CLOSED: SOL CAL Cafe

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 31 reviews )
Hours

Closed

Contact
619-255-2927
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910 J St (at downtown), San Diego, California, USA, 92101

Serves meat, vegan options available. Cafe using organic, gmo-free, unrefined ingredients. Offers cold pressed juice, smoothies, veggie burgers, salads, pasta, bowls, tacos, acai bowls, and seasonal specials. Est. 2014 as vegetarian then added a few non-veg items in Jan 2016. Reported closed, Sep 2017.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Ovo, American, Organic, Juice bar, Take-out, Mexican, Catering, Fusion, Non-veg

31 Reviews

First Review by jasonlheath

Confusing experience, but good simple food - Edit

I chose this place, as I was eating with a colleague who doesn't follow a vegan diet. The menu online had chicken and fish, so we walked over. My colleague ordered the Meditterranean Wrap with chicken, and the woman at the counter told her that the restaurant was vegan. No animal products. We pointed to the digital menu overhead, and she said that was old. There were other (easy to remove) signs about their sushirittos around the shop as well, so even if they literally just became all vegan that morning, I would think they would have thrown out those signs.

My agreeable colleague ordered the same wrap as me, and we added chickpeas for a bit more substance. The wraps were good portions and hearty, and the side salad was quite fresh.

I've waited about two weeks to see if the website has changed and it still shows chicken, eggs, and fish, so I'm not sure if we had a confused/rebellious employee or what...

Pros: Healthy food, fresh ingredients, Good portion size

Cons: Mixed messaging on vegan/omni options

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2 years ago vs Now - Edit

They didn't serve meat when I went there 2 years ago and I gave them a 5-star rating. They just lost my business.

Pros: Used to be good

Cons: No longer good

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orders don't come out together - Edit

This place is cute, but lacking in so many ways. When we ordered, I tried to order something off the paper menu they had by the door, but the guy told me that menu was wrong and to look at the digital one above the register. OK, but why have paper menus out then? After we ordered, it took a good 15 minutes for my husband's Acai bowl to come out. He nearly finished his bowl by the time my Healthy Hash plate came out. I saw other tables around us half-served as well. Don't expect your food to come out at the same time!

Pros: vegan options

Cons: slow service, overpriced

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Overrated & Overpriced - Edit

I was surprised to see this place had such good reviews after I ate there. While it is good, it carries a price tag for something mind blowing or semi-great. Their food is neither. From what I understand, it seems that they used to be vegan and that's when they got the majority of their reviews on here. It's unfortunate, but we all know there's a trend for us vegans to rate all vegan restaurants artificially high, in terms of taste, just for providing us with options. I think the majority of their 4 & 5 star ratings is due to this. People were giving them higher ratings than they deserved simply for being vegan, especially since that was before many of the vegan options we have today were open. Now that we have ample vegan spots all over San Diego, I think we should recognize that this place is overpriced and overrated.

Cons: Expensive, Food doesn't match the price tag, Artificially high ranking from when they were veg

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DON'T GO HERE IF YOU'RE VEGAN or vegetarian!!!!!! - Edit

Incompetently gave me somebody else's burrito. Mine was supposed to be VEGAN but I took a bite and horrifically tasted DEAD animal flesh for the first time in decades... pretty distraught right now!
DON'T GO HERE if your VEGAN, cos "sorry about that" doesn't make up for it!

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Healthy shop with great options - Edit

I had the socal burger with chili and guacamole and it was solid. The side salad was great, too.

All pastries are vegan.

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Excellent food! - Edit

The service was friendly and the food was great. Decent prices too. We had the kids meal corn dog, Buffalo 66 burger and Baja fish tacos. All worth it! And try the blueberry soda. It's Delilah!

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Organic and Mostly Vegan - Edit

I was on a business trip and found Sol Cal via Happy Cow. Pleasantly surprised to find an organic non-GMO vegan option close to my hotel, so most grateful for that. Food was generally reasonable priced, although there were some juices for $9 for an 8-ounce bottle. Overall, food was a bit bland with mediocre flavors; it appears that a professionally trained chef did not create the menu. My wife and I had the Chipotle Lime Quinoa Panini, Teriyaki Bowl, Veggie Quinoa Chili, and desserts. The Panini was really a wrap heated in a Panini press, which was fine, but the flavors were just not very good. The chili for example, was bland and had a bit of sourness to it due to the acidity of the tomato sauce not being balanced by sweet, salt, or oil. Service was friendly and prompt. Food was ready quickly. If you're looking for a wholesome organic meal in the Gaslamp Quarter, this is a decent choice, but Jimbo's Naturally nearby has a much wider selection.

Pros: Organic and vegan choices, Close to Petco Park Park & Gaslamp Qtr, Fast, friendly service

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Amazing food - Edit

Extremely good food. The acai breakfast bowl and the Oreo dessert are both worth going out of your way for.

Pros: Lots of options for vegans, Really cute decor, Helpful staff

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Tasty - Edit

I had the fajita Buddha bowl with vegan chicken and it was delicious. Nice vibe, decent service (the guy taking my order wasn't that friendly, but the other lady that brought me my food was pleasant ). Simple menu, but high quality.

Pros: Food was delicious.

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Vegan Sun Gone to Dark Side - Edit

Without explanation, this formerly 100% vegan eatery went over to the dark side (tuna, chicken, eggs), creating quite a stir in the local vegan community. Jacob, the owner, is a nice guy, so hopefully he'll reconsider and someday return to the vegan fold whereupon I'll happily restore my 5-star rating.
Vegan Sun Shines on Downtown San Diego! (10/18/14)
The brainchild of former NFL star, Jacob Bell, and former Food Network dessert guru, Anne Thornton, this bright new eatery is the first, and so far only, 100% vegan restaurant in downtown San Diego! It’s a welcome addition within walking distance of our downtown condo. Our first meal on opening day was on the smallish side but tasty & filling. My wife and I will be inviting lots of our typically stubborn omnivorous neighbors to join us there. Surprisingly, many seem to be moving towards plant-based eating based on doctors’ recommendations, so it will be an easy sell. Located just north of Padres Petco Park, Sol Cal should be a hit with baseball fans looking for healthier food options.

Cons: No longer vegan

2 Responses
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seash 01 Mar 2016 - Agreed! Very disappointed about the change! Hope it goes back to being vegan.  


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thrillracerESQ 26 Mar 2016 - Wow, that's super bad news. I visited once about 6 or 8 months ago and wouldn't have expected it to start serving meat. The potato was a good deal, but the juice was overpriced and not fresh. The cookie was excellent! vegantownusa.wordpress.com  


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YUMMMMMMY ! - Edit

Visiting from Va and I loved the atmosphere here ! The food is also so freaking good and I wish I had this place in my town. Will come back.

Pros: all vegan

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Terrific place - Edit

Had a great breakfast burrito. Nice decor and vibe. Friendly staff.

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Tops! - Edit

I had the Pitaya bowl, it was GREAT! Very fresh, I could eat one every day. Friendly atmosphere/counterservice/staff. Accessible. Many options.

Pros: EXCELLENT FOOD, Friendly

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Huge variety of plant-based options - Edit

This place was incredible. We were in San Diego for three days, and ate here three times. First night I had a fantastic burger, the next day I had a delicious bowl of tomato soup, and the third day my partner and I shared a waffle and breakfast burrito.

All of the food was incredibly delicious and the prices were pretty decent too. But as most vegans know, sometimes we have to pay a little more for better food.

They also have a great selection of cold drinks and take home options like hummus, guacamole, and granola. I would go here every day if I lived in San Diego.

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Sweet Vegan Spot - Edit

Cute, clean, and bright vegan spot in Downtown San Diego. Love the modern design, seating area, and artwork painted onto the walls. Excellent customer service by Alexa. Food is pretty healthy (they don't overdo it on oils, salt, and fat). It's a little bit on the spicy side - I had the Mediterranean panini and breakfast burrito. There is a vast variety of desserts. I recommend the mint brownie - fabulous.

Parking tip: 2 hours free at the nearby library - with validation.

Pros: Vegan, Organic, Excellent Customer Service!

Cons: Difficult street parking, A little too spicy

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Sol Food - Edit

2nd workout of the day was a 3-mile run downtown San Diego in search of vegan delights. Boy was it worth it. Sol Cal, next to Padres Stadium, is earthy, organic and pure. No deep fried or oily comfort foods, and mostly raw! I'm Happy!

Pros: pure

Cons: none

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Healthy and delicious - Edit

Wonderful place. Healthy and tasty food, big portions, a lot of choice. I would eat there every day if I lived in San Diego.

Pros: Healthy, tasty food, Friendly staff, Reasonable prices

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Comfort Food - Edit

Little cafe, very clean with friendly staff, food caters to typical American tastes, which for me is way too sweet and way too much fat.I liked the green juice I had, but disappointed it was in a bottle, not made fresh. Very limited breakfast menu.

Pros: Clean, Friendly, Gaslamp district

Cons: Too much sugar, Too much fat, Limited menu

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Finally! - Edit

I go to San Diego a few times a year for work and have always been disappointed in the lack of vegan options downtown (Gaslamp District). I very happy to have found Sol Cal Cafe on my last trip. I had the loaded sweet potato -- it was delicious and the portion was huge. And don't skip a side salad -- honestly, it was one of the best salads I've ever had. I can't wait to return to try their Acai Bowl and their burger. It was a cute place and the gal at the counter was friendly and helpful. I will be back!

Pros: Great food, Huge portion, Reasonable price

Cons: need more dessert options

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I LOVE THIS PLACE - Edit

The vibe walking into the place is super positive and colorful. Not a long wait at all and the staff was very nice and helpful. I decided on the Acai Bowl and it was absolutely divine! I also recommend the tomato soup is super good. Cute little place to just hang out or meet up with friends. It's a Plant-Powered Dream! If only they had this place expand into different states.

Pros: Good Service, Amazing Food, Plant-Based

Cons: Not in other states!, Needs a little more variety

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Love!! - Edit

I looked up this restaurant before going to San Diego for a few days, and I'm so glad I found it and went to try it out. Eating healthy while traveling can be a challenge, and this was such a great find- it was a short walk from the hostel where I was staying. The food is high-quality and delicious and the atmosphere is cheerful and fun. The servers are very friendly, and prices are reasonable. I went several times in just a couple of days, because I was so glad to have the chance to go- if I lived closer, I'd go all the time, but I can say for sure that I plan to go again when I'm in San Diego the next time. Also, just wanted to say, it's very affordable compared not only to other vegan/vegetarian/organic places I've been to, but also compared to most of the other restaurants I saw in this neighborhood.

Pros: excellent value, high-quality ingredients, fun!

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Amazing and adorable - Edit

Great place. Food is fresh and tastes great. Staff is super friendly and knowledgeable. Awesome.

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Fabulous Vegan Spot - Edit

Built my own delicious burger, will be back for breakfast tomorrow!

Pros: lots of options, great value, fast & friendly service

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Amazing - Edit

Friendly staff and tasty hearty food. I will definitely go back for more!

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Terrific! - Edit

Just had lunch there. I'm not a down-town type so I made a special trip when I had to go for something else. So glad I ate there. The vegi soup was wholesome and the best - I could have just had a large of that and some bread for a meal. I also had their veggie burger with guac and it was the best homemade burger that I remember having with it's sauce and side fixings. I took home some of their house-made mint chocolate chip ice cream (made from coco milk) cause I couldn't fit another bite. Great complete vegan find — we could use more of that!

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Great Find! - Edit

With a lively staff, and a splendid menu, Sol Cal surpassed out expectations and will be remembered. We wish that we lived in San Diego for many reasons, but this is certainly near the top of the list. The food is prepared in the back with care and in a clean environment. Located directly across the street from Petco Park (Baseball), I would suggest that it is worth the trip even if you are not a baseball fan. Come to think of it, the "Rolling Stones" will appear there later this year.

Pros: Staff is knowledgeable, Fine Menu, Clean and bright

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