Ananda Fuara, the stalwart vegan Indian restaurant at the intersection of Larkin, Hayes and Market streets, has announced that it will close on Sunday, Feb. 5.
A post on the restaurant’s site held open the possibility of a “return in a different form and a place,” but made it clear that the closure was quite firm.
“We have had the honor and opportunity to be of service to San Francisco and the Bay Area for 40 years,” it read. “Whether you came for the first time yesterday, or dined with us first in 1982, we greatly appreciate your business.”
The “light-filled little blue eatery” never had much of an online presence, and certainly wasn’t the type of operation to retain a fancy PR apparatus, but after Greens at Fort Mason, it was quite likely the oldest surviving vegetarian restaurant in the city—and one that earned a lot of love among the omnivorous.
Fans have long flocked to the bouquet-filled dining room for orange blossom French toast, specials like the faux-beef stroganoff and the famous “neatloaf,” a ricotta-and-grain preparation served with tangy tomato sauce. While dessert has become an afterthought nearly everywhere, Ananda Fuara kept on churning out cardamom rose cake and olallieberry pie.
The name means “fountain of delight,” a moniker bestowed by the spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007), who helped popularize meditation in 20th century America. Unlike Cafe Gratitude and other plant-based restaurants that embraced nourishment as a sacred act, Ananda Fuara never devolved into accusations of cultishness or wage theft, and prices have always been conspicuously reasonable.
High-profile, post-pandemic restaurant closures have not abated in the new year. Valencia Street’s regional Thai standout Hawker Fare and Nick’s Crispy Tacos in Russian Hill both closed abruptly in the past few weeks, while many restaurants that built expensive parklets during Covid have dramatically scaled back outdoor dining.
Few neighborhoods have seen such a catastrophic rise-and-fall as the Mid-Market/Civic Center area, where a clutch of ambitious restaurants in the mid-2010s have all come and gone.
Astrid Kane can be reached at [email protected]