Swami's Cafe

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 10 reviews )

1163 South Coast Highway 101 (at J St, opposite Self Realization Fellowship Center), Encinitas, California, USA, 92024

Serves meat, vegan options available. Casual cafe with a few locations. Offers a varied menu including some vegetarian options and a few vegan choices. Breakfast all day, salads, sandwiches and wraps, juices and smoothies, and more. Prices cheap for the veggie items. Small interior with counter and stool in addition to a large patio with a fountain. Open Mon-Sun 7:00am-5:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Fast food, Juice bar, Non-veg

10 Reviews

First Review by chris

Fun Place - Edit

This is an easy casual gathering place with outdoor seating for a burrito, loaded acai bowl or smoothie. The only thing about it is that behind the scenes it does not seam that clean. This is not something I like to see. Parking is tough.

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Swami's Cafe Rocks! - Edit

The Swami's salad is my absolute favorite. It is so good I wind up getting that and not trying other great looking options. The acai bowl is also quite amazing. There are several vegan options. The Oceanside restaurant is my favorite of the 3.

Pros: excellent salads, great prices, outdoor seating

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It's Okay - Edit

I had read about this place on HappyCow and decided to stop in on a past trip to San Diego (with a stop in Encinitas). Here's my Swami's Cafe review.

While the menu is both non-veg and veg, there are enough choices for the ovo-lacto vegetarian customer, and few for vegans. Mostly casual American and Californian-Mexican type of cuisine - omelettes, pancakes, burritos, salads, sandwiches, and a few main plates like a tofu curry dish. We ordered our food at the counter and the waitress brought it to our table.

The inside is very small and a bit dim, but there is an outdoor patio with a fountain. And it's located a block from the ocean, so there is a nice breeze.

The only complaint we had was that the restroom was messy, because there were many customers using it that time.

Pros: causal, fast service, affordable prices

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Un Swami-like - Edit

It was obvious our tofu scramble was cooked on the same grill as the meat and cheese. The cook did not know what to do w the tofu, no seasoning added. The fresh juices, their only saving grace, was served in a plastic cup...?
They seem to cater to the meat-eating tourist crowd. Not feeling the Swami Yogi Love here.

Pros: friendly staff

Cons: staff unsure of menu or preparation

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Unwelcoming.... - Edit

...if you are not a right-wing Republican. There are signs at the entrance and over the counter expressing the political loyalties (of the owner? of the manager?). No thanks. Ruined my appetite. And the food was just okay--not good enough for this area, which has so many better restaurants.

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Don't order the hot items...not really vegetarian! - Edit

The Acai Bowl (sub soy milk) is great and it is completely addictive! I crave it! But since they hiked the price all the way up to $7.95, I just don't eat it very often. If it were only about a buck cheaper, I'd be at Swami's all the time! That extra buck adds up fast!

The falafel is terrible...definitely skip it. Its the powdered-from-a-box kind. The smoothies are great and I def suggest the Tropical Storm.

I won't ever order their hot food items again b/c the long-time manager swore to me that the Spinach Tofu (a former fave of mine) was vegan. But when I got home and opened up the to-go box, I found several pieces of chicken in my "vegan" dish! YUCK! I felt really sick :(

The patio would be nice on a pretty day, but the ridic crowd at Swami's makes going there during peak hours really unpleasant. Your best bet is to go around 3:30/4-ish on a cloudy day.

Pros: Acai Bowl, No tipping, Location/patio

Cons: Parking, Closes REALLY early, Meat-laced "vegan" dishes

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"Mmmm....Sandwiches......" Joey from Friends - Edit

Ah! I wish there was a Swami's closer to me!! It takes us about 35 minutes to drive to Swami's from our home in 4S Ranch. It's totally worth it! I've been Vegan for about a year and they have HANDS DOWN the best mock turkey I've tasted! The first time I went there I went with a meat eating friend, she order the club, and I order the same - only with Vegan meat/cheese substitutions. When we started to eat, I paused after my first bite, because I thought they may have given me REAL meat! I looked at my friends sandwich and realized I had mock meat because I could see the difference. I'm in sandwich heaven! The mock bacon is really good too! I'm seriously like Joey from friends... I LOVE LOVE LOVE sandwiches. So, finding a place that makes GREAT sandwiches VEGAN style is wonderful!

I love that sandwich so much I ordered that the first several times I went there. Even though the breakfasts looked really good. So, last weekend I went early enough and ordered breakfast finally... I must say they don't do as good of a job with the vegan style breakfast - they sub tofu for egg (which is what I would expect) BUT - the tofu is hard cubes and lacks texture and flavor. I've had WAY better egg style tofu breakfasts. They can seriously improve here.

Also - side note: the veggie soup is wonderful as well! Oh, and the breakfast potatoes are GREAT! They put zucchini in them, YUM!

The great thing about this place is that carnivores, omnivores, and veggies alike can find something to enjoy! Loving this place!

Pros: Mock Meats, Breakfast Potatoes, Fresh Salsa

Cons: Sometimes long wait, Breakfast Tofu, Long Drive

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Delicious But Infested With Bigots - Edit

I agree that they have great food. It was my favorite cafe for years. They seem to have recently begun to post anti-gay and anti-immigrant signs (drawn crudely in marker) on their walls. The last time I was there, I could scarcely drink my smoothie because I was so upset by the staff's disregard for the rights and feelings of large groups of people. ( I wouldn't eat somewhere with a 'No Irish' or 'No Blacks' sign up any more than one that said 'Straight Pride'). I hope they get over this soon and go back to being just a cute little funky cafe. If this kind of stuff bothers you, I'd stick to one of the other healthy cafes in the area like Roxies in Encinitas or Kais in Cardiff.

Pros: Choice of Real or Mock Meats, Good Smoothies, Croissant Breakfast

Cons: Bigoted Signs, One unpleasant employee, Long Waits Sometimes

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I love swamis! me and my mom go there every morning when were in CA. The Acai bowl is the best and most unique.. I have never tasted anything there I didnt love. The only problem is I always want to order everything!. Im vegan and they have everything I need and Love!


Cons: NONE

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YUM - Edit

Great vegan selection food is awesome. I love the swamis club. One of the only places I know that has soy cheese and veganaise as options. Surf vids always playing. Be ready to wait it can take a half hour or longer just to get your order. The place is always packed an closes early.

Pros: great food

Cons: slow service, next to loud 101

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