Best Vegan Restaurants in San Diego

March 13, 2020

Well, to be honest, I planned this post a lot differently in my head. I thought it would be all about our trip, but as things often do, nothing went quite as expected. We flew out on Tuesday arriving that afternoon, and that night Ivy Jean slept terribly. I thought she felt warm in the night, but we did not have a thermometer. Wednesday morning (ironically my birthday), I was sure she had a fever so we set out to buy one. On the way, she threw up in my hands in the rental car. One urgent care visit later we started an antibiotic for her first case of strep. I’m going to end up sharing about the best vegan restaurants in San Diego since we didn’t do much besides eat. Ha!

Best Vegan Desserts in San Diego + Coffee

Nomad Donuts

I would consider myself a donut connoisseur. 😉 Donuts and cookies are my love language. Every place we travel, I seek out the best donuts. New York, Chicago, LA, etc. San Diego was no different. Thursday morning we ventured to Nomad Donuts to try their vegan offerings, and it did not disappoint. Often times, you find one vegan offering while the rest of the menu is non-vegan. Here they had one whole case of vegan donuts and one regular. They were amazing!! I did taste a non-vegan one too and it was equally amazing. Our favorite as evidenced by the three pictured below was the blueberry filled peanut butter. YUM! We all decided it was the best thing we ate on the trip.

Salt + Straw Ice Cream

Thanks to recommendations from you all on Instagram and some blogger friends, we found Salt + Straw ice cream. They had at least 5 vegan options that were delicious. I went off course and had the non-vegan salted caramel, and I am pretty sure it was the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I recommend going on a week day or non-peak time. We heard waits can get up to 30 minutes.

best vegan ice cream in san diego, vegan restaurants in san diego, salt + straw ice cream

Communal Coffee

If you are a coffee fan, you need to head to Communal Coffee. Besides the perfectly Instagramable outside wall, the actual coffee is really good. I was so sad the wall was really unevenly lit when we went. Try afternoon if you want a shaded pic. Sharing my attempt below so you can see the wall. Bonus: they sell gorgeous flowers.

communal coffee san diego
communal coffee san diego coffee + flowers wall

Best Vegan Restaurants in San Diego

Cafe Gratitude

Years ago, Russ and I got to try Cafe Gratitude in LA, so we knew we wanted to go back while in San Diego. It’s a fully plant based menu where everything is tasty! Plus, the interior is just too fun.

cafe gratitude

Donna Jean

Russ found Donna Jean when searching for the best vegan restaurants in San Diego. It was voted number one! Like Cafe Gratitude, the whole menu is plan based. Between my mom, Russ, Ivy Jean, and I we tried most of it. Ha! I got the mac and cheese, Russ the lentil bolognese, my mom the ricotta gnocchi, Ivy Jean the pizza, and we all shared the bread and broccoli. So tasty!!

Miguel’s Cocina

My love for Mexican runs deep, so I was so glad when my friend Gina sent this recommendation. Though not an entirely vegan menu, Miguel’s Cocina offers multiple vegan options. We tried both vegan enchiladas options. It was great Mexican food. No pic here because we got a late takeout dinner on the day Ivy Jean got sick.

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  • Reply Maureen March 25, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    I am so sorry that Ivy Jean got sick on this trip but it sounds like you made the most of it even if it was just going out for food. I am not vegan but I enjoy eating and trying vegan/vegetarian foods. We have a trip planned to SD at the end of May and depending on how this outbreak goes, I am hoping to visit a few of these places you’ve listed.

    Maureen |

  • Reply Jessica March 20, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Will definitely take note of these, especially the ice cream!

    Jessica |

  • Reply Makeup Muddle March 15, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Wow so many lovely looking restaurants! Those donuts look out of this world xo

    Makeup Muddle

  • Reply Mica March 14, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Sorry to hear your daughter was unwell! It’s nice she was well enough that you could still take her out to eat though 🙂

  • Reply Laura Bambrick March 13, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Poor Ivy Jean! It’s so tough when your child is sick! These restaurants all look seriously amazing and I’m not even vegan! Donna Jean looks especially yummy!

  • Reply Jennifer March 13, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Oo! Yes Nomad Donuts is really good! I have to try out Cafe Gratitude. It looks really good 🙂

  • Reply Lizzie March 13, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Okay this is AMAZING! I’m not full on vegan but I can’t have dairy, eggs and a few other things and it makes it so hard to eat out sometimes. Definitely keeping this handy for our next SD visit!


  • Reply Elise March 13, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Oh my goodness all of these restaurants look amazing! Those Donuts!!

    xx, Elise

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