This is a list of Vegetarian-friendly restaurants sorted by ethnic food type with helpful information like: what to order, atmosphere, comments, phone numbers, and addresses.
Del Mar: 1237 Camino Del Mar. 92014
Many people like the “neatloaf,” but the “infinite blue” is also good. Weekend brunch. Odd hours, so call before going. Atmosphere: New Age dining amongst pastel faux finished walls made to look like clouds.
Normal Heights: 3351 Adams Ave. 92116
Palomar Mountain: Corner of highways S6 & S7
Escondido: 431 West 13th Ave. 92025
You can easily walk to the beach since it is just across the highway (just don’t get run over!)
Atmosphere: Casual dining
Cardiff: 2591 South Coast Highway 101. 92007
Salads, sandwiches and a juice bar. Not open for dinner.
Downtown: 1125 6th Ave. 92101
Untried but reportedly mostly vegetarian.
Encinitas: 517 First Street. 92024
Vegetarian & vegan options
Atmosphere: Trendy warehouse
Fashion Valley: Fashion Valley Mall, Friars Rd. 92108
Health Food Stores:
Some organic produce.
- Del Mar/Carmel Valley: 12853 El Camino Real. (858)793-7755
- Escondido: 1633 South Centre City Pkwy. (760) 489-7755
Not a health food store but we often shop here. They have good prices and a mind- boggling selection of Feta cheeses – we like the French feta for its creaminess. Good olives too. You will find an international assortment of customers: Vietnamese, Mexican, Russian, and hence produce & grains to match. The fruit is often disappointing though.
North Park: 3139 University Ave.
Not a health food store but if you are shopping for Mexican ingredients this is the place to go. They make their tortillas fresh on-site so they are always warm when you buy them.
North Park: 3245 El Cajon Blvd. 92104
Organic produce, deli. Very close to our Ocean Beach yoga center so a favorite workshop lunch spot.
Ocean Beach: 4765 Voltaire Street. 92107
Healthy food but not “health food.” Some organic produce.
- La Mesa: 4630 Palm Ave. (619)460-7722
- Pacific Beach: 1260 Garnet. (619) 270-8200
- Serra Mesa: 3332 Sandrock Rd. (619) 565-1714
- College: 6091 University Ave. (619) 582-4343
- Encinitas: 1327 Encinitas Bl. (760) 633-4747
- North Park: 4175 Park Bl. (619) 291-8287
- Point Loma: 3315 Rosecrans. (619) 523-3640
- Poway: 13536 Poway Rd. (619) 486-7851
- Santee: 9751 Mission Gorge Road. (619) 258-4060
- University City: 3358 Governor Drive. (619) 457-5006
- Bonita: 941 Otay Lakes Rd. (619) 656-6434
- Chula Vista: 362 F Street. (619) 476-1032
- El Cajon: 152 North Second Street. (619) 579-8251
- Vista: 705 East Vista Way. (760) 578-6091
Not a complete selection of items, but a terrific value on the nuts, dried fruit and other items that they do carry.
- Pacific Beach: 1211 Garnet Ave. (619) 272-7235
- Carmel Mountain Ranch: 11955 Carmel Mountain Road (619) 673-0526
- Hillcrest: 1090 University Ave. (619) 296-3122
- La Jolla: 8657 Villa La jolla Dr. (619) 546-8629
- La Mesa: 8495 Fletcher Parkway (619) 466-5998
- Encinitas: 115 North El Camino Real (619) 634-2114
Oceanside: 2570 Vista Way (760) 433-9994
The behemoth of health food stores. A restaurant, bakery and upscale grocery store all rolled into one. It’s really big!
- Hillcrest: 711 University Ave. 92103. (619) 294-2800
- La Jolla: 8825 Villa La Jolla Dr. 92037. (619) 642-6700
- Carmel Mountain Ranch- 11738 Carmel Mountain Road-(619) 487-1500
- Mission Valley-5638 Mission Center Road #106-(619) 785-5800
- Point Loma- 3305 “A” Rosecrans St.-(619) 523-2800
- Del Mar-3545 Del Mar Heights Bl. #C4-(619) 793-5033
- La Jolla-8657 Villa La Jolla Dr. #101-(619) 625-2582
- Hillcrest-510 Robinson Ave.-(619) 683-2582
Ocean Beach: 5001 “A” Newport Ave. 92107
Encinitas: 1163 First Street. 92024
Atmosphere: Casual relaxed dining
Mira Mesa: 9450 Scranton Rd. 92121
High quality food excellently prepared. Pricey but worth it. Many vegetarian choices.
Hillcrest: 523 University Ave. 92103
Trendy & urbane, Alchemy is dedicated to serving fresh, seasonal, creative cuisine that won’t break the bank. You never know what you are going to get – but that is half the fun at this inovative restaurant! Every Wednesday they have a vegetarian tasting menu in addition to their otherwise excellent vegetarian friendly menu. Call ahead to enquire. Atmosphere: Upscale but friendly and moderately priced for this class of restaurant
South Park: 1503 30th St. 92102
A great place to go for breakfast. You can always trust big-hearted “Judy the beauty on duty.” Atmosphere: Communal, friendly
South Park: 3003 Grape St. 92102
Some vegetarian selections. Menu changes seasonally. For a dessert, try the ginger carrot cake with coconut caramel topping
Atmosphere: urban upscale take-out place with a few tables to eat in if you want.
Normal Heights: 2864 Adams Ave. 92116
Few vegetarian selections.
Atmosphere: upscale scene, urbane
Kensington: 4055 Adams Ave. 92116
Few vegetarian selections but try the farmer’s or baby mixed greens salad, black bean soup, wild mushroom risotto & flan. Atmosphere: Dine in Balboa Park. A great place for indoor/outdoor eating, when the weather is nice or if you want a bite while visiting the museums or zoo. Lush foliage in an outdoor relaxed setting. Upscale, urbane and pricey.
Balboa Park: 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park. 92101
Good vegan chocolate sorbet. Atmosphere: Urbane & trendy
Hillcrest: 3896 5th Ave. 92103
As far as we are concerned, this is the only place in San Diego to go for dessert. It has been a fixture for many years and once you taste the desserts you will know why. World class. Atmosphere: High style in a very small space. Outdoor seating too. There is often a line to get in but it is worth it!
Hillcrest: 2929 Fifth Ave. 92103
Completely vegan bakery offering cheesecakes, strudel, cookies, scones, brownies, lunch items, cakes, and pizza.
Atmosphere: upscale scene, urbane
Ocean Beach: (619) 221-0285
4879 Voltaire St. San Diego, CA 92107
The best popsicles in San Diego! Unbelievably fruity and they have a rewards program for the dedicated – should I say addicted? – patron. Try the white peach or the white nectarine when in season
Atmosphere: casual, bright & fun hole in the wall
Normal Heights: 3330 Adams Ave. San Diego, CA 92116
Hands down, this is our favorite Ethiopian restaurant in San Diego. We thought all Ethiopian restaurants were more or less the same but this one proved us wrong – and happily so! Some unusual dishes plus the tried and true ones done much better make this an easy win in this category. The staff are uniformly friendly, informative and professional which is a testament to the owner’s good temperament. For appetizers, try the Biran Korosh spicy lentil spread, the Shiro seasoned ground chickpeas or the Azifa Fitfit cool lentil salad with toasted flax seed vinaigrette. All of the vegetarian entrees we tried were very good so order without fear. Many dishes are vegan and they are clearly marked on the menu with a green “V” so they are easy to spot. A little pricier than others but we think you will agree that the quality is definately worth it! Call ahead for hours before stopping by. Atmosphere: relaxed, romantic, beautiful & cultured
University Heights: 4651 Park Boulevard. 92116
Reasonably priced. Try the vegetarian combination, timatim selata and lentil sambussa. Atmosphere: ethnic hole in the wall
City Heights: 4717 University Ave. 92105
Untried but said they can do vegan no-oil.
Miramar: 9474 Black Mountain Rd. 92126
Vegetarian lunch and dinner buffet Atmosphere: Casual dinning in plain surroundings
Sports Arena: 3760 Sports Arena Blvd. 92110
Fast food take-out for a quick meal. Try the bhaingan Bharta or the Navratan Korma along with an onion kulcha and mango lassi. Atmosphere: “Lunch court” type atmosphere.
Sorento Valley: 9450 Scranton Rd. 92121
Authentic South India food like dosas, idli, etc. They have a buffet which is very reasonable too. Atmosphere: Clean simple surroundings and gracious owners.
Miramar: 9484 Black Mountain Rd. #H 92126
Good food. One of our favorite restaurants. Very reliable. Our favorite is the Mama Rosa Ravioli & the Tri colori salad. Their Tiramisu is pretty good too. This place can get packed so call ahead or eat early and miss the crowds. Atmosphere: Eat on the patio and practice speaking Italian with the real Italian waiters.
Hillcrest: 3845 4th Ave. 92103
Good food. Atmosphere: Somewhat formal dining
University Towne Center: 8935 Towne Centre Drive Suite 113, 92122
Gourmet California influenced Italian fare artistically presented. They also have an extensive wine shop and knowledgable wait staff. Atmosphere: Trendy, upscale but not uncomfortable.
Bankers Hill: 505 Laurel. 92103
Truly wonderful food but very pricey. Don’t miss the creme brulet! Atmosphere: Somewhat formal dining. Nice outside patio to watch the downtown scene.
Downtown: 722 5th Ave. 92101
Wood-fired stove for good Pizza. Delicious Greek salad too. Atmosphere: trendy decor
- Hillcrest: 3955 5th Ave. 92103. (619) 296-6682
- La Mesa: 5500 Grossmont Center Dr. 91942. (619) 589-7222
- Point Loma: 5120 North Harbor Dr. 92106. (619) 226-0268
Great food and nice upstairs patio dining. Easy walk to beach. Atmosphere: more formal and fun if that is possible! Refined service.
Coronado: 1309 Orange Ave. 92118
Untried but it is the sister restaurant of Arrivaderci above which is one of our favorites.
Encinitas: 830 South Coast Highway 101. 92024
Unusual and good pizza, the best we have found in San Diego. If you want a traditional pizza, this isn’t the place for you but if you want to try something really different, go here! You can order pizza by the slice, by the pie or have your pizza made half and half! They are very accommodating and pretty quick. They keep about 6 of their most popular pizzas ready to pick up by the slice so often there is no waiting for your slice except to briefly warm it up in their oven. The owner is Kaled and he is very personable and outgoing. The best and most popular pizza is the eggplant with cheese. Don’t worry though, they also have a good vegan pizza for the hardcore vegetarians. They only open after 5 PM so plan accordingly. Atmosphere: There are a couple of small tables to sit at on the Adams Ave sidewalk. The interior is a bit on the dark side and unpretentious.
Normal Heights: 3311 Adams Ave. 92116
Great Vegan Ramen
Normal Heights: 3015 Adams Ave. 92116
Untried but they have pizza, Mexican and Mediterranean food.
College/La Mesa: 6366 El Cajon Bl. 92115
Unusual Latin American dishes. Try the Ensalada De Naranja, Papas A La Huanacaina, Costa Rican Casado or the Venezuelan Arepas Atmosphere: relaxed and there is outside dining. One of the few restaurants in Old Town that has adequate parking.
Old Town: 3928 Twiggs St. 92110
Very good food and very fast food service. Limited selection. but if you are in a hurry for something good and inexpensive, eat here!
Atmosphere: industrial trendy decor
- Hillcrest: 734 University Ave. 92103
- Pacific Beach: 1504 Garnet Ave. 92109
- Sports Arena: 3680 Rosecrans St. 92110
A hole in the wall neighborhood secret. Great food at very reasonable prices with many vegetarian selections. Atmosphere: Nicely done interior that is trendier than one might expect. Has some outside seating.
University Heights: 4642 Park Boulevard. 92116
Good, fast, reliable and clean Mexican chain food restaurant. Many salsas. Atmosphere: Casual. Order at the grill and sit down or take out. There is a patio.
Hillcrest: 1010 University Ave. 92103
Walking distance from Ortegas restaurant above. Go here for great tamales. Try the Vegetarian or Jalapeno & Cheese tamales.Atmosphere: Casual.
Ocean Beach: 4993 Niagara Ave. 92107
Very good regional Mexican food from the Pueblo region of Mexico. Good salsas. Atmosphere: Casual. Order at the grill and sit down or take out. There is a small sidewalk patio.
Ocean Beach: 4888 Newport Ave. 92107
Mexican & Vegetarian Cuisine- Untried
Downtown: 947 E Street. 92101
Good salsa but otherwise unremarkable.
- Ocean Beach: 1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. 92107 (619) 226-7619
- North Park: 3910 30th St. 92104 (619) 574-1288
They have a vegetarian platter.
Atmosphere: Eat amongst the deli cases or the parked cars.
Clairemont Mesa: 5420 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. 92117
Along with their sister restaurant Cafe Athena below this is our favorite Greek restaurant. We recommend all the vegetarian dips: hummos, baba ghannouj, skordalia, spanaki lemonato, tzatziki as well as the lentil soup and the Horiatiki salad with lentil pilaf. Skip the Falafel.
Atmosphere: Relaxed sophistication. The marble, artwork, color scheme and furnishings make for beautiful surroundings. A heated outdoor patio offers a pleasant dining experience. Responsive wait staff.
University City: 8650 Genesee Ave. 92122
Along with their sister restaurant Apollonia above this is our favorite Greek restaurant. We recommend all the vegetarian dips: hummos, baba ghannouj, skordalia, spanaki lemonato, tzatziki as well as the lentil soup and the Horiatiki salad with lentil pilaf. Skip the Falafel.
Atmosphere: sit down casual with good wait staff.
Pacific Beach: 1846 Garnet Ave. 92109
Vegetarian lunch buffet with all the hummus you can eat! A terrific value is made even better if you clip out the discount coupon from “The Reader” (a local weekly free journal available at some 7-11’s, liquor stores, movie theaters and health food stores)
Atmosphere: Casual dinning amongst the owners many middle eastern impressionistic paintings.
Sports Arena: 3166 Midway Dr. 92110
Hole in the wall with good value for your money.
Atmosphere: We usually call in and take out because of the limited and unattractive seating on premises.
North Park: (619) 688-0717
4237 Alabama St. 92104
A fun restaurant! Try the patatas a la brava, mashed potatoes with manchego cheese and the pisto manchego.The cheese platter is good too. Stroll around the downtown artisan shops before dinner.
Atmosphere: Ceiling painted like the night sky and heavy wood chairs and tables in typical Spanish decor. Call ahead for reservations if eating at prime times or to find out the times for their music/dance entertainment.
Gaslamp: 555 4th Ave. 92101
Saigon on Fifth consistently wins awards for their fine food. Amazingly, they are one of the best deals in town – not expensive! Needless to say this is one of our frequent haunts. The yellow curry is our favorite.
Atmosphere: Sophisticated yet comfortable. Waitresses serve you in their elegant traditional dress.
Hillcrest: 3900 Fifth Ave. 92103