San Diego's diverse dining community offers cuisine for every imaginable palate. Vegetarian menu items are easy to find at restaurants all over San Diego County, and some restaurants are even completely vegetarian or vegan. Below is a sampling of vegetarian restaurant options located around the city.
Located in North Park, Spread is an up-scale vegetarian restaurant with a menu that changes daily depending upon what was fresh at the farmers' market that day. Specialties include, you guessed it, spreads (more than 120 of them in all). The White Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Spread was celebrated by Food Network star Tyler Florence in his "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" series.
The dark wood and thick curtains in Ritual Tavern in North Park bring a medieval castle to mind, but this slow-food-style pub offers classic comfort food with generous portions. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free items abound on the menu, as well as a large complement of beers and ales.
Also in North Park and more down to earth is Veg-N-Out, a small vegetarian/vegan restaurant with a moderately priced menu that consists mainly of burgers and sandwiches. Here the Tibetan prayer flags harken back to a time when those were the universal symbol of a vegetarian eatery. Indoor and patio setting is available.
Not far away in South Park, Alchemy serves seasonal, sustainable and perfectly crafted dishes in a cozy neighborhood setting. While the menu regularly features vegetarian items, every Wednesday night they offer a 3-course vegetarian tasting menu, which is vegan on the last Wednesday of each month.
Owned and operated by followers of spiritual master Sri Chinmoy, Jyoti Bihanga in Normal Heights is an all-vegetarian restaurant that uses its meatless cuisine to help promote inner peace and a meditative lifestyle. "Neatloaf," a brown rice/tofu baked dish topped by a tangy tomato-based sauce, is the most popular item on a menu filled with healthy, simple, classic dishes.
Another Normal Heights eatery is Tao, which serves a mix of Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine that is heavy on vegetarian and vegan dishes. Not to be missed are the house-made silk-like tofu and soy milk, made fresh each day. All entrees come with a house salad and dessert, and after the meal, guests are invited to write their signatures and reviews on the restaurant walls.
The family-operated Ranchos Cocina, with locations in North Park and Ocean Beach, serves fresh, house-made Mexican food from scratch, with an abundance of creative meatless dishes (like the lentil, avocado and cheese burrito, and blue corn avocado enchiladas) that make it a favorite with vegetarian and vegan diners.
With locations in North Park and Clairemont, Sipz promotes a healthy vegetarian lifestyle through its Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Japanese dishes, many of which are also vegan. There's even a vegan sushi bar and fresh baked desserts.
With more than 6,500 farms in San Diego, more restaurants are celebrating the splendors of locally grown vegetables and expanding their vegetarian offerings. It's never been easier to enjoy delicious and healthy vegetarian cuisine. You can also tantalize your tastebuds with restaurants that specialize in farm-fresh local ingredients and some that serve up a view as spectacular as the meal.