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Tucked in a strip mall on Rosecrans Street between Midway Drive and Sports Arena Boulevard, a small vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurant named the Naked Cafe exists. In this Freudian-influenced business district known for its many strip clubs, the first thing that comes to mind when a storefront uses the term naked may not be healthy eats, but that's what is there.

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Sharing a parking lot with a tanning salon, insurance offices, and a branch of the rapidly expanding national Corepower Yoga corporation, Naked Cafe represents a modest expansion of its own — this being one of four locations. The other three Naked Cafes are in North County.

The front page of the menu states that they are "up against big chains who pour millions of dollars into lofty ad campaigns hoping to convince you they're going to get you to look good naked."

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In a majority of restaurants there are usually only a few vegetarian options on the menu, but in Naked Cafe it is the meat items that seem to be outnumbered. We came for breakfast, so I selected the Tree Hugger Pancakes, consisting of "chunky mango & shredded coconut," as it reads on the menu. Considering the size of these three pancakes, the $9 price seems reasonable. I could only make it through half the portion, despite the flavor explosions elicited in my mouth. They were fluffy, yummy, and filling.

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My partner Heather ordered the Plate of Prosperity, consisting of organic quinoa, scrambled egg whites with spinach, soy sausage, feta cheese, green onion, zucchini, and a spinach tortilla; $10 seemed reasonable, again considering the portion. After a sample of her meal, I kind of wished I'd ordered the Prosperity as well. It was crisp, fresh, and clean tasting. She also ordered a zesty mimosa — nothing like champagne and orange juice to start off a day!

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3555 Rosecrans Street, Ste. 109

San Diego, Ca. 92110

619-226-7866

Open Monday - Sunday 7:30 am - 2:30 pm

Naked Cafe on Facebook

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