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Curried cauliflower tacos at Plant Food + Wine
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman Curried cauliflower tacos

The best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles

Whether you’re craving soul food or creative sushi rolls, L.A.’s best vegan restaurants boast tasty fare that even meat eaters will want to order.

By Stephanie Breijo and Jade Chang
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This is L.A., where the word “vegan” hasn’t raised eyebrows and prompted jokes about nut loaf for years, which means that there’s a smörgasbord of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in L.A. slinging slices of pizza piled high with veggies; upscale Mexican food; and even takes on the traditionally egg-laden Italian classic, carbonara. Here are the very best of the best, all 100-percent vegan. 

Before you dig in, a brief note: All of these restaurants are currently open in some form, unless otherwise noted. These days are strange days for restaurants and some might only be offering limited menus and hours; call or look online to check menus and availability before stopping by.

RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Los Angeles

The 20 best vegan restaurants in L.A.

Artichoke oysters at Crossroads
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

1. Crossroads

Restaurants Vegan Melrose

Simply put, Crossroads is a high-end vegan restaurant for omnivores. Plant-based chef-to-the-stars Tal Ronnen is reinventing meat-free meals with flavorful and imaginative dishes, whether served in the restaurant’s cozy, white-tablecloth Melrose Avenue dining room or brought home as prepared foods and meal kits. The fare draws celebrities and the fashionable, youthful Melrose crowd, as well as a surprisingly older, suit-clad type. The thinly shredded sweet and tangy kale salad flecked with currants and pine nuts, and the Farinatta—an arugula salad dressed with a sun-dried tomato pesto over a thin earthy and umami-rich pancake made from chickpea flour and roasted wild mushrooms—are standout plates, as are the faux fried oysters. For a more substantial dish, try the carbonara, which comes topped with a tomato “egg yolk” that really bursts, or the lasagna, layered with dairy-free cheese from Ronnen’s own retail operation.

Plant Food + Wine
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

2. Plant Food + Wine

Restaurants Vegan Venice

Matthew Kenney’s plant-based empire is growing across L.A., but his sleek Abbot Kinney restaurant is still the gem of his forward-looking, eco-minded concepts. It serves a tight list of global and local favorites, all-vegan dishes that are almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Locally sourced and ever-changing, the menu is packed with health-conscious takes on classics: Cashew raclette, kelp cacio e pepe and kung pao cauliflower are just a few items to expect, all best paired with that organic and biodynamic wine list, of course.

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Nic's on Beverly vegan pizza
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

3. Nic’s On Beverly

Restaurants Californian Beverly

Even as the most cheese-loving omnivores, we think about the vegan pizza at Nic’s on Beverly a little more than we’d care to admit. The fluffy-doughed square pies still feature cheese, though it’s nut-based, and the satisfyingly crisp edges of each slice only prove that Detroit-style pizza can be made—and made well—totally vegan. But Nic’s on Beverly is so much more than the pizza: The plant-based American restaurant from Nic Adler, Jason Eisner and chef Steven Fretz also serves Kennebec fries (their layers of potato stacked paper-thin); a great Nashville-style hot “chicken” sandwich dripping with house ranch; piled-high burgers in both a meat-inspired and a truffled falaffel version; and a gorgeous, fully vegan take on a classic wedge salad. When it’s open, the back patio feels like a secret garden—and the perfect place for a glass of frosé or three.

Street tacos at Sage Vegan Bistro
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

4. Sage Vegan Bistro

Restaurants Vegan Echo Park

Imaginative and hearty, dishes at Sage feel like they nudge vegan cuisine in a new direction. Sage, which has locations in Echo Park, Pasadena, Agoura Hills and Culver City, offers a United Nations-array of sandwiches that include meat-free versions of a bánh mì and a po’ boy. Dishes have intriguing and homey touches: Quinoa corn cakes are served with a sharp and crunchy slaw for just the right amount of zing, while the mole bowl feels rich and soul-soothing with its brown rice and sautéed veggies in a rich mole sauce. Vegan tamales come frozen for take-home; house-made ravioli gets dressed in cashew alfredo; tacos and nachos get filled with jackfruit “carnitas”; and there’s a range of totally plant-based pizza and lasagna for ultimate comfort.

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Monty's Good Burger vegan cheeseburger
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

5. Monty’s Good Burger

Restaurants Vegan Koreatown

Imagine the best casual burger joint you can fathom, with counter seating overlooking the flat-top and thick shakes in all the classic flavors—now imagine it all vegan. At Monty’s, it’s all about the classic burger experience, but plant-based, and with a much cooler playlist. The cheese is melty over Impossible Foods patties, the lettuce and tomatoes are crisp and crunchy, the vegan thousand island dressing is of course dairy-free, and the tots and fries come piled high—you can even get them smothered in grilled onions and cheese—because again, this is the best vegan burger shack experience. Don’t even think about skipping the vanilla soy-based shakes and floats.

Cena Vegan Mexican vegan food Los Angeles pop up
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

6. Cena Vegan

Restaurants Vegan Lincoln Heights

Forget the myth that vegan food is bland. At Cena Vegan, generational recipes for salsas and marinades—the kinds of marinades normally reserved for meats—make this entirely plant-based Mexican-food spot home to some of the most flavorful tacos, burritos and nachos around. There are spicy cashew cremas and saucy seitan al pastors and even vegan agua frescas, not to mention hand-pressed corn tortillas that are, you guessed it, also totally vegan. The former pop-up now operates out of a permanent kitchen in Lincoln Heights for tortas, tacos, tamales and some of L.A.’s largest burritos nearly every day of the week.

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Photograph: Courtesy Real Food Daily

7. Real Food Daily

Restaurants Downtown Santa Monica

With locations in West Hollywood and Pasadena, Real Food Daily is a vegan’s delight across L.A., offering full plates of whole grains, legumes and vegetables alongside house-made, signature sauces. Dishes run the global gamut, including Italian (penne in a lemony alfredo made from cashew cream) to Mexican (tempeh tacos with cashew cheese and jicama slaw) to Mediterranean (salad featuring kalamata olives, quinoa tabouleh, and za’atar dressing) all while delivering comforting classics and touches that appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike. A few breakfast items are available all day, too, where you can nurse that hangover with a breakfast burrito packed with scrambled tofu, roasted potatoes, black beans, tempeh bacon and more at all hours.

8. (Café) Gratitude

Restaurants Vegan Larchmont Village

All of L.A.’s Cafe Gratitude locations feel full of cheerful wait staff, diners with perfect postures and glowing skin, and dishes named for affirmations so you’ll have to declare something like, “I Am Thriving,” to order the soup of the day. It’s true: When the server takes your order, they’ll most likely ask, “What are you grateful for today?” but don’t let that stop you. Embrace it, because the bright, beautifully composed food will have you coming back. If you’re feeling especially out of tune with the world and need a drink, look for the sangrias or elevated tonics—and omnivores, don’t let the vegan menu stop you from ordering a creamy, decadent dessert: The tiramisu is some of the best in town, and there’s usually a completely raw-food sweets option on the menu, whether you’re in Larchmont, the Arts District or Venice.

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German vegan beer garden in Highland Park
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

9. Hinterhof German Kitchen and Beer Garden

Bars Beer bars Highland Park

Hinterhof isn’t your typical beer garden: Sure, there are still long, massive, house-made sausages and pretzels galore, but the menu is all vegan, the decor is minimalist, and you won’t hear an oompah band—and that’s just fine by us. We’ll dig into the vegan schnitzel and currywurst in this relaxed setting just off York Boulevard, which comes complete with imported beer and wine, not to mention fresh-baked strudel and plenty of gluten-free options, to boot. It’s also one of the best patios in Highland Park; trust us on this one—the hours slip by here, the German beer goes down easy, and the potato pancakes, stuffed cabbage rolls, and rotating specials (mulled wine and maultaschen, to name a few) will keep you coming back for more.

Dynamite Roll at Shojin
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

10. Shojin Organic & Natural

Restaurants Japanese Little Tokyo

Yes, Shojin is eccentric: Located on the third floor of an indoor mall in Little Tokyo and also on a sleepy corner in Culver City, this pretty Japanese restaurant has very specific instructions for seating and bag placement—handbags are placed in a designated basket next to your table. But almost everything on the bill of fare is excellent, and Shojin uses tofu and tempeh, along with a rainbow of veggie and grain substitutions, to craft glorious and entirely vegan sushi and tempura. For example, a mix of quinoa, miso and vegan-mayo make for an interesting and tasty topping on the traditional Dynamite roll, of which we can’t get enough, and mushroom tempura gets a smart sprinkling of truffle salt. Other Japanese classics are easily vegan, too, such as blistered shishito peppers, seaweed salad, ramen, and miso soup.

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Ramen Hood at Grand Central Market
Photograph: Erin Kuschner

11. Ramen Hood

Restaurants Vegan Downtown Historic Core

Sure, most people expect tonkatsu when they visit a ramen shop, but Grand Central Market’s noodle bar flips the script with its entirely vegan ramen-ya concept. Ramen Hood’s OG ramen, served with mushrooms, chili threads and nori in a piping-hot sunflower broth, is comforting and clean-tasting, while the spicy version packs a punch, and the cold ramen throws soba noodles into a smoky chilled onion broth. Vegan eggs, concocted from soy milk and nutritional yeast, add that quintessential bowl topper, making the meal complete for only a couple bucks more. Still hungry? Tack on a small plate—such as avocado toast with yuzu—and make it a combo meal.

Burger at Native Foods Café
Photograph: Courtesy Native Foods Café

12. Native Foods Café

Restaurants Vegan Westwood

This vegan café has become an L.A. staple thanks to its healthy food, fast service and prices that won’t break a budget. Creative and globally-inspired dishes like Thai meatballs, shawarma, Bangkok curry, and orange cauliflower allow diners to explore diverse cuisines (many even gluten-free), while American classics—the BBQ burger topped with seitan bacon and crispy shallots, for instance—provide quality gastropub fare done vegan. Native Foods has a beer and wine license, too, so you can pair your salad with a glass of Chardonnay for a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

13. Gracias Madre

Restaurants Mexican West Hollywood

As of this most recent feature update, L.A.’s Gracias Madre is temporarily closed for delivery and takeout.

It should be said, right off the bat, that Gracias Madre is beautiful. A cross between Mexico chic and Palm Springs casual, the vegan Mexican restaurant is decorated with festive cushions and tiles, a gorgeous courtyard and, inside, high ceilings and a comfortable bar. Wherever you choose to sit, order the guacamole—it is truly fantastic. The sopes with mango, looking like mini savory quiches, are two masa cakes piled high with mango-habanero salsa, black beans, cashew crema and guacamole. For dessert, a more traditional option might have been the flan, but the Mexican wedding cookies are the way to go, and always get them with a cup of creamy horchata latte. The bar stocks an impressive tequila selection, too—because hey, margaritas are definitely vegan.

Crispy Morning Glory Salad at Jitlada
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

14. Vegan Glory

Restaurants Vegan Beverly Grove

L.A.’s myriad of vegan Thai restaurants could be a subculture all its own, and for our money, this is the best of them. Tucked inside a Mid-City mini mall, this welcoming spot offers all the Thai staples like pad thai and tom yum, as well as lentil burgers and a few Mexican standbys like burritos and quesadillas. The extensive menu offers something for everyone, but you’re better off ordering standout dishes like creamy green curry, full of eggplant and bamboo in a coconut-milk base, and the spicy papaya salad packing a fresh lime kick. “Meat” components include soy-based chicken, fish, beef and more, which can fill curries, dumplings, soups, salads and stir-frys. Even the Thai iced tea is exemplary, with an intense tea flavor that balances out the sweetness.

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Nomoo vegan burger restaurant Melrose Los Angeles
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

15. NOMOO

Restaurants Vegan Fairfax District

Burgers, fries and shakes: a classic combo, now all vegan on Melrose. You might recognize the vintage-inspired digs: Yes, NOMOO really took over that iconic Johnny Rockets, and the old-school burger home is now turning out Impossible Food burgers and even a Nashville-style hot “chicken” sandwich, plus sides of salads and shoestring fries (or half and half, if you can’t make up your mind), not to mention shakes and floats made with their own house cashew soft serve. Perch on the patio if you can, for best results.

Bun at Vinh Loi Tofu
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

16. Vinh Loi Tofu

Restaurants Reseda

Fresh tofu is worlds away from the processed, packaged variety from your local supermarket cold case. Fill up on the fresh stuff—be it in soy-milk form or silky tofu pudding served with sweet ginger syrup—at Vinh Loi, where each batch is made on-site with non-GMO soybeans. Vinh Loi hits all of the high notes of Vietnamese cuisine, serving up pho and bun that are spicy, savory, sweet and sour in equal measure. A surprising number of patrons bypass the extensive menu and opt for dealer’s choice-type ordering: Go up to the counter and tell them what you like and don’t like, and they’ll surprise you with a platter of something delicious.

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Organic soul food platter at Stuff I Eat
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

17. Stuff I Eat

Restaurants Vegan Inglewood

Everyone who comes in to this homey Inglewood spot is treated like family—you’ll even get a scolding if you don’t clean your plate (or at least box up your leftovers), but be warned: Finishing a whole serving can be a difficult task with portions as generous as these. You’ll find toppling platters of vegan soul food—mac and cheese, BBQ tofu, greens, cornbread and slaw—and Southern-style specials like stick-to-your-ribs cornbread casserole with chili. Hearty, down-home fare is elevated with super fresh ingredients and a light touch, despite the ample portions. For dessert? Opt for a slice of the sweet potato pie or fresh-out-of-the-oven sweet bread pudding.

Eastsider tacos at Flore Cafe
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

18. Flore Vegan

Restaurants Cafés Silver Lake

On the eastern end of Sunset Junction sits this homey café, which feels like one of those East Village Hungarian restaurants that have been dishing up beef pierogies since Allen Ginsberg’s day. Instead, you’re much more likely to see a member of the poet’s ilk dining on Eastsider Tacos (seitan topped with cashew cheese) or one of the four tasty burgers (the nacho burger is a favorite). Sit outside and people-watch as locals walk by. Be sure to order one of the vegan desserts—we love the excellent lemon berry cake—which are on display in the deli cases. Many of the carbs here are gluten-free, including the pancakes, and GF substitutes are readily available.

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Pesto pizza.
Photograph: Courtesy SunCafe

19. SunCafe

Restaurants Studio City

Serving both raw and cooked vegan food, and making almost everything from scratch, SunCafe has become a favorite for more than its nearby Valley dwellers looking for healthy lunch and dinner options. The casual spot along Ventura Boulevard has your standard soups and salads, sure, but there are also burgers topped with cashew mayo, and BLTs with tempeh bacon, and decadent veggie au gratin bakes. Stick around for their popular smoothies, which range from healthy-tasting kale options to dessert-inspired mint shamrock shakes, or grab a plant-based cupcake or slice of cake—good luck on leaving without one: They’re tantalizing in that deli case.

Just What I Kneaded vegan bakery
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

20. Just What I Kneaded

Restaurants Bakeries Frog Town

This charming all-vegan bakery doesn’t offer a full menu spread like the other spots on this list, but its handful of ever-rotating, plant-based sandwiches, flatbreads, pies, cookies, galettes, quiches and breakfast burritos are more than worth a visit. From homespun Instagram operation to one of L.A.’s favorite wholesale vegan bakeries, Just What I Kneaded eventually landed a bake shop of its own, now tucked away in Frogtown. Justine Hernandez whips up colorful market-fresh scones, cinnamon rolls and more—with a full coffee program, to boot, making this a must-stop for breakfast or simply an afternoon snack.

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