Ready to know more about San Diego?


Food Deconstructed: Parakeet Cafe’s Farro Bowl

The breakdown on this bright, light, and healthy lunch option
Kimberly Motos

By Marie Tutko

Well before remote work became the norm, a large chunk of white-collar workers in the U.S. weren’t taking full lunch breaks—and the needle hasn’t moved much. A 2020 survey by OnePoll showed three out of 10 workers weren’t taking a lunch break, and 68 percent were snacking between meetings instead. So a solid resolution to try in 2022 is taking a full meal break. We liked this light farro salad from locally owned Parakeet Café.

1. Farro, a wheat grain, resembles brown rice but adds a nutty flavor to the salad base of arugula and spinach. “It’s rich and filling,” Roizen says. “I love the texture—it’s buttery.”

2. Roasted yams, Fuji apples, radishes, and fennel add a nice texture, some crunch, and flavors reminiscent of fall.

3. Several of Parakeet Café’s salads and bowls are topped with edible flowers for a pop of color.

4. A housemade vinaigrette of Dijon mustard and apple cider (without any added sugar) ties it all together. “People think that eating healthy is sacrificing flavor, but that’s not true. We strive to make healthy foods that taste amazing,” Roizen says.

Parakeet Café was founded in 2017 by Jonathan Goldwasser and Carol Roizen in La Jolla, and since then has expanded to five locations in San Diego. Most of their dishes are vegan and gluten-free, such as salads and bowls. Turmeric lattes, avocado toast, and keto-friendly breakfasts round out the menu.

The couple’s devotion to healthy eating was sparked when their daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease as an infant, and had to undergo chemotherapy before she could even walk. Roizen, an attorney at the time, added healthier foods to their daughter’s diet, and even changed careers to become a health coach.

The family relocated from Mexico City to San Diego so that their daughter could live in a city with better air quality, and in 2013 they launched Juice Crafters (now Parakeet Juicery), then opened the first Parakeet Café in La Jolla. A sixth café is in the works, and today their daughter is a healthy teenager.

“I believe a lot in food energetics,” Roizen says. “We’re very intentional on serving high-quality, nutrient-dense food that makes you feel good.”

Five locations in San Diego

Farro Bowl – Parakeet Cafe

Kimberly Motos

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA