Don Carlos

Vegans have a difficult time with Mexican food. Sure, we can opt for the standard combination of chips, guacamole, beans and salsa (“nachos”), if the restaurant doesn’t find a way to include dairy even in these basics, but these simple ingredients become boring. Is it possible to purchase a burrito without worrying if the tortilla contains dairy? Can we ever enjoy authentic tamales? Is there a place for us to sit down and munch on a chimichanga?

The answer is yes. On an unassuming corner of Pearl Street in Downtown La Jolla lies Don Carlos, a gem of local Mexican food. Its ambiance is that of a traditional taco shop, but something is distinct about this eatery.

Within its extensive menu lie countless opportunities for a vegan meal. Soyrizo can replace meat within burritos, chimichangas, tortas, carne asada fries and anything else they offer. I opted for a Soyrizo Burrito, which usually contains soyrizo, beans, rice, salsa, lettuce and cheese. As the sign suggests, I told the staff to hold the cheese, since I am vegan. Unfortunately, Don Carlos does not do substitutions or exchanges and I had to pay an extra .99 cents for guacamole, a personal essential. It was worthy every penny, since they are quite generous with their portions.

Don Carlos’ red and green salsas are the best salsas I have tasted at local Mexican restaurants. The Salsa Verde in particular provided the final kick to my taste buds. A word of warning; these portions are not for the weak of stomach. Though I wrapped up a fourth of my burrito for leftovers, a food coma knocked me into a stupor for twenty minutes after my meal. It is simply too easy to fall into eating overdrive at the prospect of a mouth-watering, multi-ingredient vegan burrito.

Other personal Don Carlos favorites:

– Potato and Bean Chimichanga, no cheese and guacamole on top (not specifically listed on the menu)

– Soyrizo Don Carlos Fries, no cheese and no sour cream, add guacamole.

For more information, visit Don Carlos’ website:


2 thoughts on “Don Carlos

  1. Liz Losh says:

    With this news-you-can-use style you do a good job setting up the dilemma of a potential reader before giving a visual narrative that goes along with your verbal one, which includes a sequence of photographs that moves from the sign on the door that beckons you in to the final POV shot of your hand with the giant burrito.

  2. Liz Losh says:

    Don’t forget to use tags, of course, since readers of blogs expect you to use metadata that points them to appropriate content of interest.

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