Some of San Francisco's most charming indie destinations (The Tidy Shoppe, Burma Superstar, Park Life, Green Apple Books) are cropping up in the Inner Richmond neighborhood. Seemingly a little further flung if you're used to getting your indie fix in the always buzzy Mission or grittier Tenderloin, it's really just four miles from the heart of the Mission. Not all that far outside of rush hour-hours!
Nourish Cafe is the Inner Richmond's cutest, most vibrant healthy destination for weekday lunch and weekend brunch. One of its two co-owners, Sarah Bacon, also operates the Inner Richmond neighborhood's go-to blog, Richmond District Blog.
Sarah and co-owner/chef Brighton Miller shared their favorite activities in and around the Inner Richmond, greater SF and a few healthy tips for hitting the road.
How did Nourish come to be?
Brighton: I’d done the Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts program at Bauman college in Berkeley and was traveling to LA and NY exploring all of the healthy, raw and vegan options out there. I realized we should have it here in SF! A lot of people think that SF is super hippy dippy and full of healthy options but there aren’t as many as you might think. In the Richmond area, before we opened Nourish, you really had to drive all the way into the Marina for a decent salad.
Sarah: I agree. I’m also a native San Franciscan and operate a blog on the Richmond area. I was eager to open something in the neighborhood that is good for the community, so we kept our eyes open and we were lucky enough to find a space about six blocks from where we both live.
Who are your favorite local producers - juice, desserts, superfoods?
Brighton: We make a lot in-house, but I also love curating great products from local producers. For instance, we get our almond milk from a great local company called Three Trees. We currently make our own cashew cheese, but we are going to be switching to the wonderful Kite Hill. I try to find products that are clean and healthy, and that I eat myself.
We have a local sprout provider called Grateful Greens based in Los Gatos who provides all of our sprouts. We're also sourcing a sprouted drink from Living Apothecary, and we get our hummus from Love & Hummus. We source our bread and sauerkraut from a couple of Marin producers Josey Baker Bread and Wild West Ferments. We a great, simple coffee that we source from these women in Berkeley who operate a roastery called Ruby Roast. We wanted to find something so simple and amazing that we wouldn’t need to do any labor intensive coffee drinks or espressos.
You have the coolest set up in the Richmond. What are your favorite healthy haunts in the area?
S: The Richmond is an amazing neighborhood for recreation, you can walk a few blocks and find ‘real’ outdoors. I'm a block away from Presidio and four from Golden Gate Park. Both areas are great for urban hiking or working out. As far as healthy haunts go, we've only been open a year and so far it's still just us!
B: We definitely partake in some of the local foot massage places. I feel like our neighborhood from Geary from Clement street has lots of these. They’re especially great after working on our feet all day, every day. U2 Beauty Health Spa is the one we go to, you'll know it by the big foot sign outside! There are also a few Thai massage and Chinese medicine places on Clement that bring people from all over the city, like acupuncturist Johnson You. I highly recommend him. We are outdoors people, so while we do have the JCC gym, the neighborhood lends itself to running outdoors. Baker Beach and the sand ladder over there are both perfect for a sunny weekend.
S: Land's End is one of my favorite spots to run! Nourish is so close to the Presidio and De Young, it's really common for people to come and grab lunch and go on a hike or head to the museum.
Do you have any favorite fitness studios in your hood?
S: I actually put on a 5k run called Jog in the Fog, this year will be our fourth year. It starts in Mt. Lake Park and goes all the way out to Lands End. Other than that, I love Batteries to Bluffs, Baker Beach and the sand ladders there which are a great workout. Lands End is always challenging!
What are your favorite restaurants to visit when you're not at Nourish?
S: We do seek out other plant-based places like The Plant, and sometimes we cross the bridge to Marin to go to The Plant over there. I love salads at Blue Barn. Cha-Ya on Mission makes some great vegan sushi. We go to Angelina's in the neighborhood for breakfast when we can and check out new places as they open.
B: I love Cha-Ya, their food is so clean and beautiful. Gracias Madre is wonderful, too, we eat there regularly. Or we Postmates it if we can’t get to the Mission.
What's your favorite places for a healthy drink?
B: I'm addicted to our coffee, but when I can escape the city I like to go to Shed in Healdsburg for their fermentation bar. You can get kombuchas or shrub, and because you can’t get it in the city it’s such a treat.
What is your favorite food city? Favorite restaurant to visit anywhere?
B: I love Moon Juice, I think Amanda Bacon's products are amazing. When I'm in LA I go to Plant Food and Wine, Matthew Kenney's new place. Cafe Gratitude in Venice is wonderful. There is a vegan cheese shop called Vromage just off of Sunset, which has fabulous cheese. The Gracias Madre in Los Angeles is also really wonderful, and even this old school-seeming Italian restaurant called Craig’s has a vegan meat bolognese sauce. People are really into 'what’s next' in LA, which makes it really fun to eat down there.
What do you pack to eat when you're traveling?
B: I'm always looking for a clean acai bowl, something light that will give me energy but not weigh me down. As soon as I’m off the plane, I like to hydrate with a green juice. SFO is a great airport for healthy options!
Hotel dining, yes or no?
B: Where I stay in LA, every place has a house green juice. I was just at Four Seasons and they had a wonderful grain bowl and they offer almond milk as a substitute. In the past I would have said no, but I think that hotels are starting to cater to healthier people.
Any particular habits or tips for eating healthfully on the road?
B: I have the advantage of most people and I work at Nourish and I can grab one of our protein balls or granola bars and stick it in my purse. If I'm running across the city I'll grab a chia pudding or smoothie. We went to Mendocino last weekend and we grabbed a couple of chia puddings and granola bar so we didn't have to stop, other than at Shed of course! I like using ours because I'm a real freak about ingredients. At Nourish I know that everything I leave with is going to be clean.
Have you visited Nourish or disocovered any other healthy finds around the Inner Richmond? Share in the comments!