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Vegetarian in San Diego..

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Besides eating a Patty Melt with extra thousand and a double double that I crave a couple times a year, I have been a semi-vegetarian (love fish/cheese) since 1973 and I remember a place back in the 70's on El Cajon blvd that rocked and wish I could remember the name but I love and crave great creative vegan dishes..besides Indian or Thai.
Any places or dishes that are some of your fav's?

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  1. The best vegetarian place for us in SD is Spread, close to corner University/30th. Very often changing (depending on what they got at the market) menu with creative dishes. (We recently had an excellent night at Ubuntu in Napa (highly recommended if you look for an outstanding vegetarian restaurant) which is often named as one of the best new restaurants in the US and even though their dishes are much more refined than those as Spread it made us at the same time realize that the level of creativity and quality at Spread is surprisingly high).

    5 Replies
    1. re: honkman

      honkman..this is exactly what I was looking for..
      We tried to get into Ubuntu in Sept. but was booked and went to Redd instead.
      Spread..is it new?

      1. re: Beach Chick

        No, Spread is around for some time. Call them before you go. They are sometimes closed for catering. It is a very small restaurant with some unusual furnitures but very good food.

        1. re: honkman

          where the hell have I been..living in that cave has its drawbacks.. ; )

          www.spreadtherestaurant.com

          1. re: honkman

            Funny you should mention the furniture. We ate there once and won't be back because of how uncomfortable the suspended chairs are. If you are not super tall or super short, you might be comfortable. My wife and I are extremes in height however.

            Some of the food was quite good however, some of it missed the mark.

            Are you craving vegetarian or vegan dishes?

            1. re: Ewilensky

              i've been in this neighborhood a ton, and can't remember seeing this place (spread). the menu on their website sounds good- but omits prices... can anyone tell me the approximate prices? like enough food for two people?

      2. One of my favorites is a meal of sides (polenta, white beans and grilled tomatoes w/goat cheese) at Piatti in La Jolla.

        1. Ranchos Cocina, in OB and North Park, has some good vegetarian Mexican stuff. Blue corn avocado enchiladas, enfrijoladas with mole, tempeh fajitas, etc. Definitely worth checking out. They make a fresh ginger/honey lemonade that's really delicious, too.

          1. I recently went to SIPZ in Clairemont, and I was suprised at how good it was.

            1. this is where they are.

              -----
              Sipz Cafe
              5501 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117

              2 Replies
              1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                Sipz is very very tasty.

                1. re: Ewilensky

                  A number of posts debating the use of mock meat in vegetarian cooking were split and moved to here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/587800

              2. Could you have been confused and it was on University around 35th? If so, you're probably thinking of "The Prophet". Sadly, that place has been gone since the late 70's, I think.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mikec

                  The Prophet..thats it!
                  Food was so good..and the owner was so nice..
                  Thanks mikec!

                2. Jyoti Bihanga on Adams Ave. in Normal Heights. Lots of vegan options, very tasty.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: maggersmagoo

                    Longtime vegetarians -- we eat at Cafe Athena (on Garnet, Pacific Beach) a lot. Great menu, very varied with dishes to please the meat-eaters in your party as well. Nice casual friendly atmosphere. They have this one appie that's really good -- spanokilemonato - spinach, garlic, lemon, cilantro. Simple yet delicious.

                    1. re: maggersmagoo

                      I second Jyoti Bihanga. I'm a carnivore, but I actually find myself craving that Neatloaf sandwich.

                    2. How about that place on fifth in Hillcrest, where Kung food used to be?

                      Anyone been?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: stevewag23

                        Is it still the Zone or is it something else now? I think half of it was a bakery. When it was the Zone it was only mediocre but haven't eaten there in at least 2-3 or more years.

                        1. re: stevewag23

                          It's called Nature's Express, it's vegan, and while I'm a dedicated omnivore I've had some pretty tasty food there. There's a drive through/ walk up window serving veggie burgers, fries and such, and also a dining room with cafeteria type service. Good vegan chili and soups. Some of the staff and recipes from Kung Food remain. Worth a try if you're looking for a tasty plant based meal.

                        2. I really enjoy Veg-N-Out in No Park. They have a great selection of salads, sandwiches and traditional meat substitutes.

                          1. Fairouz on Midway has some nice veggie dishes. My daughter is vegetarian and enjoyed Cafe One Three on Park Blvd. There are a few veget. dishes but in addition, their food is very healthy with no preservatives and quality ingredients. Desserts are special.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: P Macias

                              Count me a vote for Fairouz as well. A lot of veggie and vegan choices.

                            2. Kim's in Encinitas (in The Lumberyard) has a really extensive veg section in its menu--more than a page. And it's actually quite good, at least most of what I've tried (curries, soups, pho). It bills itself as Chinese-Vietnamese, but it's really mostly Vietnamese. I'd shy away from anything that sounds like gringo Chinese food, but then I'd do that anywhere. And if you have the $$, treat yourself to a fresh coconut for your beverage.

                              1. Veg-N-Out has amazing burgers that come with really good fries [or salad], nothing is less than $8 but it's worth the price. Pokez in downtown also has some veg options for super cheap.

                                1. Hey there SD hounds, an LA hound here swinging by for the weekend with a mixed crowd -- 50% omnivores and 50% vegetarians.

                                  Some great ideas here already (Spread and Sipz sound great, and I also am thankful that a Tender Greens opened down there too.) but wanted to see if there are more eateries that please both veggie and omni palates a like (i.e. an omni restaurant that has a good variety of vegetarian options, or vegetarian joints that won't leave the omnis feeling like they're eating rabbit food all day long.)

                                  Also, a place that serves SD beers is a HUGE plus.

                                  Thanks in advance!

                                  ~H.C.
                                  http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

                                  -----
                                  Sipz Cafe
                                  5501 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117

                                  Tender Greens
                                  2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: AquaW

                                    Although I'm personally not a fan, the Linkery might fit your bill - around the corner from Spread. I find the place expensive, the beer overpriced, the service spotty (at best) and often leave hungry. It's a love it or hate it place but fits your criteria. Primarily meat, but with some extensive vegi options.

                                    The Toronado (beer-vana) also has some vegi options but this is a beer bar with food and not the other way around (also around the corner from Spread).

                                    Blind Lady Ale House might be a good bet. Good selection of beers and nice vegi options. This is a pizza joint.

                                    Stone Brewery has some wonderful veggie options (and Stone beer).

                                    -----
                                    Linkery
                                    3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

                                    Blind Lady Ale House
                                    3416 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA

                                    1. re: AquaW

                                      I'm vegetarian, and I've listed some places that could fit your bill. All of these fall into the mid/high range pricewise (approximately $25-35 per person) and the cuisine falls in the spectrum of Californian/New American.

                                      Ritual Tavern (North Park)
                                      The Linkery (North Park)
                                      Blind Lady Ale House (Normal Heights)
                                      Cucina Urbana (Hillcrest)
                                      Bite (Hillcrest)
                                      WhisknLadle/Prepkitchen (both in La Jolla)

                                      -----
                                      Linkery
                                      3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

                                      Blind Lady Ale House
                                      3416 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA

                                      Ritual Tavern
                                      4095 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

                                      1. re: AquaW

                                        Thanks for the fast responses, forgot to note that Stone World Bistro is a definite on my itinerary too (hopefully they won't be TOO crazy on Easter for brunching)

                                        I've heard about BLAH and the Linkery too from a whiles back so thank you for reminding me, the menu for the latter looks interesting and I love how they cite where they source their foods. But yeah, the beer/wine lists looks on the pricey side . . .

                                        ~H.C.

                                        -----
                                        Linkery
                                        3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

                                        1. re: AquaW

                                          I agree that stone is great, I enjoyed the tempeh sandwich. I also love the fact that there is always a new veggie dish every time I visit Starlite Lounge. I'm currently looking for somewhere new to try, so please keep the suggestions coming!!

                                          -----
                                          Starlite
                                          3175 India Street, San Diego, CA 92103

                                          1. re: jennywenny

                                            Jenny - George's California Modern has an all vegetarian menu on the back of the regular menu. Definitely worth checking out next time you fine dine. Olivier at Farmhouse is also very good at creating vegan and vegetarian dishes on the spot!

                                        2. re: AquaW

                                          Spread is closed and has been for some time - just FYI. Sadly, I think it was ahead of its time. :(

                                          1. re: Alice Q

                                            Are you sure ? I know they have sometimes very unregular hours when they cater for events but we saw it open about 4-5 weeks ago.

                                            1. re: honkman

                                              We saw it open just two weeks ago, as well. And, ironic you should mention how often they're closed, honkman, because we tried several times to dine there but it was always closed for a special event.

                                        3. heard that Burger Lounge has one of the best Veggie Burgers on the planet.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mjsp1

                                            they do have a pretty good veggie burger - homemade patty and everything, but it tends to crumble after a bite or two, which makes it hard to eat!

                                            I find the veggie burger at Rockbottom Brewery surprisingly good! Personally I like the black bean based veggie patties more than the quinoa/soy/rice patties, largely because they dont crumble.

                                          2. I highly recommend Tao on Adams. Their entire back page of the menu is all vegetarian or vegan using their made-daily tofu of mock meats which does not have a site...yet. It's one of San Diego's BEST for vegetarian options. Another spot is the Loving Hut on El Cajon Blvd: http://lovinghut.us/sandiego/

                                            Let me know what you think if you do try them.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: wahlri

                                              One of the best veggie burgers I've had was at Gourmet Bagger on Rosecrans and Midway:

                                              http://www.gormetbagger.com/loma-port...

                                              -----
                                              Gourmet Bagger Restaurant
                                              3357 Rosecrans St Ste B, San Diego, CA 92110

                                              1. re: wahlri

                                                The nice thing about Burger Lounge is that they make their own burgers and they use whole food ingredients. Hand crafted, locally produced with pride. They don't have all that processed soy, preservatives and other nasty gunk.

                                                The texture is too soft to eat in their excellent buns, in my opinion, so I always get a half vegetable salad and have them add a burger patty on top. I don't generally order salads in restaurants as I find the ingredients sub-par and often limp and less then at the peak of freshness but I go to Burger Lounge just for this, my favorite salad.

                                                Nearly all of our local restaurants (including the above-mentioned Rock Bottom, Gourmet Bagger) and ALL chain places, including meat-free establishments Evolution, Veg-N-Out except the vegan burger use Morningstar black bean burgers (gross - full of bad stuff), Boca burgers, or Gardenburgers. I think it's lame that they don't have to say that you're paying upwards of $10 for a burger using a frozen, mass-produced patty......steps down from soapbox.