San Diego has much more to offer than tacos and burritos!
Taipei’s glittering night markets produce restaurant-quality food for a fraction of the price. Thailand’s vegetable-centric cuisine begs the question: Salty, sour, sweet, spicy, or all of the above? What are we getting at? Asia’s food culture is rich, herbaceous, and layered in complexity. And you’re in luck! We have rounded up where to find vegan Asian food in San Diego!
Take a stroll half a mile off the main Park Blvd drag in University Heights, and you’ll stumble upon Grains. Their rotating draft beer list honors San Diego’s heavy-hitting craft brewery culture. Pair with items like cauliflower Popcorn “Chicken” and a five-spiced, tofu-filled Banh Mi Pulled Pork Sandwich.
Veganic Thai Cafe
Hillcrest is a hub for many things. If you guessed great dining was one of them, you would be right! Drop into Veganic Thai Cafe to compare and contrast an assortment of aromatic curries. These include spicy green, Thai-style yellow, and even pumpkin curry when seasonally available. Add a side of jasmine fried rice. Now you have the perfect way to soak up and savor every last drop.
Little Italy & Convoy
Stepping into The Yasai is a step into a vegetable laboratory. The transparent pickling jars that line the walls are not simply decorative. They also invite you into the thought process of chef and owner Junya Watanabe. Enjoy these veggies by ordering tomato, orange bell pepper, mushroom nigiri, or anything else from their specialty creation menu.
The Purple Mint Bistro
The Purple Mint Bistro is the bridge between authentic Asian-inspired cuisine and vibrant, vegetable-forward plates. They showcase this with purple mint and jicama summer rolls. But you will also find shiitake mushroom-based Peeking “Duck” Lettuce Wraps, and stir-fried eggplant in sweet and sour sauce. You can give a toast to the good eats with fresh-squeezed lemonade or a Dragon Eye Oolong hot tea.
Plumeria gives the salty, sour, and spicy flavors of Thailand a platform. And, with the exclusion of a couple of items that have an egg add-on option, everything is vegan!
Kenyan-born chef and owner Kanta Jina has lived in San Diego since the mid-’90s. It is here that her love of food, travel, and culture culminated in opening her first restaurant. Three decades later, you can still chow down on her curries, samosas, and rotis. These fuse elements of African, Asian, and American cooking.
Clairmont, La Jolla, & North Park
Sipz serves everything from specialty sushi rolls and seaweed salads to Kung Pao Chicken and Walnut Shrimp. The menu is not specific to any region of Asia, allowing room for interpretations of various regional specialties. You can visit their website for specifics on each location and their respective menus.
North Park, Mira Mesa, & City Heights
Loving Hut is a vegan chain with over 200 locations spanning more than 30 countries on six continents. Each restaurant is independently owned and operated, granting them the liberty to dictate their menus. As for the North Park, Mira Mesa, and City Heights locations, expect cheesy wontons, Pad Thai, and ginger tofu. As well as a menu full of delightful bites that have come to define Asian-style bistros.