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Healthy Living Guide: San Diego

February 16, 2012

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Located in the southern most tip of California, San Diego is one of the most desirable locations to live in America.  And it’s no surprise; just one look at the pristine beaches, palm trees, and carefree residences soaking up the sun is enough to convince anyone to call San Diego home! The city also has a strong health and wellness movement, with dozens of yoga studios, state parks, surf beaches, and health food cafes! If you are in need of a little R&R, San Diego is the perfect spot to kick back and relax on the beach, green juice in hand!

If you’re planning a trip to San Diego - and you should - here is a list of our favorite healthy hang-outs in the area, along with some beautiful state parks that capture all of the beauty of Southern California!

Not able to make it down to San Diego? Check out the healthy options a little closer to home in our Healthy Living Guide series! 



Café Gratitude
Multiple Locations

Café Gratitude has several locations throughout California, each serving 100% local, organic, and vegan fare. The food is free of refined sugar, flour, and additives. They also have several raw options on their menu.

casa de luz

Casa De Luz
2920 University Avenue

This Macrobiotics restaurant was founded on the philosophy of living the best life you can by feeding your body the best possible foods. The chef creates balanced and organic meals for optimal health. For a delicious, always vegan, gluten-free, and allergen-free meal, head over to Casa De Luz. They also have a location in Austin, TX!

ki's restaurant

Ki’s Restaurant
2591 South Coast Highway 101

This ocean front restaurant serves a delicious selection of local, organic fare. The menu includes a wide array of naturally raised beef and poultry, plus organic, seasonal vegetables and fruits. But we love the fresh fish options the most – the Macadamia Coconut Mahi Mahi is our favorite!

the oceanaire

Oceanaire Seafood Room
400 J Street

This sleek and sophisticated restaurant provides the perfect location for a celebratory or romantic dinner. The menu features an outstanding number of sustainably caught seafood options, you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose!

spread restaurant

2879 University Avenue

This vegetarian, and mostly vegan, restaurant specializing in “nouveau comfort food” is a favorite among San Diego’s health conscious residents. The menu features all of your favorite comfort foods with a healthy, vegetarian spin, like the Thai Veggies Pizza or the Savory Cornbread French Toast!

sea rocket

Sea Rocket Bistro
3382 30th Street

This seafood bistro has a very relaxed vibe. The constantly changing menu features an amazing variety of wild, sustainably caught, local seafood. Sea Rocket also has several local and regional craft beers, California grass-fed meats, and many vegetarian menu items!


Ranchos Cocina
1830 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard

A trip to Southern California wouldn’t be complete without a meal of delicious Mexican food! Check out Ranchos Cocina for authentic, vegetarian Mexican food made with organic, natural ingredients. Ranchos Cocina also has several raw food options on their menu.

lotus cafe and juice bar

Lotus Café
3955 5th Avenue

This unique café has two locations, one in San Diego, the other in Encinitas – both dedicated to serving fresh, natural, and healthy foods at an affordable price. The dinner menu has several vegetarian options as well as chicken and fish dishes. Many dishes are also gluten free and vegan! Not in the mood for a full meal? Hit the juice bar for a fresh pressed green juice or smoothie.

blue ribbon artizan pizzas

Blue Ribbon Pizza
897 South Coast Highway 101

This cozy, neighborhood pizza spot serves artisan, brick oven pizzas with a healthy twist. All ingredients are organic, local, and sustainable and several items, such as the fennel sausage and mozzarella, are made in-house. If it’s your first time to Blue Ribbon, try the signature pizza – extra virgin olive oil, fresh Mozzarella, ricotta, lemon zest, red onion, and basil!

mozy cafe

Mozy’s Café
698 North Coast Highway 101

This extremely popular Caribbean and Mediterranean café is right on the beach. People come from near and far for a taste of Mozy’s famous vegetarian fare. Order lunch and sit out on the back patio, or, as we like to do, grab a falafel wrap or fresh juice to go and head over to the beach!

peace pies

Peace Pies
133 Daphne Street

Peace Pies is committed to serving their customers raw, vegan, gluten-free, organic foods made with locally sourced ingredients. They also have a zero waste policy, which they enforce by composting and using only earth friendly materials.

naked cafe

The Naked Café
Multiple Locations

The Naked Café specializes in dishes made with simple, clean, and natural ingredients. They realize that whole foods are the key to a healthy lifestyle and take pride in feeding their customers dishes that fill them up and make them feel good.  They also have a phenomenal brunch; we love the Plate of Prosperity – Organic quinoa, scrambled egg whites, soy sausage, and a variety of vegetables.

urban plates

Urban Plates
12857 El Camino Real

Urban Plates promises their customers three things: ingredients freshly delivered from local farms and producers, chef-inspired dishes piled high with one-of-a-kind flavors, and meals that won’t break the bank.  Stop in for a hand tossed, urban salad, sandwich, or slow cooked meat dish!

stone brewing

Stone Brewing Co.
1999 Citracado Parkway

This local brewing company has created a local food and beer oasis in San Diego, complete with an open air patio, one-acre organic beer garden, and a menu of locally grown dishes. Stone Brewing Co. is a must while you are in San Diego!

sipz fusion cafe

5501 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard

This vegetarian restaurant serves a fusion menu of Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and Italian dishes. In addition to being vegetarian, most options are also vegan, and all are healthy and affordable. The café is also famous for their Boba Drinkz – milk tea made with large tapioca pearls in a variety of flavors.



people's co-op

People’s Co-op in Ocean Beach
4765 Voltaire Street

A popular food co-op, which stocks all organic produce, meat and products, most of which are grown locally. Check website for membership information.


Jimbo’s Natural and Organic Food Grocer
Several Locations

A local, natural food store that carries all of your favorite health food brands and organic produce!

seaside market

Seaside Market

Seaside is a locally owned market in Cardiff-by-the-Sea that sells many popular health food brands, organic produce and grass fed, locally raised meat.




Mission Trails

This park encompasses over 5,800 acres of natural and developed recreational land. Mission Trails is only eight miles outside of San Diego, making it an excellent day trip.

torrey pines

Torrey Pines Trail
12600 North Torrey Pines Road

Torrey Pines is a nature reserve in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle of the city. Home to the nation’s rarest pine tree – Pinus Torreyana, Torrey Pines is a must see.

elfin forest trails

Elfin Forest Trail
8833 Harmony Grove Road

The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve offers 11 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails right outside of the San Diego city limits. 

For more restaurant options around the country, have a look at all of Integrative Nutrition's Healthy Living Guides, or explore all our recommendations on the map below!

View IIN's Healthy Living Guide Map in a larger map

Do you have any restaurant suggestions for our upcoming Healthy Living Guides? Just send us an email to and we’ll do our best to include your suggestion when we get to your city!