It is not easy to find a decent vegan breakfast in San Diego. It seems that all the good restaurants open after 11am. Luckily, there’s a very vegan-friendly (and carnivore-friendly) restaurant that opens at 8am and has some of the best vegan scramble I’ve ever had, not to mention some other amazing vegan options. Rancho’s Mexican & Vegetarian Cuisine a strange combination of traditional Mexican and super healthy vegan food. We were told that it came to be that way because the owner’s wife was vegan. See also my previous post about the most delicious vegan quesadillas I’ve ever had.
As good as their food is, I really didn’t want to eat there 2 mornings in a row, but I literally could not find another restaurant open for breakfast. For my 3rd morning, I had luckily discovered the Ocean Beach People’s Co-op which has a pretty good hot bar and bakery upstairs and lots of great food downstairs.
In general, it is very easy to find good vegan food in San Diego. Here are the places I had a chance to check out:
- Evolution Fast Food
2949 5th Ave.
San Diego, CA
Drive through or order take-out at the counter inside. They have a few chairs inside. The menu is reminiscent of traditional fast food – burgers, fries, shakes, and sandwiches, but way way healthier. They have several gluten-free options as well as a nice selection of raw food. The gluten-free version of the mushroom swiss burger was very flavorful and satisfying. I also grabbed a banana bread cookie to eat the next morning for breakfast, which was delicious. I came back another night for a smoothie, since they seem to have some of the more interesting smoothies in San Diego. I’m afraid I can’t remember what I got but it definitely hit the spot.
- The Greenery Raw Food Cafe
133 Daphne St.
Not quite as good as Peace Pies (see below) but similar concept. I think I caught them at a time when they were out of most of their options, which is why it didn’t seem as good. Greenery does have a made-to-order menu for dinner, but I ate there during lunch, which is pre-made raw food items. I had a pretty good pizza and one of the best seaweed salad’s I’ve ever had.
- Peace Pies
4230 Voltaire St.
San Diego, CA
“I’ll have one of everything!” OK, it wasn’t exactly like that but pretty close. This 100% raw cafe didn’t look too promising when I first walked in. Most of the lunch options were pre-made in a fridge, not made-to-order. But When I looked up close, everything looked like something I had to try. I had some spaghetti with pesto, a slice of pizza, veggie sandwich, vanilla ice cream, and a slice of coconut cream pie with chocolate on top. I also got some cinnamon rolls to take for breakfast the next day. Everything I tried was outstanding. Truly delicious.
- Stephanie’s Bakery
4879 Voltaire St.
San Diego, CA
Their website proclaims that they have the “best vegan pizza ever!” so that definitely seemed worth trying. Unfortunately, they were out of the gluten-free crust, but I decided to suffer through the gluten in order to get to try out their pizza. I don’t know if it lived up to the hype, but it was pretty good pizza. Definitely no complaints. I had the “Supreme” pizza which includes vegan pepperoni and several vegetables. They also use Follow Your Heart cheese. I also grabbed a gluten-free brownie, which was very tasty. Their other cakes looked absolutely incredible, but I didn’t want to eat any more gluten than I already had.
- All Vegan
4669 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA
Not a restaurant at all, but they had some really awesome vegan treats. The s’mores was particularly amazing. Truly amazing. They also had a nice selection of chocolates. Most of the store is non-edible things like shoes, belts, wallets, and other hard-to-find vegan items.
Overall San Diego is far more vegan-friendly than your average city, but not so awesome as Los Angeles or NYC. There are pockets of the area where good vegan food is very hard to find (ie Coronado Island, where I was staying). If you show up with a good list of restaurants and a GPS, you’ll have no problem finding enough food to eat.
As an aside, an interesting peculiarity about San Diego is that many many restaurants seem to offer young coconut water as a beverage, straight from the shell.