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SOL CAL Cafe

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 26 reviews )
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. Open Mon-Sun 8:00am-8:00pm.

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

Reviews (26)

First Review by jasonlheath

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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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.

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

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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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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Fantastic Jewel of a Restaurant - Edit

Wow the food is good here! Bring your appetite because the potions are not small. I got the loaded baked sweet potato and it was soooooo good! A must if here in San Diego

Pros: friendly staff, great food. , good music


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Vegan Paradise - Edit

Hands down THE best Vegan restaurant Ive ever eaten at. I LOVE that their menu is not full of soy product meat substitutes, and actually consists mostly of fruits, Roots, and vegetables... and a lot of raw options too.

Thank goodness someone is finally getting "it" right! (HEALTHY vegan food, that is)

I love that there are loads of gluten free options too.

The food is delicious - so far Ive tried the Pesto Kelp Noodles, Chop Salad, the Tomato soup, and the Loaded Sweet Potato (A+) ... and i plan on eating there every chance I get, and try EVERYTHING!

I love that most of their produce is sourced from local organic, GMO free, farms.

The Cucumber Alkaline water is a nice touch too.

Im totally obsessed with this place (in case you cant tell), my only disappointment is... that there isn't a location in my neighborhood :(

(Laguna Beach, hint hint ;)

Thanks Sol Cal, for giving "Vegan" a good name!

Pros: no soy based meat substitutes, raw options, gluten free options

Cons: theres only one location :(, they close too early, some rice dishes would be nice


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MUST EAT HERE - Edit

At last a restaurant that I can eat at! My diet (due to infant's skin issues) requires no dairy, no eggs, no gluten, no soy, no potatoes, no tomatoes, no peppers, no corn...and the list goes on. The SOL CAL Cafe staff met the challenge with the BEST meal for me! I had their baked sweet potato, but instead of the ordinary topping from the menu, the cook make something just for me. She came out to make sure she knew what was ok and what wasn't, I never realized sauteed kale, mushroom, carrots, and garlic could taste SO GOOD! It was very filling and worth every penny (surprisingly under $7). My husband ordered the chili burger, which looked so small next to my delicious baked sweet potato. He mentioned that the burger bun was surprisingly tasty! They make everything in house, btw. Even the almond milk. One other thing I wanted to mention. You must try the macaroons. They have both vanilla and chocolate and they are YUMMY!!!! We want to go back as soon as we can! Note: you really need to remember to bring quarters anytime you're in downtown and want to park somewhere. We forgot, so we had quite a walk. Next time we'll bring lots of quarters. :)

Pros: excellent food, friendly and helpful staff, great for those with food allergies

Cons: animal friendly (can be a con)


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Delicious Food - Edit

Food tastes great but would have been nice to get a larger serving. Also it seems like they are still learning the basics as they just opened. But great to have a vegan place in downtown San Diego

Pros: Tasty Food, Good Location

Cons: Small Servings, Staff Still Learning The Ropes


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