Those looking for a meat-free meal in San Diego are in luck, as the city boasts a solid variety of vegetarian and vegan eats. Take a yoga class and nourish your body with a bowl from Trilogy Sanctuary, enjoy the dichotomy of vegan fare and heavy metal at KINDRED, or grab vegan food on-the-go from Evolution—they even have a drive-thru. Here are seven top San Diego spots for winning plant-based meals beyond salads and tofu.
Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, Contemporary, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
KINDRED, at first glance, is kind of adorable, with its pink-patterned wallpaper and long marble bar. Yet look closer. The art skews towards skulls and fanged beasts, and death metal emanates from the speakers. The menu includes vegan fare, with popular items including a beet risotto, a cauliflower steak, and a BBQ sandwich made with jackfruit. They also serve a collection of craft cocktails, reasonably priced at $9 to $10 for most.
Siblings Win and Sylvia Le launched Sipz as a boba shop in 2002, but have since expanded to two restaurants serving strictly vegetarian and vegan Pan-Asian cuisine. This includes numerous types of soups, noodles, curries and other flavorful dishes at various levels of spice, plus an entirely vegan sushi bar and dessert menu. You can still get boba, too.
SOL CAL Café was founded by Jacob Bell, a former NFL player, who said it was his passion to bring healthy, affordable options to the community. The colorful shop offers juices, smoothies, sandwiches, breakfast foods, bowls, and coffee drinks. While not a strictly vegetarian restaurant, many of the dishes are already vegetarian, and most items can be made vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free upon request.
Superfood Acai Bowl at Trilogy Sanctuary | Courtesy of Sanctuary
Trilogy Sanctuary is a yoga studio, as well as a café serving vegan fare. The menu offers smoothies, bowls, salads, soups, and desserts on top of heartier fare like vegan pasta and burgers. Visitors may also sign up for yoga classes online, with courses ranging from beginner to advanced. They have aerial yoga, too!
As the name might imply, this cute and welcoming café serves a solid selection of familiar Thai dishes, but each and every one of them is vegan. This includes spring rolls, satay, soups, noodle and rice dishes, curries and larb.
Plumeria Vegetarian Food specializes in vegetarian Thai food, with a focus on organic, gluten-free ingredients. Most of the menu is vegan, though there are a few dishes that contain optional egg. They also have a robust dessert menu, including an egg roll stuffed with banana caramel cheesecake, for those who’d like a sweet finish to their meal.
Evolution offers all the convenience of a fast food restaurant, including a drive-thru, but serves an entirely vegetarian and vegan menu. That means burgers, sandwiches, tacos, fries, chicken tenders, smoothies, shakes, desserts, and even a few raw options. Everything is made in-house, and the containers and utensils are environmentally friendly. A tour of the restaurant and its practices can be enjoyed in the video below.