The average plant-based wanderluster’s ideal “vegan paradise” might include exquisite vegan feasts in beautiful, five-star getaways off the coast of, say, Bali or Tel Aviv.
And while these destinations are *certainly* picturesque (with delectable vegan eateries galore!), the dreamy, seaside city of San Diego has just as much to offer in terms of its diverse topography and scrumptious vegan eats! From its beautiful beaches and coastal trails to its scenic cliffs, canyons, and mountains—all of which offer breathtaking panoramic views—California’s second-largest city is the perfect vacation spot any time of the year.
I recently took an impromptu mini-vacation to San Diego, and—along with being impressed by the city’s awe-inspiring views—I was genuinely overwhelmed by the vegan food options! So many vegan food options…
For those planning a trip to “America’s Finest City,” here’s a helpful guide to help you navigate San Diego’s countless vegan eats from brunch to dinner.
Trilogy Sanctuary & Cafe – A trendy community space offering rooftop ocean views, infrared yoga, spiritual healing services, and a delicious vegan cuisine — Trilogy Sanctuary is certainly a one-of-a-kind experience. Start your morning off right with a Goddess smoothie (made with almond milk, banana, blueberries, hemp seeds, peanut butter, goji berries, and chia seeds) or take a cheat day and indulge in their Nutella and banana buckwheat crepes (pictured above) drizzled with caramel sauce! They also offer shares, salads, and entrees for lunch and dinner.
Soulshine Vegan Cafe – Sourcing organic, non-GMO foods from local farmers, Soulshine is the perfect spot for a satisfying brunch. You can’t go wrong with their selection of house baked toasts or the San Diego Slam: mini waffle, tempeh bacon, golden potatoes, kale, and their signature chickpea “eggz.”
Plant Power Fast Food – On your way to the beach, you can grab a quick bite at Plant Power Fast Food — a vegan take on Mickey D’s. Snack on their classic bacon cheeseburger (pictured above), their 8-piece “chicken” nuggets, or keep it healthy with their Southwest Avocado Wrap. They also have a small breakfast and smoothie menu. (I may or may not have eaten here twice during my short trip.)
Evolution Fast Food – Another terrific option when you’re on-the-go — snag a burger, veggie wrap, tacos, or their signature loaded fries. The California Burrito is simply ah-mazing!
Kindred – Cap the night with dinner and craft cocktails at Kindred — the self-proclaimed whimsical, eccentric space for contemporary vegan fare with a heavy-metal flair serving up plants, booze, and revelry. The “Rice Above” (pictured above) featuring crispy risotto, mint carrot top pesto, roasted rainbow carrots, carrot confit pureé, toasted pistachios, and pink peppercorn is an absolute must-try!
Café Gratitude – While their starters menu is enough to get lost in, Café Gratitude (a chain that includes a location in Los Angeles) specializes in mindful eating with options for every taste. Try their Asian Kale & Wakame Salad, Mexican Bowl, Indian Curry Bowl, or their delicious Two Bean Tempeh Chili!
Peace Pies – Sporting a bohemian vibe, Peace Pies offers a locally-sourced menu of raw, gluten-free, and soy-free foods. While their dessert options are quite expansive — Funky Fudge Brownies, Cosmic Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Almond Butter Bar, Alive Apple Pie (just to name a few!) — they also offer salads and mouthwatering entrees like the Mystical Mushroom Quesadilla!
Maya’s Cookies – I first had Maya’s Cookies at a pop-up in Long Beach, and I am hooked! 100 percent plant-based and cruelty-free, you can find Maya’s Cookies at various shops and markets around San Diego, such as the Mission Square Market or the North Park Thursday Market. If you can’t make it to San Diego anytime soon, I would highly recommend placing an order online. (PS: My decision to mini-vacay in San Diego may or may not have been made largely due to Maya’s cookies.) (PPS: The marble fudge cookies are heavenly.)
What’s your favorite spot for vegan eats in San Diego?
Also by Audrey: 5 Ways To Beat The Afternoon Slump & Stay Energized At Work
10 Vegan Products For Sculpting The Perfect Eyebrows (You Won’t Even Need Any Other Makeup)
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Photo: Frank McKenna via Unsplash, Respective Brands