Register
A password will be e-mailed to you.

With More People Going Veg, Consider These Restaurants Ripe With Satisfying Plant-Based Options

Written By: Anna Keeve Vegan Options San Diego

Whether it’s a date night or a night out on the town with the crew, you want to kick off the evening with an epic dinner spot. And maybe your night out is the dinner spot, so choosing wisely is a must. In the dynamic food-preference culture we live in, stresses and pressure can come from choosing a restaurant that satisfies everyone’s dietary needs. The good news is, there are plenty of upscale and hip San Diego establishments offering dedicated vegan items, so you and your veg-going guest(s) can enjoy an awesome dining experience without having to start an order with “Would it be possible to have…?” To help you choose the perfect restaurant for your next night out, check out this list of some SD locales that have solid plant-based offerings.

Vegan Options San Diego

I Am Hungry

Café Gratitude

If you’ve walked past this Little Italy staple, there’s a chance you didn’t notice it was 100 percent plant-based. Café Gratitude deserves a mention on this list as one of the first trendy exclusively- vegan restaurants in San Diego that proved to the mainstream that eating plant-based can be done without sacrificing deliciousness and style. While popular for lunch and dinner, Café Gratitude’s best moment might be breakfast, perfect for a post-night-out healthy but satisfying meal. Try the Buckwheat Flax Pancakes (and add the Cashew Whip Cream topping—it’s worth the extra $2). They also serve up a sizable menu of wellness shots, superfood smoothies and other fresh elixirs.

Native Knowledge: Dip out of work early on Monday and Wednesday through Friday and check out the happy hour from 3-6 p.m. You can’t go wrong with the house wine or Sangria paired with a massive plate of nachos and coconut ‘Calamari’ to share.

Café Gratitude
1980 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
619.736.5077

Vegan Options San Diego 

Put on Some Plants!

Jayne’s Gastropub

Jayne’s is a quaint hidden gem in the Normal Heights neighborhood. Their secret garden-like surroundings will ease you into the perfect mood. Foodies and wine lovers adore this spot for the great service, knowledgeable staff and diverse eats. They offer the Impossible Burger, a plant-based patty that was created to look, taste and ‘bleed’ like the real-beef-deal. Needless to say, diners loved it and the burger has been one of Jayne’s top-selling items since. 

Native Knowledge: Parking can be a serious party-mood killer in that area of Normal Heights, but valet is available on Friday and Saturday’s; however, given the extensive and expertly picked wine list, you can easily breeze through a few bottles, so you will likely want to Lyft/Uber.

Jaynes Gastropub
4677 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
616.563.1011

Vegan Options San Diego 

Knock on Wood

Herb & Wood

While Herb & Wood does not have dedicated “V” items on its entrée menu—although they have been known to offer a vegan special periodically—they do have a number of small plates that are vegan-friendly, but not marked/labeled. You can easily piece together a few small plates from their toasts, greens and vegetables sections to make a delicious meal, requesting to opt out of certain ingredients where applicable. Their avocado toast is perfection, and the Roasted Cauliflower is light and flavorful.

Native Knowledge: For dinner, go for a table on their indoor/outdoor seating area; the ambiance is elegant, and it’s a tad bit quieter than the interior dining space that can get very loud at peak hours.

Herb & Wood
2210 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
619.955.8495

Vegan Options San Diego 

Forks At the Ready

Civico 1845

With the proliferation of newer restaurants in Little Italy, Civico 1845 is an authentic-feeling Italian spot in the heart of Little Italy is sure to please herbivores and meat-eaters alike. The best news is that Civico 1845 offers a separate and dedicated vegan menu for both lunch and dinner. It includes no shortage of classic Italian fare, like their hefty and filling Lasagna Romagnola, stacked with vegan Italian sausage ragut and vegan Parmesan. If you’re in the mood for a lighter entrée, try the Violet Gnocchi that offers a healthy dose of vegan mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes.

Native Knowledge: For sips, they only serve beer and wine and bubbles.

Civico 1845
1845 India St
San Diego, CA 92101
619.431.5990

Bold Moo-ve

MooTime Creamery

View this post on Instagram

😍🙌🏼🍦

A post shared by Mootime Creamery (@mootimecreamery) on

If you are looking for a fun spot to grab a cool treat in Coronado, stop by MooTime Creamery. Despite the name, they do in fact have some dairy-free options, like their sorbets which are some of the best in town. You pick your base and they mash in an assortment of toppings, then plunk it into a big cup.

MooTime Creamery
1025 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118
619.435.2422

Vegetarian Restaurants in San Diego

Veggie Tales

Clara

Warning: this restaurant is LOUD! But once you get over the initial shock of having to yell with your dinner mates, one can enjoy the modest portions and thoughtful American-inspired cuisine. With several dedicated and clearly marked vegetarian and vegan options to choose from, you will find a selection of apps to share, and some unique dishes like the Lentil Croquettes. Plus, these days a trendy restaurant is not complete without a craft cocktail list, and Clara does not disappoint. The restaurant nabbed Bartender Seth Marquez (of Campfire and Sycamore Den) to create and curate its ingredient-driven beverage program.

Native Knowledge: Clara severs up a Friday and Saturday late-night discounted beverage and food menu that consists of several dedicated vegan items. Try their “Thai CBJ,” the quintessential hipster-inspired PB&J or their vegan Lettuce Wraps that pair nicely with some vino. 

Clara
300 Carlsbad Village Dr, Ste 213
Carlsbad, CA 92008
760.994.0699

Vegan Restaurants in San Diego

What a Brie-leif!

Master’s Kitchen & Cocktail

The sophisticated yet down-to-earth vintage vibe at Master’s will leave you wondering how you have not discovered this gem sooner! Let’s start with the most important thing first: Master’s offers up a legit “Vegan Cheese Board” that consists of a variety of nut-based cheeses. Why more places don’t offer this type of thing on their menu? We don’t know, but guaranteed vegan or not, you will enjoy the welcomed change and rare ability to order a plant-based ‘cheese board’ at a restaurant. They have a number of additional items in a dedicated “Vegan” section on the menu and their smart and attentive servers are keen to modify anything on request to fit your dietary needs, like the delicious Quinoa Black Bean Burger (ask for no cheese), which is a welcome change to he rampant “bleeding” and faux “meaty” burgers than some people like to avoid.

Native Knowledge: Who doesn’t like a little live music with dinner? Master’s hosts live artists from 7–10 p.m., so check their events page for upcoming dates.

Master’s Kitchen & Cocktail
208 S Coast Hwy
Oceanside, CA 92054
760.231.6278

SD Vegan Vegetarian Restaurants in San Diego

I Scream, You Scream

Stella Jean’s Ice Cream

View this post on Instagram

Happy Friday, friends! 🤘🏽 We want a show of hands [🙋🏾‍♀️🙋🏻‍♂️] from those of you who have worked your way through our entire menu?! We have some true super fans and we want to tell you how much we love you! 🍦❤️ Thank you so so much! For those of you who have yet to visit our shop, we’re a locally owned and operated small-batch ice cream shop. We encourage sampling because we want everyone to go home with something they absolutely love! ❤️Everything we make is made in-house right here in the kitchen of our small shop! Our dairy is local, hormone free, super fresh and incredibly tasty. We source local ingredients as much as much as possible and we take great pride in being responsible members of our community! Today is the day, come say hey! 👋🏼 . . . #visitsandiego #sandiegomagazine #icecreamshop #eatsandiego #freshmadeicecream #huffposttaste #diningoutsd #bestfoodsandiego #sdicecream #smallbatchicecream #youstayhungrysd #sandiego #madehere #shoplocalsd #icecreambae #icecream

A post shared by Stella Jean’s Ice Cream (@stellajeansicecream) on

This recently opened neighborhood ice cream joint in the heart of University Heights is the perfect post-dinner stop. With a variety of flavors that rival the ever-popular Salt & Straw, Stella Jean’s wins when it comes to vegan options, about five of which they have on their rotating menu. The ultra-creamy Matcha Pistachio and Chocolate With Spiced Pecans are a must-try. As a bonus, their freshly-baked waffle cones are vegan and gluten-free.

Stella Jean’s Ice Cream
4404 Park Blvd, Ste B
San Diego, CA 92116
619.501.8252

My location
Get Directions
Simple Share ButtonsSHARE:
Simple Share Buttons