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.
[information current as of November 2019]
… A Comprehensive List of Vegan Burgers in San Diego
There are few chefs I truly trust*—Jennie Cooks is one of them.
Beneath an angled mirror at Surfas, Jennie—my hometown culinary champion—poured a generous amount of olive oil into a pan and whipped up Sweet Potato Pistachio Fritters with Saba and Jaffna Potatoes. I sat there waiting for the non-vegan ingredient to get dumped in—a pat of butter, a drizzle of yogurt —but it never happened. As the Endive Avocado Potato Salad and Cape Verda Vegetable were passed around, I realized every dish she made was vegan—and that never happens on accident.
At that moment I knew I wanted her to cater an event for me. That event turned out to be my wedding reception.
… Jennie Cooks Plant Based Parties (Los Angeles, CA)
The Short and Skinny
Donna Jean offers a vegetable forward menu with midwestern charm and California sensibilities.
Under the dappling of the summer sun, pink radish bulbs push through the dirt under the kale leaves and carrot tops surrounding Donna Jean’s patio. Between the magenta shocks of bougainvilleas, tables fill with dukkah-dusted turnips and pizzas dotted with smoked dates and pickled shallots.
Vegetables drive the menu—but all dishes are quietly supported by the spice and experience.
A midwestern boy at heart, Chef Roy Elam carries the lessons learned there—use everything, force nothing.
Read more at: http://ediblesandiego.ediblecommunities.com/eat/vegan-friendly-comfort-food-and-sustainability-donna-jean-bankers-hill
The Short and Skinny
This hip space, which undulates between indoor and out, is known for creative cocktails, but they also have some seriously great vegan options.
The soft blue paint of the simple façade blends into the clear skies above. Window frames popped up like visors offer glimpses of the wood-rich interior. Cedar planked walls are accented by geometric pops of blue, mustard yellow, and soft pink and modern fixtures resemble drops of white glass clenched in brass. Unseen from the street is the modern basilica of a dining room—a breezy semi-outdoor space enveloped by a 20-foot high arch.
Read more at: http://ediblesandiego.ediblecommunities.com/eat/vegan-friendly-bar-snacks-madison-park
On the edge of residential Rolando, far from the sparkle of coastal locations, chef Coral Strong’s Garden Kitchen pulls from San Diego’s soil and presents the treasures in their naked glory and preserved peaks. No dish captures this as well as the Kitchen Sink ($16).
… Garden Kitchen (San Diego, CA)
An invite to Eclipse Chocolate for dinner was bewildering. Only because I had no idea this chocolate shop—whose bars can be found at shops throughout San Diego—is a full service restaurant with vegan options. From start to finish the menu is sprinkled with hints of a pastry chef—a little coco here, a splash of vanilla there—all in a savory context.
… Eclipse Chocolate (San Diego, CA)
Helming the Studio City kitchen, Jerry Yu delivers vegetarian—mostly vegan—dishes devoid of mock meats and omnivorous similes. Yu relies of the breath of organic fruits and vegetable adorn with nuts whipped into luscious sauces. On paper the preparations sound simple, but they comes together like magic on a plate.
… Vege • ta • ble (Los Angeles, CA)
In the shadow of the Culver Hotel, the wellspring of Matthew Kenney’s Make Out quietly places vegan—mostly raw—foods in a glass front case for viewing. The shelves offer a colorful selection of huge rolls of green, tiny rolls of carrots, flatbreads, and bowls of kelp noodles. Further back, stainless steel holds two daily soups. Samples of both were offered to us and the velvety Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup—drizzled with cashew creme and crunchy pepitas—leaped to the top of our order.
… Make Out (Culver City, CA)
After finding success slinging organic smoothies from a train car in Flinn Springs (at the east end of El Cajon), Soy Leaf opened a second location on Magnolia Ave. Filling the menu with pulled jackfruit and house made Italian seitan, Melanie Arce brings quality vegan food to east county.
… Soy Leaf (San Diego, CA) [CLOSED]
Flush with Gold Rush fortune, in 1857 Theophilide St. Germain built herself an opulent wine shop at 301 Broadway in downtown Oakland. Stalwartly as the city evolved around it, its perseverance makes it the oldest building in Oakland. Now, it’s outfitted by the equally indomitable Tamearra Dyson who quit her day job to follow her creole roots into the kitchen. It was a high risk move from which we all benefit.
… Souley Vegan (Oakland, CA)