It’s so easy to lose the motivation needed to stick with a healthy lifestyle change, especially when on vacation or traveling to a new spot. The temptation to try new foods, especially the local cuisine when traveling, can be really strong. Visiting San Diego, however, has the benefit of both being an interesting place to visit and a haven for healthy and nutritious foods. No matter what part of town you are visiting, you can find a restaurant that features local and healthy cuisine
- The Airport – No gross and greasy airport food here! Whether you are flying in or flying out, there are a multitude of healthy options at the airport. Check out Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant outside of Terminal 1 for an assortment of farm-to-table healthy meals, like oatmeal and salads. Prado at the Airport is located in Terminal 2 and offers a similar menu of grilled fish tacos, salads and other healthy fare.
- Padres Game – Food offerings at ballparks are no longer limited to hot dogs, popcorn and peanuts. Rather, eating at a baseball game has become an experience of it’s own, with several restaurants that cater to diverse flavors and preferences. Petco Park is no exception. If you are sitting on the Field level, Cardiff’s Seaside Market has salads, fresh fruit and fresh juices. If you have a hankering for sushi, Zenbu Sushi Bar on the Toyota Terrace level has several delicious veggie sushi options.
- San Diego Zoo – Even the Zoo offers a variety of restaurants featuring healthier food options than the traditional burgers and fries. Located close the elephants, the Sabertooth Grill offers food with ingredients sourced from local farms. The chicken and veggie plates, salads and wraps are delicious and a great healthy food option. For a more sit-down restaurant experience, Alberts is located in the Lost Forest and has open-air deck seating with an exquisite view of the private waterfall. The restaurant offers food throughout the day, with a Sunday brunch from 10am to noon, and is a perfect way to start off your visit to the zoo.
- Balboa Park – Balboa Park is a central hub located in the heart of San Diego. Its 1200 acres feature not only the world-famous San Diego Zoo, but also more than 17 museums, gardens, hiking trails and theaters. There are also several restaurants that are perfect for sitting down and relaxing after a day of exploring the park. Check out Panama 66, which features local ingredients and a rotating menu of sandwiches and salads. The Tea Pavilion is found near the Japanese Friendship Garden and offers fresh and delicious Japanese dishes. There are even Gluten-free options if you need.
- Seaworld – Start your day with a delicious fruit smoothie at Fusion Smoothies & Wraps, or check them out later in the day to cool off after a day in the sun. They also offer a number of gourmet wraps and salads for lunch or snacks for other healthy options. The Shipwreck Reef Café has seasonal and sustainable healthy options, such as Ginger Soy Salmon, rotisserie chicken and chickpea burgers.
- Liberty Station – You can spend the entire day exploring the Liberty Public Market, which is a part of Liberty Station and located in Point Loma. With 27 artisan vendors, you can find a huge variety of healthy food options. Check out the rich spices and bone broths from Baker & Olive, or if you have a craving for Mexican, Cecilia’s Taqueria features gourmet tacos with homemade tortillas and naturally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Local and regional seafood make up the ceviche and poke salads that are found at Fishbone Kitchen. There’s even a market stand that displays the fresh produce grown on local farms.
- Legoland – Legoland California is a big hit with the kids and offers some options that are healthier than most theme parks. You can find a full salad bar with a ton of fresh vegetables and prepared salads at the Fun Town market. The Upper Deck Sports Café offers a grilled salmon dish and lots of Lego tables for the kids to play at while you enjoy a (relatively) quiet meal.
- USS Midway – The Fantail Café is located in the USS Midway Museum and offers patio dining. With a number of fresh salads and sandwiches, there are several healthy options to choose from. The restaurant even features menu items made from the USS Midway’s own 1945 cookbook!
- Seaport Village – Seaport Village is a terrific place to spend an afternoon strolling through the various shops and storefronts found here. There are often entertaining street performers and musicians around and many benches available to sit and enjoy them. With many different restaurants, it is easy to find something that satisfies your craving. Greek Islands Café serves authentic Greek Fare, like broiled chicken, grape leaves and fresh salads. Marion’s Fish Market has delicious and fresh seafood dishes, while the Seaport Village Deli features a fresh salad bar and a selection of wraps and sandwiches.
- Mission Beach – No trip to San Diego would be complete without a trip to the beach. While there aren’t restaurants directly on the beach, there are several places nearby to grab a healthy meal or snack. Rum Jungle Café is a few blocks away and has a large assortment of power bowls, wraps sandwiches and fresh acai bowls. Located just steps from the beach, the Swell Coffee Co. is a healthy breakfast staple with its craft coffee menu and delicious food options. They also have fresh and delicious salads, perfect after a day of playing in the ocean.
Traveling doesn’t have to mean eating only junk food. While there are many restaurants that offer that type of food, there are also many places that serve a healthier, fresher and more delicious menu, if you know where to look. San Diego cuisine is rich in vegetables, seafood and healthy fats like avocados, making it easy to eat lighter. Check out these spots, or find your own healthy options wherever you stay.