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  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 26 reviews )
Contact 619-282-4116

3351 Adams Ave (at Normal Heights), San Diego, California, USA, 92116

Veggie cafe operated by students of Sri Chinmoy since 1986. Menu features wraps, sandwiches, main entrees. Closed August month. Open Mon-Tue 11:00am-9:00pm, Wed 11:00am-3:00pm, Thu-Fri 11:00am-9:00pm, Sat 12:00pm-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Take-out

Reviews (26)

First Review by vixyash

I always get the vegan Neat loaf - Edit

And love it. The mashed potatoes and gravy are delicious too! We've been to the Sunday breakfast buffet a couple of times as well. Actually took the kids on mothers day when hubby was out of town. Be sure to get there early for the buffet, they fill up fast. Thankful for wonderful food and a great atmosphere. They changed their hummus, unfortunately, to a beet hummus, kids didn't like it as much as the other.

Pros: Lots of Vegan Options, Friendly Staff, Sun Breakfast Buffet (not every Sun tho)

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Quaint - Edit

I've been here just a few times over the years. I'd probably have gone more if closer to where I live. I've had their nut loaf and other dishes. Interesting energy there with an air of religious and friendly energy.

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Wonderful Veggie Cafe in a Historic Building - Edit

A very nice, small cafe for a quiet healthy meal.

I mainly go for the Sunday brunch buffet & for many years (phone first to verify they are open -- they are closed many Sundays), and it's a great place to meet & chat with friends.

Vegan items are clearly identified. Tasty vegan blueberry pancakes, tofu scramble, home fries w/gravy, etc. Simple menu but enough choices to keep things interesting.

As their blog points out, building was to be a bank (1928) that never opened but eventually became this great cafe with vaulted ceilings and big windows in the 80's. (Too bad the health food store across the street closed.)

(easy to find near Normal Heights sign on Adams Ave.)

Pros: Veggie Sunday brunch (vegan items IDed), limited but good menu, unique, historic building (calm colors)

Cons: Limited parking (some spaces at side), More of cafe than restaurant, Sunday brunch buffet gets very crowded

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Warm and friendly - Edit

It's been a few years since my last visit here but I still recall the friendly environment and the neatloaf. If I ever make it back out to San Diego this will be my first stop!

Pros: Neatloaf, Everyone was so nice, Great energy

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Exellent food, and excellent service. - Edit

I (vegan) went there for the first time with two out of town friends (one considering vegetarianism, and the other omni), as well as my fiancé (vegetarian), so it was a pretty good mix of veg and non-veg.

All of us were more than satisfied with the food, including the vegan apple pie. The entrees were delicious, and there were no shortcuts for flavor (no reliance on sugar or fat to make it taste better). Prices for everything were quite reasonable. It wasn't the cheapest, but most certainly worth it (about $8-10 for an entree, which came with soup or salad).

The only thing that surpassed the food was the service. Our waiter was very friendly, and never pushy. He was happy to answer all questions, and talk a bit. It all felt very causal and comfortable. This seemed to be pretty much indicative of the service as a whole, since I noticed the rest of the staff getting on well with the customers.

I also appreciated the spiritual atmosphere of the restaurant. While it wasn't forced on anyone, it was still present, and the staff was more than willing to talk about it.

I definitely want to go there again.

Pros: Spiritual atmosphere, Excellent food, Very friendly staff

Cons: Not 100% vegan

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Fantastic - Edit

We love, love, love Jyoti-Bihanga's!!! Great food and people. Even my mom, who's not a vegetarian, vegan, etc. loves going here when she's in town visiting. Everything is wonderful... if we had to pick a favorite... the Neatloaf w/mashed potatoes and gravy.

Pros: Excellent Food Flavor and Portions, Healthy Food, Great Staff

Cons: Hours of operation

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Terrific! - Edit

When I got there, it was late in the evening, and the place was Packed, and people waiting in line for a table. That's a good sign!
The food was terrific, and they had a lot of variety. The service was great, too. The prices were reaonable.
I'll definitely be back. To date, it's my favorite Veg/Vegan place in SD.

Pros: quality, variety, service

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Blissful Brunch - Edit

I went to the brunch buffet. They labeled all the items and almost everything was vegan. The restaurant has a religious affiliation, but the employees/members did not even mention it, so I did not feel uncomfortable. They continuously refilled buffet items and cleared dishes. Good price for "all-you-can-eat." It started to get crowded as we were finishing, so go early.

Pros: mostly vegan, good brunch selection, good value

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Everything Yum... - Edit

I love this place! Even before I stopped eating meat it was one of my favorite places to go. I love the veggie chile, Brahma Burrito and the Shiva wrap. Their desserts are really good too! Go check it out. My Meat Eating Aussie friends really liked the meatloaf!

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I'm a regular - Edit

I volunteer next door to this restaurant once a week and usually get food to go from there. The PLB (peace-light-bliss) burger with mashed potatoes and gravy is one of my favorites. If I am wanting something lighter I will have the soup and salad combo. The staff is friendly and the place is clean and bright. This is probably the longest lasting vegetarian restaurant in San Diego-it has been here for at least 20 years and the quality of the food has been consistent. There is a connection to Sri Chinmoy, and there are pictures and books of his there. The service can be a little slow at times but part of that is because they make everything fresh to order. The food is not strictly vegan, as they use some dairy and eggs, however they are very clear about what is vegan and what is not and there are plenty of vegan choices. The neat loaf, one of their most popular plates, has eggs, though they do have a vegan version.

Pros: Atmosphere, Vegetarian choices, Good portions

Cons: Can be slow, A little bland for my taste

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Reviewer Avatar

Enjoyable. - Edit

Nice interior. Even a non-veg loved her food. It's great that anything vegan is marked (I'm not sure why everyplace doesn't do that, to save the servers, and customers, from the hassles of going thru menu items--and often the chef knows what's truly vegan better than the servers anyway).

Filling portions compared to most places. But more vegan appetizer options, please. I haven't tried every SD veg place, but this was deffo (at the least) above-average "tastiness" out of 6 or so. I had a good server also. You might need to ask for extra spiciness if you share my preference for that, but they do subtley warn on the menu that some of the ethnic dishes are less spicy than what's authentic, e.g. if you got Thai food in Thailand it would be spicier (i.e. they warn that it's blanditarian/Americanized, or maybe Californianized).

INCREDIBLE vegan mousse-cake.

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Vegetarian Paradise in Sunny San Diego - Edit

I managed to drag my non-vegetarian friends to this place two weeks ago for lunch when i was in San Diego for a week. And what a treat it was! When i entered the place a calm serenity fell over my with all the bright white and light blue colours and the shrine dedicated to Sri Chinmoy on the left wall who passed away in 2007. Since we entered kinda late for lunch, i think around 2.30 PM, i lucked out on my original order for an entree which was the split pea soup. My friend was unlucky with his choice of shakes, since they ran out of bananas (which the waiter all didn't know in advance..). Instead i had to go for the 'Golden Vegetable Soup', which was kinda on the cold side for a soup they supposedly just finished making. But than again, it was deliciously full in texture and very tasty! For the main course i opted for the famous 'Neatloaf' ($ 11,95), which they advertise as their bestseller. It sort of looks like a meatloaf but it's stuffed with brown rice, grains, eggs, ricotta cheese, tofu and spices, with mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy and toast on the side. It was just breathtakingly good and filled me up completely! One of my friends had the 'Grilled Portabello Wrap' which looked delicious as well. Since we lucked out at the start the waiter decided to give us a taste of dessert for free (how's that for service?) and we all shared a 'Vegan Chocolate Mouse' which not only looked mouthwatering good but tasted that as well! If it were up to me i would lunch and dine here daily! A big thumbs up :P

Pros: Serene Atmosphere, Fantastic Food, All fresh and good size portions

Cons: Bit to bright colours for my taste, Come early before they ran out of food, Very quiet, maybe a bit too quiet

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Reviewer Avatar

Delightful! - Edit

We, our family of 5 adults and two little ones, ate dinner for the first time at Jyoti-Bihanga this Saturday and had a delightful experience. The dining room was roomy, bright and cheerful; the hosts/hostesses were truly friendly and welcoming; and the fo0od was truly delicious. Our choices included the Never-say-no Nachos, Brahma Wrap, the Reuben, Salad/Soup, and the Apple Pie with ice cream. Everyone enjoyed the dishes, which were all delicious and sumptuous!
I intend to mke this our No. 1 choice in restaurants in San Diego.


Pros: light and tasty, Generous, clean

Cons: location, location, location

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This is my must eat at! - Edit

When ever I travel to San Diego I must eat here! I can't seem to move past the neat-loaf, but have tried a few other tihngs. The food is good, place is light and airy. The only downside is the staff is a little, um, stand-offish. They are cordial and polite but not overly friendly. Food is great!

Pros: NeatLoaf!, Reasonable price

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YUM! - Edit

I'm Vegan so I love a good salad... but I'm not exagerating in the slightest when I say that their house salad was THE most delicious salad I have EVER eaten! We had hummus, which was good. We ordered some sort of curry that was a special, which was good as well, and the Vegan meatloaf (good). But next time I visit, I'm just having a BIG HUGE salad! Seriously! They must put pure love into it! The dressing was some sort of lemon tahini... something.. mmmm! AND, I ordered an orange juice... I swear someone picked some oranges and squeezed them right then and there when I ordered it! FRESH!! On top of it all, everyone working there is so kind and there is a wonderful energy in this place. Downside, they close sometimes and I've shown up and the closed sign is up. I need to remember to call before I just show up.

Pros: SALAD!!, SALAD DRESSING!, Fresh squeezed OJ!

Cons: Some odd hours

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Some winners - Edit

For vegans, there are some bland dishes ("thai" stir-fry, PLB burger), but the hummous wrap and vegan neatloaf are terrific! I also like to try their vegan soup of the day and salad with the sesame herb salad dressing (and dessert if there is room). Viewing the the antics of Sri Chimroy himself on the TV screen used to be a source of amusement, but now I just chose to ignore it. Check out the Sunday buffet (intermittent days) with vegan options!

Pros: good choices for vegans and non-vegans, fairly healthy, good portions for price

Cons: not open Sundays (call for brunch days), tight seating areas, can get noisy/crowded

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Lovely food, peaceful surroundings. - Edit

I had lunch alone here, and it was great. The beet-coconut soup was subtle and delicious, with a very startling deep purple color. The NeatLoaf (their signature dish) was tasty and filling (something a non-veg might like). The restaurant is quiet and quite restful - a perfect place to eat and read a book at one's leisure. It's a little hard to find (in the Uptown neighborhood far from downtown), but worth it. I can't wait to visit it again, this time with my husband.

Pros: great food, nice service, calm surroundings

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Truly awesome - Edit

This place was truly awesome. I took my whole family, all of them confirmed meat eaters and everyone loved it. The staff were friendly and the food was outstanding. My brother said it was the best quesadilla he'd ever had. The carrot cake was to die for and the soup was superlative. The restaurant follows the philosophy of Sri Chinmoy and peace and tranquility are found in abundance in the atmosphere, the staff and the food.

Pros: delicious food, Great atmosphere, friendly staff

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Excellent food; lovely atmosphere - Edit

If you can't find low-fat, raw food or are simply a vegetarian, Jyoti Bihanga is a wonderful option! The staff is very friendly, the restaurant is delightful, and the food is delicious! They have many vegan options and most of their other dishes can be made vegan upon request. The prices are also very reasonable. Jyoti Bihanga is now one of our favorite restaurants!

Pros: Vegan, Delicious food, Wonderful staff

Cons: No raw entrees

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very good - Edit

the food was delicious, I especially loved the mashed potatoes. The service was a little slow and the restaurant was full but the food was definitely worth it. The waiters were also very helpful and friendly. I didn't enjoy the dessert, but I really liked the food.

Pros: food

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Wonderful Evening Meal - Edit

A family gathering lead us to try Jyoti-Bihanga on the recommendation of a vegan friend. I was a bit concerned that non-veg family members would find the food too weird or too spicey. What occured was truly wonderful. The tone of the menu and the helpful wait person put everyone at ease. The salads were fresh and the entrees were exceptionally good. I have been vegetarian since 1975 and this was near the best veg food I have ever been served. I highly recommend this as a place to take non-veg folk.

Pros: cleanliness, food, friendly staff

Cons: not in my home town

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My Favorite Veg Place in San Diego! - Edit

Can't say enough great things about this place! Every dish I've tried is delicious, from the organic iced teas, to the excellent entrees, to the delectable desserts. The "Neatloaf" is a must-try and is served either as an entree or in sandwich form (also a vegan version available). Even the simplest dishes like the baked potato with tofu and vegetables are brimming with large portions of mouthwatering morsels.

Pros: Tasty, Variety, Affordable

Cons: Staff appears standoffish, at first

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