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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Culinary Bliss in Encinitas: Spotlight on Lotus Café and Juice Bar

Oct 31, 2013 10:46AM ● By Erin Lehn Floresca

Want to slide into a booth in culinary heaven for a little while? Soon after you wake up tomorrow morning, take a stroll over to Lotus Café and Juice Bar, located at 765 South Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas. Once you’re in the cozy café, grab one of their extensive menus, and let your rumbling belly guide you on a wholesome, scrumptious journey. If you’re looking for a hearty meal, the Buckwheat Pancake Combo is right up your alley. It features two vegan/gluten-free buckwheat pancakes topped with real maple syrup and a dollop of Earth Balance Buttery Spread, two eggs any style, breakfast potatoes and cooked to perfection turkey or soy bacon or sausage. Not in the mood for pancakes? Then how about some delectable French toast made with 8-grain bread from a local artisan bakery, an acai or pitaya bowl, a three egg omelet, huevos rancheros or a fried egg sandwich?

The divine breakfast offerings at Lotus Café are sure to please any palate. In fact, if it wasn’t for some breakfast-loving loyal customers, these offerings might not even exist. However, since Carl and Johanna Wright, owners of Lotus Café, have made customer satisfaction a priority, when their customers spoke, the pair listened with enthusiastic ears.  

Johanna and Carl Wright
Johanna and Carl Wright
“So many of our regulars asked for more breakfast options,” recalls Johanna. “They were especially eager for weekend brunch.” So earlier this year, in response to the demand, they rolled out the breakfast menu to rave reviews.

Exciting New Menu Items

Speaking of menu items, the Café’s predominantly vegetarian menu has also been revamped to include even more delicious dishes. “We honored the Café’s four-year anniversary on September 2 by launching the new menu,” says Johanna.

The fresh, diverse menu has been a hit with old and new customers alike. “We have a lot of regular customers in the local yoga community,” says Johanna. “We also have a lot of families with small children and expectant mothers who are especially concerned about their health. Many with special health challenges, or those exploring different ways of eating also enjoy dining here.” And dine there, they do—in droves—as a visit to Lotus Café is always a festive and friendly experience.

Lotus Café and Juice BarAnd those following special diets will be especially pleased as vegan and gluten-free options are in abundance. “We’re excited to offer a wide variety of alternative meals to our guests,” says Carl who recently discovered he had a gluten intolerance. “I was suffering from migraine headaches,” he explains, “but after becoming gluten-free, the headaches have gone away.” In fact, the pair believes a lot of people are suffering from gluten-related health problems and don’t even know it. That is why they are excited to offer these options to their customers, including desserts. “We bake fresh cupcakes every day, including two gluten-free choices,” says Carl.

A Family Affair

One neat aspect about Lotus Café is that the business is organically becoming a family run business. Johanna’s brother, Andy, recently relocated from the Bay Area to become a cheerful assistant floor manager. And Carl’s sister, Priscilla, retired from her job as a school teacher in Texas and is happily preparing soups and baking tasty goodies in the kitchen. “We love having them both here,” says Johanna. “It makes running the Café that much more special to us.”

Beauty on the Walls

Lotus Café and Juice BarCarl and Johanna are also excited to feature artwork from local artists on the walls of Lotus Café. Currently, a talented local couple, Chris and Carole Mayne, are the featured artists. Chris is a photographer and Carole is an oil painter and between the two of them, they’ve created many awe-inspiring pieces of work. “They took a month-long trip to India a few years back and captured the essence of what they saw while visiting,” says Johanna. “They ended up with a wonderful collection of photographs and paintings which include many sweet, devotional pieces.”

“They are an amazingly gifted couple,” adds Carl and Johanna. “And to have the walls of the café adorned with their artwork is such a gift.”

Location: 765 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas (in the Lumberyard Shopping Center). Open daily. For more details, call 760-479-1977 or visit

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