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Incoming: Peace Pies

One of our favorite veggie burgers is making a comeback in Leucadia
Peace Pies.jpg

Peace Pies.jpg

One of the tastiest veggie burgers in San Diego is making its triumphant return.

Three years ago, in his citywide quest for the best veggie burger, SDM food critic Troy Johnson fell in love with the raw burger at Peace Pies, especially the little secret hidden oasis they had in Leucadia.

Later that year, a fire broke out at that spot and took everything. “We lost years of hard work overnight,” Peace Pies owner JP Alfred says. “I spent time looking for other locations, but nothing ever panned out.” Now, silver linings on that gloom cloud: JP is awaiting permit approval to rebuild in the same space, with a projected reopening of August or September.

Alfred launched the Peace Pies concept in Ocean Beach. He started by preparing plant-based dishes for the People’s Co-op in the early 2000s—long before vegan and gluten- and soy-free dining exploded in popularity. Then he turned up at the Ocean Beach farmers markets selling his own pie shells, pizza crusts, and salad dressings, eventually securing a commercial kitchen. After a couple months, the beach community knew the drill and showed up directly at the storefront—his now-longtime location on Voltaire. The vibe is and was “jungled out,” as JP calls it, decked in art and reclaimed decor sourced from guests, staff, and the community over the years.

“I noticed the demand and how fast the raw food items were going,” he says.

He expanded with his second location off the 101 in Encinitas in 2011, sharing a building that housed three other businesses. Then, the fire.

When he reopens, you’ll find all the Peace Pies staples: kale chips, mystical mushroom quesadillas, luna tuna wraps, and cheesecakes. But the jungle be gone. Instead, Alfred is designing a space reflective of the fresh start. “We want a nice, bright, clean location that matches our food and how it’s plated,” he says.

“We want to fill a void,” he says. “I believe we are the only dedicated raw vegan menu in the city. We have more compost than trash. [Our restaurant’s waste] goes back to the Earth where it came from.”

By Jared Cross

Jared Cross is a writer who grew up near the US-Mexico border in San Diego. He credits this experience with refining his appetite for food and culture.

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