Lettuce See: A Vegan’s Look into San Diego Fast Food

As of two days ago, I am officially a vegan sophomore, woo! This year has been filled with kombuchas, improved bowel movement and the ingesting of Costco B12 vitamins. Having reached this milestone, I felt it necessary to discuss my devotion to all things cheesy, creamy and greasy, before and during my vegan transition. 

Vegans refrain from consuming any kind of animal products, such as dairy, animal proteins and honey. That means no cheese, no ice cream, no burgers, no rib-eye steak and, sadly, no chicken nuggets. At first glance, this list seems like too many “No’s” for the average college student, and it definitely was.  To say the least, my most intimate relationship at the time was one with Frankie from See’s Candies, whose first words upon my arrival were always “the usual?”. However, this past year taught me that being vegan is not about restrictions. It’s about exploring the worlds of food and health driven by whatever reason. Whether it be for health, ethics or the environment, it’s a personal choice. 

As an example, I will use fast food. I’ve loved cheesy fries, burgers, Oreo milkshakes and onion rings since the time my parents and I first drove by a Carl’s Jr. One of my favorite pastimes is discussing the perfection that is Hodad’s onion rings and their velvety chocolate milkshake. From a young age, I fell in love with the all-American burger, fresh fries and milkshake. Once I committed to a vegan diet, however, I painfully said goodbye to this first love. I thought I would never again bury my face in the warm cushions of burger buns, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Fortunately, the vegan gods blessed me. San Diego is home to a 100% plant-based and 100% “oh holy mother this is good” delicious fast-food joint. 

Plant Power, located in Sunset Cliffs and Encinitas, is a restaurant that mimics the traditional American concept of fast-food but without the meat. Everything on its menu is completely vegan and most of their waste is compostable. Their plant-based creations include burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, milkshakes, floats, fries, nuggets and everything else you would expect from the regular burger joint. To me, this place is magical. The service is quick and simple, the food is sublime and the concept is beautifully nostalgic. You can go as a vegan and non-vegan and still have the pig out of a lifetime, or have a sensible meal if you can actually control yourself. Personally, I say treat yo self.  

As a recurring client I very strongly recommend the Horchata milkshake, the Holy Guacamole or the Classic burger, the cheesy fries, the kombucha float and the queen of all queens the SOFT SERVE! Do not sleep on the creamiest  soft serve that has ever existed (at least in San Diego).

Gabriela Quevedo