San Diego Eats

I don’t even know what San Diego installment this is. I’ve been SO many times now, and the vegan options just seem to get better and better. This particular trip, I hit a lot of old favorites that I can never resist, with a couple of newbies thrown in. As usual, it continues to be one of the most plant-based friendly cities I’ve been to and one I’ll visit, over and over again!

Evolution Fast Food

Fun fact: Evolution was the first all-vegan restaurant I ever ate at, probably six years ago. And I was just as impressed with it then, as I was with it this round. I remember my first there meal being a buffalo chickn sandwich (what a shocker) and I was totally mesmerized by how authentic and delicious it was. Fast forward to today, and I’ve probably had hundreds or vegan buffalo chickn sandwiches. So this time around I opted for a California burrito, because I’ve never had one, vegan or otherwise. My friend Lisa that I visit in SD every year is OBSESSED with Cali burritos, and so Evolution seemed like a good place to get one. Loaded with vegan cashew cheese, guac, crispy french fries and seitan steak, it was a pretty perfect lunch. The flavors were bold and amazing as usual, and I couldn’t but feel extra thankful for such great vegan options, after reflecting on all the progress plant-based food has made since my initial visit.

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Plant Power Fast Food

Because only in California are there multiple vegan fast food spots. Plant Power has been on my list for awhile, and man, is it insane. Their menu is one that almost gives me a panic attack because there’s so many delicious options. They’ve got healthy eats like raw tacos and burgers, kale salads and quinoa bowls. And then they have the food that I drool over. Like fish filet wraps, sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches and bacon cheeseburgers. I, as predictable as I am, went for the buffalo chickn sandwich (I am so predictable…) and mini corn dogs. Because apparently I’m obsessed with vegan corn dogs now. And these ones are so dope. Crispy, crunchy coated corn dogs with chipotle sauce. OH MY GAWD. I was in heaven. The buffalo sandwich was obviously incredible, too, as are most vegan buff things I get. They’ve also got yummy smoothies, shakes and desserts. I ended up back here with my clients on my way to Malibu because they also love it and we all shared peanut butter shakes, raw tacos and an avocado Southwest wrap-we were driving so I didn’t get photos of those, but rest assured, they were also delicious. 

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Veggie Grill

No West coast trip is complete without a stop to Veggie Grill. Plus, it’s only a couple of minutes away from where I stay, so it’s always a no-brainer for a visit here. Lisa loves it, too, even though she’s not even vegan. They had some awesome seasonal meals, like their Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, and lots of harvest veggie bowls. I went for this over-the-top three piece fried chickn platter with stewed beans, cauliflower mash and chipotle cream roasted corn-on-the-cob. Everything was super savory and delicious, as always. The chickn had an especially nice heat to it and paired well with the salty, mushroom gravy drenched cauli mash. Bravo, Veggie Grill, bravo.

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Bobboi Gelato

I LOVE spending nights in La Jolla, dining on the water and listening to the ocean. I also love when those nights include amazing vegan ice cream. I also love it even more when instead of vegan ice cream, it’s vegan gelato.

Though Fior di latte in Boulder might still be my all-time fave, Bobboi is also super delicious. They’ve got an inquisitive list of rotating dairy-free flavors that go beyond the basic sorbets or straight up coconut version you find most places. I sampled their cranberry orange and their pomegranate, both of which were stellar. I ultimately ended up getting their dark chocolate, because, DUH, dark chocolate. It was insanely creamy and not overly sweet, and was perfect for a stroll downtown. Their non-vegan flavors sound absolutely mind-blowing if you happen to visit with omnivorous friends!

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Pacific Coast Grill

Lisa’s cousin works at PCG, and so we always make a stop there every time I visit. The view is incredible, the outdoor seating, spacious and comfy and I truly appreciate their separate gluten-free and vegetarian menu (they also have a dog menu too, in case you’re bringing canines!). Though I’m never usually thrilled to have to settle on a veggie burger, I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the one here is. It’s wild rice and quinoa base, was bursting with flavor, and was super crispy. It was smothered with a roasted red pepper sauce, sprouts and sided with herbed fries. I always have low expectations for house-made veggie burgers, and this was one of the best ones I’ve ever had. 

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Buona Forchetta

I have to give Lisa credit for this one, too! Her fiancee works at this lavish Italian spot, and we almost always get pizzas from there. They DO have vegan cheese options, but it’s Daiya, and I really can’t stomach that stuff anymore. I asked him to just get me a margherita with no cheese, and they added extra basil and garlic. HOLY MOLY, it was unbelievable. The simplest pizzas always seem to be the best, aren’t they? They use high quality flour and definitely know the secret to achieving perfect crust. I imagine their pastas with some basic veggies would also be mind-blowingly good!

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Seabird’s Kitchen

I have been stalking SK kitchen for a long time. And after a horrific day at Disneyland (don’t ask), I was reallllyyyy looking forward to a solid vegan meal. They have decadent options like butternut squash enchiladas, stuffed shells, burgers and even grilled cheese. For whatever reason, I went with the jackfruit sliders. Which in theory, always SOUND good, but I’ve never had ones at a restaurant that taste better then the ones I make at home. They ones came on rich sandwich buns, with creamy slaw, pickles and a side of sweet potato tots, which were all good elements. The jackfruit was a little dry, which it always seems to be when I order it places. I got a battered avocado taco on the side which was pretty spectacular, and I kind of wish I just got a few smaller plates or sides instead. I do however, have to admit that I had one of the most epic vegan items I have ever had here, though. They have lots os pastries and desserts and so I couldn’t resist the gorgeous purple potato and coconut pop tart sitting in the display case. This work of art is from Grace of Cakes, a local baker, and it was simply breath-taking. Not super sweet, but buttery and luscious and filled with a gooey potato center. I was fairly surprised at how much I loved it and I might just have to convince them to send me shipments of them to Boulder!

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About the Author

Lisa is the founder of The Vegan Pact and a vegan personal chef.

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