Whether you and your family have chosen to eat a plant-based diet for years, or you’re more of a meatless Mondays crew, you’ll be happy to know that San Diego is home to some of the best family-friendly vegan and vegetarian restaurants around. Check out these 7 plant based, kid-friendly eateries that will keep you and your mini-herbivores coming back for more vegan food.
OMG -- is this really plant based? That's a common exclamation from customers at El Avocado in La Jolla. Menu options like a Philly Cheese Steak or Cold Cut Sammie get people every time. The answer is always a resounding, "yes!" While the eatery is all veggie, all the time, they pride themselves on being creative with vegetables and grains and imparting new flavors in old favorites. Can't make it to their shop? They'll meal prep for you. Meal prep includes four hot entrees, three large salads and one soup delivered weekly.
1025 Prospect St.
La Jolla, CA 92037
Plumeria in the heart of University Heights, makes the list as one of Yelp's top 100 inexpensive restaurants. With almost 2000 reviews, the restaurant has earned a close to perfect rating for its high-quality vegan and vegetarian food. Meat eaters and vegetarians alike pass out high marks for their flavor packed menu. From the fresh start appetizers to the sweet ending desserts, be ready to enjoy a satisfying meal from beginning to end. Beyond the tofu, they also offer an array of mock meats from chicken to duck that you can add to most dishes. Plumeria also opened a second restaurant in Encinitas if that's more your neck of the woods. Their spicy noodle dish is a must-try.
4661 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA
527 S Coast Hwy. 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
We've got big news, San Diegans! PlantX, a buzz-worthy Vancouver-based company touted the "Vegan Amazon" is opening its flagship store in San Diego. Plant-based dieters and health conscious foodies will have immediate access to more than 5,000 plant-based skus for sale through a contactless checkout system. Home delivery is an option for customers who choose to stay home and order online (remember, Vegan Amazon!).
Besides everyday groceries like vitamins, supplements, plant-based chocolate bars, groceries, packaged goods from plant-based brands, private-label products and more, the 4,515 square foot storefront in San Diego will also have a coffee shop, grab and go meals and a restaurant with plant-based options made by Los Angeles-based chef Gregg Drusinsky who is also the chef behind the Sakara Life plant-baed meal delivery service.
It feels good to have nothing to hide! Nectarine Grove is a local Leucadia favorite that prides itself on cutting out the suspect ingredients so diners are left with meals free of gluten, refined sugars, corn or processed ingredients. The healthy eatery boasts a full list of vegetarian options for breakfast, lunch and dinner––everything from veggie fajita bowls to gluten free pancakes are available all day long. Additionally, their kids' menu doesn't just include a grilled cheese and fries, but a robust list of healthy, yummy food to satisfy and nourish your little one. Nectarine Grove is filled with healthy, delicious food that you'll feel good about feeding yourself and your family.
Note: Nectarine Grove also serves meat, so it's a good option if there are some carnivores in your dining party. If you prefer a 100% meat-free restaurant, see some of the other options on this list.
948 N. Coast Highway 101
More than just a vegan restaurant, Eve in Encinitas is a gathering space to share food, stories and smiles with the community. Conversation had over one of their delicious buddha bowls or satisfying flatbreads nourishes both the body and soul. Oh, and one more thing. Kids eat free. Yup, you read that right. Kids eat free— every. single. day. Now that's what we call family-friendly!
575 S Coast Hwy. 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
Peace, love and tofu! Flower Child in Del Mar serves healthy food that takes you to a happy place. By using fresh, local ingredients their menu appeals to anyone who is vegetarian, vegan, paleo or just plain hungry. In addition to their kids menu, they also offer family pack bundles. Order online for an easy take out option.
2690 Via De La Valle
Del Mar, CA 92014
Plant Power Fast Food
Fast food gets a nutrient upgrade with this southern California chain. Kiddos still get to indulge in their favorite go-to selections like burgers, fries, chicken tenders and shakes but at Plant Power Fast Food those items are 99% GMO-free and made entirely without the use of animal products, artificial flavors, and served to you in biodegradable materials. Fast and feel good!
2204 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92107
––Aimee Della Bitta
featured image via iStock