Urban Plates

Posted on Mar 22 2016 - 5:22pm by Kelly
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Urban Plates- BEST Salads in San Diego!

I LOVE this place! I would eat lunch (or dinner) here every day if I could- I am not kidding. Hands down- they have the BEST salads in San Diego! I’ve probably been here over 20 times, and have never been disappointed with the quality or service. Urban Plates is located in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center (same shopping center as Cinepolis– the BEST movie theatre in SD!), and they also have a location in Irvine if you’re headed up that way. The concept is “farm to plate & won’t break the bank.” Picture high quality ingredients delivered fresh from local farms and producers, expertly plated right in front of you, all for a reasonable price! Sounds good, right?


Urban Plates is set up cafeteria-style and divides into two lines when you first walk in- one for salads and the other for everything else- entrees, sandwiches, braises & stews, pizzettes (thin-style pizzas made with organic dough!), soups, sides, and kids meals. The line is often times out the door, but don’t let that scare you away- it moves quickly!

While I have tried a few things from the “everything else” line- I am obsessed with their salads and 95% of the time, you’ll find me in the salad line. There are nine different salad options- all hand tossed right in front of you so you can customize or substitute in case you don’t want it exactly how it’s described on the menu. All salads are just $10 and come with a side of chargrilled focaccia bread. Quick note: if you want to add chicken, steak, ono, or salmon to a salad that doesn’t already include it, there is an extra charge.

I have tried every salad on the menu, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them, but if I HAD to pick a favorite (or two), I’d go with the Urban Grove Antioxidant or the Arugula, Beet, & Fennel Salad (and I always add chicken for some extra protein). I get them exactly as described on the menu because these chefs have come up with the perfect combinations of ingredients and toss them together with the BEST salad dressings to create heaven in your mouth! OMG I want one right now…

 antioxidantsalad2    Arugula Beet Fennel Salad

Dylan is also a big fan of Urban Plates. He loves the Grilled Cheese on organic wheat bread or the Macaroni & Cheese- sooo good! I always sneak bites when he’s not looking! All kids meals are $6 and come with fruit salad or chips, and also a choice of organic milk or apple juice.

Right before you hit the registers, they hit you with the desserts! WOW. They offer a huge selection of made-from-scratch cookies, cupcakes, pastry bars, brownies, layer cakes, cheesecake, as well as gluten free options! Everything looks so amazing, so if you can splurge (health and money-wise)- go for it! I have had a chocolate chip cookie and a red velvet cupcake- both were absolutely scrumptious!

Urban Plates Desserts

Finally, as you are checking out, you can add drinks. They offer natural sodas, organic coffee, teas, as well as local craft beers, wine, and my favorite- the Urban Replenishers, four varieties of fresh and organic juices served with crushed ice in a mason jar. I LOVE the orange, carrot, and ginger. You actually feel heathier after drinking it!

Orange Carrot Ginger

Customer service is always top-notch at Urban Plates. Everyone is so friendly- from the greeters, to the chefs, to the staff at check-out, and the people clearing the tables. Once you’ve checked out, you can take a seat at any open table- first come, first serve. There are tables, booths, and large community-style high-top seating available indoors, as well as outdoor seating available on two heated patios- one in the front, one in the back. Plenty of options- so don’t get discouraged even when it’s crowded, you will always find a seat!

Check out Urban Plates for lunch or dinner- I hope you love it as much as I do!

Located at:
12857 El Camino Real
San Diego, CA 92130
(Del Mar Highlands Town Center)
Phone Number: 858-509-1800
(curbside pick UP available… call or text when you arrive)

Online Menu: http://www.urbanplates.com/menu/

Hours of operation:
Sunday – Thursday: 11 AM – 9:30 PM
Friday – Saturday: 11 AM – 10 PM

Have you dined at Urban Plates? What is your favorite thing on the menu?

— Kelly

2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Diana April 12, 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I’ve heard the best things about Urban Plates but have not made it up to Del Mar to try it yet. Looks delicious and I always LOVE trying new healthy places 🙂

  2. Mary Kay Bollenbacher July 25, 2017 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Antioxidant salad is 24 weight watcher smart points. It is delicious, and I thought I was sticking to my program. Guess not!!! the dressing must be very fattening because everything else in it should be 0 points.

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