Sports fans may already know NFL player Jacob Bell who played for the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams over eight seasons in the league, but San Diegans will soon know his name for reason: his juice bar. Sol Cal Café, the city’s first vegan market café and juicery with a built-in naturopathic doctor’s office, was opened in October by the former player and Food Network’s celebrity chef Anne Thornton.
In 2012, Bell walked away from football to, according to NFL.com, “change his life based on the assumption that if he didn't, football would.” Following San Diego’s own Junior Seau’s tragic death, Bell knew he needed to address his own mental and health concerns while creating a platform for others to do the same. Thus, Sol Cal Café was born.
While playing professionally, Bell ate super healthy with the help of a private chef who prepared his meals. So upon leaving, he wanted to offer his guests the same opportunity in a convenient way. Sol's menu is chock-full of nourishing cold-pressed organic juices, to-go foods and even vegan ice cream and desserts.
Among their dishes is Pesto & Mushroom Pasta made from kelp noodles, basil, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and marinated mushrooms; and Mole Tacos with mole-spiced nutmeat, jicama salsa, shredded cabbage and spiced pepitas. For drinks, customers can choose items like the Hunky Monkey with bananas, almost butter, coconut meat, cacao, maca, cacao nibs, sea salt, coconut milk and vanilla or the Lean Green which is made with leafy greens, apple juice, almond milk, avocado and sea salt. Is anyone else craving a smoothie right about now?
But Sol Cal Café isn’t just a juice shop, it also houses a naturopathic doctor’s office operated by Spark Health. The built-in facility offers guests the opportunity to utilize natural remedies rather than prescriptions for health concerns. Aliza Cicerone, a naturopathic doctor, will be on-staff to offer holistic healing treatments along with Thomas McCann, an expert in Integrated Nutrition.
The opening couldn't have come at a better time it seems. Following the holidays, many are seeking ways to live healthier lives and eat well in the year. Whether visiting or a local, definitely make a stop into Sol Cal Café to check out their menu or inquire about the wellness center. Who knows, you may even get a chance to meet Bell himself. The restaurant is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the East Village.