Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Oct 12, 2007 01:02 AM

vegetarian restaurants in SAN DIEGO?

what are some good vegetarian friendly restaurants? pokes, ranchos cocina? etc..?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Pokez has had a "B" rating from the Health Department on its front window for more than a month now.

    Lots of vegetarian places discussed here prior.

    1. Gateway to India, Ranchos Cocina, Mama's Lebanese, Spread, Mama Testa, and The Linkery have the strongest vegetarian offerings, IMO.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Josh

        I don't think of Linkery as a vegetarian friendly place but it has vegetarian offerings...I guess I know too many radical vegetarians who don't want to be in a place where any meat products are prepared.

        Otherwise, you can find no meat selections everywhere. Chinese, Japanese, Italian...I mean we can talk about eggplant parmesan and cheese pizzas being stellar or the tofu dishes wherever...

        1. re: Cathy

          I think of Linkery that way, as do other of my vegetarian and vegan friends, because they actually have a section of the menu devoted to vegetarian and vegan entrees. The vegetarian dishes at Linkery aren't an afterthought, but are conceived from the ground up as vegetarian items. A lot of restaurants might make things that vegetarians can eat, but Linkery actually goes to the trouble of making full-fledged entrees for vegetarians that taste good.

          You make a good point about some of the Asian places in San Diego. Le's on Linda Vista Road, and Sipz Fuzion Cafe on Clairemont Mesa are also good vegetarian options.

        2. re: Josh

          You've mentioned Gateway to India before, but I don't recall much of a discussion about it. Could you elaborate?

          Let me add Madras Cafe, which is south Indian and all vegetarian, to the list.


          1. re: Ed Dibble

            Gateway to India is a lunch and dinner buffet located inside the Ker Little India market. It's on the other side of the parking lot that Madras Cafe is in. I've always been very happy with the food there, especially for the price.

            I've had some discussion with people who frequent them and Punjabi Tandoor. Obviously if you want meat, Punjabi Tandoor is going to win since Gateway is all vegetarian.

            The highlight of Gateway is that the owner comes out with fresh bread from the tandoor. He does leave any extra in a basket on the buffet, but he will usually shoo people away from it so he can bring them fresh stuff instead. His naan is really good.

            They have a pretty eclectic mix of north- and south-Indian dishes.

            1. re: Josh

              Surati Farsan Mart on Black Mountain Rd is all vegetarian Indian snacks. Get a bunch of them, or a few with one of their daily specials (their dry potato curry blew away my tastebuds--lots of nice tasty heat!) and you've made a meal.

              1. re: daantaat

                I like that place, though the abundance of fried carbs made me cringe a little.

                1. re: Josh

                  yeah, lots of fried carbs but the oil makes up for the lack of animal protein there. :-)

              2. re: Josh

                Thanks, I've seen it before, but I had forgotten its name.

            2. re: Josh

              josh. those all sound great. which is closest to the downtown/gaslamp area?

              1. re: AdamFoodie

                Closest to Downtown would be Linkery, Mama Testa, Spread, and Mama's. Mama's closes early, so is pretty much a lunch option only.

                Mama Testa is more casual atmosphere, Spread is pretty hip with the decor, and Linkery is the most formal sit-down restaurant of the bunch.

                If you like good beer and wine, then Linkery is easily the best choice out of the lot. They also have really good coffee and desserts.


                They're about 10 minutes from downtown, I'd say.

            3. I went to Spread last week and was very impressed. Daily changing menu, all organic, very innovative dishes.

              1. It is not exactly a foodie haunt, but there is this place in Clairemont near the 805 called Sipz. It is vegetarian and has a huge menu with several different styles. I took some family there (meat eaters for Lent haha) and they all liked it. It isn't remotely fancy but dedicated vegitarian restaurants are few and far between.
                I think the website is


                Report back to us about the places you try out!

                *edit* oops didn't know Josh pointed it out

                1 Reply
                1. re: MrKrispy

                  It's OK, MrK- I eat vegetarian every know, just in case...

                  Sipz is pretty good.

                2. Jyoti Biyhanga at 3300 Adams Avenue and Spread at 2800 University Avenue are excellent choices. Also, I know it's a chain and chains are generally verboten here, but Pizza Nova is not a total disaster.