visit us on
Shop Local San Diego: Vegan Friendly Gift Guide

December 7, 2018

Veganism is a lifestyle and if you are a vegan or are buying for a vegan, you want to shop for gifts produced with an ethos that puts compassion, environmentalism, and craft first.

Collected here are verified vegan-friendly gifts that celebrate the diversity and quality of vegan business in San Diego, and can be enjoyed by everyone.

Sam’s Organic

Frustrated with the limited availability of healthy products for the patients in her care, Registered Nurse Samantha Melesko developed her own organic body care line: Sam’s Organics. Handmade in San Diego, Sam’s products nurture and heal the body through its largest organ—the skin. Her zinc based and reef safe sunscreen, with a sweet citrus scent, is gentle enough for children while also strong enough for wave splash adults.

Sweet Orange Sunscreen ($15 for 4oz)

Find Sam’s Organics at Lotus Moon Market (264 Vista Village Drive, Vista), Spirit Yoga Studios (1559 Garnet Ave, San Diego) or online at

Kelly’s Croutons

Perhaps the most unassuming item on this list, the bold punch of buttery garlic on crisp sourdough of Kelly’s Croutons is truly addictive. Perfect on salad, soup, or (if you're anything like my 3 year old nephew) eaten straight out of the bag. Or try a shaker of Just Crumbs—the bits from production too small to be sold as croutons—saturated with vegan butter and garlic that pair perfectly with pasta.

Gourmet Cheezy Garlic Croutons ($8)

Kelly’s Croutons can be sampled and purchased at multiple Farmers’ Markets throughout San Diego or ordered online at

What Will Grow?

Rich in delightful details, What Will Grow? is journey through the science and joy of planting seeds. Local vegetarian illustrator Susie Ghahremani, aka BoyGirlParty, joined forces with nature writer Jen Ward to explore the wonders of garden life. Intended to inspire the child (age 3-6) or the young at heart humans in your life.

What Will Grow?  ($18)

Order online at

Good Taste Farm

Experience the seasonality of San Diego fruits from the soil of Fallbrook. Sarah and Kris of Good Taste Farms offer an array of fresh foods—with a lean towards juicy citrus—all grown with earth-friendly integrated pest management, no animal-based fertilizers, and a keen eye on waste and water management. Good Taste Farms proudly proclaiming their signature fruit the “best limes ever” (not a exaggeration), which fill-out current boxes cut with navel oranges, lemons, apples, passionfruit, and an optional array of hot peppers or macadamia nuts.

Farmers’ Choice Box ($19.80 - $30.65)

Good Taste Farms can be found Sundays at the Hillcrest Farmers Market and their Farmers’ Choice box can be ordered online and shipped anywhere in the US.

Kitten Lady

Orphaned neonatal kittens are the most vulnerable felines in the country—and San Diego resident Hannah Shaw, aka Kitten Lady, is a leading national advocate and educator on their care. She is also a committed vegan. Delight the kitten-lover in your life with a Morton Salt Girl (with hints of Jawbreaker)-inspired "When It Rains It Purrs" tote bag.

When It Rains It Purrs Tote ($18)

Tote bag can be purchased online at

Maya’s Cookies

What started as a coveted birthday party treat, Maya Madsen turned into a booming cookie kingdom. Studded with rainbow sprinkles or stuffed with vegan marshmallows, Maya’s chewy gems eclipse memories of mealy and dry vegan baked goods. Everyone—vegan or not—will love these cookies.

Sampler Box ($18 - $30)

Maya’s cookies can be found throughout San Diego or the assorted and seasonal collections can be ordered online at

Donna Jean

For anyone with pizza on the brain, Donna Jean’s Pizza Skull Shirt will resonate. The black and white graphic drips with cashew cheese and organic California tomatoes and reps a San Diego vegan icon of pizza and sustainably.

Pizza Skull Shirt ($20)

Donna Jean swag can be found at the restaurant and online at

Get Fluffed Up

Watermelon Tajin or seasonal Gingerbread whirl through organic sugar. Spun into clouds of “fairy foss”,  Get Fluffed Up melts in the mouth, delighting children and adults alike. Founder Vanessa Corrales—who is also the “vegan visionary” behind the Split Bakehouse with Kristianna Zabala—is dedicated to producing vivacious flavors with no additive or preservative.

Organic Cotton Candy ($8)

Available at Mission Square Market or online at

Shaded Trails

Give all the treats and none of the meat to the pups or pup loving people around you. Locally sourced fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds fill every tasty puck of Shared Trails treats. From Apple & Hemp to Sweet Potato Chews, these vegan and gluten-free bites reflect back the kindness of man’s best friend.

Dog Treats ($9.95)

Treats can be order via Amazon (included on Prime) at

Modern Times Coffee

In 2014, Modern Times began aging select batches of coffee in retired bourbon barrels. The young green beans pick up the aromas of bourbon and oak—along with the Nopala Microlot’s hints of tamarind, dried fruit, and malt—imparting the subtle aura of hooch into a morning brew.

Wery of bourbon? Then give the Mexico La Sierna Microlot a shot. Coffee beans are roasted to order and can take up to a week to prep for shipment, so plan ahead—they are worth the wait.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Mexico Nopala Microlot ($20)

The beans can be pickled up at a local tasting room or ordered online at

Kelly Bone
Kelly Bone is a vegan food writer, photographer, and pizza nerd. She has served as a food judge at various US festivals and is part of the Vegan in San Diego team providing resources and hosting charitable vegan events in San Diego. You can follow her work on Instagram at @KellyBone or on her blog The Veg Foodie.
more about this contributor
Related Stories
No items found.
Related Recipes
No items found.