, and sugar. Their donut menu includes all of the classics – from classic glazed to jelly-filled to apple fritters. And of course, organic coffee and tea is served.

Pacific Grove

  • Happy Girl Kitchen –  This organic, local cafe offers some vegan and gluten-free pastries and desserts daily (like lemon “cheesecake!”). They also serve dairy-free toasts and sandwiches, with gluten-free options. And they offer other house-made goodies, like granola, almond milk, and latte syrups.
  • Julia’s Vegetarian Restaurant – They’re open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night happy hour, and most of their menu is, or can be ordered, vegan. It includes dishes like brunch bowls, huevos rancheros, and french toast in the morning, with a diverse menu later in the day. They have Asian dishes, tamales, salads, and a whole pizza menu.
  • Passionfish ⭐️ – We’re always excited to discover local restaurants that go to the trouble of making an allergy menu. This seafood house outlines the top allergens in each dish, and which can be modified to remove the allergen(s). For dairy-free guests, there are quite a few options, including fish, shellfish, other meat, and vegetable dishes.

Palo Alto

  • Earthbar – This wellness shop also contains a dairy-free juice and smoothie bar, where you can also order vegan waffles and toasts (with various toppings – including almondmilk ricotta), superfood bowls, and coffee drinks.
  • Gott’s Roadside – They have an extensive menu of burgers that you can order with beef, turkey, or vegan Impossible patties. You do need to custom order for dairy-free and vegan, but they do offer a vegan bun and lettuce wrap. Their menu also includes various salads, tacos, poke, and more.
  • Ladle & Leaf – In 2020, they turned to more of a pick-up model, and we aren’t sure if their cafes will reopen. Either way, they label their menu items for dairy-free ang gluten-free customers, and have a good selection of dairy-free soups, salads, and ready-made entrees.
  • Misfits Bakehouse – This bakery focuses on gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, and keto foods. They offer sweets and savories with many dairy-free options, and even have some vegan selections. They’re very transparent with ingredients, and use almond flour for most baked goods.
  • Tender Greens – Salads, bowls, sandwiches, and build-your-own plates are the specialty at this quintessentially California chain. Their menu boasts fresh and healthful cuisine with ample dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and other special diet options.
  • The Counter – They have a few outposts in other U.S. states, but The Counter is primarily a California burger chain with an expansive vegan menu. They even offer vegan cheese. Consequently, their burgers and many other savory items can be made dairy-free on request.
  • True Food Kitchen – See our True Food Kitchen Dairy-Free Menu Guide for full details.

Pleasant Hill

  • Slow Hand BBQ – A Go Dairy Free fan named Diana emailed this recommendation. “All the meats at Slow Hand BBQ are gluten free and dairy free. This was a secret find because they don’t advertise it but they hardly put any ingredients in their meat. They feel smoking it gives it the flavor. Their BBQ sauces are even gluten free and dairy free! The sides that are dairy free are the coleslaw and German potato salad – they are even egg free with no mayo. Just tell them about your allergies and they will work with you.”

Pleasanton

  • Hummus Republic – Their build-your-own pita, wrap, or bowl menu is filled with dairy-free options. They even offer vegan proteins, and most components are dairy-free (includes hummuses and dressings). They clearly label for vegan and gluten-free guests.

Rohnert Park

  • Amy’s Drive Thru ⭐️ – Yes, that Amy. This fast food restaurant is actually located quite close to their corporate headquarters. The entire menu is vegetarian, and they have “Gluten Free and Vegan Options Available on Everything.” They serve an array of their organic veggie burgers, pizzas, chili, burritos, and also have salads. And yes, they have dairy-free shakes!
  • Grindstone Bakery ⭐️ – This artisan bake shop specializes in certified organic, vegan breads and cookies made with whole grains and seeds, which are stoneground on site, just before the dough is mixed. They bake gluten-free and grain-free breads.

Roseville

  • Burger Lounge – This SoCal chain serves grass-fed burgers alongside a whole menu of vegan burgers. They offer vegan buns, dairy-free cheese, and bunless paleo and keto options. Select locations (check in advance) offer dairy-free milkshakes and root beer floats made with cashew milk ice cream.
  • Pushkin’s Bakery ⭐️ – This newer location has more space than their original midtown Sacramento shop, and it has a bigger menu to match. It’s a gluten-free bakery and restaurant, but everything on the menu can be dairy-free, too. They also offer quite a few vegan menu items, including eggplant lasagna and nachos. The bakery menu is also big, with all types of pastries and breads.

Sacramento

  • Burger Lounge – This SoCal chain serves grass-fed burgers alongside a whole menu of vegan burgers. They offer vegan buns, dairy-free cheese, and bunless paleo and keto options. Select locations (check in advance) offer dairy-free milkshakes and root beer floats made with cashew milk ice cream.
  • Conscious Creamery ⭐️ – This purely plant-based ice cream shop churns dairy-free cashew ice cream from scratch, in small batches. They use seasonal and organic ingredients to create staple and seasonal flavors.
  • Good Vibes Vegan Cafe ⭐️ – They aren’t actually a cafe, yet, but do have pop ups, delivery, and family-size meals / catering available on order.
  • MidiCi Pizza – Their signature Neapolitan dough is light, thin, soft, and chewy, with a high crust, and it’s dairy-free. It’s made purely with a special Neapolitan flour, water, sea salt, and yeast. They also offer dairy-free cheese alternative and vegan sausage, and have several custom order salad options.
  • Nekter Juice Bar – See our Nekter Dairy-Free Menu Guide for full details.
  • PizzaRev – This build-your-own pizza joint has four dairy-free pizza crusts (two of which are gluten-free, and three of which are vegan), Daiya dairy-free cheese alternative, and most of their sauces and toppings are dairy-free (skip the alfredo, pesto, and meatballs). They also offer Beyond Meat sausage for vegan guests.
  • Plant Power Fast Food ⭐️ – As the name implies, this is a vegan, quick-serve restaurant. The menu has many great options for burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, small bites, drinks, and even desserts. The latter includes old fashioned “milkshakes,” “cheesecakes,” chocolate chip cookies, and soft serve “ice cream.”
  • Pushkin’s Bakery ⭐️ – The midtown location is the flagship shop for this gluten-free bakery. It’s tiny, but constantly busy. All of their pastries are 100% gluten-free and dairy free. Their sandwiches are too, but they offer both dairy and dairy-free cheese as options. The cheese alternative is cashew based and positively delicious! The sandwich selection includes ample breakfast and midday options.
  • Rabbit Food Revolution ⭐️ – Robin of Vegan Dollhouse raved about this vegan food truck. “Not only is the staff super friendly and nice, but the food is amazing, and they even have vegan onion rings, which aren’t the easiest to find.”
  • Seasons 52 – See our Seasons 52 Dairy-Free Menu Guide for full details.
  • Sweet Charlie’s – This rolled ice cream chain offers a dairy-free and vegan base that you can customize with various flavor and add-in options or even enjoy as a “milkshake.”

Salinas

  • Island Fin Poke – Almost everything on their menu is dairy-free, and it includes some unique Hawaiian touches, like spam as a poke bowl option and dairy-free Dole Whip for dessert.

San Anselmo

  • Flour Craft Bakery & Cafe – This is a gluten-free establishment, but they offer several vegan goodies. This includes vegan donuts (flavors change seasonally), bread (additional loaves are “just” dairy-free), cookies, brownies, granola, and chocolate layer cakes (on order). You can also custom order dairy-free toasts, tartines, and salads from their cafe.

San Carlos

  • Blue Line Pizza – They are reportedly well-versed at handling allergy orders, and they offer a vegan pizza crust and Daiya dairy-free cheese, so most pizzas can be ordered without dairy.

San Francisco

  • Ananda Fuara – There is no shortage of vegan menu items at this all-vegetarian restaurant. They serve lunch, all-day dinner, and even dessert (award-winning vegan chocolate cake anyone?). The menu is expansive with vegan specialties like Spinach Artichoke Ravioli and Curry Wraps. You can even order a vegan version of their famous Neatloaf dinner.
  • As Quoted – This gluten-free brunch and lunch spot is located in the Presidio Heights area. The cuisine is “farm-inspired,” and includes many dairy-free and vegan options. Almost all of their salads can be ordered dairy-free (they even have dairy-free ranch dressing, vegan green goddess, and house vinaigrettes), they offer paleo bagels and lox with Kite Hill cream cheese alternative, and offer other open-faced sandwich, soup, and smoothie options.
  • Bliss Pops – They are by order only, but they also offer catering and pop up at local markets. Their line up includes a selection of dairy-free and vegan pops, like sea salt caramel coffee, mango sriracha, matcha green tea, and toasted coconut.
  • Breads Bakery – They label their baked goods for gluten and top allergens. Their pastries do contain dairy, but most of their breads and rolls are dairy-free and they have quite a selection to choose from.
  • CREAM Nation ⭐️ – Although this is a traditional ice cream sandwich shop, they do offer some vegan goodies. On the menu, you should see at least a couple dairy-free, plant-based ice cream flavors. And to make your dairy-free ice cream sandwich experience complete, they have a nice little selection of vegan cookies. Once your dairy-free dessert is assembled, it can be rolled in or garnished with select dairy-free toppings. Alternatively, you can order scoops, sundaes, shakes, and coffee drinks at this cool spot.
  • Earthbar – This wellness shop also contains a dairy-free juice and smoothie bar, where you can also order vegan waffles and toasts (with various toppings – including almondmilk ricotta), superfood bowls, and coffee drinks.
  • Garden Creamery – They scoop a variety of creamy vegan sorbets made with coconut milk. Flavors can include Dark Chocolate, Orange Creamsicle, Thai Tea, and others that pair well with coconut.
  • Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop – They’ve added dairy-free Coconut Bliss Madagascan Vanilla ice cream to their scoop menu. They also offer floats, and select dairy-free toppings for sundaes. In the chocolate shop, check out their hot cocoa mixes, they have options made without dairy.
  • Gott’s Roadside – They have an extensive menu of burgers that you can order with beef, turkey, or vegan Impossible patties. You do need to custom order for dairy-free and vegan, but they do offer a vegan bun and lettuce wrap. Their menu also includes various salads, tacos, poke, and more. And they added Oatly vegan soft serve ice cream to their dessert menu.
  • Gracias Madre ⭐️ – This vegan Mexican restaurant is a SoCal favorite, and they now have a location in San Francisco. They serve brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert with seasonal menus, determined by what is currently available from their local Be Love Farm. Their cheeses and milks are made using nuts, and their tortillas and tamales are handmade from non-GMO Organic heirloom corn, some of which is grown on the Be Love Farm.
  • Hummus Bodega ⭐️ – Everything is dairy-free at this local Mediterranean shop. They make hummus bowls, pita sandwiches, plates, salads, and desserts.
  • Ladle & Leaf – In 2020, they turned to more of a pick-up model, and we aren’t sure if their cafes will reopen. Either way, they label their menu items for dairy-free ang gluten-free customers, and have a good selection of dairy-free soups, salads, and ready-made entrees.
  • Limonnana Glatt Kosher Mediterranean ⭐️ – You won’t find any dairy at this kosher meat restaurant, but you will find sandwiches, salads, soups, plates, and baklawa for dessert.
  • Loving Hut ⭐️ – See our Loving Hut Post for more information on this vegan restaurant chain.
  • Mama Ji’s – This Chinese restaurant specializes in home-style Sichuan dishes. It was recommended by my friend Hannah for their delicious vegan options. Most of the menu is naturally dairy free.
  • Nourish Cafe ⭐️ – They have two locations, one near the Presidio and one near Union Square. Their menu is purely plant-based and dairy-free, with a healthy array of savory bowls, wraps, sandwiches, soups, toasts, smoothie bowls, and smoothies. They’re also well loved for their coffee and tea drinks, and rotating gluten-free baked goods and desserts.
  • Palm Acai Cafe – This is a great spot for acai bowls, smoothie bowls, and smoothies. At last check, their plant-based menu was dairy-free, but they do say they handle dairy (and other allergens) in their kitchen.
  • Pepples Donut Farm ⭐️ – You can’t leave the Bay Area without trying these artisanal vegan donuts. You might spot them at other stores or restaurants in the area, but they have a full shop in Oakland, and a kiosk in the SF ferry building.
  • Proposition Chicken – This is a local Bay Area chain. Their fried and fake (tofu) chicken is dairy-free. Their flipped chicken is dairy-free, but reheated in butter – just request “no butter” and they will use olive oil. All of their sandwiches and entrees are dairy-free or can be made dairy-free on request. They can also make a custom order kale salad. Just be sure to ask which dipping sauces are dairy-free when placing your order – they have options like chimichurri, bbq sauce, and habanero.
  • Sabra Grill ⭐️ – This glatt kosher restaurant is dairy free, and serves Israeli and Mediterranean cuisine. Their menu includes hummus plates, rice bowls, kabobs, other entrees and starters, and classic desserts.
  • Señor Sisig – They serve Filipino street food, most of which can be ordered dairy free. But they also offer a very full vegan menu.
  • Tender Greens – Salads, bowls, sandwiches, and build-your-own plates are the specialty at this quintessentially California chain. Their menu boasts fresh and healthful cuisine with ample dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and other special diet options.
  • The Flying Falafel ⭐️ – This is a vegan Mediterranean restaurant that focuses on, you guessed it, falafel. They offer a handful of other dishes and also serve baklava, shakes, and “cheesecake.”
  • The Mill – Fresh baked bread and coffee are the specialties at this wifi-free, unplugged spot. We’ve heard their almond milk lattes are fabulous, and best savored with toast and the baker’s house made almond butter. They also offer pastries with gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options. And they have bread loaves, granola, and cookies to go.
  • The Plant Cafe Organic – They have a few locations dotted around the golden city, all serving local and sustainably-sourced cuisine. This isn’t a vegan restaurant, but they label vegan, gluten-free, and paleo options right on their expansive menu. Most items are, or can be made, dairy-free, including the breakfasts, bowls, smoothies, and more.
  • Next Level Burger ⭐️ – This fledgling chain touts itself as America’s first fully vegan burger joint. It’s a counter-serve spot with an array of plant-based burgers, “chicken” sandwiches, fries, and tots. They also blend dairy-free shakes and have house-made soft serve. This location is inside Whole Foods.
  • Veganburg – This 100% plant-based, dairy-free burger joint has two locations: San Francisco and Singapore. They have a big menu of vegan veggie burgers, various types of fries, some other meat-free dishes, soft serve, and cake.
  • Wholesome Bakery ⭐️ – Everything they make is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, low glycemic, and made with organic and sustainable ingredients. You might actually spot their cookies, cakes, and brownies at variouos Bay Area grocers, and they ship nationwide. But they also have a cafe filled with even more freshly-baked sweets and savories.
  • Zpizza – This regional build-your-own pizza chain is very friendly to special diets. They offer Daiya vegan cheese alternative, use vegan dough, offer a vegan, gluten-free pizza crust, and have Beyond Meat crumbles. You can also choose organic tomato sauce, housemade marinara sauce, or housemade roasted garlic sauce, and top it with any non-cheese toppings for “just dairy free.” At last check, everything on their menu was dairy-free, except the dairy cheeses, ranch dressings, caesar dressing, basil pesto sauce, and meatballs. But confirm in store before ordering!

San Francisco Airport

  • Amy’s – They serve several of their organic veggie burgers, soups, and chilis. They even offer non-dairy shakes!

San Jose

  • Cinnaholic – See our Cinnaholic Dairy-Free Info for full details.
  • CREAM Nation ⭐️ – Although this is a traditional ice cream sandwich shop, they do offer some vegan goodies. On the menu, you should see at least a couple dairy-free, plant-based ice cream flavors. And to make your dairy-free ice cream sandwich experience complete, they have a nice little selection of vegan cookies. Once your dairy-free dessert is assembled, it can be rolled in or garnished with select dairy-free toppings. Alternatively, you can order scoops, sundaes, shakes, and coffee drinks at this cool spot.
  • Forest & Flour ⭐️ – This home-based bakery operates by orders and pick-ups and also sells at several farmers markets in the Bay Area. Their facility is completely dairy-free and gluten-free, and everything they bake is also peanut-free, soy-free, and corn-free. They bake a big array of breads and pastries, have some vegan options, and also take custom cake orders.
  • Jinya Ramen Bar – Unlike many ramen places, all of their ramens and soups are dairy-free. Almost all of their rice bowls and most of their small plates are made without dairy too. They also offer vegan menu items in every savory category (all of their desserts contain dairy).
  • Loving Hut ⭐️ – See our Loving Hut Post for more information on this vegan restaurant chain.
  • Proposition Chicken – This is a local Bay Area chain. Their fried and fake (tofu) chicken is dairy-free. Their flipped chicken is dairy-free, but reheated in butter – just request “no butter” and they will use olive oil. All of their sandwiches and entrees are dairy-free or can be made dairy-free on request. They can also make a custom order kale salad. Just be sure to ask which dipping sauces are dairy-free when placing your order – they have options like chimichurri, bbq sauce, and habanero.
  • The Counter – They have a few outposts in other U.S. states, but The Counter is primarily a California burger chain with an expansive vegan menu. They even offer vegan cheese. Consequently, their burgers and many other savory items can be made dairy-free on request.
  • The Giving Pies – They have prolific special diet menus, including a dairy-free, gluten-free pie menu and a vegan pie menu. The options include various types of crumble-topped fruit pies that come in mini pies and full-size pies.
  • The Happy Hooligans ⭐️ – Their all-vegan menu is also labeled for gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free guests. It includes a big array of starters, burgers, sandwiches, bowls, burritos, and more. They also bake an array of cakes, including cheesecakes.
  • Veggie Grill ⭐️ – This vegan fast-casual restaurant chain serves burgers, sandwiches, bowls, salads, and plant-based variations on popular dishes. Their selection ranges from fresh and healthy to comfort food. They also have a menu of desserts.

San Leandro

San Mateo

  • Earthbar – This wellness shop also contains a dairy-free juice and smoothie bar, where you can also order vegan waffles and toasts (with various toppings – including almondmilk ricotta), superfood bowls, and coffee drinks.
  • MidiCi Pizza – Their signature Neapolitan dough is light, thin, soft, and chewy, with a high crust, and it’s dairy-free. It’s made purely with a special Neapolitan flour, water, sea salt, and yeast. They also offer dairy-free cheese alternative and vegan sausage, and have several custom order salad options.

San Ramon

  • Earthbar – This wellness shop also contains a dairy-free juice and smoothie bar, where you can also order vegan waffles and toasts (with various toppings – including almondmilk ricotta), superfood bowls, and coffee drinks.

Santa Clara

  • California’s Great America – This amusement park is filled with quick serve restaurants, and they provide special dietary guides for each one. In the park, you can find dairy-free burgers (with vegan options), hot dogs, chicken tenders, burrito bowls, meat entrees, cotton candy, ICEEs, and popcorn.
  • Din Tai Fung – This is an upscale Taiwanese chain that specializes in Chinese Huaiyang cuisine. They offer a full allergen and special diet chart, and, at last check, all of their savory menu items were dairy-free and all but one of their sweet bao was dairy-free (most are vegan!). They do use milk in some beverage items.
  • Loving Hut ⭐️ – See our Loving Hut Post for more information on this vegan restaurant chain.
  • Tender Greens – Salads, bowls, sandwiches, and build-your-own plates are the specialty at this quintessentially California chain. Their menu boasts fresh and healthful cuisine with ample dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and other special diet options.

Santa Cruz

  • Saturn Cafe – They closed their Berkeley location, but this space-themed vegetarian restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, dessert, and ‘Late Night Eats’ with comfort cuisine in mind. Their menu has a wide variety of pancakes, burgers, munchies, and more, many of which are already dairy-free and vegan or can easily be made so. They also offer separate gluten-free and soy-free menus.
  • Hula’s Island Grill – See our Monterey listing above – this is their second location. It’s a fun, casual tiki restaurant with a broad menu of pupus, drinks, and entrees. Their menu contains a lot of naturally dairy-free dishes, and they have a separate gluten-free menu.
  • Mutari Chocolate ⭐️ – This chocoholic shop is filled with dairy-free and vegan options. They offer dairy-free truffles, mochas complete with coconut whip, chocolate oat milk, and dairy-free ice cream soft serve and pints.

Sausalito

  • Bean Sprouts Cafe – They are located inside the Bay Area Discovery Museum, and focus on amazing kid-friendly cuisine. Their playful menu boasts options for various special diet needs, including dairy-free, gluten-free, and even vegan.

Sebastopol

  • Muir’s Tea Room & Coffee Shop ⭐️ – Whether you a tea lover or not, you’ll probably appreciate this 100% vegan establishment. They have high tea with finger sandwiches and pastries galore, but also offer a full coffee bar, and wonderful full lunches and dinners. Gluten-free options are available.
  • Screamin’ Mimi’s – Their scoop menu includes a big selection of dairy-free sorbets, which can include chocolate, mocha, lavender, and various fruity flavors.
  • The Nectary ⭐️ – Healthy is the focus at this juice and smoothie bar. They offer an array of house-made milks, superfood smoothies and lattes, water kefir, kombucha, and wellness shots. They also have a relatively petite menu of raw foods and smoothie bowls. Their menu, at last check, was dairy-free and mostly vegan (they do use bee products).
  • The Slice of Life – Viewer Sarah sent us this recommendation. It’s a purely vegetarian and egg-free restaurant that does serve cheese, but they also offer several types of dairy-free and vegan cheese alternatives for their broad menu. In fact, many menu items are made with their chipotle cashew cheese. They serve everything from burgers to Mexican to pizzas and Italian food, and have many gluten-free options.

South Lake Tahoe

  • Fire + Ice – Janet recommended this restaurant for dairy-free lunch, dinner, and brunch options. It’s a Mongolian BBQ type place, but they offer a global array of flavors. Since you pick your own ingredients, it makes it easy to order without dairy and choose the right sauces. Janet said, “If the grill has already been used or is being used for things that shouldn’t be anywhere near my food, they take mine to the back and cook it in a separate pan and deliver it to my table.”
  • Sprouts Cafe – The food is fresh, the staff is hopping, and the people keep on coming at this fast casual sandwich, rice bowl, salad, burrito, and breakfast shop. Their menu is mostly vegetarian, but they also offer turkey and tuna (not dairy-free). They have a plethora of vegan and dairy-free options (including dairy-free cheese alternative), and can easily make most menu items dairy-free and even gluten-free upon request. The daily soups are almost always vegan. They also squeeze and blend fresh juices and smoothies, and have soy protein powder and dairy-free milk alternative on the menu.

Sunnyvale

  • Merit Vegan Restaurant ⭐️ – This is a vegan Asian restaurant with some Americanized twists. Their menu is broad, and includes many Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese inspired dishes. But they also serve a big range of desserts, including cheesecake, cupcakes, brownies, and much more.
  • Zpizza – This regional build-your-own pizza chain is very friendly to special diets. They offer Daiya vegan cheese alternative, use vegan dough, offer a vegan, gluten-free pizza crust, and have Beyond Meat crumbles. You can also choose organic tomato sauce, housemade marinara sauce, or housemade roasted garlic sauce, and top it with any non-cheese toppings for “just dairy free.” At last check, everything on their menu was dairy-free, except the dairy cheeses, ranch dressings, caesar dressing, basil pesto sauce, and meatballs. But confirm in store before ordering!

St. Helena

  • Gott’s Roadside – Jenna at The Urben Life recommended this as a must stop spot. “It’s great food, a fun atmosphere, and if you sit out front you can catch the Napa Wine Train roll by. I suggest the plant-based impossible burger!” They actually serve a whole menu of beef and Impossible burgers, but you do have to special order them dairy-free or vegan. They offer an egg bun, vegan bun, and lettuce wrap.

Turlock

  • Yogurt Mill – They offer dairy-free soft serve in creamy (made with oat milk), sorbet, and acai varieties. Depending on the day and location, they might have 2 to 5 dairy-free flavor options. They also offer non-dairy fudge sauce and a good selection of toppings.

Walnut Creek

  • Burger Lounge – This SoCal chain serves grass-fed burgers alongside a whole menu of vegan burgers. They offer vegan buns, dairy-free cheese, and bunless paleo and keto options. Select locations (check in advance) offer dairy-free milkshakes and root beer floats made with cashew milk ice cream.
  • CREAM Nation ⭐️ – Although this is a traditional ice cream sandwich shop, they do offer some vegan goodies. On the menu, you should see at least a couple dairy-free, plant-based ice cream flavors. And to make your dairy-free ice cream sandwich experience complete, they have a nice little selection of vegan cookies. Once your dairy-free dessert is assembled, it can be rolled in or garnished with select dairy-free toppings. Alternatively, you can order scoops, sundaes, shakes, and coffee drinks at this cool spot.
  • Gott’s Roadside – They have an extensive menu of burgers that you can order with beef, turkey, or vegan Impossible patties. You do need to custom order for dairy-free and vegan, but they do offer a vegan bun and lettuce wrap. Their menu also includes various salads, tacos, poke, and more.
  • Havana – They serve Cuban food with California influences, and their lunch and dinner menus include quite a few dairy-free options.
  • The Counter – They have a few outposts in other U.S. states, but The Counter is primarily a California burger chain with an expansive vegan menu. They even offer vegan cheese. Consequently, their burgers and many other savory items can be made dairy-free on request.
  • True Food Kitchen – See our True Food Kitchen Dairy-Free Menu Guide for full details.
  • Veggie Grill ⭐️ – This vegan fast-casual restaurant chain serves burgers, sandwiches, bowls, salads, and plant-based variations on popular dishes. Their selection ranges from fresh and healthy to comfort food. They also have a menu of desserts.

Dairy-Free Northern California: Recommended Restaurants & Shops with vegan and gluten-free optionsPhoto from Mr. Dewie’s Cashew Creamery in Albany, Emeryville, and Oakland, California

Restaurant & Grocery Chains found throughout Northern California

Some recommended restaurant and store chains are getting too big for our city listing britches. They have many locations, or are rapidly growing, and you might stumble across them in a number of towns in this state. Click on them for more dairy-free details.

Dairy-Free Northern California: Recommended Restaurants & Shops with vegan and gluten-free optionsPhoto from Proposition Chicken in Lafayette, Menlo Park, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose, California

Local Dairy-Free Food & Drink Producers in Northern California

These dairy-free friendly companies don’t have their own retail location, but are in Northern California. So you have a good chance of finding their products at grocery stores, restaurants, and/or other shops in this state. Keep an eye out!

  • Amy’s – You should have no problem finding their frozen foods in nearly every store in the area. This big, family-run, vegetarian company is located in Petaluma, and make many vegan frozen entrees, pizzas, and more.
  • Beber Almondmilk – They make fresh almondmilk and cold brew in a range of flavors and sell locally (throughout the greater Bay Area and Sacramento area) in shops and at farmer’s markets.
  • Bread SRSLY – This gluten-free sourdough bread company uses traditional methods to ferment their breads for a truly unique taste and experience. Their breads are also vegan and top allergen-free.
  • Double Rainbow – This San Francisco ice creamery has been making a line of dairy-fee pints for many years. They make soy-based vanilla and mint chip, sorbets, and more recently added an oatmilk ice cream.
  • Eclipse Foods – This is a plant-based ice cream company that makes “cowlessly creamy” pints without milk, eggs, or tree nuts.
  • Green Girl Bakeshop – They make plant-based gelato and dairy-free, gluten-free ice cream sandwiches. You can buy their treats in local stores or online.
  • Kite Hill – They call Hayward home, but you can find their dairy-free yogurts, dips, cheeses, butter, filled pastas and more in cities throughout America. Nevertheless, you’ll find the best selection in the Bay Area.
  • Miyoko’s – This Petaluma company is well known for their range of vegan cheese alternatives.
  • Monterey Gourmet Foods – They make organic frozen dinners with a few plant-based options (like alfredo), and also make a vegan sun-dried tomato pesto.
  • Ripple Foods – Keep an eye out for their dairy-free ice creams, they were top rated in our blind taste test! They also make popular pea milk products.
  • The Healthy Baking Company – Previously known as “California Suncakes,” this healthy snack maker focuses on vegan, gluten-free bars. They offer a few types, including The Healthy Energy Bar, Coffeehouse Bars, and Maxaroons.
  • The Inspired Cookie Co – They bake vegan, gluten-free, nut-free cookies and brownies, which are sold in some cafes, packaged in local shops, and shipped to customers nationwide.
  • Vixen Kitchen – This vegan gelato company is based in Santa Cruz. They make nut-based ice creams, sweetened with maple syrup.
  • Yoconut – This is a local area, dairy-free, low-sugar, coconut milk yogurt brand that uses live active cultures.

Dairy-Free Northern California: Recommended Restaurants & Shops with vegan and gluten-free optionsPhoto from Yoconut

This Guide is Continuously Updated with Recommendations

We welcome you to recommend other dairy-free friendly restaurants. Leave a comment or contact us and tell us why you like a certain restaurant. Restaurant owners and employees are also invited to reach out and let us know how you welcome dairy-free customers.

Please kindly let us know in the comments if any of these restaurants close. We want to keep this list current for you, but aren’t always notified when a restaurant closes. Let us know and we will quickly update!

This Guide is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

For More Dairy-Free Guidance, Get Go Dairy Free!

Go Dairy Free 2nd Edition - The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook for Dairy-Free Living with Over 250 Recipes!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

1 Comment

  1. Rachel Morales on

    Indigo Burger in Newark, CA. Is amazing! Burgers, shakes, fries and even dairy free mozzarella sticks!
    Totally vegan restaurant.

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