POINT LOMA and ENCINITAS. If you have never been to Native Foods, you are missing out. It is a haven for vegans and is guaranteed to impress even habitual meat eaters. The menu boasts an array of starters, salads, bowls, burgers, and desserts that will leave you feeling satiated, happy, and planning your return trip!
On my most recent trip to the new Point Loma location, I started with the chili — white beans and Native chili meat simmered with tomatoes and special spices — and cornbread. I thoroughly enjoyed this starter. It has a great flavor thanks to the spices, and I enjoyed dunking my generous piece of cornbread in it! We’ll just say that it disappeared (with the help of my lunch partner!). Quickly.
[caption id="attachment_2534" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vegan Chili and Cornbread[/caption]
You can’t go wrong when ordering one of the bowls from Native Foods. The Rockin’ Morrocan is a satisfying mix of grilled veggies and quinoa mixed with tofu or Native Chicken and topped with homemade Moroccan sauce, currants, and toasted almonds. There is a lot going on in this bowl, but it is all good! I love the crunch from the toasted almonds mixed with the sweetness from the currants. Plus, you end up eating a good number of veggies without even realizing it!
[caption id="attachment_2535" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vegan Rockin’ Moroccan Bowl[/caption]
I have fond memories of inhaling fish tacos on San Diego’s pervasive “Taco Tuesdays.” Since becoming vegan, I’ve looked for a replacement. And I finally found it in Native Food’s Baja Blackened Tacos. These tacos are comprised of two grilled soft corn tortillas stuffed with blackened Native Tempeh and topped with creamy chipotle sauce, salsa fresca, shredded cabbage, and guacamole. Delightful!! Native Foods completely transforms the tempeh, so it is soft and tender to bite. The best part? The creamy chipotle sauce and guacamole give these plant-based tacos a rich, full flavor and ensures they are not dry.
[caption id="attachment_2536" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vegan Baja Blackened Tacos[/caption]
Native Foods doesn’t rely on typical offerings to prop up the burger section of their menu. Instead, you will find unique items like the Portobello and Sausage Burger. Juicy grilled portobellos and home made Native Sausage Seitan make up the base of this burger. It’s then topped with caramelized onions, salsa pomodoro, sweet roasted garlic, creamy pumpkin seed pesto and mayo. The full-bodied sausage seitan contrasted nicely with the mellow portobello flavor. Plus, the caramelized onions were cooked to perfection. And who can say no to pumpkin seed pesto? This is a choice that is sure to please everyone.
[caption id="attachment_2537" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vegan Portobello and Sausage Burger[/caption]
Native Foods has some great home made beverage options that are great alternatives to soda. Pick from Lavender Lemonade, Watermelon Fresca, or home brewed iced teas. The Hibiscus iced tea pictured below was a refreshing option. Particularly, if you are visiting Native Foods during part of a heat wave like I was! And did I mention that you get unlimited re-fills? That means you can rotate among the drinks if you want to try them all!
[caption id="attachment_2540" align="alignnone" width="460"] Hibiscus Tea[/caption]
Of course, I couldn’t get out of Native Foods without a dessert. They are too good. And for a chocoholic like me, the chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting was the perfect choice. The desserts are all made in house, and you can tell. Each chocolately bite was well worth the indulgence.
[caption id="attachment_2538" align="alignnone" width="523"] Vegan Chocolate Cupcake[/caption]
Native Foods has a friendly, bright interior. It’s perfect place to pick up a “to go” lunch when you’re in a hurry or to sit and linger with friends and family. The staff is also extremely helpful in offering suggestions whether it’s your first time visiting or you just want to try something new.
[caption id="attachment_2539" align="alignnone" width="640"] Interior Native Foods[/caption]
Native Foods also provides outdoor patio seating with umbrellas. A perfect spot to enjoy warm weather and relax.
[caption id="attachment_2541" align="alignnone" width="640"] Native Foods Interior[/caption]
Native Foods is also a great to place if you have any additional dietary restrictions or preferences. The restaurant offers gluten-free, soy free, and nut free menus for customers’ convenience (check out the links below). So enjoy!
3369 Rosecrans Street
San Diego, CA 92110
127 N. El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024