San Diego is regarded by many as one of the best cities in the U.S. The temperature is warm year-round, it’s always sunny, the waves are great, and the beaches are some of the best in Cali!
I recently had a chance to visit one of my cousins who lives in San Diego. During my stay, she recommended several great vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the city.
I didn’t get to visit them all, but the ones that I did eat at turned out to be some of the best eats I’d ever had.
In today’s post, I’m about to show you some of the best vegan restaurants in San Diego. Whether you live in “America’s Finest City” or you’re just there for a layover, any one of these spots is guaranteed to give you the flavor explosion you’ve been craving!
Let’s dive in, shall we?
How Vegan-Friendly Is San Diego?
Not only does San Diego have some of the best weather in the United States, but it’s also listed in PETA’s “Top Ten Vegan-Friendly Cities!”
There are tons of awesome vegan restaurants, organic health food stores, vegan-friendly boutiques, artisans, street food, vegan taco trucks, and more.
Currently, Portland, Oregon holds the first-place spot for vegan-friendly cities. There are over 19,000 cities in the U.S., so being on the top-ten list is definitely noteworthy.
PETA’s vegan-friendly test was based on a number of different factors, including:
- Affordability of vegan groceries and eating out.
- Accessibility to vegan-friendly grocery stores and restaurants.
- Farmers markets per capita.
- Community gardens per capita.
- The number of vegan lifestyle events and vegan meetups.
- Vegan and vegetarian cooking classes are available to the public.
Are There A Lot Of Vegan Restaurants In San Diego?
It’s easy to forget just how huge the sunny city is. I thought that I knew about a lot of vegan spots in San Diego until I started looking on Google.
There are several pages worth of results for vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. You could go to a new vegan restaurant every week and still not run out of awesome new places to try!
The 6 Best Vegan Restaurants In San Diego
If you’re looking for the best vegan food in San Diego, then you’ve come to the right place.
I went to San Diego a couple of months ago and got a chance to visit about twenty different restaurants and food trucks during my month-long stay. Some places were so good that I had to go back twice!
The vegan restaurants on this list are my top 6 favorites!
1) Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant
Cuisine: Vegetarian and vegan-friendly Thai food
Although Thai food often contains chicken and pork, Plumeria in San Diego offers a vegan-friendly twist on a lot of traditional favorites.
Some of the dishes they’re best known for are Satay Chicken (made with vegan seitan), Thai Samosas (with peas, carrots, and potatoes), and Flower Cups (tofu and veggies stuffed into a light gluten-free miniature pie crust).
The vibe is quaint and feels family-owned, and you’ll hear some traditional tunes on the small radio. The quality of the food is excellent and many of the dishes are made with spicy Thai chili sauce. If you like it spicy, you can get your food with extra spice or vice-versa.
Keep in mind that this is technically a vegetarian restaurant. So, a few of the dishes may contain optional eggs. However, the egg can always be excluded and the friendly servers are more than happy to accommodate any other dietary restrictions you may have.
My favorite dish at Plumeria was the Spicy Noodle dish made with wild rice noodles, carrots, onions, bell peppers, and basil. This is all tossed in a delicious garlic-chili sauce that offers a slightly spicy kick.
Location: 4661 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116
2) Peace Pies
Cuisine: Raw vegan, soy-free, pies, pizzas, wraps, and salads
If you’re looking for vegan pizza, Peace Pies in San Diego has some of the best I’ve ever had. One of the things I like about Peace Pie the most is its commitment to fresh food.
They source all of their ingredients from local farms. The menu is always changing, depending on what fresh fruits and vegetables are in-season, so you’ll never get bored.
In addition to pizza, they also have other Italian-style favorites like vegan stroganoff and lasagna. When I went there, I had a personal pizza and the Magical Mango Curry, which was incredible.
They also offer some awesome smoothies and blended drinks. I got the Horchata Mylkshake made with almond milk, hemp, banana, and cinnamon spice.
I thought it was an awesome vegan twist on classic Mexican horchata, which is traditionally a milk-based drink.
Location: Ocean Beach, 4230 Voltaire Street, San Diego, CA 92107
3) Greenhaus Vegetarian Eatery
Cuisine: Fusion vegan restaurant offering up vegan tacos, burgers, Indian dishes, and more
If you’re indecisive about what to eat and can’t figure out what cuisine you’re in the mood for, then Greenhaus Vegetarian Eatery in San Diego is the place to go! They offer an ever-changing menu that consists of cultural favorites from around the world.
Of course, being in the heart of San Diego, they offer some delicious vegan tacos. But they also offer vegan sushi rolls, vegan butter naan bread, vegan samosas, salads, and good old-fashioned vegan burger patties.
My favorite item on the menu was the vegan Masala Fries. These french friends are tossed in spicy Indian masala sauce and topped with fresh chives. It’s a truly unique take on one of my favorite Indian dishes.
Location: 1118 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110
4) The Yasai: Plant-Based Japanese Experience
Cuisine: Vegan Japanese cuisine
The Yasai: Plant-Based Japanese Experience has two locations in the San Diego area; one in Little Italy and the other on Convoy Street. I really enjoy walking around Little Italy, so that was the one that I ended up going to. Their specialties are vegan sushi rolls and vegan ramen.
I’ve had vegan sushi and ramen before, but never like this. The Yasai offers a full-on Japanese vegan “experience.” The quality and craftsmanship that goes into each dish is high-end, to say the least.
Check it out:
Everything on the menu is 100% vegan (not vegetarian), so you can comfortably order any dish without having to elaborate on your dietary restrictions.
This restaurant is one of the hottest vegan spots in the entire city, so you may need to call ahead and place a reservation to make sure you get a table!
Location: 2254 India Street, San Diego, California 92101
5) Loving Hut
Cuisine: Mixed vegan cuisine, including tacos, wraps, noodles, and quick bites
Loving Hut is actually a restaurant chain and has locations all over the U.S. in vegan-friendly cities.
They have a few different locations across Southern Cali, so it’s a very accessible spot. They offer a variety of different vegan dishes and are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
They’re best known for their noodle dishes and southeast Asian food, such as Thai food, and vegan Vietnamese dishes. They offer everything from light appetizers to full-on entrees and even dessert!
When I went, I tried the Singaporean Noodles, which are cooked in a delicious vegetable broth and seasoned with savory herbs and spices.
My server informed me that each location is slightly different from the next, so the menu may vary depending on which location to visit.
Location: 1905 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92104
6) Kindred San Diego
Cuisine: Vegan sandwiches, salads, kebabs, desserts, and small bites
Who would’ve thought that San Diego would be home to a death metal-themed vegan restaurant? I certainly didn’t until I visited Kindred San Diego for the first time!
Kindred specializes in selling vegan alternatives to common comfort foods like grilled cheese, kebabs, burgers, and BBQ. So, basically, all of the food you normally can’t eat because it’s NOT vegan.
Kindred uses some really interesting ingredients to make their plant-based foods, such as jackfruit Pulled Pork and Beer Mac and Cheese made with fresh cashew-based vegan cheese. They even have Buttermilk Biscuits made with vegan rice butter!
My favorite dish was the Grilled Cheese made with tapioca mozzarella, braised kale, and caramelized onions on freshly-toasted sourdough (which is my favorite vegan bread).
If you’re a drinker, they also have some great cocktails at the bar and some truly talented mixologists.
Location: 1503 30th St, San Diego, CA 92102
Conclusion – What’s The Best Vegan Restaurant In San Diego?
Of all the great vegan restaurants I visited, I’d have to say that The Yasai: Plant-Based Japanese Experience was the best vegan restaurant in San Diego.
Everything from the food to the experience was stellar! It was definitely a little pricey, but SO worth it.
If you love Asian-inspired vegan food, then you’ll love Vegan Bowl! To continue reading, check out my review and their menu here!