Though San Diego is rich with vegan options, there is often a pithy vegan selection at city-wide restaurant events. Enter Veganuary. During the month-long celebration, restaurants throughout the city will have special Veganuary menus to introduce vegans, flexitarians, and curious omnivores to creative meat and dairy-free options, with a portion of sales going back to support vegan non-profits.
Vegans, Baby in partnership with Vegan in San Diego (a local nonprofit dedicated to making it easy to be vegan in our county), brought together local restaurants who are answering the call for more vegan dining in the city. For San Diego’s inaugural Veganuary lineup, they are presenting all-vegan menus for the month.
Here’s where to celebrate a plant-based start to the new year.
First Friday Night Market
The month kicks off with the popular First Friday Night Market, a monthly vegan pop-up festival at La Mesa’s Grossmont Center. The January’s line up includes favorites like Lady G’s Canteen whose steam trays float with hunks of potato and mushrooms dripping with a Filipino adobo served with a side of crisp vegetable filled lumpia. Or try Camp Pendlenton’s By Rosaline, which brings kid and adult-friendly dishes like spirals of Korean BBQ Potato tornadoes and fully-loaded Bulgogi Nachos.
Gnocchi alla Romana—cuts of seared semolina cake lounging in porcini demi glacé topped with gremolata, parmesan and Tokyo turnips— join with plump pesto potatoes and the peak season California citrus dribbled over a supple slice of vegan cheesecake.
Neighborhood hub Kensington Cafe collects the cafe’s vegan favorites into an extensive menu that spans morning to night classics. Options include a breakfast burrito brimming with black beans, potatoes, tempeh, vegan cheese, red onion, tomato and avocado and dinner options like the Soyrizo and Potato Tacos topped with avocado and green onions.
The menu expands into modern sushi rolls like the House of Gold—asparagus, avocado, cucumber, carrots and blanched spinach hugged by grilled inari—and a classic vegan ramen topped with charred tofu “chasiu” and crispy kabocha pumpkin.
The breezy dining room of Pacific Beach’s Powerhaus brings a Beyond Meat Vegan Pizza to post workout wind downs. Topped with vegan cashew mozzarella, fennel infused Beyond Meat sausage, roasted red peppers, green peppers, and red onion over whole grain or classic white crust. Wash it down with a Berry Beet Smoothie made with raspberries, banana, apple, beet root powder, cacao powder, cacao nibs.
Perched on the corner of Adam’s and the 15 freeway, The Haven compiled a creative vegan menu filled with dishes like pesto smeared focaccia spotted with almond ricotta and a swirling dish of spaghetti topped with eggplant “meatballs.” A full pizza menu inclues expanded selections the likes of Wild Mushroom pie finished with wilted spinach and truffle oil.
The Melting Pot – La Jolla and Gaslamp
Once reserved for the cheese eaters of american, the seaming tables of The Melting Pot La Jolla and Gaslamp open up with an all-vegan menu. The 4-course menu includes vegan cheddar-style fondue bubbling with Redbridge beer and garlic and the dark chocolate brew with dipper like strawberries and pineapple.
Del Sur Mexican Cantina
South Park’s Del Sur Mexican Cantina brings charm and flavor to their wood topped tables with a vegan menu flush with choices like citrus pickled cauliflower ceviche and adobe marinated Jackfruit tucked into corn tortillas with cabbage and vegan chipotle aiol.
Vegan options maybe sparse in Santee, but locals know the The WrapShack can feed their their animal-free hunger. The substantial vegan menu is filled with choices like the Vegan Sausage Breakfast Bowl with tofu eggs, hash browns, and salsa to the Vegan Buffalo rolled with vegan chicken soaked in buffalo sauce with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and vegan ranch dressing.
Learn more about exploring a plant-based lifestyle and about #Veganuary at veganinsandiego.com/veganuary