Eating meat-free hasn’t always been easy, but in San Diego County, it’s a piece of (vegan) cake.
Our local food scene is as vibrant as ever, so it’s no surprise there are a slew of local spots serving up fresh, vegetarian bites across town. From vegetarian brunch dishes to scrumptious vegan tacos, here are 30 restaurants serving meat-free fare in the San Diego area.
🍊 The brunch bunch
Second Nature, 5026 Cass St. | This Pacific Beach spot offers morning munchies like açaí bowls and brunch classics (try the Benedict Artichoke). Vegan options are also available on the dinner menu.
Armonia Kitchen, 1422 Garnet Ave. | Find plant-based options including the Mushroom Carnitas Burrito, Protein Pancakes, and Portobello Panini. Peep the drink menu for a selection of Health Lattes, too.
Cafe 21, 2736 Adams Ave. | The brunch menu features vegetarian options like the Tomato + Egg (sunny side-up egg, tomato, goat cheese, sourdough), plus sweet selections like Tiramisu Pancakes and Vegan French Toast.
Kindred, 1503 30th St. | Scan the weekend brunch menu for super creative, meat-free offerings like the Warlock (grains and greens in zhug cream, lemongrass, lychee, peanut, veggies and herbs).
Farmer’s Bottega, 860 W. Washington St. | This uptown eatery offers a daily brunch menu brimming with vegetarian options — from its Stuffed French Toast (strawberry compote and mascarpone cheese) to its Nopales + Soyrizo.
The Trails Eatery, 7389 Jackson Dr. | This vegetarian and vegan-friendly spot near Cowles Mountain offers post-hiking fuel like the Soyrizo Scramble, Garden Omelet, and Healthy Hash with Soyrizo.
🍕 Casual eating
Uprising Pizza, Pop-up locations vary | Specializing in 100% plant-based, Neapolitan-style pies, you can find Uprising pop-ups at the Hillcrest Farmers Market and North Park Thursday Market. Follow on Instagram for location info.
Evolution, 2965 Fifth Ave. | Find a wide range of vegan eats at this fast food eatery including meatless burgers, “chik’n” sandwiches, and burritos. Pro tip: In a hurry? Use the drive-thru.
Gorilla Eats Sushi, 6334 El Cajon Blvd. | This 100% vegan sushi eatery at the Aztec Food Hub boasts hand rolls, nigiri, classic rolls, and specialty rolls. Pro tip: order to-go and get 10% off.
Gianni’s Pizza, 3910 Vista Way, #108 | This Oceanside spot offers a vegan pizza menu featuring pies like the Buffalo ‘66 with vegan buffalo chicken and the Maui Wowie with vegan bacon.
Sattvik Foods, 8650 Miramar Rd., #B | Try the Mini Thali with two daily curries, the Lite Lunch, or the Samosa Plate. Pro tip: Throwing a party? Peep the catering options.
Plant Power Fast Food, Locations vary | The menu is all about “fast food classics with a 100% plant-based twist” — think burgers, nuggets, wings, and fries. Locations include OB, Encinitas, SDSU, and UC San Diego.
🌱 100% vegetarian/vegan eats
Donna Jean, 2949 Fifth Ave. | “Seasonal, sustainable, plant-based, rustic, and comforting.” Come for weekend brunch (we see you, Breakfast in Bread) or opt for dinner (give us all the pizza, please).
The Plot, 1733 S. Coast Highway | This plant-based, no-waste Oceanside restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, and even offers a mini menu just for kids.
Greens Please, 12202 Poway Rd., #100 | Build your own bowl or wrap — or try the hearty, protein-packed options on the menu. Pro tip: Green smoothies are $1 off during daily happy hour, 2-3 p.m.
Grains Cafe, 2201 Adams Ave. | This cute cafe in University Heights has a standout menu that includes Kale Tempura, Tofu Nuggets, and tofu Pad Thai and Chow Mein.
Peace Pies,4230 Voltaire St. | Raw, vegan, gluten and soy-free ingredients are the superstars at this OB restaurant offering salads, wraps, pizzas, smoothies, shakes, and pies.
Trilogy Sanctuary Cafe,7650 Girard Ave., Ste. 400 | Head to this rooftop spot for organic, vegan, and gluten-free options like the Savory Breakfast Crepe, Beaming Beet Toast, and Super Smoothies.
🌮 Mexican Food
Phatties Vegan Mexican Restaurant, 242 W. Mission Ave., Ste. D | This Escondido gem specializes in plant-based Mexican food — from Taquitos de Papa and tamales to its California Burrito with adobo soy meat and Vegan Birria with mushrooms.
Tacotarian, 4332 30th St. | It’s all about the tacos at this Mexican eatery. Try the Carne Asada and Al Pastor variations made with seitan, or the Barbacoa made with chili-braised jackfruit.
Pokez, 947 E St. | This downtown San Diego spot has been around since 1994 and has won awards for its vegan dishes, including its burritos. Try the Potato Flautas, too.
El Veganito, 5500 Grossmont Center Dr. | This eatery started as a farmers market pop-up before branching out to the mall. Try the street-style Carnitas Tacos with jackfruit or the Phish Tacos.
The Village SD, 2611 El Cajon Blvd. | Vegan Mexican favorites (and a Japanese menu) are central to this village. We see you, Nachos with Mushroom Karnitas and Pozole with hominy and jackfruit.
Tocaya, Westfield UTC + One Paseo | This SoCal, modern Mexican restaurant offers a Taco Combo with Agua Fresca that is perfecto. We’ve also got eyes on the Grilled Pineapple Al Pastor bowl.
🍸 Date night
Civico 1845, 1845 India St. | This Little Italy restaurant is billed as the first in the US to offer a full vegan Italian menu. Find classics like Ragu Di Funghi and Vegan Lasagna.
Mothership, 2310 30th Ave. | Make contact with the out-of-this-world menu, which includes incredible cocktails and some vegetarian “Earth Foods” like Potato (scallion latke) and Tofu (banana leaf + Otak tofu).
Black Radish, 2591 University Ave. | This fancy uptown restaurant has a few solid vegetarian options on its menu, including the Grilled Cone Cabbage and Mushroom Ragu.
Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant, 4661 Park Blvd. | Vegan and vegetarian Thai dishes shine on this menu — like the Flower Cups, Eggplant entree, and Pad Thai noodles. The water is served with fresh mint.
Green Door Cafe, 7644 Girard Ave. | Check out the plant-based seasonal menus. Dinner (Bombay Bomb Burger, anyone?) starts at 4 p.m. and Happy Hour is 3-6 p.m. (Sambusa Trio, anyone?)
What did we miss? If you know a restaurant that’s not on the list, guide us in the right direction.