The Yogi's Guide to San Diego, California

Check out our community-curated collection of places to practice, consume, be outdoors, and more, YOGANONYMOUS-style. We asked, you answered. Take in the San Diego picks below and see more of our yogi city guides here.


If you could capture the word “relaxed” and transform it into a city, you’d get San Diego.

This oasis of sand, surf, and sunsets transforms any visitor into an instant native, intoxicating the young and old with its fish tacos and “just chill, man” attitude. 

Home to some of the nicest folks in the country and mega-pleasant weather, San Diego is great to visit any time of year. It’s impossible to stay inside—you’ll be too enraptured by the beaches, fruit vendors, Balboa Park fauna, street taco vendors, and bustling downtown. But don’t stress about getting everything done. In San Diego it’s impossible to feel anything but breezy.

We scored some helpful suggestions in the creation of this guide from Kirk Hensler, a writer and photographer who has lived in San Diego just under a decade and has strong ties to the yoga community.

Where to Eat

Ranchos Cocina
3190 30th St., (619) 574-1288
It’s easy to get caught up in the taco vendor whirlwind of San Diego, but we’ll make your life easier by offering up Ranchos. This restaurant offers up authentic Mexican fare using natural ingredients. The menu also boasts a ton of vegetarian and vegan options. Kirk recommends the enchilada with a ginger-lemon kombucha (we love a place where you can get both at the same time). If you can’t make it out to North Park, check out the Ocean Beach location.

Urban Solace
3823 30th St., (619) 295-6464
Urban Solace is a farm-to-table restaurant dedicated to using the highest quality ingredients, responsibly sourced from local farms and trustworthy producers. Urban Solace doesn't use high-fructose corn syrup, but they do have their own natural soda right on tap. Another perk? While they offer up quality bites, they don't take themselves too seriously—so take in the relaxed ambiance with fun touches like this portrait of Ron Burgundy

Buona Forchetta
3001 Beech St., (619) 381-4844
“The greatest gluten-free pizza the world has ever known,” says Kirk. We’re not surprised at this grand recommendation; the place uses a Stefano Ferrara oven, one of the best wood-fired pizza ovens in the world, perfectly designed for crafting Neapolitan pizza. A selection of creative antipasti and salads also line the menu, with options including eggplant torsion and bresaola. Toast under the string lights to this authentic Italian experience. 

Where to Sweat

“San Diego has been a yoga mecca for the last 30 years,” Kirk notes, mentioning the city's seasoned yoga instructors. A former studio owner who regularly consults with yoga businesses and teachers, Kirk has been moving around and practicing throughout the city for years. Below are some of his suggestions.

Trilogy Sanctuary
7650 Girard Ave. #4, (858) 633-3893
Come here for rooftop aerial yoga and enjoy a unique way to witness the sunny skies of San Diego. If you fancy staying close to the Earth, no worries, there are also plenty of Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Yinki classes offered. Post-practice, enjoy some of the vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free offerings from the 100 percent organic cafe, including vegan tacos and kombucha on tap. (Added bonus: You'll have a great view of the ocean while you enjoy your lunch!)

Ginseng Yoga & Bodywork
2985 Beech St., (619) 338-9642
This calming and airy studio strives to offer an abundance of top-notch yoga classes, including various levels of Vinyasa, Yin, Bhakti, and Bheemashakti. Finish off your practice with one of the studio’s in-house massages, and leave with a rejuvenated mind, body, and spirit. There's also an adorable boutique, so you can grab a gift for a yogi friend... Or yourself (wink-wink).

Ashtanga Yoga Center
1905 Calle Barcelona, (760) 632-7093
This beautiful studio is located a bit outside the city, but it's totally worth the trip. Owner Tim Miller has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga for over thirty years, and (according to the studio's site) was "the first American certified to teach by Pattabhi Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India." His playful yet dynamic approach to yoga will make practitioners of all levels feel welcome and enthused about their practice. And he comes well-recommended, according to Kirk, "Tim Miller (Ashtanga Yoga Center) and Dennis Dean (Yoga Mandarim) are yoga encyclopedias who treat every posture and every class like it is the most meaningful event of their lives."

Yoga Mandiram
2121 Newcastle Ave., (619) 917 9642
Located just next door to San Diego in Cardiff, Yoga Mandiram is another studio well worth the venture out. Classes may not be as frequent as most studios, but Dennis Dean does such a killer job running this Yoga Mandiram that you’ll want to snag some time to stop by. The yoga here is therapeutic, focusing on restoring a sense of physical and mental balance within a fulfilling practice.

Check out the YOGANONYMOUS studio directory to find more great places to practice.

Where to Shop

Pigment 
3801 30th St., (619) 501-6318
An airy shop featuring a wide range of household items from local artists and artisans, Pigment satisfies the needs of those looking to amp up their interior design. “Shopping here just makes you feel cool,” Kirk says. He also mentions that the place is loaded with mid-century modern couches, stainless steel water bottles, and terrariums with tiny cacti, as well as picnic blankets, leather-bound journals, and opal rings from local jewelers. Stop by when you have the time to browse at the wide range of wares.

Little Italy Farmers Market
519 W Cedar St., (619) 233-3901
Yeah, you’re in San Diego. Yeah, there are fish tacos. But trek on out to this farmers market and you'll feel like you’re living in Europe. According to our local expert this spot is a “sprawling street market with local vendors selling ripe tomatoes and handmade jewelry tucked into San Diego’s most vibrant neighborhood, Little Italy." A trip here is sure to leave you sated and satisfied. For a memorable time, Kirk suggests: “Eat a crepe while listening to live music all while the harbor breeze makes you feel like you’re in a Woody Allen film.”

Epic Ways to Spend a Saturday

The Mission
3795 Mission Blvd., (858) 488-9060
Start your Saturday at The Mission, where Kirk says you “must order the pancakes.” This Latin American restaurant is a favorite of both San Diegans and world travelers, offering everything from classic breakfast staples to modern Chino-Latin cuisine. The Mission is also an active and positive member of the community, donating to various charities (Mission Beach Women’s Club, Humane Society, Planned Parenthood, and Being Alive, to name a few) and maintaining a green work environment. There are two other locations within the San Diego area, so you can easily work it into your travel plans.

No Surf Beach
Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Hill St.
“Hop in a car and drive to Ocean Beach where you’ll find our ‘secret beach,’ located off of Hill Street and Sunset Cliffs,” Kirk says. We can see why; the soothing and fun vibes of this beach make it an ideal hangout. Come prepared with a snack, some speakers, and ample SPF. Take in the peaceful views and enjoy a moment looking out on the 80-foot cliffs, and then make your way down to the sand, where you can easily kill a few hours with your buds alongside the beautiful North Pacific. 

Favorite Outdoor Hang

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
12600 N Torrey Pines Rd., (858) 755-2063
One of the wildest stretches of land on the Southern California coast, Torrey Pines is only a short trip away, located conveniently within San Diego city limits. This is a prime example of raw California, consisting of miles of unspoiled beaches and a tranquil lagoon bursting with wildlife. Enjoy the magnificent ocean view and a satisfying hike as you explore this southwestern wonderland. 

Night Out on the Town 

Balboa Park 
1549 El Prado, (619) 239-0512
If you've already stopped by the infamous Gaslamp Quarter, an evening walk through Balboa Park makes for a truly special San Diego experience. Kirk suggests going after 9 p.m., “looking at the Spanish architecture under the street lamps and lying under a eucalyptus while you stare up at the stars.” Count us in.

Coin-Op Game Room
3926 30th St., (619) 255-8523
Unleash your inner seventh-grader at this beloved “barcade” located in North Park. The games include classics like Frogger and Ms. Pac-Man, and the menu consists of local San Diego brews, cocktails, gourmet hot dogs, and shareable snacks. 

Community Response + Teacher Shout-Outs

We reached out to our social media tribe to uncover the best local not-to-miss happenings and hot spots from the folks who know best.

Lokavindu in Old Town is an awesome small studio that is filled with great energy! It's a great place for a good yoga practice.” – Michelle

Nate's Garden Grill—fresh food, great outdoor patio, live music, next door to City Farmers Nursery.” – Laurel

“My fave instructor is Robin at Happy-U Namasté Yoga Center! There's also the weekly Sunset Cliffs Yoga that is amaaaaazing!” – Kayla

Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga studio in Normal Heights and North Park, as well as Jyoti-Bihanga vegetarian restaurant in Normal Heights. Love!!!” – Margarita 

“I’ve been practicing with Dana Rae Paré at Infinite Yoga in Little Italy for years and she is the best teacher. Awesome Ashtanga classes are always a challenge and you feel great after. She also opened a spin studio called In2Spin. Check it out!” – Diane

"CHN Yoga BEST studio in East County SD! And most affordable pricing." – Malina

"Yoga at The Chopra Center followed by meditation!" – Kimmy

"Jenna Zabrosky at Buddhi Yoga and The House of Yogi are my favorites." – Gary 

Thanks to our community for providing these awesome suggestions. Have more? Share in the comments below or email us at write@yoganonymous.com.

This guide was curated by Amanda Kohr with assistance from Kirk Hensler