Los Angeles has it all—sunny weather nearly year-round, breathtaking mountain views, hiking trails fit with waterfalls, and a whole heck of a lot of vegan food.
This is good news, considering plant-based eating is on the rise. According to a 2021 study published by WalletHub, a personal finance website, about 15.2 million Americans are vegetarian or vegan. The study also rated the top 20 most vegetarian- and vegan-friendly cities in the U.S. And at the top? Portland, Oregon, and Orlando, Florida. Coming in number three—Los Angeles, followed by San Francisco, California, and Boise, Idaho.
Los Angeles is certainly a stalwart in the vegan food scene. Plant-based food trucks like Compton Vegan and Word of Mouth Truck are no stranger on the streets. And you can regularly find vegan food festivals, such as Vegan Exchange LA (held every Sunday), around the city. (Swing by LA in March for the annual Vegan Street Fair.) And if you’re looking for the city’s best vegan eateries, we’ve got you covered.
The best vegan food Los Angeles has to offer
Eat your way around the City of Angels. From breakfast to dinner—and even dessert—here are the best vegan restaurants that Los Angeles has to offer.
A quaint cafe with five locations (Larchmont, the Arts District, Newport Beach, San Diego, and Venice), Café Gratitude serves up delectable organic, plant-based eats. (Note: The chain does use honey in dishes.) “What are you grateful for?” is the restaurant’s question of the day. Guests can answer with their food selection. Feeling refreshed? Opt for the “I am renewed” plate, which features spirulina, chia seed pudding, blueberries, and granola. The all-day brunch menu also includes chicken and waffles (vegan, of course!), pumpkin spice French toast, tofu scramble, and a true classic—avo toast.
Although this vegan restaurant prides itself on its mouth-watering, authentic Mexican and Oaxacan food, Grain Cafe is a melting pot of tasty cuisines. With five locations across Southern California, it features a diverse menu of sushi rolls, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps, tacos, burritos, and more. But if you’re looking for a tasty bite in the AM, behold Grain Cafe’s breakfast menu, which is offered all day. We’re talking vegan cream cheese bagels, French toast, tofu scrambles, veggie omelets, pancakes, waffles, and savory crepes.
Ready to smash a nutritious lunch? Head on over to Taco Vega. Located in the Fairfax District, the Mexican-inspired eatery features ingredients that are organic, as well as locally and ethically sourced. Dig into a Southern California staple—Baja Tacos, which feature tempura cauliflower, cabbage and fennel slaw, and lemon cilantro aioli. Or Chow down on a plate of nachos loaded with black beans, housemade queso, cashew crema, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos, and lots of guacamole. Sharing is optional.
Craving some fried chicken? Nestled in Highland Park, Wolfie’s has all of your finger-lickin’ favorites like buffalo fried chicken sandwiches and classic tenders. (Trust us, they’re pretty darn good.) Wolfie’s even carries cheeseburgers and loaded fries. Hungry yet?
For an upscale dining experience, Crossroads Kitchen, from Chef Tal Ronnen, is the place to be. (You may want to call ahead and make a reservation.) The dinner menu includes scrumptious dishes like eggplant fillet, housemade pastas, and truffle mushroom bianca pizza.
For dinner and a drink, Sage Plant Based Bistro will not disappoint. With four locations—Agoura Hills, Echo Park, Culver City, and Pasadena—the chain serves up an array of Mexican and American classics. Take a bite out of the tempura cauliflower wings, available in spicy buffalo (fave), sweet and sour, and barbecue. Or, try the BBQ Pulled ‘Pork’ Jackfruit Sandwich, which features barbecue jackfruit with a spicy avocado lime-dressing coleslaw and garlic aioli all on a whole wheat baguette. For a more savory entree, options include potato and broccoli ravioli, lasagna, baked eggplant, and more.
Make sure you save some room for dessert, because you’re going to want some (all) of what Donut Friend has to offer. These aren’t your regular donuts. For something extra chocolate-y, try the Fudgegazi, a raised donut loaded with chocolate cream, chocolate glaze, and chocolate chips. Or, for something fruity, try the Strawberry So Far, which has strawberries and cream glaze, topped with a fresh strawberry. Dunkin’ Donuts, who?
An entirely vegan ice cream store? Need we say more? Their hall of flavors includes classics like cookies and cream, chocolate chip cookie dough, and rocky road. Want something a little more indulgent? Try the Matcha Monsta, Marble Cheesecake, or Hong Kong Milk Tea. (Did we mention they also ship nationwide?)
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Photo: Cafe Gratitude via Instagram; Chef Jared Simons; Crossroad Kitchen via Instagram; Donut Friend via Instagram