• Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 31 reviews )

947 E St (at Tenth Ave, downtown), San Diego, California, USA, 92101

Serves meat, vegan options available. Grungy cafe popular with youngsters. Features an extensive range of Mexican dishes with some vegetarian options including tacos, burritos, tostadas, and breakfast all day. Vegans to specify no dairy, etc. Large portions. Open Mon-Fri 11:00am-10:00pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am-10:00pm.

Category: Lacto, Ovo, Fast food, Take-out, Mexican, Catering, Non-veg

Reviews (31)

First Review by Nicola1980

dark but delicious - Edit

We went here at night and the interior has horrible lighting. So the atmosphere wasn't 100%, but the food was! I was going to order something else, but the waitress told us that for vegans, she recommends the Fajitas because you get the most food and it's the best vegan option. My husband and I both ordered vegan fajitas. I could barely finish half, and we had leftovers. The fried tofu was delicious and chewy and came, as promised, on a sizzling cast iron plate. Tons of belly-warming Mexican food, and vegan! What more could you want? I had to talk my husband out of going here a 2nd time during our visit - we had other vegan restaurants to try! Absolutely *will* eat here again if I'm in San Diego.

Pros: filling, tasty, affordable

Cons: dark atmosphere inside

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Delicious food right downtown! - Edit

I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed when I saw that San Diego was somewhat limited in vegan dining options -- isn't plant-based eating what SoCal is supposed to be about?! I was in town very briefly visiting a friend and found Pokez to be in walking distance. The tofu, mushroom and potato burrito was enormous, insanely filling and was smothered in an incredible vegan gravy. In a world with so few vegan options, Pokez delivers!

Pros: price, portions, atmosphere

Cons: wait time, small space (not good for large parties)

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definitely grungy but tasty - Edit

We visited Pokez while in San Diego - if it had been a weekend we would've gone someplace with a whole vegan brunch but it was 10 am on a Monday morning and their tofu scramble with chorizo sounded good. We ended up ordering that plus TWO other dishes (tofu/potato/mushroom enchiladas and burrito) because we were starving and it was a TON of food. The place was definitely grungy feeling but we left stuffed and satisfied. (And it's within walking distance of Donut Bar, where we got some donuts to go for later when we had room in our bellies!!) I just wish they had vegan cheese and sour cream options...

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delicious - Edit

Great food! The tofu burrito rocks. Great choices for omnis too

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Best Mexican Food - Edit

This place is amazing! I had the fajitas and my husband had the vegan chorizo plate. It was so good and the food was hot and fresh out of the kitchen. The beans, the cabbage slaw, the guacamole and omg the tortillas! So much delicious food at a good price too! We will be back next time we are in San Diego.

Pros: excellent food, authentic, great service

Cons: location

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A diamond in the rough - Edit

I try to come here every time I travel to San Diego for work. It doesn't look like much, but that is part of the charm for me. You'll see everything from business attire to grunge-wear to resort-wear. They have several vegan options, but I've never made it past the vegan machaca. Although I did find the flavorful spice mix to be a little too salty, I love the fact that the tofu is partially "blackened" which really makes a difference. And the portions are enormous. The staff are maybe not as attentive as they should be, but that may be part of the laid back vibe. They are friendly though, and that matters more to me.

Pros: Huge portions, Great value

Cons: A little heavy on the salt, staff could be more attentive

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Great Mexican Food - Edit

The food here is very tasty and they have many options for vegetarians and vegans labeled clearly on the menu. They serve pretty large portions. Be ready to wait if you go during peak dinner hours on a weekend, the location is not enormous and it's popular (because it's good) so it can get packed.

Pros: Well labeled menu, Many vegetarian and vegan options

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Friendly service, lots of options - Edit

We had a tofu burrito and tofu fajitas. After the yummy and very spicy salsa, which arrived almost before we sat at a table, we anticipated spicy entrees, but the food was somewhat bland. We fixed this by adding left over salsa and some hot sauce to our dishes. I would suggest the owners consider using the approach of many Thai restaurants and ask customers if they want their food mild, medium, or hot.

The tofu was excellent in both dishes- perfectly cooked in the fajitas in long strips, and in chewy crumbles in the burrito.

The outside is colorful and inside a bit of a dive, which I appreciate. Very friendly and prompt service; we did not expect the latter based on some of the reviews we read, and the name!

Pros: many options, friendly

Cons: no liquor, so no margaritas

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Amazing, authentic Mexican food - Edit

Love the food here, it's delicious and authentic Mexican food. The atmosphere is fun and vegan options are clearly marked. They even have great vegan breakfast options.

Pros: Great food, Authentic Mexican

Cons: No vegan desserts

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Cheap and Delicious - Edit

Don't be scared when you walk in! Although it may not look amazing, this restaurant is delicious. Low prices with large portions. Our favorite was the potato/bean/tofu taco. The chimichanga is also delicious (you can't always find a veg chimichanga so it's a must order when you do!). Burritos are huge and only $5. So many options available for vegans!

Pros: inexpensive, delicious, friendly

Cons: not strickly veg

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The best food ever - Edit

Based on the mixed reviews I was a little hesitant to try Pokez, but it's so hard to find vegan Mexican food that I thought I'd take a chance and I'm glad I did. Not only was this the best vegan Mexican food that I have ever had, it was some of the best food of any kind that I have ever eaten period.
The Vegan Machaca and Vegan Chorizo was amazing. Anytime I am in San Diego I will stop here.

Pros: Excellent Food , Friendly Staff, Quirky atmosphere

Cons: Hours on website were misstated

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Nice Service, Not So Nice Food - Edit

The chips and salsa was very good, we didn't had to wait for our food but the food was rather bland... after that salsa I did expect really good food but I was pretty disappointed, my veggie burrito was almost cold and I couldn't really taste much else than the ranchero sauce. Won't go their again.

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OK - Edit

I had a Chimichanga vegan and my husband had the "mexican pizza" vegan and we PAID extra for rice and beans, but only got beans.. and the service was so slow there was really no chance to ask about that. The vegan "mexican pizza" was basically a tortilla with tomatoes and some peppers.. it was pretty sad for whatever it was and not a Mexican Pizza. I would not return to Pokez.

Pros: cheap

Cons: bland, boring, not really VEGAN friendly

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Best hole-in-the-wall Mexican food - Edit

This restaurant has become the standard by which I judge other Mexican restaurants. The chips & salsa are great, the burritos are huge, everything is clearly marked whether it's veg, vegan, meat, etc. The staff is really friendly, and it's never over-crowded. Oh, and their health code scores are always really high! Too bad they serve meat - their ownly downfall.

Definitely go here if you're in San Diego.

Pros: Clear labeling, Good food

Cons: Serves meat

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Great hole in the wall - Edit

Pretty good and the got a juicer

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Yummy Mexican Food! - Edit

Great vegetarian option for Mexican food lovers. Plenty of dishes to pick from... good food! Caution... make sure you have the time to wait for your food before you go... outrageously long wait times for service and food.

Pros: Great flavor, Good portions, Great options

Cons: Wait times, Service, Parking

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Don't judge by it's appearance - Edit

As a vegan, it's hard to find real mexican food that accomodates my diet. Pokez does this. Their flour tortillas taste fresh, the tofu is perfectly seasoned, and they pile their plates high. The sangria was also great, but I don't know if there was alcohol in it. I just wish they would get new menus so that I didn't have to imagine what is behind the old crusted salsa.

Pros: Jukebox, Large portions, Attentive service

Cons: Kind of a shithole

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Most Menu Items NOT Vegetarian - Edit

Ate here on a past trip to San Diego, and here's my Pokez review.

Although some of the food was tasty, we're not sure if we'd return again. On the night we visited there was a long line out the door. From the outside, the restaurant interior looked rather dark and grungy. Well, it was just like that inside: very old furniture, punk like decor, grungy, dark kitchen, and overall a feel of chaos.

After 30 minutes of standing in line we were finally seated but was left waiting for our food for about another 80 minutes or so. It was disappointing to see that the menu consisted of a lot of meat items... not as veg-friendly as we had liked. My husband had wanted to leave but I convinced him to wait it out, because I was curious to try the food that I saw on other people's tables - large portions of burritos, tacos, and other Mexican dishes. We were totally famished and annoyed when the food finally arrived.

My husband got a vegan taco and veggie enchiladas, of which he was okay with the first but not the latter. I got a combination plate of veggie taco, chile relleno, and cheese enchilada which came with a side of rice n beans. I liked the taco for the tasty deep fried shell. The other stuff had too much cheese all over, and I ended up with a stomach ache in the middle of the night. My husband was not happy either.

Despite our mishap, it's easy to see why this place is popular with the teenage hipster & punk crowd - food is cheap, portions large, and it's a hangout see and be seen kinda place for the youngsters.

Pros: cheap, tasty taco

Cons: not all veg, grungy, very slow if busy

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