San Diego, CA

Best Healthy San Diego Restaurants for People With Dietary Restrictions

Mike Peterson

Eating out when you have dietary restrictions or food allergies can be challenging, but it gets a lot easier if you choose the right restaurant.

As one of the healthiest cities in the United States, San Diego has a culture focused on health, wellness, and fitness. That’s why it’s relatively easy to find restaurants, cafes, and more that can easily accommodate dietary preferences and food sensitivities.

Whether you want to reduce your climate impact by eating less meat and animal products or you’re trying an elimination diet based on a food sensitivity test, here are some of the best restaurants in San Diego perfect for your needs.

1. Great Maple

Address: 1451 Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday - Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday & Sunday (Dinner hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday)

Phone: (619) 255-2282

Website: https://thegreatmaple.com/

Looks can be deceiving at Great Maple. This diner screams 1950s diner chic, which brings to mind greasy food. However, this restaurant serves elevated American fare, including gluten-free and vegetarian options. The chef can also modify dishes to fit the dietary needs of guests.

2. Cafe Gratitude

Address: 1980 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day

Phone: (619) 255-2282

Website: https://cafegratitude.com/pages/san-diego

Cafe Gratitude is a Los Angeles area chain with a branch in San Diego. This cafe offers a variety of creative plant-based meals for both vegan and vegetarian customers. Additionally, it has many menu items that are entirely gluten-free and more that can be modified to be gluten-free.

3. Nectarine Grove

Address: 948 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday - Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

Phone: (760) 944-4525

Website: https://nectarinegrove.com/

Nectarine Grove in Encinitas is a health-conscious eatery with options for various dietary restrictions. In addition to being 100% gluten-free and organic, the restaurant also has plant-based- and paleo-friendly options. Try the cinnamon rolls, which are raved about across North County.

4. True Food Kitchen

Address: 7007 Friars Rd Suite 394, San Diego, CA 92108

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

Phone: (619) 810-2929

Website: https://www.truefoodkitchen.com/locations/sandiego

This healthy restaurant is eco-friendly and creates seasonally-inspired eats completely from scratch. Many of their options are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free. And even better, they can customize menu items to be keto or paleo.

5. Second Nature

Address: 5026 Cass St, San Diego, CA 92109

Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday - Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday

Phone: (858) 247-5236

Website: https://secondnaturepb.com

Second Nature in San Diego is a health-conscious cafe in an eco-inspired setting. It boasts a full menu of both plant-based and vegetarian fare, as well as gluten-free options. Their spacious patio can also provide a beautiful setting for your healthy meal.

6. Trilogy Sanctuary

Address: 7650 Girard Ave Suite 400, La Jolla, CA 92037

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day

Phone: (858) 633-3893

Website: https://www.trilogysanctuary.com

Trilogy Sanctuary is a unique location on this list. For one, it’s a rooftop cafe in La Jolla that offers a range of organic, plant-based, and gluten-free cuisines. In addition to ocean views and nutrient-packed smoothies, Trilogy Sanctuary is also a yoga studio so that you can find some Zen before or after your meal.

7. Powerhaus Wholesome Pizza & Eats

Address: 1550 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Phone: (858) 886-7666

Website: https://www.powerhauspizza.com

Sometimes you want pizza, and you probably know that it can be hard to find pizza that fits dietary restrictions. Luckily, there’s Powerhaus in Pacific Beach. This pizzeria crafts its pies from wholesome ingredients, including high-protein crusts, naturally raised meat, and rBST-free dairy. They also offer both vegan and gluten-free options.

8. Freshii

Address: 1380 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday - Wednesday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday & Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

Phone: (858) 886-7666

Website: https://www.freshii.com/us

Freshii is a Canada-based, fast-casual chain that offers a range of healthy menu items, including salads, wraps, soups, and burritos. Their menu sports a range of both vegetarian and gluten-free options, with item customization also available. If you have room for dessert, they also have frozen yogurt.

9. GOODONYA Organic Eatery

Address: 1051 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday - Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday - Saturday

Phone: (858) 264-8550

Website: https://goodonyaorganic.com/

This is a 100% organic eatery with a sleek and modern vibe. They have everything from non-GMO pizzas to rice bowls. Their options are organic and made with no — or very little — sugar. Although they don’t focus on labels like “vegan” or “paleo,” customers with dietary restrictions will have plenty of options here.

10. Plumeria

Address: 4661 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116

Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday - Friday (lunch), 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday (dinner), 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday (dinner), 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday

Phone: (858) 886-7666

Website: https://www.myplumeria.com/

If you have a craving for Thai food, you might want to give Plumeria a shot. This University Heights spot has a full range of Thai dishes made entirely without fish sauces or animal products. That means all of their dishes are either vegan or vegetarian, and they also have a gluten-free menu.

11. KINDRED

Address: 1503 30th St, San Diego, CA 92102

Hours: 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday - Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday & Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday & Sunday (brunch), 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday (dinner), 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday (dinner)

Phone: (858) 886-7666

Website: https://barkindred.com/

KINDRED is as much an experience as it is a health restaurant. This is a whimsical and artistic location that serves up plant-based fare and death metal music. Although the combination might be odd, you’ll find a range of gluten-free options and made without any animal products.

12. Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar

Address: 765 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Phone: (760) 479-1977

Website: https://www.lotuscafeandjuicebar.com/

If you’re looking for healthy eats in North San Diego County, consider Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar. This much-loved restaurant has a menu packed full of items made with carefully chosen ingredients. You’ll have no trouble finding vegetarian, plant-based, or gluten-free options here.

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Mike Peterson is a journalist, editor, and yoga teacher based in North San Diego County. He's a fan of indie bookstores, local craft beers, and excellent tacos.

San Diego, CA
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