The Gay Vegans

Vegan San Diego

We love San Diego. We’ve been coming here for years, long before moving to the Los Angeles area.

The main reason we love it here is the beaches. I personally could sit at the beach all day. Swim, read, walk, swim, read, etc. You get the idea.

And something that has been getting us to love San Diego even more is the thriving vegan food scene. If you’re a regular reader here you know about our favorites like Bar Kindred (best brunch ever), Evolution (my favorite milkshake), and Civico 1845 (delish Italian food including tiramisu!). And there’s more!

We definitely made it to Bar Kindred for brunch. Their brunch is served on weekends only, and I highly recommend going if you’re in town on a weekend.

We always order an entree each and then we share the pancakes! The pancakes are a must, whether as your one dish or shared with other items.

Having had brunch here several times, I’ve tried nearly all of the offerings and would suggest ordering whatever sounds good to you. You can’t go wrong. For this visit, I chose the Benedict, and loved it. That, sharing the pancakes with Mike and stealing some of his crushed potatoes made for a perfect brunch. And if you’re a drinker Kindred is actually a bar and can offer you that perfect cocktail.


This trip we went to The Yasai for the first time! Located just off the 163 at Balboa (I also think they have a location in Little Italy), this Japanese restaurant is all-vegan and we had an intensely delicious meal there. This is where I had my favorite Ramen to date, their Tantanmen ramen. Holy cow! I savored every bite! Their sushi is perfectly flavorful and we liked the Stressed Out. The restaurant is gorgeous and the staff are super helpful and friendly. I’m hoping we get there again soon! Note: There are two restaurants when you arrive, both owned by the same people. The Yasai is the one on the left.


Although we have been to Phatties during past trips, this time we were regulars. They are in Escondido, about 35 minutes north of central San Diego, and totally worth the trip. Phatties is an all vegan Mexican restaurant, and they rock it. We love their food! So many flavors! My favorite so far is the Pambazo and Mike’s are the potato taquitos. If you’re lucky they’ll have their amazing horchata when you’re there, and their flan! Yes, flan! The photo is of the gorditas I had. Mmmmm.


If you’re in town on a Sunday, don’t miss the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market! And go hungry! We have always loved this market, and the vegan options are plentiful and so good! From delights from Mozambique to breakfast sandwiches, pastries, bao buns, Thai iced tea, tamales and so much more, it’s a literal eating frenzy at this market. They open at 9am every Sunday and I suggest you arrive right then so you have plenty of time to eat.


I realize this is getting long, so just one more recommendation for now. Chicago Not Dogs is a new hot dog spot in North Park. We loved our time there, and loved the hot dogs. Mike is from Chicago and has this whole thing for hot dogs done properly, and he was ecstatic eating here. He was blown away by the wet Italian beef dog. I’m just a regular hot dog guy and I loved mine so much that I had to order another one. We had a nice conversation with Brian, who owns it with his wife, and that made our time there even better.  They also have a vegan market attached to the restaurant and we enjoyed shopping there. Super creative idea that supports other vegan businesses in town.


Whew. Go to San Diego. Eat well. And remember that our favorite beaches are Torrey Pines State Beach (pictured above) and Cardiff State Beach. Enjoy!

About Dan Hanley

Gay and vegan in the burbs (of Los Angeles). I blog about veganism, equality, compassion, activism, politics, spirituality, and our awesome life experiences. The "s" includes my husband, Mike! I want this blog to be a tool to build bridges among communities and to inspire people to get involved and vote.

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