• vegan mex at ranchos cocina in san diego

    November 14th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), san diego

    we go down to san diego pretty often, and for ages people have been urging us to check out ranchos cocina. the small mexican restaurant has two locations (one in ocean beach and one in north park) and although it serves meat, it boasts a massive vegan-friendly menu with everything from breakfast to dinner and specialty products like daiya and mock chicken & steak. we visited the north park outlet for an early lunch, and i can safely say that it was better than most vegan mex options in LA.

    we arrived at around noon and were quickly seated. the waiter was friendly and helpful, and brought us a basket of chips with unlimited salsa. great way to start the meal. the salsa was superb too: packed with heat and super chunky. for my entree, i went with a combo plate that came with rice, beans, and 2 bean enchiladas for $7.95. it’s worth noting that this normally comes smothered in daiya, but i opted to get it plain…

    Combo plate w/ rice and beans: Bean Enchiladas topped with sauce. $7.95

    sometimes i’m not in the mood for vegan cheese, but it’s great to know that ranchos has options. the enchiladas themselves were pretty tasty, but the real star of the dish was the thick red sauce. i love being at a restaurant where i can eat this stuff, because so many places use chicken stock. the rice and beans were pleasant as well, and i was full about 3/4 way through the plate. great value.

    Whole Wheat Tofu & Papa Burrito. $5.50

    my husband went with the vegan tofu and papa burrito: tofu, potatoes, and vegetables all rolled up in a wheat tortilla, smothered in red sauce, and served with a salad garnish for $5.50. unfortunately i couldn’t try it, because it came with unadvertised bell peppers—which i HATE.

    my husband seemed to enjoy it, i mean he ate the whole thing, but also commented that there was nothing that special about it—reasonable price, reasonable size, reasonably good taste.

    inside, ranchos north park is bright and spacious, with colorful art hung all over the walls. this is a place where i could easily come with friends and spend a few hours and enjoy the environment.

    throughout our meal, the service was stellar. even when the restaurant got busy, our waiter was always right there with coffee, water, and salsa refills. another thing to note is that ranchos had some pretty interesting specials (including a vegan shrimp burrito!) when we were there, so they’re obviously trying to get creative with their meatless cuisine. if you are ever in the area, go check this place out. according to matt ruscigno, the carne asada is not to be missed…so that’s definitely what i’ll be ordering next time!

    ranchos cocina
    3910 30th St
    San Diego, CA 92104
    (619) 574-1288
    Mon-Thu 9 am – 10 pm
    Fri-Sat 8 am – 10 pm
    Sun 8 am – 9 pm

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7 responses to “vegan mex at ranchos cocina in san diego” RSS icon

  • Pokez is WAY better. No comparison.

  • Nice review 🙂
    [Never heard of a vegan shrimp burrito…let us know how that turns out if you ever go back and order it hehe:p]

  • Great review, just love to read about all the places you visit, very inspiring. And great to see a non veg place with a decent vegan menu. Thumbs up.

  • Ranchos has a great laidback vibe and friendly people but the food is pretty average for San Diego. For vegan-friendly Mexican I like Don Carlos in La Jolla a lot better, and even that isn’t great: in SD you’re better off just finding a really good omni Mexican place and asking them to hold the cheese and sour cream on a veggie burrito. But QG you have to try the Dayna’s Vegan Special at Devine Pastabilities [sp] – this is the best vegan sandwich in San Diego, IMHO.

    Peace Pies in Encinitas is also a must: kind of like Lifefood Organic but with even better food (which is saying something) and more welcoming and mellow. My favorite all around vegan place in SD. Muzita is really good too, and there are a slew of great Indian veggie places inland by the 15 freeway.

  • Oops! I almost forgot to mention another long lost cave of vegan wonders in San Diego – Olive Oil Cafe in Imperial Beach. This place is at the absolute ends of the earth and buried behind a counter in the back of the jankiest health food store in Southern California — the last time I was there, all the juices had expiration dates from the previous _month_ — but the sandwiches and desserts will have you eating yourself stupid, just NOM NOM NOM comfort food in the best way. Don’t just take my word for it, though:


    Love this place, my favorite sort of find.

  • The shiitake pate is not to be missed, the way it shreds is unbelievable. I would do anything for the recipe. It should be noted that Ranchos menu is fairly extensive, much larger than Pokez, and is a great place to dine with guests who might not enjoy Pokez environment (parents?).

  • Thanks for linking me!
    The best vegan Mexican is Liticker’s Tacos and then Rancho’s and then Pokez. Everyone just loves Pokez because it’s punk and everyone who works there is cute!

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