A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

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Healthy Creations: Vegan Friendly

[caption id="attachment_2638" align="alignnone" width="640"]Healthy Creations Healthy Creations[/caption]

 

ENCINITAS.  I love, love, love Healthy Creations.  I stop in every time I am up in Encinitas.  They don’t have a particularly fancy menu or crazy interior decor.  So what makes Healthy Creations so great?  Every menu item is created with careful thought and made with quality ingredients.  Quite simply, everything tastes amazing.

 

Soups:

 

Healthy Creations always has two home made soups, one of which is usually vegan.  And believe me, they are worth sampling.  The butternut squash soup has become one of my favorites.  It is thick with an almost pumpkin flavor and reminds me of fall.

 

[caption id="attachment_2639" align="alignnone" width="640"]Butternut Squash Soup Butternut Squash Soup[/caption]

 

Another great option is the Vegetable Soup.  This is not the bland veggie soup out of a can, I grew up eating.  It is full of fresh vegetables and seasoned with just the right mix of herbs.

 

[caption id="attachment_2640" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegetable Soup Vegetable Soup[/caption]

 

Sandwiches and Burgers:

 

The Sunshine Veggie Burger is one of my staple orders.  The gluten free and soy free burger is topped with spring greens, tomatoes, sprouts, chipotle aioli, and avocado.  Just remember to ask for vegan bread as the burger is usually served on a bun that is NOT vegan.

 

[caption id="attachment_2641" align="alignnone" width="640"]Veggie Burger Veggie Burger[/caption]

 

Healthy Creations has recently added a vegan BLT to their menu.  House made coconut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado are sandwiched between two pieces of vegan bread.  The vegan BLT’s I’ve tried in the past use tempeh bacon, so I was intrigued to try the coconut bacon.  I really enjoyed the taste, and  the fact that the coconut bacon isn’t a processed product like tempeh bacon!

 

[caption id="attachment_2642" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan BLT Vegan BLT[/caption]

 

And if you fall in love with the coconut bacon, it is available for purchase at Healthy Creations!

 

[caption id="attachment_2648" align="alignnone" width="493"]Coconut Bacon Coconut Bacon[/caption]

 

Desserts:

 

Healthy Creations doesn’t forget about dessert.  One item that shouldn’t be missed is the mini-cream sandwich.  The cookies are soft and chewy and the frosting inside is smooth and creamy.  I also love their size — they’re the perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth without going overboard.

 

[caption id="attachment_2643" align="alignnone" width="640"]Mini Cream Sandwich Mini Cream Sandwich[/caption]

 

And then there is the Raw Lemon Bar.  Each bar has two layers: a sticky, cakey bottom and a tangy, lemony topping.  This is a refreshing dessert and a great choice if you  are looking for something sweet and light.

 

[caption id="attachment_2646" align="alignnone" width="640"]Raw Lemon Bar Raw Lemon Bar[/caption]

 

Drinks and Smoothies:

 

The drinks at Healthy Creations also should also not be overlooked.  My favorite? The Chocolate Malted Almond Milk.  This is the drink for anyone who has fond memories of chocolate malts from childhood.  Somehow when maca is combined with chocolate almond milk, the result is a rich and satisfying, malty flavored drink.  Mine always disappears before the food arrives!

 

[caption id="attachment_2644" align="alignnone" width="490"]Malted Chocolate Drink Malted Chocolate Drink[/caption]

 

If you’re feeling like something cool and fresh, I recommend ordering the Gogi Berry Bliss Smoothie.  This bright pink smoothie is made from strawberries, house made almond or coconut milk, goji berries, and dates, and is then topped with hemp seeds.  The fruit and house made milk combine to make a creamy and irresistible smoothie.

 

[caption id="attachment_2645" align="alignnone" width="511"]Strawberry Smoothie Strawberry Smoothie[/caption]

 

Healthy Creations has a cozy interior.  A perfect place to relax and enjoy a snack or a meal.  Customers order at the front and wait until food is brought out to their table.  Healthy Creations also has a “to-go” case with juices and pre-made, frozen meals.

 

[caption id="attachment_2649" align="alignnone" width="640"]Interior Healthy Creations Interior Healthy Creations[/caption]

 

Recently, Healthy Creations has created a separate menu listing their vegan options.  Now you don’t have to examine the ingredient lists to determine whether an item is vegan!  So thank you Healthy Creations! I can’t wait to visit again soon.

 

[caption id="attachment_2651" align="alignnone" width="640"]Healthy Creations Vegan Menu Healthy Creations Vegan Menu[/caption]

 

376 North El Camino Real

Encinitas, CA 92024

760.479.0500

Native Foods: 100% Vegan

[caption id="attachment_2533" align="alignnone" width="652"]Native Foods Cafe Sign Native Foods Cafe Sign[/caption]

 

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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!

 

 

Point Loma:

3369 Rosecrans Street

San Diego, CA 92110

619.225.1155

 

Encinitas:

127 N. El Camino Real

Encinitas, CA 92024

760.634.7607