Take a seat at the counter in St. Francis Fountain next to mustachioed bike enthusiasts and tottering local ladies and you might feel like you've been taken back in time: a time when you could go to diners and order pancakes and milkshakes all day. For me that time was a few years ago before I was vegan.
On a block bordered by giant murals of chicano heroes, stands selling lucha masks and colorful jewelry and a collection of spanish bakeries to give your whole family a sugar rush, the Fountain looks a little out of place - but the Fountain has actually been fueling this neighborhood since 1918.
The vanilla soy gelato milkshake - geltao curtsy of local La Copa Loca served with old fashioned paper straws is where I always start a meal at a diner while I decide on the feast that will shortly ensue.
While the Fountain is mostly your traditional eggs and bacon diner, most things can be made vegan by subbing out tofu scramble, vegan pancakes (blubbery, strawberry or banana-walnut if you please) and veggie sausage patties. There is even the enticing Devil Burger piled with seitan. I resisted.
In the end I went for the Vegan Thing - spuds, cheese and guacamole, blubbery pancakes and a side of sausage for my glutinous treat - and I was not disappointed.
2801 24th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
415 - 826 - 4210
Monday - Saturday 8am - 10pm
Sunday 8am - 9pm