gal’s guide: san diego travel guide, vegan restaurants & instagram worthy places to shop and visit

I just got back from a quick trip to San Diego and we got to explore some of the most instagram (2017 for photogenic) worthy places around town, from vegan restaurants to the bluest beaches. I’ve rounded up a few of my absolute faves here, let me know where to visit next trip in the comments!

Holy Matcha is a pink and green cafe with wallpaper (can I get this installed in my house please?) as good as it’s matcha based drink concoctions. I tried the iced horacha matcha and it was a sweet yet spicy treat that was amazing. Beyond matcha, they have dairy and GF soft serve and the usual suspects like avocado toast. A morning must-stop.

Civico 1845 is nestled in San Diego’s italian neighborhood, little Italy and one of the only restaurants in the city to offer a full vegan menu. Seeing that it had absolutely awesome reviews, we had to go. Dining without vegan friends is always a challenge, but not here. The atmosphere was very low-key, lots of white and black, with beautiful painted tiles. The vegan menu was surprisingly robust and I even got my non-vegan family to try the caprese (rice milk mozzerella), to their delight. For my entree I had the fusilli alla bolognese with seitan ragout (pictured above) and I couldn’t put my fork down. It was so hearty and filling. A lot of times vegan meals leave me feeling unsatisfied, not this one. I’d fly back to town, just for this, a seat on their patio and a good glass of wine.

Cafe Gratitude is a small plant-based food chain that I wish I could franchise in Boston-you feel so light an airy just walking in. From smoothies to kombucha on tap, this place has everything to make your vegan heart flutter. The menu was overwhelming in a good way, with so many options I didn’t know what to do with myself. Kasey and I ended up ordering two items we knew would be amazing and sharing. First up was “liberated”, raw pesto kelp noodles. Honest to god, I could have had four orders of this and not have had enough, they were SO good. We also shared the “gracious”, a summer salad bowl. Yum, yum, yum.

Primary - San Diego Shopping Guide

Pigment might be the most beautiful shop I have ever visited, every nook and cranny was perfectly curated with “I have to have it” items, in the most beautiful colors. The build your own terrarium bar was an absolute game changer. Pick your vessel, sands, stones, plants and assemble on site. How amazing is that? From cacti to birthday cards and party accessories to cook books, this gift shop is a must stop.

Scripps Pier isn’t technically in San Diego but it’s close enough, so I’m including it here. Located in La Jolla, this pier separates a popular public beach and the coastal reserve. On one side, surfers and families and on the other huge rock formations you have to climb around on to get by. Worth the walk from the public beach and the drive from San Diego.

Holy Matcha 

3118 University Avenue

Civico 1845

1845 India Street

Cafe Gratitude

1980 Kettner Boulevard


3801 30th Street

Scripps Pier

8602 La Jolla Shores Drive

Happy traveling,