One of several San Diego locations, this earthy restaurant serves globally inspired breakfast and lunch dishes. Go for sweet custom pancakes or savory egg scrambles to pair with organic coffee. Their salads, wraps and bowls are veggie-forward, but you’ll also find grilled chicken and steak tenderloin too. We love their signature carrot ginger soup, especially on an overcast day.
Gluten-free guys and girls, rejoice! You’ll find 100% gluten-free, locally sourced dishes at this colorful cafe with a cheeky logo. Breakfast is served all day, along with tacos, salads, bowls, pizzas, and smoothies. Enjoy a butter coffee, bone broth or boozy beverage inside or on their dog-friendly patio. We also love their grab and go case packed with drinks, snacks and heartier options if you’re in a hurry.
Just glancing at this menu will make feel healthier. GOODONYA is North County’s allergen-friendly organic eatery that has built up a cult-like following. Veggie scrambles, avocado toasts and more make up the breakfast menu, while sandwiches, wraps and Mexican food favorites round out the lunch fare. Burgers, roasted chicken dishes and salads are added to the dinner menu, which pair well with a glass of biodynamic wine.
For a cozy, comfy place that will give you the warm fuzzies, check out Claire’s. A converted home with seating on the front porch and in the back garden offers plenty of seats that will make you want to curl up and stay a while. Grab a fresh squeezed orange juice to go with an omelet. There’s a lot of variety on the lunch menu, including a friend green tomato sandwich and roasted lamb tacos. Pop in the coffee shop next door, aptly named Claire’s Too, while you wait for a table.
If you’re eating strictly paleo, keto or similar, this spot is for you. Located in Flower Hill Promenade, Flower Child will appeal to your eyes and taste buds alike. Pick a salad, wrap or bowl, add a protein and one (or two) of their awe-inspiring sides: indian spiced cauliflower, yuzu brussels sprouts and red chili glazed sweet potato are just a few dishes waiting for you. Top it off with a kombucha from the tap, seasonal sangria, or a glass of vino, and you’ve got a party!
Trilogy is known for their aerial yoga classes and vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free cafe. Did you get all that? Their menu is impressive, with 12 smoothies, tons of shareable plates, tacos, pasta and more. Seasonal specials, decadent raw desserts and sweet and savory breakfast options will make your decision on what to order a little difficult, in a good way.
The Latin / Asian fusion recipes on the menu at Isabel’s are full of flavor. Chicken, carnitas, tofu, and soy chorizo are all available to please picky eaters, served in bowl, taco, and tamale form. We’re partial to the coconut rice and crispy plantains that come with many of Isabel’s meals. The mimosas are also a real treat; try the kale pineapple or tangerine hibiscus variations, all made fresh in house.
What Little Lion lacks in space, it makes up for in storybook-level charm. The small cafe has only a few cozy tables inside, and two tables out front if you’re lucky enough to snag one. Classic dishes like eggs benedict and a belgian waffle are on the menu, but we love the creative meatless options like the spirulina chia seed pudding, baked green eggs and veggie-packed Californian sandwich. Treat yourself to a turmeric latte or brunch cocktail before exploring nearby Sunset Cliffs.
Peace Pies is a raw vegan cafe that’s ‘granola’ place on this list. Blink and you might drive past the eco-friendly restaurant. A kelp noodle mushroom stroganoff, sunflower seed tuna pate wrap, and sundried tomato and walnut burger are just a few creative items available for lunch and dinner. Don’t forget to save room for one of their homemade desserts like a brownie, fruit bar, slice of pie, or a cookie.
This local favorite was obviously designed with Instagram in mind. The Little Italy location just radiates happiness, from brightly colored wallpaper to edible flower-flecked food. Breakfast is served all day at the vegan and gluten-free friendly bistro; matcha waffles, shakshuka and avocado toast are a few options. Try a trendy coffee with lavender syrup, collagen or adaptogens as fuel for your day.
Mendocino Farms (Opening January)
This upscale sandwich market is taking over the West Coast, and we’re so excited they are adding a location downtown. Grab a sandwich on fresh artisanal bread or a giant salad; there’s always a few new seasonal specials as well. The deli sides are what make Mendocino Farms a winner: you’re free to sample any of them, like the roasted moroccan spiced carrot salad or curry couscous.
There’s a little bit of everything at this casual neighborhood cafe. Dine under a striped umbrella and people watch while enjoying homemade quiche or an egg scramble. Salads, sandwiches, wraps and paninis are offered during lunch and dinner; the mediterranean-inspired pitas sound enticing, too. Locals love this friendly spot that’s been in business for over 15 years.