clock menu more-arrow no yes
Puesto
Kelly Bone

19 Vegan Tacos To Try in San Diego

Vegetables take the spotlight in this quintessential San Diego dish

View as Map
Puesto
| Kelly Bone

In a city flush with tacos, finding good vegan taco can be a challenge. Discernible vegetables and vegan proteins tucked into folds of tortilla (or sometimes jicama) are popping up throughout the county. Built without meat or cheese, these 19 options in San Diego prove that vegetables under good salsa or a fat slice of avocado can carry a meal a long way.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. El Veganito

Copy Link
401 Pier View Way
Oceanside, CA 92054

A line always forms under the “Vegan Mexican Food” banner rising from the crowd at the Oceanside Sunset Market. At the grill, Victor Gamboa braises Jackfruit Carnitas, crumbles Adobada spiced soy under fresh cilantro and onions, and crisps up vegan fish for his cabbage dressed Phish Tacos.

El Veganito
Kelly Bone

2. Craft and Taco Lounge

Copy Link
511 W Valley Pkwy
Escondido, CA 92025
(442) 999-5858
Visit Website

At Craft and Taco Lounge (or C.A.T Lounge which explains the pointy ears adorning the menu) Chef Héctor Lozano brings his sushi chef sensibility to tacos. The vegan options begins with a Cauliflower Taco, a salad-like concoction of florets laid with arugula, apples, and lemon oil over thinly sliced jicama. Other choices include the Vegan Pastor with grilled pineapple and Buffalo Zucchini drizzled in vegan ranch.

Craft and Taco Lounge
Kelly Bone

3. Haggo's Organic Taco

Copy Link
1302 N Coast Hwy 101 #101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 753-6000
Visit Website

Along the Encinitas stretch of Coast Highway, James Haggard’s modern incarnation of Haggo’s offers three vegan tacos, all of which are 100% organic. The Veronica Corningstone, much like the namesake Anchorman 2 character, is a standout. A hidden base of sweet potato supports tumbling red quinoa, avocado, vegan cheese, and fresh salsa cruda.

Haggo’s Organic Taco
Kelly Bone

4. Tocaya Organica

Copy Link
4301 La Jolla Village Dr #2003
San Diego, CA 92122
(858) 333-7920
Visit Website

Tocaya Organica, a high-design counter service Los Angeles-based chain now boasts two San Diego locations. Here all taco start vegan—from the Baja with shaved cabbage and vega chipotle crema, to the Tulum with sweet grilled pineapple and spicy arbol salsa. Vegan protein choices include cubed adobo spiced tofu, vegan chicken, and a richly seasoned Beyond Meat-based picadillo stew.

5. Galaxy Taco

Copy Link
2259 Avenida De La Playa
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 228-5655
Visit Website

Galaxy Tacos are built, tortilla up, from scratch. The breezy La Jolla Shores patio serves two vegetarian tacos that can be modified vegan. Favorites include Chef Trey Foshee’s Grilled Avocado set on a swath of bean puree, with corn and a splash of lime.

Galaxy Taco
Kelly Bone

6. Puesto La Jolla

Copy Link
1026 Wall St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-1260
Visit Website

Chef Luisteen Gonzalez’s plant-based menu omits the cheese from his popular Mexico City-style tacos, allowing the delicate flavors of vegetables to shine. The Mushroom Taco is a work of art with garlic braised morels and beec, dressed in pink pickled onions, sweet and spicy stone fruit serrano salsa, and delicate hearts on fire leaves. The Verduras Taco—a sautee of rajas, tatume squash, potatoes, corn, and nopales—arrives under a lobe of avocado with a fluttering zucchini blossom.

Puesto
Kelly Bone

7. HI Street Kitchen and Tap

Copy Link
7767 Balboa Ave
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 430-6815
Visit Website

Spinning off the popular vegetarian restaurant Sipz, restaurateur Sylvia Le has hit her stride with the flavors of Hawaii. The Kickin’ Krispy Tacos comes filled with her signature vegan chicken under purple slaw and gochujang aioli with a drizzle of sriracha. Similarly, the Kalbi Kine Tacos come with deep fried vegan shrimp and saaw under wasabi aioli with a side of cabbage laced fried rice.

HI Street Kitchen and Tap
Kelly Bone

8. City Tacos

Copy Link
8325 La Mesa Blvd
La Mesa, CA 91942
(619) 467-7999
Visit Website

In the heart of La Mesa local chain City Tacos offers two vegan tacos. Thin sheets of jicama stand in for tortillas under spinach, cauliflower, and green beans on the Coliflor Taco. A soft corn tortilla cradles chunky baby cremini and pasilla chilies in the Portobello and Vegetable taco (hold the cheese to make this one vegan). 

City Tacos
Kelly Bone

9. Ponce's

Copy Link
4050 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 282-4413
Visit Website

Looming on the edge of Kensington, Ponce’s is a neighborhood mainstay. At first glance the menu doesn’t offer much for vegans, but the kitchen recently started stocking Impossible Meat which can be substituted into any dish for +$1. The seasoned crumbles fit snugly into the Mini Street Taco topped with avocado salsa. The Vegetarian Street Taco—with potatoes, pepper, mushroom, squash, and corn—is also vegan as-is. 

Ponce’s
Kelly Bone

10. FaVe Tacos

Copy Link
3960 Normal St
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 299-3330
Visit Website

FaVe Taco’s Elizabeth Cramer sources her vegetables at the farmer’s markets she serves. Her ancho braised Mountain Meadow mushroom are a year-round favorite, while selections like roasted Rodney Kawano Farms Rainbow Cauliflower and Squash and Sweet Corn pop up at their peak season. The tacos are finished in scratch-made toppings like almond jalapeno lime crema, sweet and spicy Valdivia Farms apple radish slaw, and house-made salda verde.

FaVe Tacos
Kelly Bone

11. Ranchos Cocina

Copy Link
3910 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 574-1288
Visit Website

An astounding amount of North Park’s Ranchos Cocina can made vegan including nearly every taco. From corn tortillas stuffed with classic nopales all the way to battered vegan shrimp, there is little off limit to vegans on this 100+ item menu.

Ranchos Cocina
Kelly Bone

12. Hugo's Cocina

Copy Link
1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 892-7882
Visit Website

At this very vegan-friendly Ocean Beach outpost, a stalk of battered tempeh steps into the vegan version of their Fish Taco. Other choices include sweet potato taco, vegan chicken, carne asada seasoned seitan under a fury of cabbage and vegan cheese.

Hugo’s Cocina
Kelly Bone

13. El Jardín Cantina

Copy Link
2885 Perry Rd
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 795-2322
Visit Website

El Jardin Cantina’s menu offers a notable number of vegan options, a signature of most Rise and Shine’s restaurants. Among the choices is the Portobello Mushroom Taco. Crescents of mushroom fill the blue corn tortilla finished with with guacamole, grilled jalapeno, molcajete salsa (roasted tomato and chipotle adobo), grilled onions, and cilantro.

14. Vegan Tacos SD

Copy Link
3030 Grape Street
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 632-2027

On the edge of a Target parking lot a white food truck bluntly states “Vegan Tacos.” Although they carry more than tacos (like the notable tortas), they are San Diego’s the main source of vegan birria—a spiced stew stringy with enoki mushrooms—tacos. The classic asada taco comes with minced soy meat under cilantro and guacamole while their most popular taco, the Ensenada, arrives with battered and fried portabellos under purple cabbage and chipotle mayo.

Vegan Tacos SD
Kelly Bone

15. Pokez Mexican Restaurant

Copy Link
947 E St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 702-7160

One of San Diego earliest vegan-friendly restaurants, this multi-generational restaurant is now run by its namesake, Alfonzo “Pokey” Reyes. A favorite combination at this East Village icon is the mash-up of San Diego Soy Dairy herbed tofu into silky seasoned potato and earthy mushrooms. The filling is amply stuffed into paper swaddled taco and served with Pokez’s famous cabbage salad. 

Pokez Mexican Restaurant
Kelly Bone

16. Lola 55

Copy Link
1290 F St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 542-9155
Visit Website

Frank Vizcarra and chef Drew Bent may have been surprised to win Michelin’s Bib Gourmand, but anyone who has eaten at Lola 55 was not. With concentrated obsession the kitchen chars cauliflower, plumps sweet golden raisins, and turns thin cuts of eggplant into “bacon” to build a taco experience not often gifted to vegetables. The Stuffed Squash Blossom, one of the restaurant’s most popular tacos, fills the delicate squash petals with almond cheese, sealed with a light batter and fry. The unassuming blossom is set with beet soyrizo, poblano salsa, and potato skin chicharron and arrives ready to bust diner’s expectation of vegan tacos.

Lola 55
Kelly Bone

17. MishMash

Copy Link
1805 Newton Ave
San Diego, CA 92113
(619) 955-8544
Visit Website

Asada spiced chopped tempeh fill the Vegan Tempeh Tacos at Barrio Logan’s MishMash. Chef Doug Cook finishes the tacos with a burst of cabbage under chipotle cream and guacamole. Served with savory soyrizo refried beans and your choice of hot sauce from the cart next to the door.

MishMash
Kelly Bone

18. ¡Salud! National City

Copy Link
2333 Highland Ave
National City, CA 91950
(619) 434-6464
Visit Website

When Ernie Becerra’s taquizas (street taco catering) was ready to set roots in Barrio Logan, the vegan options were brought along as well. Options include the Mushroom Taco brimming with sauteed portabella and nopal with avocado (hold the cheese, not available at the National City location) and the Veggie Taco filled with a mash of soyrizo potato topped with bell pepper onion, zucchini with avocado. The crunch of chili oil added depth of texture for those who can handle the heat. 

¡Salud!
Kelly Bone

19. Taco Lounge

Copy Link
1924 E Palomar St #101
Chula Vista, CA 91913
(619) 600-4489
Visit Website

Eastlake vegans know to hit up Taco Lounge for their portabello tacos on handmade tortillas. Served mild under guacamole, the salad bar offers kicks of habanero and birria salsa.

1. El Veganito

401 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054
El Veganito
Kelly Bone

A line always forms under the “Vegan Mexican Food” banner rising from the crowd at the Oceanside Sunset Market. At the grill, Victor Gamboa braises Jackfruit Carnitas, crumbles Adobada spiced soy under fresh cilantro and onions, and crisps up vegan fish for his cabbage dressed Phish Tacos.

401 Pier View Way
Oceanside, CA 92054

2. Craft and Taco Lounge

511 W Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92025
Craft and Taco Lounge
Kelly Bone

At Craft and Taco Lounge (or C.A.T Lounge which explains the pointy ears adorning the menu) Chef Héctor Lozano brings his sushi chef sensibility to tacos. The vegan options begins with a Cauliflower Taco, a salad-like concoction of florets laid with arugula, apples, and lemon oil over thinly sliced jicama. Other choices include the Vegan Pastor with grilled pineapple and Buffalo Zucchini drizzled in vegan ranch.

511 W Valley Pkwy
Escondido, CA 92025

3. Haggo's Organic Taco

1302 N Coast Hwy 101 #101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Haggo’s Organic Taco
Kelly Bone

Along the Encinitas stretch of Coast Highway, James Haggard’s modern incarnation of Haggo’s offers three vegan tacos, all of which are 100% organic. The Veronica Corningstone, much like the namesake Anchorman 2 character, is a standout. A hidden base of sweet potato supports tumbling red quinoa, avocado, vegan cheese, and fresh salsa cruda.

1302 N Coast Hwy 101 #101
Encinitas, CA 92024

4. Tocaya Organica

4301 La Jolla Village Dr #2003, San Diego, CA 92122

Tocaya Organica, a high-design counter service Los Angeles-based chain now boasts two San Diego locations. Here all taco start vegan—from the Baja with shaved cabbage and vega chipotle crema, to the Tulum with sweet grilled pineapple and spicy arbol salsa. Vegan protein choices include cubed adobo spiced tofu, vegan chicken, and a richly seasoned Beyond Meat-based picadillo stew.

4301 La Jolla Village Dr #2003
San Diego, CA 92122

5. Galaxy Taco

2259 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037
Galaxy Taco
Kelly Bone

Galaxy Tacos are built, tortilla up, from scratch. The breezy La Jolla Shores patio serves two vegetarian tacos that can be modified vegan. Favorites include Chef Trey Foshee’s Grilled Avocado set on a swath of bean puree, with corn and a splash of lime.

2259 Avenida De La Playa
La Jolla, CA 92037

6. Puesto La Jolla

1026 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Puesto
Kelly Bone

Chef Luisteen Gonzalez’s plant-based menu omits the cheese from his popular Mexico City-style tacos, allowing the delicate flavors of vegetables to shine. The Mushroom Taco is a work of art with garlic braised morels and beec, dressed in pink pickled onions, sweet and spicy stone fruit serrano salsa, and delicate hearts on fire leaves. The Verduras Taco—a sautee of rajas, tatume squash, potatoes, corn, and nopales—arrives under a lobe of avocado with a fluttering zucchini blossom.

1026 Wall St
La Jolla, CA 92037

7. HI Street Kitchen and Tap

7767 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA 92111
HI Street Kitchen and Tap
Kelly Bone

Spinning off the popular vegetarian restaurant Sipz, restaurateur Sylvia Le has hit her stride with the flavors of Hawaii. The Kickin’ Krispy Tacos comes filled with her signature vegan chicken under purple slaw and gochujang aioli with a drizzle of sriracha. Similarly, the Kalbi Kine Tacos come with deep fried vegan shrimp and saaw under wasabi aioli with a side of cabbage laced fried rice.

7767 Balboa Ave
San Diego, CA 92111

8. City Tacos

8325 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942
City Tacos
Kelly Bone

In the heart of La Mesa local chain City Tacos offers two vegan tacos. Thin sheets of jicama stand in for tortillas under spinach, cauliflower, and green beans on the Coliflor Taco. A soft corn tortilla cradles chunky baby cremini and pasilla chilies in the Portobello and Vegetable taco (hold the cheese to make this one vegan). 

8325 La Mesa Blvd
La Mesa, CA 91942

9. Ponce's

4050 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Ponce’s
Kelly Bone

Looming on the edge of Kensington, Ponce’s is a neighborhood mainstay. At first glance the menu doesn’t offer much for vegans, but the kitchen recently started stocking Impossible Meat which can be substituted into any dish for +$1. The seasoned crumbles fit snugly into the Mini Street Taco topped with avocado salsa. The Vegetarian Street Taco—with potatoes, pepper, mushroom, squash, and corn—is also vegan as-is. 

4050 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

10. FaVe Tacos

3960 Normal St, San Diego, CA 92103
FaVe Tacos
Kelly Bone

FaVe Taco’s Elizabeth Cramer sources her vegetables at the farmer’s markets she serves. Her ancho braised Mountain Meadow mushroom are a year-round favorite, while selections like roasted Rodney Kawano Farms Rainbow Cauliflower and Squash and Sweet Corn pop up at their peak season. The tacos are finished in scratch-made toppings like almond jalapeno lime crema, sweet and spicy Valdivia Farms apple radish slaw, and house-made salda verde.

3960 Normal St
San Diego, CA 92103

11. Ranchos Cocina

3910 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
Ranchos Cocina
Kelly Bone

An astounding amount of North Park’s Ranchos Cocina can made vegan including nearly every taco. From corn tortillas stuffed with classic nopales all the way to battered vegan shrimp, there is little off limit to vegans on this 100+ item menu.

3910 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

12. Hugo's Cocina

1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107
Hugo’s Cocina
Kelly Bone

At this very vegan-friendly Ocean Beach outpost, a stalk of battered tempeh steps into the vegan version of their Fish Taco. Other choices include sweet potato taco, vegan chicken, carne asada seasoned seitan under a fury of cabbage and vegan cheese.

1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd
San Diego, CA 92107

13. El Jardín Cantina

2885 Perry Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

El Jardin Cantina’s menu offers a notable number of vegan options, a signature of most Rise and Shine’s restaurants. Among the choices is the Portobello Mushroom Taco. Crescents of mushroom fill the blue corn tortilla finished with with guacamole, grilled jalapeno, molcajete salsa (roasted tomato and chipotle adobo), grilled onions, and cilantro.

2885 Perry Rd
San Diego, CA 92106

14. Vegan Tacos SD

3030 Grape Street, San Diego, CA 92102
Vegan Tacos SD
Kelly Bone

On the edge of a Target parking lot a white food truck bluntly states “Vegan Tacos.” Although they carry more than tacos (like the notable tortas), they are San Diego’s the main source of vegan birria—a spiced stew stringy with enoki mushrooms—tacos. The classic asada taco comes with minced soy meat under cilantro and guacamole while their most popular taco, the Ensenada, arrives with battered and fried portabellos under purple cabbage and chipotle mayo.

3030 Grape Street
San Diego, CA 92102

15. Pokez Mexican Restaurant

947 E St, San Diego, CA 92101
Pokez Mexican Restaurant
Kelly Bone

One of San Diego earliest vegan-friendly restaurants, this multi-generational restaurant is now run by its namesake, Alfonzo “Pokey” Reyes. A favorite combination at this East Village icon is the mash-up of San Diego Soy Dairy herbed tofu into silky seasoned potato and earthy mushrooms. The filling is amply stuffed into paper swaddled taco and served with Pokez’s famous cabbage salad. 

947 E St
San Diego, CA 92101

Related Maps

16. Lola 55

1290 F St, San Diego, CA 92101
Lola 55
Kelly Bone

Frank Vizcarra and chef Drew Bent may have been surprised to win Michelin’s Bib Gourmand, but anyone who has eaten at Lola 55 was not. With concentrated obsession the kitchen chars cauliflower, plumps sweet golden raisins, and turns thin cuts of eggplant into “bacon” to build a taco experience not often gifted to vegetables. The Stuffed Squash Blossom, one of the restaurant’s most popular tacos, fills the delicate squash petals with almond cheese, sealed with a light batter and fry. The unassuming blossom is set with beet soyrizo, poblano salsa, and potato skin chicharron and arrives ready to bust diner’s expectation of vegan tacos.

1290 F St
San Diego, CA 92101

17. MishMash

1805 Newton Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
MishMash
Kelly Bone

Asada spiced chopped tempeh fill the Vegan Tempeh Tacos at Barrio Logan’s MishMash. Chef Doug Cook finishes the tacos with a burst of cabbage under chipotle cream and guacamole. Served with savory soyrizo refried beans and your choice of hot sauce from the cart next to the door.

1805 Newton Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

18. ¡Salud! National City

2333 Highland Ave, National City, CA 91950
¡Salud!
Kelly Bone

When Ernie Becerra’s taquizas (street taco catering) was ready to set roots in Barrio Logan, the vegan options were brought along as well. Options include the Mushroom Taco brimming with sauteed portabella and nopal with avocado (hold the cheese, not available at the National City location) and the Veggie Taco filled with a mash of soyrizo potato topped with bell pepper onion, zucchini with avocado. The crunch of chili oil added depth of texture for those who can handle the heat. 

2333 Highland Ave
National City, CA 91950

19. Taco Lounge

1924 E Palomar St #101, Chula Vista, CA 91913

Eastlake vegans know to hit up Taco Lounge for their portabello tacos on handmade tortillas. Served mild under guacamole, the salad bar offers kicks of habanero and birria salsa.

1924 E Palomar St #101
Chula Vista, CA 91913

Related Maps