San Diego is quite a hot spot for vegan dining, and the options continue to grow each year. San Diego’s vegan scene is truly quite diverse, offering a few selections of fast casual dining, Thai cuisine, Asian cuisine, raw food, fancy vegan pizzas and juice bars. There is surely something for every kind of vegan in San Diego. Most of the restaurants offer the kind of food even a non-vegan would love to dig in. We give you the low down on the best vegan restaurants in San Diego for any occasion and give you one more reason to take a trip to California and eat your way through it.
The Best All-Vegan Eateries in San Diego
Cafe Gratitude San Diego
One of many popular locations of this all vegan chain, Cafe Gratitude’s San Diego location offers the same atmosphere and delicious food fans of the chain are used to. The restaurant is known for promoting a lifestyle of gratitude and naming dishes that are ordered as affirmations. It is a great stop for casual or more intimate dining. The interior has a very hip, modern feel. It has lots of natural elements that warm it up and make it a space you want to spend time in with good company.
The menu features items such as Coconut Calamari, a Macrobiotic Bowl, Blackened Tempeh Bolognese and Hot Cast Iron Cookie. The Blackened Tempeh Caesar Wrap is an absolute masterpiece, combining avocado, romaine, and tomato with a cashew Caesar dressing, coconut bacon and tempeh that will leave your tastebuds and stomach fully satisfied. The Strawberry Shortcake Dessert is a delicious blend of shortcake, a strawberry chia preserve and the most deliciously creamy coconut cashew whipped cream that will make you feel like springtime is here.
The Purple Mint Vegan Bistro
This family-owned Asian fusion restaurant offers an all-vegan menu. The interior of the restaurant is warm and inviting. It features lots of wood elements, clean lines and plants along with a variety of decorations that promote a calm atmosphere, perfect for both casual or more intimate affairs.
The menu offers items such as Double Delight Spring Rolls, Hot and Sour Soup, and Kung Pao “Chicken”. It also clearly marks items that are gluten-free or have a gluten-free option available. The Avocado Spring Rolls are the perfect starter. They use light ingredients such as avocado, sprouts, vermicelli and cucumber along with a vegan ponzu dipping sauce. The Chinese Broccoli and Shiitake Mushrooms come in a brown sauce that is oh so reminiscent of the traditional chicken and broccoli minus the cruelty. It is served with fragrant jasmine rice that helps make this dish a must-try for any former chicken and broccoli lovers.
Loving Hut is an international chain serving an all-vegan menu that is Asian inspired, although menus vary by location. The all-vegan chain promotes a vegan diet heavily. They want to make vegan food taste delicious as well as offer it at affordable pricing. The San Diego location has a fast casual vibe. Its extremely casual interior is perfect for grabbing a quick bite or having an informal lunch with friends. The menu is extensive at the San Diego El Cajon Blvd location. They offer items such as Pho, Guru Fried Rice, Chili Fries, Happy Pasta, and Vegan Chocolate Cake. All of the food looks and smells amazing. So it's best to take a friend or two and order multiple dishes. This is so that you can sample a wide variety of dishes from this extensive menu.
Soulshine is an all vegan cafe that offers organic, non-GMO and locally sourced dishes. The interior of the cafe is charming, with modern seating and a clean feel, yet many whimsical and earthy decorations. These give it a cool, hippy vibe, perfect for casual dining or even a date.
The menu offers items such as Golden Milk, Satisfying Sushi, Beach Burger and Spicy Cacao Brownie. We highly recommend the Soulshine Tacos. These tacos offer a variety of textures and flavors such as Indian spiced lentils, quinoa, mango salsa, avocado and a cashew crema on top of blue corn tortillas that will blow you away with how fresh and hearty that are. If you’re looking for a sweet option, the Cashew Cheesecake is phenomenal. Depending on when you visit, it is topped with seasonal options. These include strawberries and a strawberry sauce that will make you wish you ordered an entire cake.
Veggie Grill is a fast casual one hundred percent plant based restaurant chain offering two locations in San Diego. The interior is reminiscent of a chain restaurant. But is far more warm and inviting and is optimally suited for casual dining. The plant-based, veggie centered menu has a wide variety of vegan dishes ranging from burgers and sandwiches to salads, burritos, and desserts. Dishes include items such as Nashville Hot Chickin Sandwich, Mediterranean Supergreens Salad, Sweetheart Fries and a Gluten Free Brownie. We highly recommend the Quinoa Power Salad, an insanely delicious and filling medley of quinoa, avocado, veggies, fresh herbs, cannellini beans, a citrus vinaigrette and hemp seeds over kale and romaine. For a warmer savory dish that is equally filling and delicious, try the fragrant Masala Bowl. It comes with channa masala, supergrains, cauliflower, a green curry sauce and hemp seeds served over wilted kale.
Kindred is a vegan bar and restaurant that is changing the vegan scene in San Diego. It is opened and run by vegans with a ton of experience, and it shows. The menu offers amazing, plant-based food, in generous portions for a relatively affordable price. And it’s the kind of food you won’t find many other places. The gorgeously plated food is served in a space that is modern, whimsical, dark and fantastic all at once. This makes it an incredible space for any dining experience you desire. (And we can assure you it will be memorable.)
The drink menu is extensive and includes alcoholic, nonalcoholic, juice and coffee beverages that will absolutely astonish your taste buds. The food is equally impressive. It includes items such as an Artichoke Po’Boy, a Wizard Bowl, Apple Pie, and even Popped Corn. The prices allow one to try several dishes when dining. We highly suggest doing so, as we have a hard time recommending just one dish or drink to try because they’re honestly all that impressive.
This all-vegan restaurant is built upon years of experience serving vegan food to a variety of people in a variety of circumstances. The restaurant came from a discovery of a vegan diet to wanting to share it with others and create a sense of community with it, while also focusing on non-GMO soy, local ingredients, and gluten-free options. The interior is modern and casual, with many warm elements. These make it an inviting space to come enjoy food with friends.
The menu, which offers all-day breakfast, offers items such as BaConan the Eggventurer, Potrizo Tacos, Sono Chili Dog and Onion Ring Tower of Power. We highly recommend trying EVERYTHING. But really if you have to pick, the Sriracha Ranch Chickn Wrap is a flavor explosion of garlic, mushrooms, onion and chickn, topped with the house sriracha ranch dressing that is oh so creamy and spicy that you’ll want to order a tub to eat with a spoon. If you are in the mood for brunch and want something a little sweet, the house French toast is divine. It comes with hash browns. Preferably, you add an order of bakon to round it out and make it the most perfect brunch ever.
Donna Jean is an all-vegan restaurant opened by a man who wanted to showcase how delicious vegan food can be after losing his mother to cancer. The chef has a long history with vegan cooking as his mac and cheese won awards. He worked with Matthew Kenny and even went to Bahrain to assist in the opening of its first vegan restaurant. The interior is an interesting mix of casual, modern and warm. While the outside is absolutely stunning and perfect for intimate dining.
The menu is a delicious variety of dishes. They offer items such as Smoke and Sprout Cavatelli, Bread Fang Pizza, Hominy and Espresso Bread Pudding. The Truffle Dill Agnolotti is a house-made pasta featuring sage butter, ricotta, mushrooms and pine nuts that will have you wondering how you ever survived without it. Every single pizza is a masterpiece, although the Four Horseman is an exquisite blend of tomatoes, multiple types of cheeses and pesto. It is absolutely one of most delicious pizzas you will ever eat, period.
Peace Pies is a raw vegan restaurant that offers a menu that is gluten and soy free. The restaurant works hard to ensure they compost and create zero waste while also purchasing from local farmers. This makes them an eco-friendly and sustainable dining spot. The interior has a warm vibe that invokes the word hippy, but only in a fun, whimsical manner. There is not much seating here. So if you don’t have the ability or desire to dine in, a quick pick up of food and a picnic elsewhere would be a great way to enjoy.
The menu offers items such as Avocado Toast, Loving Lasagna, a Bliss Burger and Cacao Truffles. The food is both beautiful and flavorful, and Mystical Mushroom Quesadilla is amazing. A red bell pepper tortilla is filled with mushrooms, a cheese sauce, onions, tomatoes and greens for a satisfying yet light meal. Any of the desserts are incredible and the case up front showcases their creamy raw cakes. So it’s best to just walk in and go with what calls to your heart and stomach.
And one vegetarian eatery...
Veganic Thai Cafe
This mostly vegan Thai restaurant offers a variety of vegan Thai dishes. The restaurant is absolutely stunning, with a warm and inviting atmosphere that is perfect for a unique dining experience. This restaurant receives rave reviews for their vegan dishes and it’s not hard to see why. The menu offers items such as Pad Thai, Drunken Noodle Soup, Thai Fried Rice and Homemade Ice Cream. If you truly love authentic tasting flavorful Thai food, we suggest going with a few people. This is so you can all order a few things and share, it’s too delicious to pick just one item.
And a few additional options...
Oh! Juice is a vegan juice bar that features mostly raw and all organic juices and light meals. They offer a wide variety of juices and other beverages all in glass bottles. And they promise they are never pasteurized in any form. This is a great grab-and-go spot for a quick, light bite to eat or something to drink that’ll leave you feeling light and energized.
This gluten-free vegan juice bar and eatery has a wide variety of juices, beverages, bowls, snacks and hot foods that are delicious and healthy. The interior is hip and inviting. It features a clean and warm aesthetic that makes you want to sit down and enjoy your juice for awhile.
This all-vegan fast casual chain has two locations in San Diego, making it a convenient place to stop for a bite to eat. The food they offer ranges from salads and wraps to burgers and cupcakes. Their offering is sure to win over any non-vegan with their delicious, fast food, comfort style food options.
Grains is an all-vegan restaurant that has an absolutely stunning interior complete with wood, modern elements and beautiful lighting. This makes it a great space for an intimate dining experience. The menu is equally gorgeous and features a wide array of appetizers, salads, mains and beverages. A must-stop for anyone who desires a reason to get a little dressed up and enjoy a good meal.