L.A. is a conscious city, that for some years now, has unanimously voted in favour of “Meatless Monday” and thus becoming the biggest city in the country, to welcome – encouraging its citizens to at least once a week; be vegetarian.
FACT – globally, 70% of freshwater use, is diverted for the process of irrigation-intensive agriculture and around 30% of the total Global Warming Effect can be attributed to the food system.
With these facts, has the city, evolved and at present offers a wide range of great vegan diners, that will please all palates. Following are 20 vegan spots that are at the top of their business, ranging from PIZZA to THAI foods. Enjoy!!
TIP – The following culinary info is NOT recommended for hungry readers, it can be a bit of a torture for those empty stomachs.
Gracias Madre – Un lugar en la mesa del amor
This vegan restaurant managed by Chandra Gilbert (executive chef) and Jason Eisner (beverage director), is inspired by Mexico’s culinary tradition and the product used comes from locally grown organic ingredients (Be Love Farm, Vacaville).
TAL RONNEN – “When I crossed over to being a vegetarian, I was largely being served the side dishes that came along with the entrées when I went out to eat,” he says. “I wanted to take vegetarian cuisine to the next level and make it appeal to non-vegetarians. Crossroads is the realization of that desire.”
The Restaurant – Crossroads offers diners Mediterranean-themed small dishes, salads, farm-to-glass cocktails, and desserts in a fine-dining dinner style that encourages exploration. With its stylish atmosphere and refreshing sensibility, Crossroads isn’t just a leap forward in refined plant-based cuisine — it’s one of the most innovative culinary destinations in Los Angeles. It’s a decadent and indulgent dining experience approached in a conscious and cohesive manner.
Vinh Loi Tofu – fresh Vietnamese Tofu daily
Owned by Kevin Tran, is an ideal setting for the sporty type, Tran is a 43 year old ‘Iron Monk’, that combines family, triathlon and managing the Vinh Loi Tofu.
Press: read the raves
Vinh Loi Tofu on KTLA
Tibet Nepal House
Serving the authentic Himalayan cuisine of Nepal, Tibet and India since 2001, Tibet Nepal House uses only the finest fresh herbs and spices to prepare delicious and healthy food for our guests.
Pasadena Weekly – Best of Pasadena, Reader Recommended: The smell of the spices of Tibet Nepal House’s Himalayan cuisine is intoxicating with its hints of black cardamon, timur, turmeric and saffron.
Shojin – Downtown & Culver City
These two restaurants, located in Downtown LA and Culver City service unique, healthy and delicious vegan Japanese cuisine. For those foodies that enjoy a good meal and at the same time are open to be introduced to the importance of eating habits to accomplish a rich lifestyle.
Our mission – to be impressive for our customers
Concept – organic, natural, vegan, macrobiotic, gluten free, Japanese
Flore Vegan Cuisine
An organic vegan restaurant, with an extensive menu that encompasses an international cuisine, produced with the highest quality ingredients available. Diners can taste a Portobello Panini, a Mediterranean Salad, a Burrito Ranchero or a Quinoa Chicken Pea Burger.
A casual gourmet grub-to-go restaurant located in Venice Beach, CA hosts an organic, vegan, macrobiotic menu, including their signature grain-bean burger. LAweekly recently chose the Tempeh BBQ Burger as the one of the best burgers in Los Angeles, CA. Also offered are their macrobiotic bowls, salads and paninis. No refined sugar is used in the homemade cookies and desserts created by celebrity chef and owner, Eric Lechasseur.
Chef Eric Lechasseur – We believe that food is an essential source of our energy, health and happiness. We prepare fresh vegan, macrobiotic cuisine without any animal products or refined sugars … In the same way a seed provides the beginnings for a vibrant plant, the food we eat provides the beginnings for a vibrant, flourishing life.
CELEBRITIES – In the past Eric has worked exclusively with Madonna, Jim Carrey and Toby Maguire. Some of the creations for Seed are the favorites of his celebrity clients including Madonna’s Coconut Mousse.
SEED – Press
ABOUT US – Native Foods Café was founded in 1994 in Palm Springs, California bringing into harmony our passion for fresh food, animals and the environment. Today, Native Foods Café has grown to become America’s premier fast-casual vegan restaurant group serving made-from-scratch, chef-crafted cuisine to thousands of food lovers every day.
Native Food – Press
Sage Organic Vegan Bistro
About Sage – At Sage Vegan Bistro and Sage Plant Based Bistro and Beer Garden, we are proud to say that we truly are all things to all people. A comfortable neighborhood restaurant for the residents of Echo Park, a fun and festive beer garden in Culver City, a safe place with lots of options for people with food allergies, a cruelty-free plant based restaurant that meat eaters AND vegans and vegetarians adore – a place to be decadently healthy and feel good doing it.
Perfect spot for those who want a night in or have no time to leave the office, this restaurant is a – takeaway or delivery, Thai vegan cuisine.
BRIEF HISTORY – Established in 1989, Urth Caffé is America’s first exclusively organic coffee company … In 1994, we opened our first café located at 8565 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood; in 1998 it was awarded the “#1 Coffee Restaurant in Los Angeles” by Los Angeles Magazine.
URTH – in the NEWS
Follow Your Heart
ABOUT US – In 1970, four friends got together and created the Follow Your Heart® Market and Restaurant in Canoga Park, California. From these small quarters, we served vegetarian soups, sandwiches, and salads to a growing vegetarian community. Eventually, the ever-increasing need for new vegetarian products led us to put our energy and ingenuity into creating our own line of all natural foods.
M Café de Chaya
WHO WE ARE – An innovative concept from the CHAYA family of restaurants, M Café serves nutritionally, environmentally, and energetically balanced food that tastes great in a casual, chic, European-style café. Contemporary macrobiotics is cuisine made without the use of refined sugars, dairy, eggs, meat, or poultry, with an emphasis on eating whole, natural foods that are in season. Consulting Chef Lee Gross, along with their team of cooks, make everything from scratch, ensuring the high quality, flavor, and integrity of every dish.Cafe Chef – Lee Gross is the former personal chef to Gwyneth Paltrow and is often featured prominently on her blog and acknowledged in her books.
Here’s a recipe video of the two together:
Celebrity fans of M Café – include Olivia Wilde, Orlando Bloom, Demi Moore, Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon and Anne Hathaway; to name a few.
Signature menu items include – Big Macro Burger, M Chopped salad, M French Toast, Vegan Benedict, Kushi Bento Box, Udon gluten-free “Miracle Noodles”
True Food Kitchen – “Honest food that tastes really good”
ABOUT – You don’t have to be a die-hard Yogi to dine at True Food Kitchen. You need only a desire to give your body nutrients, and your palate something memorable. The basis for the anti-inflammatory diet isn’t meant to deprive a healthy body of great flavors, it’s meant to take popular trends in cuisine and pair them with healthy living.
Veggie Grill is the leading fast-casual restaurant that is changing the way the world eats, thinks and talks about vegetables. Traditional burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads are re-imagined so that eating veggies are accessible in a comforting, familiar and delicious way. Popular dishes include: Quinoa Power Salad, Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’ Sandwich, All Hail Kale Salad, Bombay Bowl, and Buffalo Wings.
ABOUT OUR FOOD – We are proudly committed to serving 100% plant based food. No matter what you enjoy at Veggie Grill, you can be assured that your food has no meat, dairy, eggs, cholesterol, animal fat or trans fat.
VeggiGrill – in the NEWS
Real Food Daily
RFD TODAY – At RFD, we enjoy surprising our guests. With a mission statement that has us working to raise the standards of plant-based restaurants by providing fresh, delicious, and unique meals of plant origin; educated, friendly, consistent, and efficient service; and a clean, upbeat, and contemporary environment, we defy expectations of what health food tastes like, and the setting in which it’s enjoyed.
THE WATER – At RFD, the water we cook with and serve has been filtered and purified with our state- of-the-art reverse osmosis water filtration system: It first filters out many harmful
chemicals and impurities from the water with charcoal filters, then balances the mineral
content, and finally passes through a reverse-osmosis filter to further purify the water.
The result is healthy, safe, clean, and fantastic-tasting water. It’s a sensible alternative
to buying water that’s been trucked in thousands of miles in plastic bottles, which aren’t
good for you or the environment. In fact, many RFD customers bring their empty water
containers with them when they dine here, to fill up on our clean, pure drinking water.
RFD – video & press
Founder/CEO – Ann Gentry is a visionary, pioneer and food educator. For two decades Ann has established herself as a prominent leader in the green food movement with her restaurants, Real Food Daily.
OUR SPACE – Mohawk Bend is a restaurant and bar in Echo Park dedicated to bringing you fresh, locally-sourced fare and drink. Our kitchen uses only California ingredients to create brick oven pizzas, seasonal salads, elevated pub food, and delicious desserts that appeal to vegans, vegetarians, and meat-lovers alike. Our open kitchen boasts a custom-built Woodstone oven and dedicated vegan and non-vegan food prep areas.
BEVERAGES – From our 72 taps of craft beer, 6 stainless steel wine taps, and artisanal spirits, our drink menu is a tribute to local, small-scale breweries, wineries, and distilleries.
MOHAWK – press
OUR MISSION – Cafe Gratitude is our expression of a world of plenty. Our food and people are a celebration of our aliveness. We select the finest organic ingredients to honor the earth and ourselves, as we are one and the same … Welcome to Cafe Gratitude!
CAFE GRATITUDE – press
Cruzer Pizza & Pasta
ABOUT US – We are the only 100% Animal Free Vegan pizzeria in Los Angeles.
Stuff I Eat – We are what we eat
ABOUT US – We opened our doors in July 2008 in the heart of the “recession.” Our mission is plain and simple: Our community is suffering from “dis-ease” and our community needs access to good quality, heaIthy food. We started off catering and as our customers fell in love with our popular, Wild Rice Taco’s, there became an overwhelming demand for us to get a location that our customers could visit on a regular basis.
The above vegan and/or vegetarian spots, offer a wide range of tastes coming from a worldwide cuisine and across LA. A good stepping stone guide for your first or next visit to LA where you can combine sightseeing while tasting the fresh organic foods the city has to offer.
If you live in LA indulge and take your time to tour these herbivoracious spots. But if you aren’t from LA and are planning a short term vacation rental in Los Angeles, feel free to go through our varied offers. You might find out that you can stay for a longer period and thus savour the flavours of these spots for longer.
We hope you found this article resourceful as residents, tourists or food bloggers, searching for vegan and/or vegetarian food in LA. But if you feel there are other spots you think should be added to this guide; feel free. In any case, you can contact us for any updates you might believe appropriate, to thank us for our wonderful work or grind us by labelling this work as unresourceful.
- Thanks to Vanessa Kanegai (Vice President/WWLA), for her info and images of Crossroads and M Cafe Chaya; www.wagstaffworldwide.com
- Thanks to Kristin Hansel (Assistant Account Executive), for her info and images of Gracias Madre and Cafe Gratitude; http://www.js2comm.com/
- Thanks to Jennalee Infanto (Localite LA Public Relations), for her info and images of Seed Kitchen; www.localitela.com
- Thanks to Bianca Berzner (Assistant Marketing Director, RFD), for her info and images of Real Food Daily; http://realfood.com/
- Thanks to Tracy Rubin (JCUTLER Media Group), for her info and images of Veggie Grill; http://www.jcutlermedia.com/
A few extra spots
vinhloitofu, crossroadskitchen, graciasmadre, tibetnepalhouse, theshojin, happyfamilyrestaurant, florevegan, seedkitchen, nativefoods, sageveganbistro, vegangloryla.com/, urthcaffe, followyourheart, mcafedechaya, truefoodkitchen, veggiegrill, realfood, mohawk, cafegratitudela, cruzerpizza, stuffieat
Laist – 2014/04/23/ the best vegetarian restaurants, businessinsider – best vegetarian restaurants in la, timeout – best restaurants in los angeles las-best vegan restaurants, zagat – best vegetarian restaurants in la, sustainabletable – agriculture energy climate change, businessinsider – los angeles embraces meatless monday 2012-11, nytimes – fastfood
Gracias Madre – Eric Wolfinger
Real Food Daily – Chef Tara Punzone (Culinary Director, RFD)
M Cafe Chaya – Images are from the Brentwood location