When it comes to the best vegan food in Los Angeles, the competition is stiff, to say the least. L.A. has the United States’ most thriving vegan food scene; not only do vegan and vegetarian restaurants abound in just about every neighborhood, but it’s pretty much a given that no matter where you eat, solid vegan options will be on the menu.
This is by no means even close to an exhaustive list or L.A.’s best vegan restaurants, but it is a curated one. I spoke with L.A.-based vegan Tim Moore, the Instagram foodie behind @VeganFatKid, to corroborate my list. I also solicited feedback from my friends and professional vegans at Mercy For Animals and consulted Yelp reviews and the vegan food app Happy Cow to make sure my picks as an L.A. vegan are in line with the majority.
I prioritized wholly vegan and vegetarian restaurants, though in L.A. some of the best vegan food is served at omnivorous restaurants (an honorable mention to the pizza at Mohawk Bend, the pot pie at The Stalking Horse and vegan burgers at Burgerlords).
New vegan restaurants are constantly opening up, but for now, here are some of the best places to eat vegan in Los Angeles:
The Dankness Dojo
Vegan bars are the newest trend in L.A., but one of the finest has to be The Dankness Dojo, which serves up some of the best bar food in town, like chili relleno burritos, jalapeño hush puppies, and the Beyond Burger with the works. It’s all part of the Modern Times brewery, so craft beer lovers will especially love this place.
Au Lac is a romantic downtown spot with raw and cooked Vietnamese-inspired food and delicious craft cocktails (the Matcha Libre – Crusoe Spiced Rum, matcha, L-Spheric C, apple spice ginger, kava, CBD – might be my favorite cocktail in L.A.). Try the vegan shrimp or go for the wide array of raw fare like the curried rice or the Humanese soup. The raw Choconut X-tasy dessert is also not to be missed, and the back room hosts a weekly open mic as well as numerous other vegan meetups, films and musical performances throughout the week.
Highland Park turns into vegan Mecca on Friday nights, with food trucks like Word of Mouth Truck, Taqueria La Venganza and Plant Food for People all offering up amazing vegan tacos on York Boulevard. While you can’t go wrong with any of the numerous options, my favorite is Cena Vegan, whose Mexican-inspired vegan meats hit the spot.
Gracias Madre has great vegan Mexican food, but it really stands out for its craft cocktails (some of which include CBD oils), uber-hip ambiance and decadent brunch. Make a reservation or prepare to wait at the bar for some of the best people watching in West Hollywood.
One of VeganFatKid’s top picks for vegan eats is Senoreata by Chef Evanice Holz. The Cuban fare at this pop-up can be enjoyed Tuesdays at the Highland Park bar Block Party or Sundays at Smorgasburg LA from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Plant Food & Wine
Located in Santa Monica, this Michael Kenney restaurant offers some of the most beautiful plant-based dishes in the country. The vibe is very West Side: chic and filled with gorgeous L.A. types who seem effortlessly cool.
Rahel’s Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine
I love the lunch buffet at Rahel’s best. This is delicious vegan Ethiopian food, served up exactly as you like it. Often Ethiopian food is a bit pricey, but this lunch or brunch buffet is a great deal in Mid City.
Real Food Daily
The portions at Real Food Daily are generous, and you can build your own bowl or indulge in pizza, lasagna, burritos, curry or just about any cuisine of craving.
While Jewel ins’t entirely vegan, I have to admit this spot makes a mean brunch. The new Silver Lake restaurant is hip without being pretentious, and the food is crafted extremely thoughtfully for the price point.
Equelecuá Cuban Cafe
If you’re out by LAX and wondering where to eat, head to this authentic vegan Cuban spot, which proves you can still eat traditional Cuban food (yes, even ropa vieja and pico de gallo) as a vegan. The owners say many guests don’t even realize the meat is plant-based – it’s that good.
We Are the Vegan Hooligans
Another must for vegan comfort food, this place verifies that as a vegan you can still enjoy fast-food staples like breakfast sandwiches and chili cheese fries.
Little Pine is Moby’s Silver Lake restaurant, and it stands out not just for offering an upscale, romantic experience and ambiance, but for putting its money where its mouth is: 100% of the proceeds go directly to animal charities. On Tuesdays, people who show proof of employment in the animal rights movement receive a 25% discount.
Stuff I Eat
Owned by the indomitable Chef Babette, Stuff I Eat is located in Inglewood and serves up an organic soul food platter, along with tofu tacos, un-tuna salads, and tons of other delicious vegan classics. The atmosphere is casual, diverse and fun.
Vegan by Victoria’s
A truly L.A. spot, Vegan by Victoria’s bakes classic Mexican pastries like conchas, puerquitos, and pan dulces – all vegan, all delectable.
A quiet spot for a nice date or older family member, Shojin is an upscale restaurant that employs macrobiotic principles to create delicious and clean vegan Japanese food. Try the Dynamite Roll and the spicy ramen, as well as the tantalizing cocktails.
I’ve seen more than a few celebrities at Sage, and it’s no wonder: the spot has something for every craving, from bowls and tacos to Buffalo cauliflower and chocolate cake. At around $15 a dish, it’s slightly pricey for the portions, but the flavors are some of the best.
Doomie’s Home Cookin’
Taste some of the best vegan comfort food in L.A.: rich, veganized dishes like chili cheese fries, chicken fingers, fried shrimp, mac n cheese, pulled pork and bacon burgers.
Sun Cafe Organic
If you love brunch, you’ll want to check out SunCafe, where you can get all the classics like “eggs” florentine, an omelette or waffles – all vegan. With another broad menu, you can’t go wrong at this casual but trendy spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Your best chances at an A-list sighting are at Crossroads Kitchen in West Hollywood. The upscale restaurant has some of the best vegan food in the country, but also manages to be mostly unpretentious. You can find everything from the Impossible Burger to “crab” cakes, pasta carbonara and a spicy meatball pizza.
You’ll find a line out the door at Kitchen Mouse – which is entirely vegan save for eggs – for brunch, but it’s well worth the wait. Everything can be made vegan at this Highland Park spot (open only for breakfast and lunch). Order the sauerkraut tacos, chilaquiles or tofu huevos rancheros.
If you want to check out a vegan bar besides The Dankness Dojo, head to Beelman’s, which has a stellar food menu, drink list and sports-bar atmosphere. Try the Tachos (tater tot nachos) or the Bahn Dog.
Satdha Plant-Based Thai Kitchen
Whenever I take visitors to Venice Beach or Santa Monica, we eat at this vegan Thai spot, which for the price point provides thoughtfully plated and simply delicious food. Order the catfish eggplant, num tuk, or really, anything.
Vegan cajun food exists now, thanks to Krimsey’s in North Hollywood, which serves up savory classics like red beans and rice, jambalaya and cornbread in a casual atmosphere.
Flore Vegan Cuisine
With diner-style booths, Flore Vegan Cuisine is less pretentious than its name might suggest, dishing up huge portions of everything from vegan tuna and vegan egg salads to the Soul Food Comfort Bowl and Nacho Burger. Satisfying for junk- and health-food aficionados alike, this place is another East Side classic.
Though some might miss that this Eagle Rock grocery store even serves hot food, those in the know order one of the many delicious burritos, burgers or sandwiches from the deli.
If you want a true L.A. experience, head to Cafe Gratitude, where the dishes have names like “Nourished” and “Bountiful,” and the food is healthy and flavorful. I took my stepdad here, and he loved his burrito bowl so much that it was hard getting him to try eating anywhere else. The desserts stand out as well; try the key lime pie or the craft cocktails (CBD options here, too).
The only all-vegan ramen spot in LA (though certainly not with the only vegan ramen), Ramen Hood even serves up a traditional “egg” with its soup, which is designed to impress even the most carnivorous of skeptics.
While Van Leeuwen’s, Cocobella Creamery and Magpies Softserve deserve their own mentions for vegan ice cream, if I had to choose one spot for my favorite frozen dessert in town, it would have to be Yoga-urt, which dishes up soft serve frozen yogurt in luscious flavors like salted caramel, Golden Rose, Lavender Blossom and peanut butter. Yoga-urt also offers all-vegan, decadent toppings like fresh-baked brownies and gummy bears.
I refrained from including too many Long Beach vegan spots, since technically Long Beach is in Los Angeles County, not the city. Long Beach’s thriving vegan scene deserves its own list anyway, but when I heard Seabirds Kitchen was opening a Los Feliz location in L.A. proper, I had to include it here as a favorite. Try the fried avocado and kimchi tacos, the gruyere-style grilled cheese sandwich, the CBD-infused kombucha (yes, really) and the delectable tiramisu – it’s all good.
You won’t find a sign saying Donut Friend is all vegan, but you will find a line out the door every night. This Highland Park spot serves up not only the best, most creative donuts in town but tasty ice cream as well (or donut ice cream sandwiches, if you really want to go for it).