All Vegetarian Restaurant
Average: 3.8 (26 votes)


Email: <none>
Location: North Park (map)
Info Hours
2879 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
619 - 543- 0406

Reviews (Write a review)

Author Title / Comment Rating
Grover Squires (unverified)
May 12, 2008

Absolutely amazing. Best vegetarian meal I've ever had in the 8 years I've been vegetarian. You know a place is good when you're begging them to give you some water to-go.

Steve (unverified)
Jan 04, 2008

This restaurant is owned by a husband and wife, who also cook the meals. They are masters at creating incredibly flavorful and exotic dishes from whatever is fresh that day. The menu is always changing. Of all the restaurants I have eaten at all over the world, I never experienced such unique tastes until I ate at spread. If you have a boring palete this place is not for you, but if you crave the new and unique you will fall in love.

angie s. (unverified)
Oct 08, 2007

This is the best vegetarian restaurant I've ever been to. The owners are really nice & really care about providing diners with a once in a lifetime experience & with high quality ingredients. I think the pricing is on par with the quality. Honestly, in NYC or SF the pricing would be triple what it is here! As for the flowers, I love that part the best! This place is one of a kind, and I love it!!!

Daynah (unverified)
Apr 14, 2007
Oh my god! Did I die and go to heaven?

Spread is heaven on earth. The menu is always spectacular and changes so you never get bored. Anything you order will be amazing. You can't go wrong here. The atmosphere is hip, the service is super friendly and top notch.

They mix crazy interesting ingredients that you would never try otherwise. They sprinkle edible flowers on the dished which are so beautiful. They serve flower infused water. I can't rave about this place enough!!!

Try the fruit sangria with cinnamon, it will blow your mind. Prepare to be impressed.

Jack (unverified)
Apr 09, 2007
Poor choice

Though some of the reviews for this place were suspect, I decided to try it. Maybe I'm not special enough to appreciate it.

Chris (unverified)
Jan 30, 2007
Not a vegetarian, but this is now my favorite new restaurant...

I heard about Spread on one of my favorite shows on the Food Network - 'Unwrapped.' I went in for the Sunday brunch with high expectations, and I was NOT left disappointed! We had the peanut butter/banana stuffed french toast and the omelette, and they were both some of the freshest, most delicious dishes I'd had in a long time. The owner was our waiter and was very knowledgeable and courteous - really made us feel like appreciated customers. I liked it so much I came back on a date less than a week later and had a salad (delicious) and the Thai pizza (AMAZING)...the owner remembered me and helped make the experience even more wonderful. I'm not a vegetarian or a vegan, and the eclectic and healthy appeal of this place will have me coming back many more times!

Marsha (unverified)
Jan 03, 2007
Overpriced and bland

I recently went to Spread with a large group of friends. We ordered almost everything in the menu and shared the dishes. We all agreed that the salads were bitter-tasting and the steamed zuchinni was bland. Everything had way too many flowers in it, most of which had long, raw, bitter stems.

Needless to say, we don't plan on returning. The price is too high for such bad food.

RBZ (unverified)
Dec 31, 2006
WOW! What a place!!

My husband and I have only eaten at Spread's two times, but both have been wonderful experiences. Not only is the food delicious, but the service is very personable and friendly. This is a place where we start talking like snooty food critics because the flavors are soooo good that we find there is no other way to describe the experience. Yes, it is an expensive experience, but it is well worth the extra. The only reason I don't give a full 5 stars is that there is this smell that permeates the place because of venting shared by a few other restaurants on the block, but this is not really their fault.

SanVegan (unverified)
Nov 13, 2006
creative, expensive comfort food

I went to Spread for the first time with two other people to celebrate the completion of my thesis. It was the perfect place to have a celebratory meal. The owner/server was very informative and friendly about the menu -- but he -did- encourage us to over-order (4 entrees for 3 people) but the food was so amazing and creative that we didn't care. If we hadn't ordered that much, we probably would have ordered more just out of curiousity, stomachaches aside. Presentation was gorgeous, and the dessert was perfectly decadent yet simple. Their wines are overpriced (as it is at most restaurants) for the CHEAP wine that they served us, and I am not convinced that they are organic (he stated 'everything's organic') -- there are many vineyards that are organic without being certified as such, but I am not sure the owner pays attention to that with his wine selection. However, we will definitely be going back for more and more!

sfg (unverified)
Sep 16, 2006
wonderful presentation, service not so much

i love the presentation of the food and the complex mix of flavors in every dish - the food at spread is such a wonderful sensory experience, but can be ruined by the service. the owner is usually the host/server, and he can be pushy, encouraging customers to over-order, and makes customers feel unimportant. we see dollar signs in his eyes when we eat there. i would love to eat here more frequently, but choose not to - unless it's a really special occasion that requires amazing food - because of the service. i would love for the service here to be as pleasant and feel-good as the food. i had my best experience at spread when the owner wasn't there.

Christine (unverified)
Aug 21, 2006

To begin with, we have to say that this is ultimately the best vegetarian place we have been to yet in San Diego. The water was incrediable to begin with and of course the edible flowers that were included in just about every meal. The salads were very tasty and we loved the grilled cheese sandwhiches. There were 4 of us that dined there and were ordered 5 meals to spilt between all of us. I have to say we were more than stuffed. We probably would have felt just great with just 3 meals. Oh yea, I forgot to mention the yummy bread! Oh, was it so good that we had to ask for more...i am so happy to have found an all ORGANIC, VEGETARIAN eatery! Thank you Spread!

judy (unverified)
Apr 07, 2006

My husband and I have been vegan for 14 years and have been pleased with the increase of restaurants offering vegan selections. After seeing the review that this restaurant could be compared to Milleneum in SF, we gave it a try.

While we always try to support veg. restaurants, we will never return to Spread. Would someone please tell the owner that bee pollen is not vegan.

Jeremy (unverified)
Apr 02, 2006
Amazing food

So, two points I want to make. First and most important, the food is crazy delicious. Second, and I'm sorry, but for the decor, the place was a little dirty.

I know their place is in an old building (I grew up in North Park), but seeing a couple bugs crawling around made me feel nervous. There was a tiny little bug of some kind in one of our dishes. The place has this very white, clean, and sophisticated appearance, which made every speck of food not wiped up stand out like a sore thumb.

However, looking beyond that, everything was awesome. The food presentation felt very alive and fresh. The service was great if you consider the serving style. We got each plate around the time we were finished with the last, an impressive feat for the number of diners there. I have seen local lemongrass growing in my backyard but seeing and eating it here changed my mind about it. The pairing of bitter arugala with sweet carmelized onion and banana curry oatmeal was incredible, I almost made my girlfriend go out to the car to retrieve a phantom object so I could hoard it all to myself.

Thanks to my baby for taking me to such a wonderful place :)

alexandra (unverified)
Apr 02, 2006
classy and delicious

Perhaps the diner below me is more accustomed to Souplantation-styled vegetarian fare. Sophisticated paletes are no strangers to edible flowers and smaller, tapas-style entrees; the health benefits of not leaving a table uncomfortably stuffed to the point of going up a dress size should be apparent to anyone who is aware of the hazards of the standard American diet. Regardless, Spread is a really enjoyable little neighborhood eatery, ideally suited for nice but not dress-up Sunday brunches and 'going out on a date with your sweetie' dinners. Food is served to be shared, adding to the overall sense of intimacy the restaurant emanates. The menu changes frequently, but the Sunday brunch my boyfriend and I went to was wonderful. The owner was incredibly nice, and accomodating...he went down the list of the daily menu, highlighting vegan options. We had three amazing items...banana curry oatmeal, bruschetta with lemongrass, and thai veggie pizza, along with two very tasty drinks (blood orange sangria and passion fruit bellinis...sooo good). Good coffee, too...the decor is space age-Ikea-minimalist, but clean and warm throughout. It's not cheap, but we were full, happy, and will definitely go back. It's a 'once a month for a nice treat' restaurant for vegans on a budget (like we are), but well worth it. And it's nice to see a place that has NO MEAT WHATSOEVER on its menu, in North Park...which gives me hope for something in San Diego like San Francisco's Millenium or NYC's Teany. We're not there yet, but Spread is a pretty awesome place to have close by!

vegas (unverified)
Feb 13, 2006

The worst restaurant I have ever been to, no question. Fourteen dollars for a small pizza? That much or more for french fries and not that many? I understand the decor may be appreciated by some, if I am to pay fifty dollars for three apetizers I don't want to see electrical sockets covered with tape. The service provided by the owner I have spent years as a waiter, not once did the owner take a tip. This guy must not know. Actually claimed the sour grass garnish was of rare organic form, was worse than those in my back yard. This place is harmfull to vegetarians.

roi (unverified)
Aug 02, 2005

i had the pad thai scramble with tofu instead of eggs and it was the best food i have ever eaten! even the water was amaizing! andrew and robin were both very nice and the atmosphere was great as well.

Mona (unverified)
Jul 04, 2005
Tasty and enjoyable experience

Tasty food and lovely presentation with flowers and dishware that complemented the food in color and shape. Fun decor. Tempted to buy a t-shirt for myself. Even had non-vegetarians in my party raving about the restaurant. Neighborhood is a bit peculiar, but it seems that the city is revitalizing it. Call first, as the hours shown on-line are not accurate.

T.M. (unverified)
Jun 21, 2005
Updated review

On my third visit to Spread, I found the food had improved (though what I got was not exactly what I ordered). The service and overall experience was not so great this time and I was a little embarrased as I'd brought an out of town friend. I don't feel like rushing back any time soon. Everyone has off days though. Give them a try. As for the 'Sexy' shirts, I thought they were fun. You gotta have a sense of humor to be veg in a non veg world.

Natacha (unverified)
May 22, 2005
Lighten up

I don't understand what the concern is here. They sell peanut and almond SRPEADS! It's a hip name, and a hip restaurant. Why does the word 'sexy' have to be degrading or objectifying? Sexy is a state of mind. It doesn't matter what you look like. Sexy is how you feel about yourself. I think feeling sexy is empowering. I've eaten at their restaurant, and the food is amazing. If eating thier food makes me feel sexier about myself, I'm all for it!

veganlove (unverified)
May 22, 2005
best food in the city!

to the last writer, get your mind out of the gutter! i would never boycott a restaurant that makes vegan/vegetarian food and dining easy to appreciate by even meat eaters! i've seen truly obscene tee shirts: these are really cute! And they're right: eating cruelty free is sexy!

appalled (unverified)
May 16, 2005
raunchy new marketing

It started out as pretty good 'nouveau comfort food.' Now their 'gourmet' cuisine meant for the 'beautiful people' and is now considered 'sexier food' for 'sexier people.'

Hmmm. I saw two guys yesterday hawking their peanut and almond spreads at the Hillcrest Farmers' Market...and they had new tee shirts with their new slogan across the front saying 'sexier food' for 'sexier people.' I never thought of healthy vegetarian and or vegan food as 'sexy' and meant for the 'sexier', or the more 'beautiful' people. And you can't say it is a coincidence that they also did not craft their new marketing to play off of their restaurant name, Spread (making a sexual reference to women), either.

I am very appalled that these 'beautiful people' who do run this restaurant in North Park would stoop so low to to get customers into their restaurant. This should be not acceptable at all and the female and veg*n community should be totally outraged. I urge all veg*ns who read this message to contact Spread at (619) 543-0406 and ask them to immediately discontinue this marketing. Or better yet, like me, boycott dining at their establishment and get the word out for others to do the same.

Job (unverified)
May 07, 2005
Third time's a charm?

I've tried to write a review on this place 3 times already...why am I being censored? Is it because I don't like the food or service at Spread???

T.M. (unverified)
Apr 22, 2005
Fun place, decent food

Almost everything has peanut or almond butter so it is rich! I've been there twice and the food was pretty good but not the best part. I really liked the funky futuristic and colorful decor. It is a unique place and I will go back. Maybe I'll find my favorite dish. The service was fine. I hope they have even more vegan things next time. You should check it out for your self.

colleen (unverified)
Feb 22, 2005
Check it out!

You have to try this place it is awesome! It is an experience. It is not a calm atmosphere agreed - don't expect Jyoti B's. The music is loud, actually everything is loud, even the salt and pepper shakers. The food is incredible! Even the water is amazing. The presentation is beautiful - edible flower petals. Try the bruchetta with tofu and french toast. Also ask for vegan samples of the spreads. Yum - I'm addicted.

shabby (unverified)
Jan 09, 2005
was ok

had dinner here the other night. the food was pretty good, but the atmosphere was a bit obnoxious. i was looking for something more relaxed. what i got was food served on plastic in a plasicy environment. the proprietor talks too much about the food--he seems a little nervous about running a restaurant. and this is genoux-haute cuisine, so moderately
sized portions for a little more than i'm used to paying. the nut butter samples are good, and the mushroom stew was delicious. a really mixed experience that will probably improve over the coming months.

Judy (unverified)
Aug 23, 2004
Delicious vegetarian cuisine

I had the pleasure of trying the weekend brunch here and it was absolutely delicious! The atmosphere, with the bubble-like chairs hanging from the ceiling and the modern and bright furnishings, was really great! But the food was incredible. I had the pumpkin walnut french toast, which they also can prepare vegan-style, and topped it with dark chocolate almond butter. The prices were reasonable, the DJ was great (not too over the top), and I truly enjoyed the entire experience!