11/18/2011 03:14 pm ET | Updated Jan 18, 2012

Healthy Sips And Suppers In San Diego

Whether you're doing a tour of California for a little R&R or frequently travel San Diego for ComicCon, the southernmost metropolis in the state is a great place to visit. Beachy, relaxed and beautiful, healthy food is easy to find in this bayside border town. Lots of great stuff has popped up recently, so I decided to go back and check out some of the new places in and around town.

San Diego is packed with cool little pockets of hip neighborhoods that boast cool places to drink and be merry. One such place is Hamiltons Tavern (no relation to me or my in-laws). A great, English-style pub with tons of beers, including vegan and gluten free options, you don't have to starve at this local watering hole. They offer fun vegan bar food like a hearty veggie chili, vegan sausages with loads of toppings and other, ever changing menu items fit for vegheads who like to drink with their meals.

In the same building, down the block from Hamiltons, you'll find Alchemy. A local, seasonal restaurant that serves up organic and fresh dishes that suit all sorts of special diets. Featuring cultural cuisine from around the globe, this healthy voyager was delighted to dig in to the international veggie offerings. I started with the black quinoa hush puppies and ended with a veganized version of their mixed grain salad. Their specials are always new and exciting and if you time it right, you may be able to get in on their vegetarian farm dinners.

In the same general area, you can stumble over for some more beer and grub at Toronado. Another beer-heavy bar with vegan bar food available, this neighborhood, North Park, is the place to celebrate all weekend long without having to cab it all over town.

Not far from the university, there are a bunch of veggie and health friendly eateries, one of which is Spread. A chic and modern spot that features organic produce all year long to make fresh vegetaian and vegan comfort foods (and drinks). Menu items like Thai veggie pizzas, chocolate melange and basil lime sangria will keep you coming back season after season, checking out what's new. They also have their own line of products to take home so be sure to stock up when dining in.

Even if you're in a hurry, fast food is an unwelcome option. But not at Evolution Fast Food: It's a 100 percent vegan fast food and drive-through restaurant! With their fun menu of burgers, wraps, shakes and other desserts, you can eat quickly and guilt free. They use quality, natural ingredients, have an organic juice bar and are proud of their healthy and eco-conscious food, unlike their gross competitors.

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