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Best Vegetarian Food 2015

2015 was a great year for San Diego vegans and vegetarians, with several new veggie-friendly restaurants opening or expanding their menus. From tacos to sandwiches—here are 7 of our favorite plant-based meals of 2015.


“Yo Soy Feliz” Tostada at Café Gratitude | Photo by Jaime Fritsch

Tofu Banh Mi at Tiger!Tiger!

The North Park brewpub offers a handful of vegan and vegetarian options, and while all are good, the tofu bahn mi is in a class of its own. With its crispy pickled vegetables, a perfect balance between spicy and sweet, and thick slices of marinated tofu that adds just the right texture, this is one of the best vegan sandwiches in town.

3025 El Cajon Boulevard, North Park


Cauliflower Ceviche at Sirena

While officially a “gourmet Latin seafood” restaurant, Little Italy’s Sirena is a goldmine for vegans and vegetarians. Almost everything on the menu can be made vegan—and not as an afterthought, which sometimes tends to be the case. If you’re only going to try one thing on the menu (but why would you?), the cauliflower ceviche is pure joy in a bowl.

1901 Columbia Street, Little Italy


Deli Battle at Kindred

Kindred opened its doors with just a little over a week left of 2015, and earns a place on this list fair and square. While they are still working out some of the kinks that inevitably come with opening an anticipated restaurant, the food is an instant home run. Try the Deli Battle charcuterie board—with shaved red chili and orange seitan, smoked golden beets, kale pepperoncini pesto, and a miso cashew ball that melts in your mouth. We’ll be back for seconds, and thirds.

1503 30th Street, South Park


“Yo Soy Feliz” Tostada at Café Gratitude

Coconut bacon might not sound that great to you if you’re still used to eating the real thing. But to someone who has been off the meat train for the past 16 years, it’s a welcome addition to the growing arsenal of meat substitutes out there. This tostada also comes stacked tall with a black bean purée, cashew queso fresco, and avocado. Yo soy feliz, indeed.

1980 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy


Portobello con Vegetables Taco at City Tacos

City Tacos made it on our list of San Diego’s Best New Restaurants in 2014, and the hole-in-the-wall North Park taqueria keeps delivering. The vegetarian portobello taco comes with caramelized pineapple and melted Oaxaca cheese on a homemade tortilla. Probably the best meal you’ll eat for $3.50.

3028 University Avenue, North Park


Vegetarian Sandwich at Alpine Beer Company Pub

It’s easy to find a veggie burger in San Diego, but finding one worth going back for over and over again is rare. The vegetarian sandwich—with balsamic marinated portobello mushrooms and fresh vegetables—at Alpine Beer Company’s newly opened pub is worth making the trek to East County for. Get it with a side of sautéed spinach and arugula, and a pint of Alpine Ale.

1347 Tavern Road, Alpine


Green Curry at Chi Extraordinary Kitchen

Along with sister restaurant Plumeria (critic’s pick for Best Vegetarian in our Best Restaurants issue), Chi Extraordinary Kitchen brings healthy Thai food to University Heights. While technically a seafood eatery, Chi offers plenty of vegan friendly options. The house-made green curry with vegetables is vegan, gluten-free, and delicious.

2789 Adams Avenue, University Heights

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