• Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 50 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-Sun 9:00am-8:00pm, Tue-Sat 10:00am-9:00pm.

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

50 Reviews

First Review by Nicola1980


Points +293

18 Aug 2020

I wanted to like it. But nah

I enjoy vegan versions of junky or fun foods. So I thought I would like the Pokez take on Mexican favorites. I saw a few reviews saying it was on the junkier side but thought I’d be fine.

Nahhhh. The fajitas were swimming in oil... it was seriously easy to see tablespoons of oil in the bottom. I’m all for oil if it adds flavor, but this was just gross.

The tofu mushroom potato taco tasted extremely bland and was also dripping out the ends with oil.

With so many vegan options today, I wouldn’t spend a meal here, unfortunately. I hope they can update their food to the flavors of 2020. Vegan food has come a long way!

We actually thought it seemed like airport food. :(


Points +332

03 Aug 2020

The portions are huge!

My friend recommended this place a lot, at first glance the menu doesn’t seem to be very vegan but my dish was delicious! Very wholesome cooking, the tofu was perfect and the beans very tasty but my favorite part was the hand made thick tortillas, omg!
The portions are so big you could easily share one plate.

Pros: Vegan options , Best corn tortillas in town, Huge portions

Cons: Great location , Friendly staff


Points +262

15 Mar 2020

Not good food

No flavor at all. I was under the impression that you couldn’t get bad Mexican food in San Diego but I guess I was wrong.... genuinely awful. Me and my boyfriend were so disappointed.

Pros: Lots of vegan

Cons: No flavor , Not good



Points +40

08 Feb 2020

Best Mexican Food Ever

This is my favorite restaurant of all time, though I can't give it five stars since it's not an all-vegetarian establishment. But I've been coming here since the '90s, and the menu has always had abundant and creative options for vegans and vegetarians. Once you come here, you will never be able to go back to boring bean burritos (hold the cheese) that are the token veggie item at most other Mexican restaurants. In the 2+ decades I've been coming here, the quality and quantity of the food has been consistent.

I don't think I've ever had something bad here. In fact, meat eaters tell me they eat vegetarian here, because the meatless dishes are so much more interesting and flavorful than the meat dishes. My personal favorite is the bean and vegan chorrizo (sic) burrito, which I order to-go a lot as it reheats well. The ranchera sauce they serve it with is amazing, and I wish they bottled it. Friends of mine swear upon the tofu/potato/mushroom burrito -- I've had the taco version, and it's amazing (though I ask them to hold the mushrooms, due to personal tastes). When I'm not ordering to-go, I get the tofu chimichanga (I request ranchera sauce), which is so wonderfully textured when served fresh (it gets soggy if you try to reheat it later).

Flavors and portions are huge. Go here with a huge appetite, or bring some containers in anticipation of leftovers. Vegan items are plentiful and clearly marked. The waiters will know exactly what you're talking about when you ask about vegan items.

Pros: good prices, creative meatless items, soooo many vegan options

Cons: street parking can be difficult


Points +51

09 Jan 2020

Yummy tofu options

The Vegan California Burrito is amazing. Their menus is clearly marked with Vegan Options. Huge portion sizes and cool grungy vibe.

Pros: tofu and mushroom fillings , huge portions

Cons: bizarre bathroom situation


Points +22

27 Dec 2019

I love this place, I would give a 5 star if I can

Super delicious with lots of vegetarian/vegan options. Make sure you add TMP (tofu mushroom potato stir fry) if you have the option. I added it to my deep plate. The price is very reasonable and the portions are huge!

Pros: Delicious, lots of vegetarian vegan options , Good price , Huge portion

Cons: Huge portion , Not 100% vegetarian vegan


Points +68

09 Dec 2019

Great food, service is not ideal

Pretty great vegan alternatives for nachos. Veggie burrito was good. They were understaffed at server, so lead so some serious delays around ordering. Probably good to order take out if you can.

Pros: Tofu nachos

Cons: Staffing issues


Points +111

01 Dec 2019

Delicious food

Great options, all very good. Vegan rice and beans as well.

Pros: Lots of delicious food


Points +134

25 Nov 2019

O M G delicious

Joey's is delicious. I added mushrooms. Note it has dairy cheese.

Pros: They can make most dishes vegan


Points +72

21 Oct 2019

Pretty Good

Went in on a Monday afternoon. I was the only one in the place. Service was friendly and they understood what vegan is. Had the veggie fajitas. Came out crazy fast. Very good portion. Once food was delivered I didn’t see the waiter again until I was done. Was only offered water. Overall it was good food and the staff was friendly. Don’t know how the service would be if it was busy.

Pros: Large portion, Good food


Points +1876

23 Sep 2019

Love Pokez!

Delicious food and crazy portions. I eat a lot but I always struggle to finish my meal here,thats how big the portions are. You can either have it take away or ask staff for the box and leave it outside the restaurant for homeless people, restaurant really supports this. Staff are really friendly and helpful too.


Points +127

20 Sep 2019

The real OG vegan spot

Have been coming here for years! Make sure you get the tofu potato burrito 🔥

Pros: Lots of vegan options , Inexpensive

Cons: No parking


Points +235

21 Jul 2019


Had the enchiladas suizas and it was fire! The green sauce was banging, the potato filling was fire! Great price, cool employees, recommended.


Points +40

07 Jul 2019

Pretty good

It’s labeled as a vegetarian Mexican restaurant, but it’s basically just a normal Mexican restaurant that labels which items can be made vegan. No mock meat but they do serve tofu. The fajitas are pretty delicious, just had to be ordered without cheese sour cream or meat. But the tofu was great.


Points +2007

22 Mar 2019

Yummy Veggie Mexican Food

Great food, lots of choices, pleasant environment and good service

Pros: Lots of vegan options, yummy food, Good service and very reasonable prices, Comfortable and convenient


Points +2022

19 Nov 2017

very tasty

Food: 5/5
Vegan options (variety): 4/5
Vegan labelling: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Portion size: 5/5
Atmosphere: 4/5
Service: 5/5
Location: 4/5
Reservation recommended: no
Visited: 7/2016


Points +1030

05 Oct 2017

Vegan mex eats

So when they veganize a dish they simple omit the cheese and sour cream and don’t replace it with vegan cheese and sour cream. Dive joint with neighborhood customers. The chips and salsa are good and HUGE portions. Got the chimichanga with tofu was really good. Definitely stop

Pros: Big portions, Fun dive


Points +29

19 Sep 2017


I've had so many different items on the menu and each time I DIE. The potato tacos and enchiladas, the veggie taco, the tofu scramble, the amazing ambiance, the friendly servers, pitcher mimosas, what more could you ask for?? It's definitely one of my happy places and they could do no harm in my book. Love, love, love.

Updated from previous review on 2017-09-19

Pros: Amazing food, Cute and cool everything, Friendly service

Cons: Maybe one day they can add vegan cheese to menu, Maybe liquor too


Points +78

27 May 2017


I appreciate that they have many vegan options but they cook with an excessive amount of oil. The food also takes about an hour to be ready.
Once it arrives it's not worthwhile and I'd rather eat something from 7/11

Pros: Lots of vegan options and is close to the trolley

Cons: Food is fine if you don't care about your heal


Points +391

13 Mar 2017

dark but delicious

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


Points +246

03 Nov 2016

Delicious food right downtown!

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)


Points +174

01 Nov 2016

definitely grungy but tasty

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...


Points +48

17 Jul 2016


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


Points +69

26 Aug 2015

Best Mexican Food

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


Points +238

18 Aug 2015

A diamond in the rough

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


Points +68

22 Jun 2015

Great Mexican Food

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


Points +390

21 Jun 2015

Friendly service, lots of options

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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