Always health-conscious, Los Angeles enjoyed vegan and vegetarian food even when it was confined to tiny shops beside yoga studios or menu items in ethnic restaurants. Vegan restaurants today come in all versions, from elegant to unassuming little places.
Thai restaurants are still a common places to go for a vegan or vegetarian meal, but there also are restaurants offering Tex-Mex meatless dishes such as Stuff I Eat. People are also learning about Vietnamese vegan dishes and rediscovering Mediterranean cuisine that is predominantly plant-based. Vegan restaurants in LA are now so common that one can expect to find one in nearly every neighborhood.
© Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill is a delightful fast-casual vegan restaurant chain offering nearly 30 locations throughout the United States, including a location in Santa Monica. The chain, which was founded in 2006 by T.K. Pillan and Kevin Boylan, focuses on plant-based entrees that are aimed at encouraging the general public to explore the delicious possibilities of vegetarian diets. Today, it is the country's largest vegetarian-vegan restaurant chain, appealing to a customer base of more than 70% non-vegetarians. Plant-based Beyond Meat burgers are served up in deluxe burgers and patty melts, paired with Nashville hot mock-chicken sandwiches, mock pulled pork barbecue, and plant-based crab cakes. Entree salads and protein bowls are also served up, along with tacos, burritos, and comforting favorites like vegan mac and cheese.
2025 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403, Phone: 310-829-1155
2.Little Pine Restaurant
© Little Pine Restaurant
Little Pine is a surprisingly classy and elegant restaurant in modest Silver Lake, but the moment you enter you will feel relaxed and welcome. The furniture is comfortable first and elegant second, with plump cushions and soft, natural colors. The restaurant is 100% plant based, with mostly Mediterranean cuisine with a California slant, fresh produce, and complex flavors. Dishes are interesting and new. Try the sausage and polenta with house-made Italian sausage, tomatoes, herbed polenta, and basil marinara. You do not have to know what is in the sausages, as long as you know it is not meat. The wine list is small but interesting with wines from all over the world. Little Pine is open for dinner and weekend brunch. Owner-musician Moby donates all profits to various animal rescue groups.
2870 Rowena Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039, Phone: 323-741-8148
3.Azla Ethiopian Vegan
© Azla Ethiopian Vegan
Azla is a spacious, cheerful, and unassuming counter-serve Ethiopian vegan restaurant in the Mercado La Paloma food court in South LA. You can sit at one of their small tables, take food with you, or just call – they deliver. Azla’s dishes are all homemade from scratch every day and while the fresh produce is local, their typical Ethiopian spices are imported directly from Ethiopia. Ethiopian cuisine is predominantly vegetarian, but Azla converted many traditional non-vegan dishes into vegan versions, with great results. Meals are all stews or salads and are eaten with your fingers with the help of traditional flat bread injera. You use injera to scoop up the food but also to take every little morsel of food or sauce from your plate – the flavors are exquisite, rich and pungent, and totally unforgettable. Try misir wot, red lentils stew cooked with tomatoes and onions with a spice mix that is dominated by cardamom, basil, and chili peppers.
3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007, Phone: 213-745-7455
© Elf Cafe
When a vegetarian restaurant is hip and popular, it says a lot about its food. Elf Café is small, brick-lined cozy place in Echo Park with a small, cozy dining room, an open kitchen, and a lovely outdoor patio. The food is organic, seasonal, and made with local produce. Most dishes are Mediterranean, with interesting meatless offerings from Morocco such as vegetable tagine or spicy kale with green charmoula and house harissa. Check out chef’s daily risotto, it is always a pleasant surprise. Elf Café serves natural and other well-selected wines and interesting cocktails, but you can also bring your own bottle of wine if you prefer. More Things to Do in Los Angeles
2135 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, Phone: 213-484-6829
5.Araya's Vegetarian Place
© Araya's Vegetarian Place
There is unexpected elegance to this small Thai vegan place that brought vegan food to the West Coast in 1987. Dark-colored walls, gleaming wood, and discreet, very tasteful Asian art pieces create a sophisticated atmosphere. Family owned, Araya has a wide range of vegetarian and vegan dishes prepared with seasonal local produce from local farms. They don’t use any MSG and cater to many different nutritional preferences; nevertheless, the flavors are exquisite. There is nothing unexpected and adventurous, just good old Thai favorites such as tom yum and other soups, curries (try the pineapple curry!), stir-fries, and delicious appetizers. They also serve a range of interesting teas and coconut water in a coconut shell.
8101½ Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048, Phone: 323-900-0557
6.Cafe Gratitude Larchmont
© Cafe Gratitude Larchmont
Café Gratitude in Larchmont Village is a 100% vegan restaurant with a quiet and relaxed atmosphere and distinct hippy vibe – when did you last see macramé on the wall? The menu "promotes consciousness and sustainability for the planet" and the names of dishes continues the hippy theme with the "Transformed Tacos" and the "Grateful" bowl of black beans, kale, quinoa, and garlic-tahini sauce. The food is excitingly flavorful and beautifully presented and the menu is extensive, with a nice range of wraps, bowls, sandwiches, and main dishes. They serve organic beers and wines, a range of interesting cocktails, and several "cleansing" shots – the most popular, with good reason, being the Chill / CBD Oil Antioxidant Shot with cannabidiol oil, lime, turmeric, greens, and rosemary essential oil. Gratitude also sells popular natural beauty products from Beauty Corners.
639 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004, Phone: 323-580-6383
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7.Vegan Restaurants Los Angeles: Au Lac
© Au Lac
Located in a strip mall with modern, upscale décor, it is difficult to imagine that Au Lac serves superb Vietnamese organic plant-based food until you get the menu. This eatery, the second owned by Mai Nguyen, opened in LA in 2001 after her restaurant in Fountain Valley became so popular. Spurred by a health scare, she decided to promote healthy plant-based nutrition in LA. With Chef Ito, who brings an inventive twist to traditional Vietnamese vegan and vegetarian dishes, Au Lac is a great destination for those looking for an interesting, flavorful, and healthy meal. Don’t get confused with the names of dishes such as yam shrimps: these "shrimps" are made of yams. The meat is made from soy and cheese from macadamia nuts. Whether you are eating wraps, salads, soups, or appetizers, you will be so preoccupied with the complex flavors, crispy texture, vivid colors, and artistic presentation that you won’t miss meat at all.
710 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Phone: 213-617-2533
© Flore Vegan
Flore Vegan is tiny, very popular local vegan and organic restaurant in the Silver Lake neighborhood with a few tables, a huge deli counter, thrift store furniture, and first-class food. Locally sourced organic ingredients result in interesting, innovative dishes that vegans will love while meat-eaters won’t even notice there isn’t any animal protein. The menu is extensive and includes everything from salads, bowls, and soups to pizzas and burgers. They also have some very interesting smoothies and freshly pressed juices and you can also bring your own booze. Prices are reasonable, which makes this place a locals’ favorite. Don’t forget to try their desserts.
3818 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, Phone: 323-953-0611
9.Green Leaves Vegan
© Green Leaves Vegan
Green Leaves in Los Feliz is a small, unassuming restaurant that developed its serious following because of its giant, very diverse vegan menu of Thai and Thai-inspired vegan dishes. Their goal is to have something for everyone, whether you are a true vegan or eat meat but are willing to try something different. And different it is, from exotic spicy Thai curries to sweet tropical pancakes, you will forget that there is no meat in these fragrant, flavorful, and nicely presented dishes. They have managed to overcome something that keeps so many people from turning vegan even when they know their health needs it – their dishes are never boring and never bland. Their "fake meat" burgers actually taste like meat and are juicy and delicious, and even their tofu actually has flavor and texture. Their drinks, teas, and juices are as healthy as the food, although – sorry – no alcohol.
1769 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027, Phone: 323-664-2345
© Courtesy of Ivan - Fotolia.com
LA Vegan is one of those small, modest, and unpretentious places that produce such spectacularly good food that people flock to it, and keep coming back. Even better, you can order online and eat anytime, anywhere. Their menu, predominantly Thai and Thai influenced, is pure vegan and massive, with a diversity, flavors, colors, and fragrances that will convince even the staunchest meat eater to at least try it. Their sushi rolls look like pieces of art – wonderfully edible art. Their stir-fries are crunchy and fresh and you would not even think that there is meat missing. The noodles are also wonderful and flavorful. They also serve burgers, but if you are new to veganism, you might want to stay away from fake meat to avoid disappointment.
4507 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066, Phone: 310-574-9888
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11.My Vegan Gold
© My Vegan Gold
My Vegan Gold is modern, minimalist cafe with an eclectic menu of gourmet meat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free dishes with a distinct Asian flavor. They use high-quality seasonal and locally sourced organic ingredients when possible, supporting local small farms and the community. The menu has many old favorites that would surprise you in a vegan restaurant, such as satay chicken and Thai beef jerky. They even taste the same as the old favorites, except that no animal has been killed to make them. The menu also has a nice variety of paninis, noodles, salads, and pastas. They do not serve alcohol.
4319 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029, Phone: 323-522-6500
12.Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine
© Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine
Homey and comfortable, Rahel’s Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine is a good place to get introduced to Ethiopian and vegan cuisine. While Ethiopian dishes are largely plant-based, Rahel spent years adapting the most popular and most typical and made them 100% vegan. When she opened her place in LA’s Little Ethiopia, it was the only one of its kind in LA and still has a large number of fans who keep coming back for the large platters of small bowls of different wots (stews) with a pile of hot injeras, Ethiopian flatbreads that serve instead of forks and spoons and help you scoop every morsel of delicious spicy juice from your plate. Try the yemitin shiro wot with chickpeas, it is legendary. Every day between 11 am and 3 pm all food is available buffet style and you can eat all you can; even better, you can sample it all.
1047 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019, Phone: 323-937-8401
© Ramen Hood
Only someone like Top Chef Ilan Hall can make vegan tofu taste delicious. His popular take-out counter in the bustling historic Grand Central Market quickly became a place to go grab a bowl of steaming hot, completely vegan ramen noodles and eat at the long counter while the crowd is shuffles around you or take out. At the first sight, it looks and tastes like the real meaty thing, but it starts with a rich broth made from shiitake mushrooms, kelp, roasted sunflower seeds, and white miso, all pressure cooked until it has turned into a creamy, rich broth. The eggs are made from soy and "pork" chunks from mushrooms. If you want to go all out, try a more non-traditional version of ramen, such as tofu al pastor tacos or bahn mi poutine.
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013, Phone: 718-213-7374
14.Vegan Restaurants Los Angeles: Real Food Daily
© Real Food Daily
This charming vegan restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard is part of the popular vegan and vegetarian chain, serving high-quality, innovative food that is often organic and always free of GMOs. The place is understated with colorful original paintings on the walls, always bustling, with occasional celebrity sightings and a menu that takes vegan cuisine in a totally new direction. Real Food has been around since 1993 and has seen a big change in the attitude towards the vegan and vegetarian diet. From being treated as "hippy-ish" and "new age-ish", it is coming close to mainstream, with innovative dishes made of certified organic fruits, veggies, whole grains, spices, and herbs. They result in a version of good old favorites such as lasagna Napoletana, with Italian pasta, spinach, creamy ricotta cheese made of cashews and cremini mushroom, drenched in a marinara sauce with basil oil.
414 La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048, Phone: 310-289-9910
15.Sage Vegan Bistro
© Sage Vegan Bistro
One of two LA locations, Sage Vegan Bistro on Sunset is a popular neighborhood eatery with a spacious, airy dining room, high ceiling, and funky industrial vibe. Their menu is extensive, offering vegan, vegetarian, and organic dishes and wonderful homemade ice cream. They have a number of old favorites, such as po’boy sandwiches and tuna melts, that are very satisfying and totally meat free. They have several dishes that use jackfruit, a Caribbean staple that surprisingly few vegan restaurants use. Try it with chili or as fake tuna in a tuna melt. They also have wonderful range of desserts, try the Kind Kreme ice cream with cashews, coconut, and almond milk.
1700 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, Phone: 213-989-1718
Located in Little Tokyo on the third floor of an uninspiring shopping mall, Shojin is a pleasant surprise: It is classy and elegant, with vividly colored original art on the walls, white tablecloths, and an imaginative vegetarian and vegan menu. Healthy and delicious, the cuisine is unique, Japanese, and vegan. Shojin uses tempeh and tofu to replace meat instead of wheat products. Their ramen and miso soups are delicious and their fabulous sushi rolls are made with Lundberg brown rice and are imaginative and quirky, with rarely used ingredients. Try the Crunchy Dynamite Roll, an asparagus carrot roll with cauliflower, mashed avocado, and soy-free mayo, topped with dynamite sauce and crispy potato.
Little Tokyo Market Places, Little Tokyo Shopping Center, 333 Alameda St #310, Los Angeles, CA 90013, Phone: 213-617-0305
17.Stuff I Eat
© Stuff I Eat
A Tex-Mex vegan restaurant? You have to taste it to believe it. This vegan restaurant in the heart of downtown Inglewood is spacious, with a high ceiling, cafeteria-style furniture, and bright, original art on the walls. But the real art comes on the plate. Many of the dishes are also organic and all their entrees come with organic mixed greens and the house carrot mango dressing. Try the enchilada pie with corn tortillas and organic yellow corn chips layered with a blend of organic tomato sauce, house savory sauce, organic corn, polenta, and vegan cheddar cheese, all topped with guacamole and salsa and served with black beans and a wild rice blend. Check out their delicious fruit and vegetable smoothies.
114 N Market St, Inglewood, CA 90301, Phone: 310-671-0115
18.The Grain Cafe
© The Grain Cafe
Grain Café is a small, colorful, and cheerful restaurant on Pico Boulevard that serves natural, vegan, and organic dishes that originate in the traditions of the small region of Oaxaca in Mexico. The menu is vast, very diverse, and caters to vegans, vegetarians, and even people who are on macrobiotic diet. There is something for everyone, with familiar favorites such as quesadilla (with Daiya cheese, red peppers, caramelized onions, kale, mushrooms, and zucchini), chile relleno (with green bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, and melted cashew cheese), and many others. Their large fridge with its range of colorful and delicious cakes will certainly pull you; they are vegan too, as is their organic coffee that comes in all your favorite beverage forms.
4222 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019, Phone: 323-931-4034
© The Springs
The Springs is a large, open space in the Art District’s DTLA warehouse; airy, industrial, with concrete floor and cinder block walls it also has lush green plants growing from every nook and cranny. It was designed as a community gathering place, with a healthy vegan restaurant, wine bar, wellness center, and a yoga studio. The vibe is friendly and people hang around, chatting, laughing, working on their computer, and eating the delicious plant-based food. All items on the menu are offered throughout the whole day and are prepared using seasonal, local produce, supporting local farmers and producers. The Springs has a 100% vegan, organic, and raw restaurant. There are dishes on the menu from all parts of the world where the diet is predominantly plant based, such as Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico, Mediterranean, and others. The mixes of ingredients are complex, imaginative, absolutely delicious, and presented so artfully it is almost sin to dig into them.
707 E 10th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021, Phone: 213-624-9865
20.Vegan Restaurants Los Angeles: Vegan Glory
© Courtesy of chandlervid85 - Fotolia.com
Vegan Glory is small, modest vegan Thai restaurant hidden inside a mini-mall in Mid-City. The flavors are mostly Thai, but you will also find Mexican favorites such as burritos and quesadillas, a sort of vegan United Nations. The menu is massive and there is really something for everyone. Good old Thai favorites such as tom yum and pad thai are there, but it pays to be adventurous, so try something different such as green chili with eggplant and bamboo shoots in coconut milk or delicious spicy green papaya salad. Wash it all down with excellent Thai iced tea; it is sweet and strong and goes so well with spice dishes.
8393 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048, Phone: 323-653-4900
21.Vegan House Restaurant
© Courtesy of Ildi - Fotolia.com
Vegan House is a small, unpretentious vegan neighborhood restaurant on Wilcox Avenue more popular for take-out and delivery than sit-in. While predominantly Thai, they also serve Japanese, American, and even Mongolian favorites, with a lot of soy meat and fish, so there is something for everyone. From sushi and udon noodles to burgers and chow mein, the selection is huge. Their large range of soups and curries is excellent and you can choose the level of spiciness, that is, the number of chili peppers that will burn your palate. If you haven’t tried green papaya salad yet, try this one with chili, garlic, lime juice, and soy sauce.
1717 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, Phone: 323-962-6195
© Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill is a vegan chain with shops all over California that celebrates veggies in all their incarnations and serves them fresh, seasonal, and local. Their Los Angeles shop is a cheerful, colorful place in 800 Sunset Mall, with very nice courtyard seating surrounded by greenery. Their menu is extensive, but your best options are seasonal dishes offering veggies and fruits that are available locally and served as soon as they are picked from the fields and orchards, full of juices and colors. The Korean tacos are fabulous, with crispy chickin’, black beans, gochujang, avocado, arugula, red onions, and green cabbage, served with Asian slaw. By the way, gochujang is a spicy, slightly sweet sauce made from chili peppers that is quite common in Korean dishes. Try also their colorful plates and bowls with imaginative and unusual mixes of fruits and veggies.
8000 Sunset, 8000 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046, Phone: 323-822-7575
23.Vinh Loi Tofu
© Vinh Loi Tofu
Vinh Loi Tofu is bright and spacious, with green walls and green plants and more green on the plates. Vietnamese cuisine is known for being mostly plant based and Vinh Loi Tofu introduces many favorites. Their specialty is home-made tofu in all its possible incarnations, especially pretending to be meat for those who still crave the flavor and texture of meat. Try tofu pudding with delicious ginger syrup, or a cup of soy milk. The soy beans they use for their tofu are non-GMO. While the menu is diverse and extensive, do what the locals and the regulars do – have a look at what is available on the menu and then go to the counter and tell them what you like and what you do not like and let them put a plate together for you. You will most likely be pleasantly surprised.
18625 Sherman Way #101, Reseda, CA 91335, Phone: 818-996-9779
© Crossroads Kitchen
This vegan, or as they prefer to call it plant-based, restaurant Crossroads Kitchen is a far cry from the hippy vegan places of old. It is elegant and sophisticated with a clientele to match – spotting celebrities is quite likely here. The food is as sophisticated as the décor, with original photographs by celebrated rock photographer Jim Marshall on the walls. The menu is not large but everything is seasonal, imaginative, and absolutely delicious. The list of Mediterranean small plates is superb, try the Artichoke Oysters with artichoke purée, kelp caviar, crispy oyster mushrooms, and yellow tomato béarnaise sauce. Their cocktails are interesting and original.
8284 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, Phone: 323-782-9245
23 Best Vegan Restaurants in Los Angeles
- Veggie Grill, Photo: Veggie Grill
- Little Pine Restaurant, Photo: Little Pine Restaurant
- Azla Ethiopian Vegan, Photo: Azla Ethiopian Vegan
- Elf Cafe, Photo: Elf Cafe
- Araya's Vegetarian Place, Photo: Araya's Vegetarian Place
- Cafe Gratitude Larchmont, Photo: Cafe Gratitude Larchmont
- Vegan Restaurants Los Angeles: Au Lac, Photo: Au Lac
- Flore Vegan, Photo: Flore Vegan
- Green Leaves Vegan, Photo: Green Leaves Vegan
- LA Vegan, Photo: Courtesy of Ivan - Fotolia.com
- My Vegan Gold, Photo: My Vegan Gold
- Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine, Photo: Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine
- Ramen Hood, Photo: Ramen Hood
- Vegan Restaurants Los Angeles: Real Food Daily, Photo: Real Food Daily
- Sage Vegan Bistro, Photo: Sage Vegan Bistro
- Shojin, Photo: Shojin
- Stuff I Eat, Photo: Stuff I Eat
- The Grain Cafe, Photo: The Grain Cafe
- The Springs, Photo: The Springs
- Vegan Restaurants Los Angeles: Vegan Glory, Photo: Courtesy of chandlervid85 - Fotolia.com
- Vegan House Restaurant, Photo: Courtesy of Ildi - Fotolia.com
- Veggie Grill, Photo: Veggie Grill
- Vinh Loi Tofu, Photo: Vinh Loi Tofu
- Crossroads Kitchen, Photo: Crossroads Kitchen
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of yuliiaholovchenko - Fotolia.com