Pepple's is an organic, vegan doughnut shop based in Oakland. However San Franciscans—vegan or not—flock to their stand in the Ferry Building for the variety of delicious doughnuts. Why? First of all, the texture of the doughnuts is soft and cake-like, the moist crumb totally belying the fact that no eggs are involved. And second, the flavors are both unique (think: Mexican Hot Chocolate and Blood Orange) and intense. For example, the Coffee Doughnut (pictured, $3) is only for true coffee lovers, as there is a heady amount of java in both the dough and the thick layer of bittersweet icing.
Mariposa Baking Company
Mariposa is a gluten-free bakery, but they always have a good selection of vegan sweets on hand. Perhaps most famous are the Penguinos, which are essentially healthified Hostess vanilla cream-filled chocolate cupcakes. If you stop by for breakfast, you'll also find muffins and Jammy Tarts (pictured, $4.50). Another take on a well-known treat (this time, Poptarts) the Jammy Tarts have a snappy almond crust and here, a sour cherry filling.
Greens To Go
Greens To Go is the takeaway counter at Greens, the full-service vegetarian restaurant which overlooks the boats in the Marina. Great for picking up a picnic lunch, Greens To Go offers sandwiches, salads, and soups. Their selection of pastries is a mix of gluten-free and vegan items (and often both at once). Their GF hazelnut chocolate brownie is crazy addictive, but for cookies, my true love, I go for the Granola Oatmeal ($2.75). This big, hearty cookie is incredibly moist, each piece imbued with light spices, plump fruit, flax seeds, roasted oat flavor, and weirdly, the taste of butter. Also gluten free, this sweet, spiced, chunky cookie is one of my favorites in the city.
Bio (from the French word biologique, meaning organic) is one of those places that many people love, and just as many love to hate. It's a tiny box of a cafe in the Financial District (for many people, strike one), that has long lines at lunch (strike two), and high prices (strike three). But there's a reason it's popular: the healthy soups, salads, sandwiches, and juices are fresh and tasty, and they make your body feel good. For sweets, there's always a variety. One day you might have vegan oatmeal cake, or lavender cayenne pepper chocolate truffles, or yogurt with rose honey. The raw Almond Coconut Cookie (pictured, $4) is essentially a gluten-free, vegan, raw macaroon. But it's not just a ball of raw coconut—the coconut is sweet, with a little crunch and chew, and it contrasts against the smooth, dark, slightly bitter chocolate. In the background, notes of almond and vanilla. It tastes indulgent, which, at the price, is probably a good thing.
The Plant Cafe Organic
With four locations (including one at SFO), the Plant is starting to spread its organic, vegetal tendrils across the city. That's good news for juicers, vegetarians, and people who want a lunch break from giant sandwiches on Dutch crunch rolls. The selection of sweets varies between locations, but most have cookies, tarts, raw desserts, and cakes. Cupcakes are also a staple, available in a variety of gluten-free and vegan flavors. For example, you can usually find the Toasted Coconut with Lime Filing (pictured, $3.25), which, while on the petite side, has just enough sweet punch to end that healthy meal you just completed. Fluffy vanilla cake encases a sweet-tart lime curd (even though you know it's there, the first bite is still a fun surprise) and is topped with a coconut crusted frosting.
Plant Cafe Organic: : For locations visit theplantcafe.com