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Sep 2, 2007 07:06 PM

any healthy restaurants in san diego

Does anyone know about restaurants that offer healthy options?

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  1. Whle it's a fast food chain, Rubios's has a HealthMex selection that's quite decent. Their HealthMex chicken salad is only about 250 calories.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PGB

      Heh. I sound like a broken record because I'm pretty sure I've posted about these places on Chowhound before, but here again are a few of my personal favorite healthy-eats places:

      Sipz Fusion Cafe on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. right off the 805 has an all-vegetarian menu, and will serve brown rice instead of white rice on request.

      Veg'n'Out in North Park -- again all-vegetarian, very informal, specializes in gloriously sloppy "burgers" with lots of whole grains, good salad side options.

      The Linkery -- both meat and vegetarian options; while it's easy to do a decadently unhealthy meal here, it's also way easy to put together a light and veggie/grain-rich meal as well, so it's good for dining with a mixed crowd (so to speak). They actually do a lower percentage of fat in their house-made sausages than the norm, which makes them a little dry to some people's tastes but I really dig 'em that way. And the whole-wheat pasta in their vegetarian lasagna is some of the smoothest I've ever eaten.

    2. Cantina Panaderia in Pacific Beach...they're all about healthy. I've eaten there is well prepared and tasty. Service was reasonable to good. The place can get quite has a lot of flat, reverberant services (like the concrete floor). And it does a bustling business, so be prepared to wait during peak hours.

      Here is a link to search results for Chowhound comments on Cantina Panaderia:

      Here is a link to the San Diego Union Tribune's review of the restaurant:


      Here's a link to their website (not too useful):

      3 Replies
      1. re: nileg

        Cantina Panaderia is now Isabel's Cantina. Same owner, just a different name. Here's a better website:

        1. re: phee

          I second Isabel's Cantina. We ate at their sister place in La Jolla, Mission Coffee Cup, a lot before the kitchen fire. Their food is really tasty. Asian-Latino casual fusion. Good sized portions for reasonable prices. Their Double Happiness bowl (grilled chicken and beef on brown rice) is YUM!

          By the way, does anyone know if Mission Cup Cafe re-opened yet?

          1. re: daantaat

            thanks for the reccomendation for isabels cantina. I've never heard of this restaurant before but i will definitely be checking it out this week.

      2. I find that a lot of restaurants here in SD offer healthy options..if they don't, ask, and I am sure they would be accommodating for you..

        1. Healthy means different things to different people. Can you be more specific? Some examples of specific issues that will help us help you: Do you eat meat? Do you want whole grains on the menu? Are you following a specific diet or do you have allergies? Do you want sit down or to go food, or both?

          11 Replies
          1. re: amyzan

            Yes whole grains on the menu would be nice. It would also be nice for the restaurant to have a nice atmosphere.

            Basically I'm on a diet where im only supposed to eat whole grains, a lot of veggies, and protein. So I'm trying to look for a restaurant I can go to without breaking my diet.

            1. re: lovesfood11

              Yeah, whole grains are a toughie for restie menus. I don't know quite why so few places offer them. You will sometimes find a brown rice alternative where white rice is always available, but I rarely see quinoa, millet, amaranth, bulgur, or even whole wheat breads or pastas offered. I'd like to hear, too, if anyone knows a place that serves whole grains?

              You could go for ethnic food and order chapati or whole wheat roti at Indian places, but they're often made with a proportion of refined flour. Tabouli at Middle Eastern restaurants is an option, too, but many times the wheat is so highly processed, there's very little bran left. Thinking...

              ETA: I believe I've seen whole grains on the menu at the Linkery from time to time. You might check their website to see what's offered.

              1. re: amyzan

                The only place I've reliably seen whole grain foods is in the deli at People's Co-Op. Their sandwiches are made with sprouted grain breads, too.

              2. re: lovesfood11

                The Tofu House (in the mall with Crab Hut, O'Brien's, Yogurt World) offers the choice brown rice, which is really purple and wonderful.

                1. re: lovesfood11

                  I second the recommendation for Isabel's Cantina. They have a couple of brown rice and vegetable dishes that I love.

                  Another option is Rimel's Rotisserie in La Jolla. I like their rice bowls, which have a nice sized portion of rice (brown rice is an option) with a ton of fresh veggies and the protein of your choice. Super healthy, tasty, and about $15 for at least two meals worth of food. (My Midwestern parents could not believe how much food they got for the money.) Get a side of the green chili garlic sauce to drizzle on top.

                  1. re: uchound

                    Yes I definitely like the reccomendation for Isabel's Cantina and I need to try it very soon. What dishes do you reccomend me getting there?

                    1. re: lovesfood11

                      Pretty much everything there is good. They have a "power breakfast" menu which has stuff like scrambled egg whites w/ a side of brown rice and other things which escapes me at this time. Breakfast tamales come with salsa and a side of black beans. They have a jalapeno potato dish that's good too. Pancakes and waffles are good, although if they do any whole grain flours, it would be a daily special.

                      For more lunch type fare, the Double Happiness bowl is really tasty. Their grilled tofu is really yummy too!

                      Another possibility is Saffron on India Street. I vaguely remember that you can get red rice instead of white rice w/ your meal. Plus, they have "no carb" dishes too. Usually it's chicken or tofu with stir fried veggies.

                      Tofu House's purple rice is really good. Their kimchi tofu soup with purple rice defininitely fits your diet.

                      1. re: daantaat

                        Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it.

                        1. re: lovesfood11

                          plenty of options in north county if you're willing to head up that way...

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            ya id definitely be willing to head up that way im actually pretty close to that area. What places do you recommend?

                            1. re: lovesfood11

                              ki's restaurant

                              honey's bistro
                              roxy restaurant
                              swami's cafe

                              solana beach:
                              naked cafe
                              zinc cafe

                              ki's is the best bet for dinner. get a table out on the patio on a nice night, and enjoy an awesome ocean view with your healthy meal. roxy also serves dinner, but without a view :) the rest of the places are basically breakfast & lunch spots.

                              you should also check out the 'healthy dining' web site which lists the healthier menu options at a lot of restaurants...


              3. Of course, how healthy do you want to go? We have everything from light snacks to vegetarian all the way to the extreme raw food places. How about dropping us a clue as to what you mean?

                8 Replies
                1. re: oerdin

                  Like i said I'm on a nutrition plan consisting of protein, veggies and carbs like brown rice, brown rice pasta, whole wheat pasta, soba noodles, and sweet potatoes or yams. Also the proteins i mostly eat are chicken, fish, and sometimes lean ground beef. I'm looking for a restaurant that can make a like that and not be prepared in oily and a lot of sauce. I just want simple healthy food.

                  1. re: lovesfood11

                    soba noodles--go to Tajijma or Chopstix on Convoy. Izakaya Sakura may have soba (I can't remember. I know they have udon.) plu

                    1. re: daantaat

                      sorry about the post above. the computer decided to send my post.

                      anyways, Izakaya Sakura also has a sushi bar for your fish. They also have chicken, but the only dishes that are coming to mind are the fried and/or breaded dishes (katsu).

                      1. re: daantaat

                        They have chicken simmered in vinegar and soy sauce (which is amazing).

                      2. re: daantaat

                        Soba noodles at restaurants are rarely 100% buckwheat, and usually are made with more refined wheat flour in proportion to (pretty well refined) buckwheat flour. Just because it's brown doesn't make it whole grain, I'm sorry to say. Sakura has great food, but not any whole grains (that I know of, anyway.)

                      3. re: lovesfood11

                        Too bad you're not in LA. They have a much larger health-food scene there.

                        Saffron in Mission Hills does chicken and veggie combos, without starch.

                        Rancho's Cocina has a lot of veggie options, and I *think* they have brown rice.

                        1. re: Josh

                          ya i know i was just thinkin that. whenever i go to la the options are a lot better