New veggie-friendly places are always being discovered in San Diego! Here are some updates since my VegDining.com articles posted under 2007.
Rancho’s Store in North Park closed (though their restaurant next door is still hopping, as is the one in Ocean Beach). Earth Food hot dog stand which was run by our awesome local Animal Protection and Rescue League is no longer open, but APRL is still going strong. Kung Food is now called Nature’s Express. All the Cilantro Live locations shut their doors, also. A wonderful way to stay current on San Diego vegetarian restaurants, shopping and more is vegsandiego.com.
Try the latest Ethiopian restaurant: Muzita Abyssinian Bistro at 4651 Park Blvd., in a charming old house setting. They serve up delicious salata (salad), shiro (seasoned chickpeas) and greens, all scooped up with injera, their special bread. You can also find worthwhile veg choices at the more casual Red Sea, 4717 University Ave., or Harar Ethiopian Restaurant at 2432 El Cajon Blvd.
Loving Hut is a new Asian vegan restaurant at 1905 El Cajon Blvd., with a bright atmosphere, motivational quotes on the walls, and a large and satisfying menu.
Another fun place for vegheads to visit is the All Vegan store in University Heights, with wonderful chocolates, candles, T-shirts, shoes and more. They keep a great list of San Diego veggie dining options online.
Stephanie’s Organic Bakery and People’s Organic Foods Market both on Voltaire St. in Ocean Beach have served vegan pizza for a long time, and now many other places are joining the ranks. Pizza Fusion on Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest delivers their chow with hybrid vehicles and has many vegan options along with a super eco-friendly business model. Vegans can also find fare at Pizzeria Luigi in Golden Hill, and Blind Lady Ale House and Zia Gourmet Pizza in Normal Heights. Nature’s Express on Fifth Ave. has added the beloved Daiya vegan cheese to their pizza.
Fairouz Cafe on Midway Dr. has a buffet full of tasty veggie options (all labeled) and awesome art and jewelry for sale. Another great buffet spot nearby with many choices for vegetarians is Café India on Sports Arena Blvd. And Meechai Thai Cuisine — on West Point Loma Blvd. in that same part of town — makes delicious specialties for those who request their meals sans fish sauce.
Peace Pies, the company that sells much-loved raw desserts and meals at the local farmer’s markets, opened up a storefront with a few seats for dining in at 4230 Voltaire St. They are open 9 am – 5 pm Tues.- Sat. I had some amazing raw canoli made with dehydrated bananas, blueberries and more! The kale salad is so healthy and colorful. They sell eco and raw-friendly cleaning and food products too. Support your local businesses!
Roots said adios to its location in Ocean Beach but is now selling their fresh wraps, salads and desserts – with a focus on local and organic – at the Little Italy farmer’s market on Saturdays. What stands out at the North Park farmer’s market on Thursdays is the friendly vibe that smaller markets tend to have, including a kind man from Kenya at the Umoja booth serving up overflowing bowls of millet, collards and black-eyed peas, all vegan. He encourages customers to share a nearby table with other market-goers; you never know who you might meet. At Hillcrest and other farmer’s markets and at a new store in Fallbrook you’ll discover Guanni Chocolates, specializing in truffles, bars and other variations of our favorite sweet stuff. Some is raw, some is vegan, and what stands out are the added Peruvian spices and dried fruits.
Speaking of farmer’s markets, the Mission Valley Certified Farmers Market will have a grand opening on September 18 at 3 pm. We are lucky to have more than 40 markets we are so lucky to have in our area!
Foodies and fans of gardening would like San Diego Food Not Lawns, which meets for potlucks and other events supporting eating local, organic and healthy foods. Also a must are the vegetarian, vegan, raw food and numerous other meetups which gather regularly for meals and fun times. An active group is: http://www.meetup.com/SD-Vegetarians-Unite/