Civico 1845

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 25 reviews )
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619-431-5990
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1845 India St, San Diego, California, USA, 92101

Serves meat, vegan options available. An Italian-run restaurant in San Diego's Little Italy since 2015. Offers a separate vegan items menu which includes dishes like spinach ravioli, lasagna, fried mushrooms, cheese substitute, and desserts. Makes pasta in-house. Open Mon-Thu 11:00am-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-11:00pm, Sun 12:00pm-10:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Italian, Beer/Wine, Non-veg

25 Reviews

First Review by vsvihla

Fantastico! - Edit

This place is amazing! We sit down and are immediately greeted with fresh bread and VEGAN pesto. They also serve each table with the “regular” as well as the vegan menu- even without asking for it. The food was amazing! Must try the vegan mushroom calamari! Can’t wait to come back!

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deserves 5 star review - Edit

Such a great find to have a separate FULL vegan menu in Little Italy! We ordered every app (except the soup) and the calamari was unreal! The eggplant parm portion was small (didn’t come with pasta), but the pasta linguine rigatoni was great! Also had several dessert options for vegans like a strawberry cake ❤️

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So Good! - Edit

This restaurant was the best Italian I have ever experienced. They have an omnivorous menu, and then a separate fully vegan menu with more options than we were expecting. I had the eggplant “parm” type dish that had a vegan mozzarella on top. It was amazing. My husband loved the vegan lasagna.

Pros: Beautiful Little Italy location, Dedicated vegan menu, Super tasty

Cons: A bit spendy for some, Might need reservations

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high price, small serving, decent flavor - Edit

Definitely appreciate the vegan menu but got only 5 ravioli for $16. Taste was ok.

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Excellent Vegan Menu - Edit

I love Italian food and this place lives up to expectations. Not a big fan of vegan cheese yet the mozzarella is sooooo good! The “calamari” mushrooms are phenomenal, never would have imagined such a dish.

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yes!!! - Edit

Wonderful food! Super easy to order and great staff! Loved every bite

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I’m in love - Edit

This restaurant was amazing. Probably the best Italian I’ve had ever seeing as normally I would have to order pizza sans cheese or just boxed pasta with red sauce. They house make the pasta which really is amazing. Everything about this place from the fountain outside, the indoor and outdoor seating, the ambience- I cannot recommend this place enough. I was lucky enough to be staying at a hotel just a four minute walk from this place and I basically had to be rolled home I ate so much food. We had a bottle of wine, an app, two entrees and two desserts and our bill was $100. I thought it was incredibly cheap for the quality and amount of food. The one I will say is our food came out almost a little too fast so we were in and out of the restaurant in an hour but really a minor complaint. This place was really popular so I recommend a reservation. It was so lively and full that a wine glass broke by the bar and literally no one noticed. Just felt like a very special place.

Pros: Authentic Italian , Ambiance , Service

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must try for anyone that likes Italian - Edit

This is the real deal, as good as it gets Italian food. Everything on the vegan menu is awesome. I've had it all, but my favorites are still the bruschetta and lasagne. Its worth it to get appetizers, entree, and dessert if that's your jush. Only had one less than positive experience when the ladyfingers in the tiramisu were really hard, but every other time it's been perfect.

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I love Civico 1845 - Edit

I wanted to give this place 5 stars, but I couldn't...So just know it's 5 stars in my heart! I don't have any friends who are vegan, so this is the perfect place to them all. They have an extensive non-vegan menu, which makes them happy, and a separate vegan menu, which makes me happy!! They have appetizers, delicious entrees, and vegan desserts. The wine list even marks which wines are vegan! At this point, I've tried all the entrees and I have nothing bad to say about any of them. To be honest, I haven't tried any of the desserts because I've been too full and satisfied from the table bread and pasta! Next time I'll have to order dessert first... I love the atmosphere of the restaurant, and it's so nice to sit outside on a Friday, summer evening and watch the people walking around Little Italy. Love love love

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Excellent vegan options, authentic Italian - Edit

Since its opening, Civico 1845 has offered a thoughtful vegan menu that is made from the heart by vegan chef and part-owner, Pietro Gallo. Pietro is an ethical vegan who has gone to great lengths to ensure no cross-contamination in this vegan-friendly kitchen. Rest assured when dining here. The lasagna is INCREDIBLE, and the pistachio gelato is the BEST vegan dessert in San Diego. This is a great place to dine when in the Downtown San Diego area, or when dining with omnivores.

Pros: Authentic Italian , DELICIOUS, Strict procedures to ensure no cross-contamination

Cons: Parking can be a challenge

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An Incredible Taste of Italy - Edit

Before our trip to San Diego, I read about Civico 1845, and loved how the owners were really bringing the flavors and recipes from Italy. The separate vegan menu made ordering easy, and when we were served fresh bread with really quality olive oil, we knew this place didn't mess around with anything but the best quality ingredients (we should know - our tastebuds wait for our annual delivery of olive oil from a family farm in Umbria)

We started with two appetizers - the mushroom calamari and caprese mozzarella. The calamari was reminiscent of the seafood version, and the dipping sauce was on point. If you don't love fried food, go straight for the caprese. Each ingredient in this simple dish was phenomenal. The heirloom tomatoes were colorful and flavorful, the rice-milk mozzarella had an interesting and unexpected texture, but the flavor was exactly what I had hoped. The dish was served with 5 pieces, all drizzled in aged balsamic vinegar.

For entrees, we ordered the Ravioli Boscailoa; housemade pasta filled with truffle wild mushroom sauce and the Lasagna Romagnola with seitan ragout. The ravioli was made with such fresh dough - quite possible the best ravioli...ever. The lasagna is quite popular, according to our server, and we can't argue - this was also wonderful. Best of all, it wasn't laden with non-dairy cheeses. It was just incredible noodles, homemade sauce with a seitan ragout, and fresh herbs. The simplicity made it great!

There is indoor and outdoor seating, and they don't take reservations on the weekend, so get there early or prepare for a wait. This place is popular! The dessert menu sounded good, but everything was made with nuts. Due to a nut allergy, we had to skip this part.

This place is great for all vegan groups or mixed groups, because they also have a traditional menu. Highly recommend!

Pros: great service, accommodating with allergies, amazing food

Cons: All desserts had nuts/nut products (allergy)

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One of the best meals of my life - Edit

I am vegan and my husband eats meat. We both agreed our respective meals were among the best Italian meals we have ever had.

Everything is handmade and incredibly tasty. The food is a work of art. They even make their own vegan cheese.

This place was packed on a Tuesday night so be sure to make reservations.

Nice ambience in charming little Italy.

Good service. Top notch experience. You will not regret going here.

Pros: High level cooking, Home made noodles and vegan cheese, Great ambience and service

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vegan authentic Italian - Edit

We went here because they have a separate vegan menu. I love that they make vegan meat and cheese substitutes and embrace them in traditional Italian cuisine. When my husband and I got here the restaurant was full and the Little Italy neighborhood was hoppin'. We expected to wait but we were able to be seated immediately at the bar, order immediately, and got out food within minutes. Fabulous! I got the vegan ravioli and my husband got fettuccine bolognese. His was better. My ravioli was good, but it was a pretty small plate for the $15 price. I guess they expect you to fill up on bread and wine and appetizers and dessert - the true dining experience. I'd definitely go here again - it's not everyday I get to have vegan authentic Italian.

Updated from previous review on 2017-03-13

Pros: separate vegan menu, vegan items still authentic

Cons: busy

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Best Vegan Friendly Italian in SD - Edit

An incredibly friendly and helpful staff with both regular and vegan menus. I would highly recommend the vegan lasagna for a classic dish and the mushroom ravioli for a more rich decadent dish. Their tiramisu is also very good. By far the best vegan Italian food i have ever had. I absolutely love this place! Would give 5 stars if I could.

Pros: Separate Vegan Menu, Authentic Italian Food, Friendly Staff

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Delicious and extensive menu - Edit

As a native New Yorker, I was not expecting to be mind blown by an Italian restaurant in Southern California. But that's exactly what happened! Highly recommend the extensive vegan menu (especially the lasagna and tortellini).

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so awesome - Edit

We went here while visiting San Diego and it ended up being our favorite place for dinner...a cute restaurant where we could get appetizers, main dishes, dessert, alcohol - the whole nine yards. The service was slow but that's European...and we weren't in any rush to leave! We splurged and got the mushroom calamari AND the arancini (I only wish the mushroom pieces had been larger because it was a lot of fried naughtiness in relation to veg). I got a mushroom ravioli dish, my fiancé got the lasagna, and then we shared the tiramisu. Just to be able to order vegan tiramisu was so awesome! And the decaf coffee I got with soy milk came with the soy milk heated up!! Brilliant! Planning to go there again on our last night of our visit here...can't wait!

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great restaurant - Edit

Loved the eggplant Parmesan! The decor is awesome too

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Didn't order the best thing but lots of potential - Edit

Came here with my family, super excited to try vegan Italian food and be at a place where everybody could order something to their liking. I ordered a pesto gnocchi dish from the vegan menu. Unfortunately it was super bland and under-salted, I almost couldn't finish it. My dad ordered the vegan lasagna and it was much better than my dish. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and am going to go back in a couple weeks to try again because their vegan menu is so huge and I think they have a lot of promise and potential, I may have just ordered the wrong thing.

Also, the owner came over to talk to us and we really really enjoyed him. He owns the restaurant with his brother who is vegan and they came here recently from Italy. They are passionate about this new vegan venture and I truly believe they will improve with time and feedback, as it's fairly new. He was super friendly and made the experience worth it, despite my bad dish.

Will update my review when I go again!

Pros: Truly authentic Italian, Large separate vegan menu, Great atmosphere

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Decent - Edit

Staff was very friendly and helpful. Food was just OK.

Pros: Friendly staff

Cons: Food wasn't fantastic

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Delicious vegan menu available - Edit

After a week in San Diego, we thought we had tried all the vegan options that the city had to offer but we were wrong. We were so happy to stumble upon Civico while walking through SD's Little Italy. They were very friendly and welcoming to two tired parents, a four year old, and a stroller. The food was delicious. We ordered appetizers, main courses, and dessert and loved everything we ordered. They make their own vegan cheeses inhouse. Great place to try out for a nicer dinner if you are in the neighborhood!

Pros: Separate vegan menu, Good selection

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Fancy place to treat yourself! - Edit

Loved having my own menu. My husband and I chose this spot as a special night out - we usually don't get both an appetizer and a dessert with our meals but I couldn't resist! Good food, good portions, and our waitress was knowledgeable about the vegan options.

Pros: Variety in choices , Atmosphere

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Best Vegan Italian I have ever had - Edit

There is a special EXTENSIVE VEGAN menu. Also the alcoholic beverages specify which is vegan. I had the oyster mushroom "calamari," potato pesto, and strawberry cake. All were AMAZING! Very fun friendly romantic atmosphere. Friendly attentive service.

Pros: Extensive vegan special menu, EXCELLENT food, friendly staff

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Secret is to eat at the bar UPDATE - Edit

UPDATE: Sadly, their vegan lasagna was heavy with fake meat & another defrosted taste of the pasta dough.
My friend felt his prawns pasta was pretty heavy as well, Spatzel style.
I am use to the American Tiramisu so their authentic Italian style was too bready & heavy.
I would have preferred a light fluffy desert.
The constant server, staff & busser over checked up on us which would be considered good service but it only means our conversation kept being interrupted. I'm sure culturally, it's natural to engage but not for us.
*****

When weekenders or weeknights never put you off even more for this over crowded Little Italy, always request to sit at the bar as you can order & eat there.
You get a personal bartender to serve you!

Don't be intimidated by their stressed out host & the little Italian grandpy, it's part of being in Italy!

Ask to view the separated kitchen for Vegan and non vegan preparations.

The mushroom calamari was a direct deep fried version in replacement for fries. Other restaurants would have it slightly breaded & wont leave it fried too long. For civico with no breadedness, I would recommend not over drenching it in the batter. I felt like I was going to leave with high cholesterol and heart attack. Tasted kinda over fried.

The Ravioli pasta: the dough outside itself tasted like it had been defrosted.

I had amazing Italian food in NYC & in Italy and of course, this did not really come close to the experience.

The Penne was mundane. Something we can make ourselves at home. If there's no colour of the rainbow in vegetables, I'm easily unimpressed.

All breads are naturally vegan but of course not GF.

Bruchetta was different as the bread was served warm rather croutons style where it'll break under you so good on that.

I may have been more or less slightly turned off with the host turning me away "No Tables" by one look at me with prejudge eyes in my heavily Inked live canvas and probably redneck crocs compared to the others waiting in their gucci and jimmy choos.
I also felt judged by the Grandpa of the House.

I know Italian culture is all about the exterior but sometimes, the most affluent beings are those that have nothing to prove.

Updated from previous review on Tuesday July 28, 2015

Pros: location, decor spacious, vegan menu

Cons: judging and crowded, intimidating welcome, no privacy

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Sooooo Delicious - Edit

This restraurant was all I hoped it would be and more! I thoroughly enjoyed my food as did the rest of my family. The bread served on the table is vegan which is exciting for me. I ordered the vegan Eggplant and got scared. The cheese in it seemed so realistic that I thought it was real cheese. But my waiter confirmed that the chef makes all of the cheese! House made vegan cheese so good it scared me haha. Needless to say it was awesome. My father who is a meat eater decided to order the vegan lasagna and thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommend this place! Well worth the money and good portions all around :)

Pros: Vegan menu , house made vegan cheese

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Wonderful Italian restaurant with a vegan menu - Edit

We visited in June 2015 when we saw they had a vegan menu on display. After wandering through little Italy, we were resigned to basic pasta and red sauce, so we were thrilled to find a more adventurous restaurant. We tried the mushroom "calamari" which which were crispy and tasty. I was expecting a thickly breaded, deep fried dish, but the mushrooms were lightly seasoned and fried crisp. They were tasty, and a huge serving that we did not finish. We tried two entrees, which were medium-sized servings. The Pesto gnocchi were delicate in texture and the sauce fresh and flavorful. The ravioli were generously sized and served with plenty of marinara sauce. We ended with Tiramisu- a rare find for a vegan restaurant! It was delicious and we finished every bit of it, even though we were quite full.
The service was friendly though a bit slow-though this did not detract from our experience as it simply made the restaurant seem a bit more European. The decor is inviting and location great. Prices were on par with neighborhood (not cheap).

Pros: Full vegan menu, Tiramisu!!!!

Cons: Wine/beer only- no liquor

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