Greens sprung to life in 1979 as a project of the San Francisco Zen Center in order to give Zen students an opportunity to extend their practice to the workplace. Over the last four decades it has remained true to the vision and practice of its founders, while introducing guests from around the world to the joys of attentively prepared and seasonally-focused vegetarian cuisine.

For many years, the entire staff at Greens were Zen students. Founding Chef Deborah Madison was a student at Zen Center herself for eighteen years during which time she held various kitchen positions. In 1981, Annie Somerville joined the restaurant and began training with Madison. Somerville became Executive Chef in 1985 and continues to work closely with local growers, cheesemakers, purveyors and foragers to celebrate the edible bounty of the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm, a longstanding model of regenerative farming practices, continues to provide the restaurant with its organic produce.

Greens will celebrate its 40th Anniversary this year with a Chef Dinner Series designed to highlight the six core values of its kitcheb: Generosity, Patience, Virtue, Energy, Focus, and Connection. Partnering with six acclaimed Bay Area chefs the restaurant will offer different vegetarian four-course prix fixe meals each inspired by standout menus of the last four decades. The menus will be offered at $85 per person, with optional wine or beverage pairings. Tickets can be purchased via  

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 — Reem Assil  (Reem’s California)
Monday, August 5, 2019 — Alice Waters  (Chez Panisse )
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 — Suzette Gresham (Acquerello)
October 7, 2019 — Kim Alter  (Nightbird )
Monday, November 4, 2019 — Tanya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen)  
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 — Pam Mazzola  (Prospect)  

Along with the milestone 40th Anniversary, Greens’ forthcoming 40th anniversary guest chef dinner series celebrates the ecosystem of local diners, chefs, farmers, and regional purveyors that has been the foundation of Greens since its inception in 1979.