Donna Jean

4.3
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40 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Farm-to-table

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About

Seasonal. Sustainable. Plant Based. Rustic. Comforting. These five words best describe the direction of Donna Jean. This restaurant is a concept that chef Roy has been dreaming about for the past few years and, now that it’s here, we are excited to be doing something special...something from the heart and that will be felt by our guests as soon as they walk in the door. We want Donna Jean to be an everyday restaurant. A place in the neighborhood that is inviting and feels like home every time someone walks through the door. Welcome Home.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Farm-to-table, Vegan, American
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Hours of operation
Wednesday- Sunday: 6PM-10PM
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Phone number
(619) 299-5500
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Neighborhood
What 40 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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H
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Everything we tried was delicious! I had a vegan Caesar Salad, a vegan pizza, a mushroom appetizer an alcoholic kombucha drink and a berry dessert. All yummy and very reasonably priced. Our server, Sara was super helpful and accommodating!

DH
Denver
16 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing meal and wonderful hospitality. Will definitely be back. Everything we tried was delicious and perfectly prepared. The mac n cheese is an entree but we shared it as an appetizer.

E
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food, wonderful service. Really quality food.

OT
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2017
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Daughters 31st birthday

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2017
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The service was a bit slow because they only had one server. They food is exceptional.

S
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome service and amazing vegan food! Not too expensive either for what you get. Definitely recommend:)

KK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Donna Jean! My husband and I are both dairy-free so this is an incredible date night gem, since many plant-based restaurants are fast casual. The food is truly comfort food, but it doesn't make you feel one ounce of guilt because of the high quality of the ingredients and the thoughtfulness of the plates. I recommend this as a great place to take someone skeptical about how delicious plant-based meals can be!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time. Food was awesome! So good to see another great vegan restaurant in San Diego

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2017
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food was phenomenal must visit for any vegan looking for good comfort food in Southern California. Mac cheese was extraordinary. Desert was on point.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing, delicious food and great service. Definitely one of my new favorite restaurants now.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2017
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Mac n cheese was phenomenal!!

H
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2017
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We went for Mother's Day and took our two granddaughters. The place is open and welcoming. We started with a mimosa, set the kids up with coloring books and perused the menu then ordered a veggie omelet with a side of potatoes and strawberry rhubarb french toast. All was delicious and I can't wait to go back for dinner! Did I mention that everything is literally homemade?

d
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2017
Overall3food5service2ambience4

The food and atmosphere were excellent, and overall I find Donna Jean to be a welcome addition to the vegetarian restaurant scene in San Diego. However, the service was slow and inattentive. While the speed of the food and the service can get a pass, it doesn't excuse how inattentive our waitress was. She never offered to get us another drink or refill our water and with service being slow, I did want another cocktail. Instead, we straight up ran out of water and never got anything else to drink because she never came back to our table. There's no excuse for that. I hope they step their service game up. This was a Saturday night, they should have had their A Team on the floor!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2017
Overall2food2service1ambience3

My wife and I went for a date night and were disappointed in the service and the food. We are both Vegan, the food was ok my wife had the tempeh Salisbury Steak which she thought tasted bitter because of the sauce. I had the grits and it was pretty bland. The real problem was it took an hour and 10 minutes after we sat down to get our entrees. There were several tables of 4 that came in after us got their food and were paying the bill as we were getting our entrees. This seems to be a theme with this restaurant after reading reviews so we won't be back. There are too many other good vegan places around.

VV
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2017
Overall5food5service4ambience4

My family and I absolutely loved this place. The food was delicious, reasonably priced, the waitress was nice and the outdoor patio was lovely. We will definitely go back.

MS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I am not vegan but my friend who I went with is vegetarian. I had the mac n cheese and it was amazing. Total comfort food. I couldn't even tell that the "cheese" was cashew based. Definitelty a place to try even if you aren't vegan or vegetarian.

M
San Diego
28 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience4

My coworkers and I came in for a 1st time a few days ago. We shared the Hominy and Roasted Sunchokes for appetizers and they were delicious! Ravioli, slow cooker beer roast and Salisbury Tempeh were our main course. Everything was delicious and well-prepared. A must try for vegans, vegetarians and gluten conscious foodies. We will definitely return.

TH
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing vegan brunch spots are hard to come by and Donna Jean doesn't disappoint! Creative dishes from vegan omelettes to biscuits and gravy you will love every bite! Plus bottomless mimosas! Such a crazy deal! The dinner is fantastic as well! Always get the Mac and cheese- you won't regret it!

S
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2017
Overall2food2service5ambience2

Go next door to Evolution for a better meal. The food was uninspiring and bland at Donna Jeans. Their burger did not have an option for fries and the Mac & Cheese wasn't as flavorful as other vegan restaurants or even frozen versions from the grocery store. Very dissapointing addition to our bankers hill neighborhood.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and service. Will be a regular spot from now on.

s
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2017
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Food was good but not outstanding. We shared an appetizer----the baked ricotta. It was very hummus like. Hubby had the mac and cheese. I had the stew. I was hoping for it all to be a little better than it was.

SH
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went with our kids, for my wife's birthday. The food was great and there were some really unique vegan comfort food dishes that were delicious.

P
San Diego
18 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It's always a thrill to find a new vegan restaurant...especially one as inventive and imaginative as this one. We especially loved they mac and cheese, but everything we had...including the special drink...was really good. The service was attentive and concerned. We'll be back, for sure.

MC
Orange County
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful dinning experience at Donna Jean. We love searching out new vegan places to try and made the trip from Orange County to San Diego to try out Donna Jean.

We were greeted by a very friendly staff member just as the restaurant was opening and had our choice of outside seating. We had our dog with us so it's great to have a nice patio to enjoy a meal and have him with us.

The food was absolutely delicious from the hush puppies all the way to the cast iron mac and cheese. If I only had to try one dish there it was definitely the mac and cheese. It had a very smoky flavor to the dish that made me savor each and every creamy bite. The crusty top added a nice texture to the dish too.

We didn't save enough room for dessert, but their options looked great! I'd highly recommend trying out Donna Jean, whether you are vegan or not this place has something for you. We did have a non-vegan with us that walked away just as happy as the vegans. Food for all!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Took my sister out for her birthday - she'd been watching Donna Jean's Instagram feed for weeks. She follows a vegan, gluten free, and soy free diet. We were thrilled to find a place we could both enjoy. I consider myself a flexitarian.

We started with the gluten-free Mac 'n Cheese... AWESOME! loved the subtle smokiness and the pasta was perfect. The truffle fries were good and salty. My sister had the cauliflower - loved it. And I had the bbq oyster mushroom sandwich on a gluten free bun. The mushrooms were very tasty but I should have gone full-on gluten and had the sandwich on a regular bun.

They cooked up a fresh batch of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies by the time we were done dinner. They come two to an order - can't imagine one person eating both. They were delicious!! Warm, gooey chips... perfect!!!

It was refreshing to see a non-complicated menu at a vegan restaurant - you don't have to try so hard when you're serving delicious dishes! We'll be back to try more things - with a side of Mac 'n Cheese.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service. Highly recommend! Can't wait to return!!

H
Portland
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2017
Overall2food2service4ambience2

The chili was SWEET, as were the hush puppies and corn bread. In the South, where hush puppies and corn bread originate, they are savory, never sweet. Also, the poor acoustics make carrying on a conversation difficult.

y
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience3

The food was good. Service was Pleasant. Price was a bit high for the portions and presentation. The ambience wasn't very pleasant. The metal chairs are extremely uncomfortable. I felt as if I was eating in a fast food restaurant. Hurry up and eat your food and get out. That's was sitting on the chair feels like. The inside could have used more decor.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2017
Overall4food5service3ambience4

This was our first time to Donna Jean. We enjoyed our overall experience, the food was excellent, the hush puppies were amazing! Our waitress seemed like she was possibly new, she took a really long time to come back to our table between courses and for drinks. We also ordered a bottle of wine and were a bit disappointed when they came back with a small bottle (375 ml) which was really only a glass each. Still, I would absolutely go back so that I can taste everything on the menu.

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Awesome food! Love the set up.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2017
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Best vegan mac ever!!! I only wish they had more options on their menu.

OT
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

For our second outing at Donna Jean, my wife and I, along with a visiting buddy, ordered 4 different entrees (sharing the Mac-n-cheese as a side dish) and 3 different desserts. We sampled each other's food and agreed that all entrees were hearty and delicious. The desserts were especially scrumptious. Our visiting meat-centric friend enjoyed the meal so much, he said it changed the way he looked at vegan food!! He texted the following day that he definitely wants to join us at Donna Jean on his next visit, and he’ll bring his wife, too!

JH
Orange County
15 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Excellent food! I had the shiitake mushroom entree and it was flavorful, light and very fresh. The appetizers were fun and great for sharing with our friends. We ordered the sugar pie and the rhubarb hand pie for dessert. The hand pie wins!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 19, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love it! This was our second time there and what a difference in a couple weeks! So happy to have comfort food that is vegan and with gluten free options!

B
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2017
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I'm an omnivore, but cannot eat dairy products due to lactose. This vegan restaurant is a hidden gem in Hillcrest. The "Salisbury Steak" combination was a creative blend of flavors on one plate. The "Mac & Cheese" was scrumptious. Hush puppies (appetizer) were a bit dense and bland. But otherwise the whole meal was quite delicious and filling.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2017
Overall2food1service4ambience3

Brand new restaurant in good area. Food is only average and way overpriced for what you get.
We will come back as soon as they have reworked their menu and recipes.

S
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2017
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Amazing food! Service could be better but they did a good job for being a new place. Very friendly staff!

s
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2017
Overall4food4service2ambience3

The food was good but I think they're still working on getting the service right. All of the servers were doing their absolute best, but I think there were too few servers to handle the flow of customers. No doubt this will be fixed as time goes on.

RH
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2017
Overall2food1service4ambience1

Excited to try this place, but we were both overall unimpressed with the food. The hush puppies were good, the fried ravioli needs a stronger filling to stand out against the breading flavor. Sliders needed a more pronounced BBQ sauce flavor. The mac and cheese was not up to par for the price and too salty. And the cauliflower was disappointing at the portion size for the cost. We chose to get dessert elsewhere.

The outside patio looks nice but we sat inside where the atmosphere is unpleasant. Very bright and it does not feel relaxing. An employee was pounding over and over again something with a mallet at the bar which was annoying.

This place has a ton of potential and this is just our honest criticism in hopes that it helps steer the restaurant in the right direction. I can only imagine how difficult it must be opening a restaurant up. I love the story with the chef and of a small vegan business opening with an aim at more upscale fare. I don't mind dropping $100 for a night out at a place but it has to be up to the proper standards and we did not feel like it was on this visit. Maybe a return trip in 4 or 5 months to check in and see how things have progressed.