Each month we ask one of our favorite San Diegans the question:
If you only had 24 hours to show a friend the best that urban San Diego has to offer, where would you take them?
Nichole Dinato + Callie Coker
Nichole and Callie produce and host the podcast, Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack!, a show that takes in-depth looks at vegan topics with humor and an intersectional viewpoint. Episodes are posted every Tuesday morning. On their blog, they run a vegan advice column, have a clothing line, and post a series called “I Am A Vegan” where readers and listeners write in to tell their vegan story from their unique perspective. They are both vegan and Nichole is gluten-free.
To start off a day in San Diego, we’d go to Pure Press, near our apartments in Hillcrest, to get a light, fresh breakfast. Nichole thinks their pitaya bowls are the best in all of San Diego and Callie loves their smoothies. We’d take our treats over to Balboa park to fuel us while we walk around.
Then we’d head to Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant in University Heights for lunch. The fresh spring rolls and the “chicken” satay are not to be missed. All of their food is good, from curry to noodles you can’t go wrong. Nichole would get the Zen Soup, a unique, lovely coconut-based soup with lotus seeds, rice and beans. Callie would order the Broccoli Delight with Plumeria’s signature crispy mock duck.
For dinner, the only option is Muzita Bistro, right next door to Plumeria in University Heights. They have a great atmosphere in there, and you get to eat with your hands! The best items on the menu are vegan: beet salad, shiro, hamli, and the tsebhi mushrooms. They don’t have the tsebhi mushrooms on the menu anymore but they will usually make them if you ask – we hope if enough people ask, they’ll put them back on the menu! The textures at Muzita are luxurious and the flavors are bold, a perfect special meal.
To end our day of indulgence, we’d cross the street to Park & Rec for cocktails and, if the night gets rowdy enough, an order or two of their amazing tater tots. Park & Rec has a wide selection of liquors and beers, and all their housemade cocktails are terrific. We’re especially fond of the Park Bench, a bourbon and citrus drink made vegan with an alternate sweetener, and their version of an Old Fashioned. Nichole loves that the bartendars are well-educated in craft cocktails and can usually make her hard-to-find favorite, a Talent Scout (bourbon with bitters and curaçao). The staff is friendly and they usually play good music or have someone playing live. A perfect end to a great day in our beautiful city.