Where to Find Vegan Dessert in San Diego
Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but dessert is certainly the most exciting! Dessert is far more dynamic than it gets credit for, and our list of 10 places serving vegan dessert in San Diego is here to show you why. Prepare your taste buds for flavors that’ll cover the spectrum of salty and sweet to spicy, tart, and everything in between. Here’s where to find vegan dessert in San Diego!
It’s not every day you encounter a restaurant that commits to serving memorable bites equally matched to its passion for sustainability. It’s even more uncommon for the menu to be exclusively raw in addition to soy- and gluten-free. You’ll find the anomaly that is Peace Pies in the tight-knit Ocean Beach community, where you can join locals on the intimate garden-inspired patio and be wowed by the likes of mint chip shakes, multi-flavored layer cakes, and no-bake cheesecakes. Revel in the nostalgic bite of vegan versions of childhood favorites like Hostess cupcakes and a rotating selection of pop-tarts.
Remember hearing kids at your neighborhood park rhythmically chanting “You scream; I scream; We all scream for ice cream?” Perhaps Kula’s gluten-free vegan ice cream can bring back those lyrics. The goal of any up-and-coming food brand is the highly desirable transition from being a pop-up to having a brick-and-mortar storefront, and this is one feat Kula can check off their to-do list. You’ll fall in love with the rich decadence of their classics such as rocky road and chocolate chip cookie dough while more fruit-forward flavors like nectarine sorbet provide relief on toasty summer days.
Ordering a box of sugary confections from Split’s pastry window is like discovering a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Their menu changes monthly and often features chef-inspired versions of scones, beautifully browned conchas, and pistachio morning buns. Everything on the menu is made from house-made vegan milk, vegan butter, and vegan eggs which means only the most premium ingredients will journey back home with you. If you’re unable to make it to Grossmont Center, follow them on Instagram for a list of coffee shops and cafes throughout San Diego County that regularly carry their desserts.
If comfort food were personified by a singular pastry, it would undoubtedly be a donut. Characterized by pillowy bread, donuts are the perfect vessel to express creativity, and Doughside Donuts reflects this fact with imaginative flavors that include sweet potato pie with brûléed marshmallow and a chocolate-covered donut topped with a peanut butter buttercream & toffee drizzle. We’re pretty sure there isn’t a problem too difficult for a donut to solve.
Maya’s Cookies began as a pop-up before opening a Grantville storefront, and while you can still spot Maya’s eye-catching pink tent Saturdays in Little Italy, you can also take advantage of nationwide shipping. We aren’t kidding when we say these cookies are almost too good to be true, and flavors like caramel pecan and brown sugar butterscotch are the reason why. In search of something gluten-free? No problem! Maya’s has you covered with chocolate chip s’mores or an oatmeal chocolate chip. Want to share the good times with your furry friend? Say no more! Maya’s cookies for dogs are equally as irresistible and are always baked with premium, dog-friendly ingredients!
Hazel & Jade operates a cozy yet mighty space on 4th Ave in the heart of Hillcrest. While waiting for the barista to froth your oat milk latte, contemplate how lovely it’d be to accompany it with a flaky hazelnut peach croissant, a chocolate brioche knot, or a creamy cheese Danish. Before heading out, inquire about their specialty cake menu, because who knows, you just might find one that will be perfect for your next event.
While Starry Lane does use processed sugar, everything they offer is free of the 10 most common food allergens—you won’t find any dairy, egg, soy, or nuts in sight. Their devotion to freshness is reflected in the fact that the entirety of their menu—including the lemon bars, brownies, strawberry sensation cupcakes, and cinnamon rolls—is baked just a handful of hours before you pick them up.
Nationwide shipping means this Latina-owned bakery can appease your sweet tooth regardless of where in the United States you call home. Have a variety pack of five cookies shipped to your door and eliminate the agony of having to choose between flavors. If you’re feeling ambitious, add on a heart-shaped brownie or perhaps their 8-inch vanilla donut cake with pink cream frosting bedazzled in vegan sprinkles.
SoulMuch was born from the desire to help repurpose the millions of pounds of food that is wasted and ultimately ends up in landfills in the United States each year. Their 100% vegan and gluten-free menu highlights six unique nutrient-packed cookies with a range that includes the beloved chocolate chip to a red velvet beet and carrot with ginger. You’ll be thrilled to know that, regardless of which you select, they all come six to an order and wrapped in biodegradable cellophane, which (unlike plastic) is plant-based. Who knew helping eliminate food and plastic waste is as easy as ordering a cookie?
Little Italy & Bonita
It’s rare to find a restaurant of any kind that’s vegan-friendly offerings rival the length of their main menu which is what makes Holy Paleta so notable. Their all-natural, locally sourced fruit pops are served on a stick making them as portable as can be—so after you have a pineapple basil, tamarind with chile, hibiscus-guava, or even all three in hand, you can easily head a few blocks west down to the waterfront just in time for golden hour.
Jared is a Southern California native who is passionate about traveling and all things sustainable. When he’s not tending his vegetable garden, he can be spotted exploring beaches around the world, listening to jazz music, and laughing until the point of tears.
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