Thanh Tinh Chay courts locals with a $5 baseline price for nearly all dishes. It’s a bargain tempting to everyone—vegan or not.
Van Bui had never run a restaurant, but the need for one was clear.
Cost is a large hurdle for those exploring vegan and vegetarian dining, and while City Heights is filled with affordable Vietnamese restaurants, most have limited options for those seeking meat-free meals.
The lack of affordable vegetarian food in City Heights (and beyond) begged for a solution.
Before social pressures, we would just eat and tell others to eat wherever we always ate. These days, it seems, recommendations come skewed by hype (to which I too am not immune) when what we really should be sharing are the places we return to over and over even when no one is looking.
So, here is an un-scientifically compiled list of the restaurants I frequented in San Diego the most in 2019, which was totally inspired by this tweet:
Hands down one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego. I love about 90% of the menu and never hesitate to recommend it to anyone. While I rotate between many of the dishes, the Black Pepper Cashew Chicken—trimmed mushrooms battered and fried in “beef jerky” (my words) sauce served with always perfect rice—special (above) is almost always on my table.
Summer Rolls are one of the great culinary inventions in the history of man. A perfect package of crunchy vegetables, fragrant herbs, and the soft but snappy bite of rice paper enriched with the sweetness of some sort of sauce. At Purple Mint Vegetarian Bistro I appreciate that they don’t dilute the rolls with extra noodles, offering rice paper stuffed with tofu, purple mint, lettuces, basil, jicama, and carrots. The sauce, although spiked with crushed peanuts and pickled carrots, runs bland and benefits greatly from a kick of hoisin ($5.95).
I uncovered more vegan burger options then I could have imagine when building the 20 Vegan Burgers To Try in San Diego map for Eater. It seemed a shame to not share the full list for those who swim in the deep dark waters of the restaurant scene (or have a lot of friends and family that drag them to non-vegan-friendly spots). So here it is.
For photos and descriptions of the top 20, check the Eater map and help drive up views (and demand) for vegan content.
The joke starts “In heaven, the chefs are Italian…” and for reasons beyond me San Diego is becoming more like that good place. Italian restaurants are popping up and down the southern most coast of California. Many, such as Ciccia Osteria, offer a thoughtful vegan menu. … Ciccia Osteria (San Diego, CA)
Gravity Heightsis a strange fellow. Atop the hilly landscape of Sorrento Valley—a wise move to capture the tech workers trapped by the 805’s unholy rush hour traffic—clear glass walls bath the space in light, while maple veneer and sky blue upholstery keep the interior on trend. … Gravity Heights (San Diego, CA)
There are two types of people: Those that love a specific style of pizza, and those who love supreme examples of EVERY style of pizza. Tribute Pizza—where pizza topping combinations are inspired by all the American greats—is for people who love them all.
The cavernous hall of the old North Park Post Office seemed an audacious choice for a debut restaurant. But attention to detail and a sweeping love of pizza quickly attracted customers.
The indoor/outdoor Telefónica Gastro Park offers an array of global flavors infused with the creativity of some of Tijuana’s rising chefs.
Long under the influence of its northern neighbors, the relatively recent dip in tourism has given rise to a brave new breed of Tijuana restaurant. Aimed at feeding the local’s hunger for innovation and community, chefs are pushing the boundaries of Baja cooking.
I’ve long espoused the idea that foodie culture rose from the smashed emotions of the Great Recession swizzled with Yelp. But lately I’ve been reading the theories of food as entertainment—a phrase that immediately rings true. Because foodie culture also rose along side Food Network, increasing obesity, grocery abundance, Salt Bae, and other bastions of 21st century American culture.
But for longer than that, food has been the fuel of the party season. Entertainment not aimed to sell us more or make us docile, but to share a bit of joy with friends, and friends of friends. Touring chef, Joshua Ploeg, tied it all together in an unironic David Bowie themed dinner theater for Beth’s birthday. … a god-awful small affair: A Bowie Dinner with Joshua Ploeg
At Sattvik Foods the menu flutters through a well-honed collection of curries and rice, offering only a few options each day. Lay your trust in Kanta Jina’s spice-tempered pots and pans and follow her around the metal thali, because they’re all good.