For all you vegans or vegetarians out there or anyone interested in meat-free cuisine, it can be hard to eat out with friends. Most times you end up ordering a boring salad because it’s the only meat-free option on the menu.
San Diego is home to some of the tastiest vegan and vegetarian cuisine. Here are some places you can go to find the most delicious, creative, healthy, and meat-free food.
Located downtown, Cafe Gratitude serves 100% organic, plant-based food. They have amazing salads, wraps, bowls, entrees, and a brunch menu that is amazing.
The dishes are all named after positive affirmations like “Open-Hearted” buckwheat-flax pancakes, the “Fortified” veggie bowl, and the “Humble” curry bowl. When you order, you preface your order with “I Am…” After dining here, you will leave with a full tummy and hint of some self-love.
#Spoontip: I recommend the “Humble” (pictured above). It has quinoa, curried red lentil dal, roasted yams, mint chutney, and spicy tomato jam.
Trilogy Sanctuary is a quaint rooftop cafe and aerial yoga studio in La Jolla. It really is a sanctuary, with comfortable couches and both indoor and outdoor seating. I guarantee you will leave Trilogy feeling more zen.
Trilogy’s cafe only serves organic and local top quality food. Their menu is completely vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and 100% organic.
Just wait until you see their menu: crepes, smoothies, acai bowls (the best I have ever had), salads, tacos, burgers, nachos, spring rolls (pictured above) and so much more.
Plumeria is located in University Heights, an awesome, homey neighborhood. They serve vegan and vegetarian Thai food. All dishes are meat-free and free of animal products, with the exception of eggs in a few dishes.
What makes thai food so delicious is the bold and aromatic flavors. Plumeria is a great place to go with a group of friends for a fun dinner. They serve amazing spring rolls, samosas, noodles, and rice and veggie dishes. You are able to adjust the heat of your dishes so you can get it super spicy or very mild.
Loving Hut touts being the fastest growing international vegan food chain in the world. They have locations in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, and more. They also have two locations right here in San Diego, one in El Cajon and one in Mira Mesa.
Their completely vegan menu includes spring rolls, flavorful salads, quesadillas, tasty noodles, soups, veggies, and rice dishes.
Kindred is a bar and restaurant in South Park. It is hip and has an open and vibrant atmosphere. They also have a killer cocktail menu.
It is a great place for dinner during the week, but I personally think their brunch menu is where the magic happens. The brunch menu includes pancakes with carmamelized banana and bourbon butterscotch, banana bread french toast with dark chocolate, and a tofu benedict that comes with fried potato bread and blackberry jam. Can you say yum?
There are three Native Foods locations in San Diego: Point Loma, Clairemont Mesa, and Encinitas.
Native Foods was founded Palm Springs, CA in 1994. The founders wanted to share their passion for animals and the environment. It is a fast-causal restaurant, perfect for a quick week-night dinner.
They have seasonly-updated one of a kind dishes. Even omnivores will enjoy a meal here. Everything is made fresh daily, something rare in most fast-casual restaurants. Their menu includes soups, burgers, tacos, bowls, wraps and desserts.
Peace Pies is by far one of my favorite restaurants. Everything they serve is raw, organic, gluten free, soy free, vegan and heavenly. You can find them at the Hillcrest, Little Italy, Ocean Beach and Leucadia farmer’s markets, or at their locations in Ocean Beach or Encinitas.
Peace Pies truly cares about the environment – they get their ingredients from local farmers in the community and practice a zero-waste policy (composting and earth-friendly packaging).
#Spoontip: their kale chips and fudge brownie are highly addictive.
Veganic Thai Cafe
Veganic Thai is located in Hillcrest. If you like thai food you seriously have to go here. The prices are also extremely reasonable.
The spice levels of their dishes are made to perfection and the decor is beautiful. Many of their dishes have mock meats that taste just like the real thing. They have noodles and fried rice, curries, spring rolls, and ice cream.
Jyoti – Bihanga
Jyoti – Bihanga is a vegeterian restaurant in Normal Heights. It does not have the best decor, but the food is exquisite. The atmosphere is calming and the staff is incredibly kind.
They have wraps, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts. Be sure to try Shiva Wrap – curry of the day with veggies and tamari sauce – and allow yourself to indulge in the delicious chocolate mousse-cake.
Lotus Cafe is an adorable cafe found in Encinitas. Most of it is vegetarian and vegan; however, they do also have some fish and poultry options. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They offer dishes like gluten-free buckwheat pancakes, a vegan scramble, oatmeal, a breakfast burrito, soups, quesadillas, burgers, sandwiches and more.
Lotus also offers an amazing juice bar with fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, fruit smoothies, acai and pitaya bowls, and vegan milkshakes.
Moncai Vegan is in Normal Heights on Adams Ave. A relatively young business, founded in 2010, they are off to a great start. The founders believe veganism should not be viewed as a sacrifice, but as healthy, compassionate lifestyle filled with celebration of taste.
The chefs create delicious fresh dishes, comfort food, and mindblowing desserts. On the menu you will find brunch items like pancakes, french toasts, and scrambles as well as lunch and dinner dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, Chix’n and Dumplings, and linguini.
Keep an eye out for the dessert as well: cinnamon rolls, donuts, and ice cream sandwiches.