Best Vegetarian Restaurants in San Diego

Published by: Bounce9 August, 2022

Are you headed to San Diego? If you are someone who enjoys vegetarian food, you are in luck! San Diego is the place to be. Those craving dishes like sweet potato curry, spicy grilled seitan skewers, or any type of plant power fast food, San Diego serves it!

You'll find a wide selection of specialty vegetarian and vegan restaurants where you can order anything on the menu and not have to worry about searching for vegetarian friendly dishes. Finding the best vegetarian restaurants in San Diego is easier than ever as restauranteurs have long ago jumped on the vegan and vegetarian bandwagon.

Store your bags safely with Bounce luggage storage in San Diego before you head out to dine in style on some of the best vegetarian cuisine in town. Most restaurants do not have bag checks and larger bags and luggage are not the ideal dining companions!

Greenhaus Vegetarian Eatery

What it's like:

Using only the finest ingredients, Greenhaus Vegetarian Eatery specializes in flavorful and zingy Indian fusion cuisine that is all vegetarian-friendly. All the ingredients are fresh and come from local vendors. The veggie burgers are fantastic, especially the nirvana burger. But the naan wrap is the true star of the eatery.

Our recommendation:

Greenhaus specializes in alternative proteins such as veggie meatballs and grilled paneer. We recommend you order some wonderful snacks including masala fries, lentil chips, and samosa along with interesting and fresh dipping sauces including tangy tamarind or tropical mango. Service is quick and you can even order online for takeout.

Location:

1118 Morena Blvd, San Diego CA

Café Gratitude

What it's like:

This rather unique vegetarian restaurant has worked hard to be innovative and environmentally friendly including showing its support of regenerative and sustainable architecture. Executive Chef Seizan has created a vegetarian and vegan menu that is robust and filled with amazing flavor combinations. You will want to explore the nutrient-dense menu choices including butternut squash Bolognese, black bean burger, and even blackened tempeh wrap.

Our recommendation:

Check out the broccoli Romanesco or buffalo cauliflower – it has kick! The macrobiotic bowl is interesting and the Indian curry bowl is divine. There is nothing boring about the lentil soup or black pudding salad, and you will most definitely want to save plenty of room for dessert, the Tuscan apple pie is spectacular and the key lime pie puts all other pies to shame.

Location:

1980 Kettner Blvd San Diego CA

Grains

What's it like:

This low-key neighborhood café is family-owned and specializes in plant-based cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan dishes have a unique twist making Grains an instant favorite for vegetarians, vegans, and even meat-eaters. The black pepper edamame, Tom Kah Soup with Jasmine wild rice, garlic potato wedges, and tofu nuggets are just a sample of what is on the menu.

Our recommendation:

The Holy Shiitake is a definite must-try when you sit down. The battered and deep-fried shiitake mushrooms are cut into strips and are so tasty. Many of the Thai-inspired dishes are simply fantastic. The pulled pork made with jackfruit and five spice tofu instead of pork is unique and full of zest. Another must-try twist is the Drunken Angel which is a stir-fry with mushrooms, tofu, veggies, and angel hair pasta topped with green peppercorns.

Location:

2201 Adams Ave, San Diego CA

Soulshine Vegan Market, Deli, and Café

What it's like:

When you are looking for healthy and delicious food, head to Soulshine, which is not just a café but also a deli and a market. The deli has an outstanding selection of vegan meats and cheeses and the market has several vegan and vegetarian snacks and foodstuffs.

Our recommendation:

Grab a seat in the café and order the vegan enchiladas, they will change your whole outlook on vegan dishes. Order a fragrant cup of coffee made from locally sourced roasted organic beans. You can even get a lavender latte, organic espresso, or seasoned spice vanilla latte. If you are looking for something more refreshing try the fresh squeezed lemonade or coconut water. Enjoy unusual and delicious food that is healthy food at its finest.

Location:

3864 Mission Blvd, San Diego CA

The Purple Mint Vegan Bistro

What it's like:

Serving authentic Asian dishes with a very unique twist, the colorful and delicious food served here is made with all-natural and fresh ingredients and it is all vegan-friendly. The dishes are camera ready and look exactly like their traditional counterparts. The meatless strips and soy protein curry add just the right amount of flavor and still keeps things healthy.

Our recommendation:

The black rice pasta with coconut milk is a good choice as is the orange chicken which is obviously chicken-less but just as wonderful. There are even Peking duck lettuce wraps that are minus the Peking duck but have tofu that takes the place of the duck. Super tasty! The lemongrass tofu is also especially savory in the Buddha’s delight dish. Spend an evening at the Purple Mint Vegetarian Restaurant.

Location:

6171 Mission Gorge Rd Unit 118, San Diego CA

Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant

What it's like:

This charming vegan Thai restaurant serves high-quality vegetarian and vegan dishes that are 100% free of any animal products and fish sauces except for some dishes that have optional egg choices. Kick back and try a glass of wine or an Asian beer and enjoy the ambiance of Plumeria. All dishes are made to order and created fresh daily using organic veggies and tofu from the San Diego Soy Company.

Our recommendation:

Their specialty menu includes Rama, eggplant, broccoli delight, spice basil fried rice, vegan curry rice, pineapple fried rice, Pad Thai, sticky rice, and pumpkin curry. There are so many fabulous options on the menu and you will have a hard time choosing what to try first. But, remember to save room for dessert, there are several vegan options to pick from.

Location:

4661 Park Blvd, San Diego CA (in University Heights)

Sipz Vegetarian Fusion Café

What it's like:

The specialty menu is rather extensive and covers Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and Vietnamese with all the dishes being vegetarian and a good many of them being vegan. This is probably the only place in San Diego you can take a culinary journey across Asia while staying 100% true to yourself and your clean eating habits. Desserts are all vegan and made in-house, so save plenty of room.

Our recommendation:

We suggest the tofu vegetable soup, lettuce wrap, yum salad, or fried wontons. You can also step outside your comfort zone and try the eggplant delight, guru green, Kung poo, or grand vegetable paella. Savor the wonderful vegan and vegetarian fare! Sipz is a terrific place to meet up with friends, have a family gathering, or reserve space for your next corporate meeting.

Location:

5501 Clairmont Mesa Blvd, San Diego CA

Jyoti-Bihanga

What it's like:

Located on Adams Avenue at Felton Street, Jyoti-Bihanga is one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in San Diego and offers vegetarian dishes but has also expanded to include plant-based vegan dishes as well. This is one of the best places to dine, especially since you get a lot of food for your buck. The extensive menu will take a minute for you to wrap your head around but you will find something you will love.

Our recommendation:

Order an appetizer so you can sit back and relax before your entrée comes. Try the Neatloaf which is their version of meatloaf and is made with grain, egg, ricotta, and soy, it also comes with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes. There is also a vegan Neatloaf which does not have egg or dairy. There are also plenty of daily dessert specials but the chocolate mousse cake is simply to die for.

Location:

3351 Adams Ave, San Diego CA

Trilogy Sanctuary & Café

What it's like:

Located just outside San Diego in La Jolla Village, Trilogy Sanctuary & Café is a must-try when you are looking for vegetarian restaurants. Imagine having lunch in a yoga studio and wellness center; that is exactly what you will be doing when you visit the Trilogy Sanctuary & Café where you will have an outstanding vegan dining experience.

Our recommendation:

Find dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free dishes that are still bursting with wonderful flavors. The vegan nachos are served with blue corn chips, quinoa chili, cashew sour cream, cashew cheezy sauce, pico de gallo, avocado, and hemp seeds. The Holy Sage Wrap is another awesome choice and is made with roasted butternut squash, sage hummus, avocado, rosemary, red cabbage, spinach, and caramelized onions.

You can even find chili cheese fries made with quinoa chili and cashew cheezy sauce. There are plenty of tempting and decadent desserts that will send your straight into heaven including the dark chocolate avocado mousse which is made with cashew chocolate and topped with vanilla cream and fresh strawberries.

Location:

7650 Girard Ave #400, La Jolla Village CA

NoW Café

What it's like:

NoW is part of the No Worries Movement which is dedicated to reducing animal cruelty around the globe. NoW Café and NoW Sushi are a part of this movement with NoW Café creating breathtaking vegan bowls with mystical names that you are sure to remember such as the Mermaid which is made with dragon fruit, coconut charcoal sorbet, matcha, mango puree, banana, berries, grapes, and granola.

Our recommendation:

They even have more savory dishes when something sweet just is not what you wanted. We recommend you order the avocado smash on rosemary and sage toast or maybe the focaccia panini made with fresh vegetables and vegan cheese. Either way, you will definitely find delicious vegan food at NoW Café.

Location:

844 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego CA

Peace Pies

What it's like:

Head over to the Ocean Beach neighborhood and check out healthy eating at its finest at Peace Pies where you will find several top-notch raw, vegan dishes with many also being soy-free and gluten-free. Vegan does not have to mean tasteless or blah, in today’s world where vegan and vegetarian food is being reimagined into delicious delicacies, Peace Pies is keeping up with the times.

Our recommendation:

The lentil, sprouted almond, and pea falafel is mouthwatering and is even served with cashew hummus, veggies, and a flavorful cucumber dill sauce. If you are looking for something a bit simpler for your palette the sunflower seed toast and avocado with fresh herbs and truffle salt is a must-try. The Luna Tuna Wrap is also a good choice, using sunflower seed pate instead of tuna. You really can’t go wrong with any dish.

Location:

4230 Voltaire St, San Diego CA

 Kindred

What it's like:

Head to the North Park neighborhood when you are looking for a rather unique vegetarian dining hot spot. The ambiance of the place is wicked, the owners went to great pains to showcase the death metal meets Victorian goth décor that you will feel as if you have been transported to another dimension.

Our recommendation:

Kick back with a cocktail or mocktail and enjoy the cool vibes of Kindred. With some of the most innovative vegan food in San Diego, you really cannot go wrong when you order. The simple grilled cheese has been transformed in a grilled cheese masterpiece where the herbed bechamel and tapioca mozzarella are the stars, add the braised kale, apple, and caramelized onion to just enhance the overall experience.

You do have to give the Memphis BBQ using jackfruit a try, it is genius the way the green chili aioli and Dijon mustard give it an authentic BBQ flare. Save plenty of room for their famous S’more Sliders made with marshmallow fluff, snickerdoodle cookies, and TCHO dark chocolate. 

Location:

1503 30th St, San Diego CA

Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes in San Diego

Spend the day exploring San Diego, and then pull up a chair in a vegan and vegetarian café serving healthy vegan dishes bursting with flavor. You do not have to be a true vegan or vegetarian to appreciate the interesting and unique ways chefs throughout the city have modified original meat dishes and created completely new and innovative plant-based cuisine.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out these other guides about San Diego:

3 Days in San Diego: Everything You Should Know
The Best Time to Visit San Diego 2022: the Ultimate Guide
Unmissable Things To Do In San Diego At Night

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