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Fitness Fuel: Where to Find Healthy Food in San Diego

Top spots in San Diego to power up with nutritious eats and drinks that support a fit and healthy lifestyle

By Erin Jackson

Fresh Eats

Café Gratitude

Organic, plant-based cuisine is the specialty of this chic spot offering dishes named after states of mind, like the “Humble” Indian curry bowl and “Ecstatic” maple miso Brussels sprouts. There’s even a healthy spin on In-N-Out’s Double-Double: two black bean patties, chipotle ketchup, and cashew macadamia cheddar dubbed “I am Magical.”

1980 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy

Civico 1845

Locally grown ingredients are featured in light, healthy Italian entrées that showcase their full flavor potential alongside house-made pasta at this romantic locale next to the Piazza Basilone in Little Italy. There are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, including mushroom calamari and seitan Bolognese.

1845 India Street, Little Italy


This vegan joint serves up an extensive menu of health-conscious fast food fare, including tacos, burritos, burgers, and chili. If you’re unsure what to try, the buffalo chicken sandwich is a winner among vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

2965 Fifth Avenue, Bankers Hill


Organic, local eats are the specialty of this cozy café housed in a navy blue building. Popular items include pasture-raised bone broth, coffee blended with grass-fed butter, and the Kitchen Sink salad, featuring a little bit of almost everything, including chicken salad, raisins, feta, and lots of veggies.

1051 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas

Herb & Eatery

Head to this bustling café and chef’s marketplace for supersized, taste-bud-dazzling salads topped with skewers of meat, soothing bone broth, and energizing smoothies spiked with wheatgrass. Say yes to a cookie. (Healthy eating is all about balance, and they’re worth every calorie!)

2210 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy


Chef Jeremy Scullin crafts inventive vegan dishes at this South Park option with eclectic decor and a nonstop soundtrack of death metal music. The Memphis BBQ Jackfruit sandwich is a fan favorite that packs a big flavor payoff.

1503 30th Street, South Park


Healthy options abound at these busy marketplace-style spots slinging seasonal vegetable-centric fare in a cheerful space, including dozens of enticing slow-cooked meat entrées, sandwiches, and vegetable dishes like heirloom carrots and roasted Brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and grape glaze.

3958 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest

4525 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla

Liberty Public Market

A variety of healthy spots like Local Greens, FishBone Kitchen, and Fully Loaded Juice make it easy and fun to put together a multi-item meal sourced from different market vendors, like a farm-to-table salad, ahi poke bowl, and cold-pressed juice.

2820 Historic Decatur Road

Lotus Café

Good vibes and healthy eats are the specialties of the house at this laid-back staple that offers gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes all day long. The can’t-miss juice bar menu includes inventive options like the Swami’s Carrot shake with organic carrot juice, coconut milk ice cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

765 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas

Moncai Vegan

Aspiring vegans should head here for approachable comfort food like nacho salad, faux chicken and cheddar biscuits, and falafel waffles. There’s also an impressive array of house-made desserts and sweets, like cake, cinnamon rolls, and donut ice cream sandwiches.

3531 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights

Peace Pies

The raw, vegan, organic, and gluten-free dishes prepared here are a great way to rebalance your diet. The good news? With so many tasty items to choose from, your mouth won’t mind one bit. Don’t miss the cosmic coconut cream pie—it’s out of this world!

4230 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach

133 Daphne Street, Encinitas

Plant Power Fast Food

This quick-service spot in Ocean Beach proves that burgers, fries, and shakes can be part of a balanced diet, as long as they’re made with the right ingredients. A second outpost is slated to open in a former Burger King space in Encinitas soon.

2204 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, Ocean Beach


When you’re craving Thai flavors but want to stay away from meat, this neighborhood spot in University Heights is a wise choice. Dishes can be prepared with a choice of faux meats, veggies, or tofu. Try the pumpkin curry with eggplant and bell peppers.

4661 Park Boulevard, University Heights

Fitness Fuel: Where to Find Healthy Food in San Diego

Fitness Fuel: Where to Find Healthy Food in San Diego



If you can stop yourself from wolfing down a basket of chips, it is possible to eat healthy at this Mexican standby. The spaghetti squash fideos with soy chorizo and avocado crema are a tasty plant-based option with just the right amount of healthy fat.

789 W Harbor Drive, Marina District

1026 Wall Street, La Jolla

The Purple Mint

Offering a diverse array of creative dishes with an Asian twist, this cozy, family-owned eatery offers health-conscious fare in a chic setting nestled in an unassuming strip mall. Standout eats include the jackfruit salad, black rice pasta in coconut milk, and avocado “egg-less” rolls.

6171 Mission Gorge Road, Grantville

Seasons 52

It’s easy to keep track of calories at this healthy chain that puts nutritional info right in front of your eyes. Cozy fire-pit seating, choice happy hour deals, and a wine list featuring 52 varieties available by the glass come together to seal the deal.

4505 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla

789 West Harbor Drive #134, Marina District

Sipz Vegetarian Fuzion Cafe

Fans keep coming back to this family-owned vegetarian spot for fun fusion fare like chow mein, Thai curry, and over two dozen varieties of vegetarian sushi, including the Sipz Dynamite roll with avocado, cucumber, tofu, and imitation crab baked in spicy house sauce.

5501 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Kearny Mesa

Sol Cal Café

Energizing eats like baked sweet potatoes loaded with chili and sautéed kale, poke bowls, and avocado toast satisfy guests seeking filling fare that doesn’t skimp on flavor. For a post-workout treat, the Lean Green Smoothie with Sprout Living Green Kingdom Protein is the way to go.

910 J Street, East Village

Trilogy Sanctuary

This La Jolla locale is a triple threat, offering yoga and aerial arts classes alongside a nourishing array of plant-based organic fare like sunflower sprout raw pizza, portobello enchiladas, and must-try desserts like vegan cheesecake and buckwheat crepes.

7650 Girard Avenue #401, La Jolla

True Food Kitchen

The comprehensive menu—spanning pizza, tacos, bowls, sandwiches, and antioxidant-packed desserts—means there’s something for everyone at this health-driven spot with an open kitchen and spacious, semi-covered patio in Fashion Valley Mall. Like a designer boutique, dishes change with the season, so there’s always something fresh to discover.

7007 Friars Road #394, Mission Valley

Wholesome Sips

Banana Dang

Oceanside’s first craft coffee bar offers all of the expected espresso-based beverages alongside a slate of thick and creamy smoothies that all contain banana. The Green Tea Dang with matcha, banana, and cinnamon is a great choice for a post- workout treat.

115 S Coast Highway, Oceanside

Beaming Organic Superfood Café

Organic cold-pressed juices, elixirs crafted with nutrient-dense superfoods, and oodles of smoothies await at these mod juice shops. Mix things up with the Bootie Burn, a metabolism-boosting beverage made with whole grapefruit, pineapple, coconut nectar, and a sprinkle of chili flakes.

Locations in La Jolla, Del Mar, and La Costa

Bootstrap Kombucha

Stop into this compact shop for seasonal and signature flavors of kombucha brewed in small batches with local, organic ingredients. The beet, apple, and ginger flavor is a tasty choice with a pleasant balance of sweet, spicy, and earthy.

4085 Pacific Hwy #105b, Middletown

Fitness Fuel: Where to Find Healthy Food in San Diego

Fitness Fuel: Where to Find Healthy Food in San Diego


Holy Matcha

Head to this chic space in North Park for an uplifting matcha latte. The grass-green beverage contains over 100 times the antioxidants of a regular brewed green tea, plus amino acid L-theanine, which helps boost memory and concentration and can reduce anxiety.

3118 University Avenue, North Park

Juice Crafters

Green juice fanatics will appreciate this shop’s extensive selection of healthy beverages blended with so many leafy greens it’s like drinking a salad. The addition of pineapple, turmeric, and ginger makes the Greenest 3.5 one of the more well-rounded options.

Locations in Little Italy, Coronado, La Jolla and Hillcrest


With nine locations in San Diego from East Village to San Marcos, you’re never too far to get your fix. We’re sweet on the Pink Flamingo, a smoothie spun with pitaya, strawberry, pineapple, agave nectar, and coconut water.

Multiple locations

Fitness Fuel: Where to Find Healthy Food in San Diego

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