Greens, a vegetarian that first opened in San Francisco in 1979, is reopening in October after a four-month closure due to a kitchen fire.

Nader Khouri

For 40th Anniversary, Legendary San Francisco Restaurant Welcomes Oakland Newcomer

Holly Quan
July 08, 2019 - 5:56 pm

San Francisco's legendary Greens Restaurant pushed the boundaries when it debuted with a vegetarian only menu 40 years ago.

To commemorate the anniversary, it's premiering a series of dinners featuring six acclaimed female chefs starting Tuesday night to showcase trailblazers, much like how Greens was with vegetarian dining decades ago. What was once considered cutting edge is now part of the mainstream foodie fabric. 

Reem Assil, chef and owner of Reem's California, is bringing her Arab street food to Greens for the first dinner Tuesday night. 

Reem's California, nestled in Oakland, just made the San Francisco Chronicle's list of 100 best restuarants.

Don't look for white table clothes and polished silverware. It's a counter service cafe across from the change machines at the Fruitvale BART station. 

Dining as a common denominator in these dividing times, according to Assil. 

"If you think about how ideas are created, usually it's breaking bread," Assil said. "I always think that dining spaces are where the most revolutionary ideas are born. I think it's also where the hard conversations are had."

She says that Bay Area foodies are politically and socially conscious, a shift that may be generational.

"It's about creating something that people want, to feel like they're actually giving back to the ecosystem here, right? Supporting local farmers," said Assil. "People are not just eating with their mouths but with their values."

Information about Greens' anniversary event and the featured chefs can be found on their website.