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Where to Get Plant-Based Brunch in San Diego

No animals were harmed in the making of this morningfood guide

By Owen Racer


Donna Jean

Across San Diego County, vegans (and the vegan-curious) have a vast range of options for a memorable meatless brunch. From authentic Mexican cuisine to classic biscuits and gravy, there’s plenty to pique the interest of anyone looking for a plant-based morning feast.


Ben & Esther’s Vegan Jewish Deli

Ben & Esther’s Vegan Jewish Deli

College Area and South Oceanside

Writing their own definition of brunch that breaks the stereotypical menu, Ben & Esther’s 100% vegan menu pays homage to Jewish cuisine through the likes of brisket and corned beef while catering to the non-vegans with lox bagels and chicken salad.

Given their deli-focused menu, Ben & Esther’s serves as an ideal place for the vegans to impress their their omnivore squad for brunch, whether you’re grabbing bagel sandwiches to-go or stopping in for a pastry. Friendly to brunch groups due to their turn-around time for food, not their seating space.


Ranchos Cocina

Ranchos Cocina

North Park

No fuss, affordable options, and large portions are what make Ranchos Cocina the place to bring non-vegans. Open for brunch every day of the week, the seemingly endless menu offers everything from burritos and flapjacks to combinations of mushrooms, tofu, and soy chorizo. And the staff is happy to make nearly any classic Mexican dish vegan.

Boasting ingredients from local farmers markets, they offer the rare experience for brunchers to dabble with vegan shrimp and vegan carne asada.




South Park

South Park’s award-winning cocktail bar, Kindred, boosts a lively brunch scene on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where a creative menu offers specialties like the banh mi french toast sticks and kimchi chickpea cakes. The B.F.S., an acronym beginning with ‘big’ and ending with ‘sandwich,’ is a top-seller, with a rosemary biscuit and black salt tofu omelet.

With a full zero-proof menu to complement their photogenic bar, Kindred’s brunch might mean your neighbor sips from an umbrella- and citrus-topped mocktail, while you enjoy the simpler pleasures of a coffee or $9 mimosa to support your biscuits and mushroom gravy.


Donna Jean

Donna Jean

Banker’s Hill

Ideal for large weekend groups looking to enjoy their brunch outdoors in a more relaxed atmosphere, Donna Jean, in Banker’s Hill, draws a calmer crew of vegan diners. An intentionally small brunch menu serves biscuits and gravy and chicken-fried mushrooms, a customer favorite. The French toast boasts spring-forward fruits.

Whether it be a baby shower or a company brunch, Donna Jean is ready with large plates of Nashville fried mushrooms and pizza. But you don’t have to sit. A robust takeout program means Donna Jean is a reliable brunch option for those who want to reap the satisfaction of vegan eats while on the couch in pjs.


El Avocado

El Avocado

La Jolla

For a vibe-forward vegan brunch, head to La Jolla’s El Avocado. The beachside hotspot offers brunch Friday through Sunday. With a spring menu expansion, they are home to a slew of San Diego’s favorite plant-based small businesses: Prager Brothers, Gibaldi’s Italian Bread, Split Bakehouse, Cana Love, Leap Roasters, Steeping Giant, and Loose-Leaf Tea Company.

Sunday morning DJ sessions and bottomless mimosas are a part of the experience here, where brunch-fiends can enjoy a soy chorizo wrap, vegan breakfast sandwich, or chilaquiles.

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