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Jul 23, 2013 07:50 AM

NYers heading to San Diego

Hey there 'hounders. My family is heading West at the end of the Summer, 6 nights in San Diego (4 in LA but w/friends, so we're covered there). We live in Manhattan, so we're no strangers to diverse food offerings. I'm vegetarian (no fish), but try not to be difficult, and will eat anywhere b/c I can always find something. My husband and 6 1/2 year old son have pretty open palates. I'm looking for recommendations for veg-friendly (ie no lard in beans) mexican, as well as any other "can't misses." We're staying in the downtown area in SD but will have a car so we can venture around town. Not looking for super fancy, as we have the little guy in tow and expect prices to be comparable to NY. Thanks in advance!

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  1. This CH thread may be a good start: or

    There are several similar threads you can search for.

    You're in a great area for good Mex, I'd say, as far a lard goes, eat everything except the refried beans.

    1 Reply
    1. Downtown + vegetarian + mexican = Pokez ( I've never been there but I've seen it mentioned many times.

      Non-Mexican vegetarian will be satisfied at Tender Greens which is now downtown (

      5 Replies
      1. re: LisaSD

        Pokez is atrocious. I'd never, never recommend an out-of-towner going there for fear s/he'd go back home and think SD's Mexican-vegetarian food scene is represented by that garbage. We've had horrible service several times.

        Since the OP will have a car, I recommend Rancho's in North Park. The beans are no-lard and the food is consistently good.

        1. re: globocity

          Is the Rancho's in OB still there? I think that one was better than North Park. Either is a good call for vegetarian Mex.

          1. re: DiningDiva

            Yes both are still there. Terrific red sauce.

          2. re: globocity

            Yes, I hate to yuck someone's yum, but I have been to Pokez and found it overrated and quite frankly, extremely dirty.

            Salad Style is located downtown just outside the Gaslamp Quarter and would be a superb vegetarian choice.

            1. re: Dagney

              Pokez is someone's "yum"? Well let's fix that right here and now! Yes dirty environment, horrible service, and pretty bad food (on many occasions) are enough to make me steer anyone away.

              Downtown also has Tender Greens, one of my favorite chain restaurants. I haven't checked out Salad Style yet but will be sure to next time I'm in the area. Cheers.

        2. Oh yeah, Rancho's in Northpark is delicious! I forgot about them.

          And thanks for the heads up on Pokez...good to know! (and Dagney...I didn't give them a yum...I said I'd never been there. I figured it had been there a long time, so someone must keep them in business...)

          4 Replies
          1. re: LisaSD

            I know, I just wanted to be polite in my response...:) Especially since I did not have an option for Mexican vegetarian to offer.

            1. re: Dagney

              This thread is cracking me up! thanks for the recommendations, and the "to-be-avoided" Pokez!! I checked out some of the other threads - is there anything aside from lard-free mexican that we should be looking for that we can't get in NYC? Thanks again, everyone.

              1. re: risaspieces

                Of course NYC has good seafood but you may want to check out what we offer on this side of the coast. I recommend
                Blue Water Seafood Market, which is a close drive from downtown. The fish tacos, mahi mahi sandwich, and local, fresh fish platters are our favorite to try.

                If you head north, near La Jolla, you can hit up The Fishery although it isn't as easy to get to. Enjoy your stay!

                1. re: risaspieces

                  lard-free mexican

                  Isn't that just Chipotle? Which is extant in NYC?