Get us in your inbox

Search
Cafe Gratitude pho
Photograph: Courtesy Café Gratitude/Talia DinwiddieCafé Gratitude

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.

Edited by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
Contributors
Stephanie Breijo
&
Amber Gibson
Advertising

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. 

RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Los Angeles

The 22 best vegan restaurants in L.A.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • 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 house-cut fries, Southern-style fried oyster mushrooms with silky potato purée and gravy, and piled-high burgers in both a meat-inspired and a truffled falafel version. When it’s open, the back patio feels like a secret garden—and the perfect place for a glass of frosé or three. Since chef Jared Simons, formerly of cult-favorite Taco Vega, took over the kitchen, this restaurant is a solid number one.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Larchmont Village
  • price 2 of 4

All of L.A.’s Café 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, elevated tonics, or wine. A solid beverage program makes this a great happy hour choice on weekdays from 4 to6 pm, with under $10 snacks like warm almond burrata, loaded nacho fries and Korean pulled mushroom slides, plus $8 wines by the glass. 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.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Melrose
  • price 2 of 4

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 the newly open location in Calabasas. The fare draws celebrities and the fashionable, youthful Melrose crowd, as well as a surprisingly older, suit-clad type. The Rockefeller-style baked mushroom "scallops'' and spicy maple-glazed Brussels sprouts with shiitake bacon are standout plates, as are the faux fried artichoke 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.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Santa Monica
  • price 3 of 4

One of the most reliable and consistent vegan restaurants in town, Margo’s is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, becoming a cozy neighborhood haunt where everyone feels like a regular, especially during happy hour from 3 to 6 pm. Chef Blake Thorson is one of the most underrated vegan chefs in the city, creating new dishes weekly from the plumpest, freshest California produce from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market just a few miles away. His menu is approachable, but familiar favorites are served with a memorable twist, like jalapeño mashed pea toast instead of ubiquitous avocado, or honeynut squash brushed with spicy Calabrian butter and crusted with fried pepita crumble. Pizzas are outstanding, with feather light cheese, and the Sicilian-style house made crust is insanely good—and gluten-free.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Ethiopian
  • Downtown Santa Monica

Smorgasburg favorite Tezeta “Tete” Alemayehu, an Addis Ababa, Ethiopia native, serves African-inspired vegan fare at Berbere in Santa Monica. For approximately 200 days out of the year, half the population of Ethiopia traditionally fasts by abstaining from all animal products. Meat, dairy and eggs might be forbidden, but bright and vibrant Ethiopian spices such as berbere, korerima and beso bela are not, providing Alemayehu with the perfect canvas to work her magic in dishes like blueberry teff pancakes and clay pot garbanzo stew with teff injera. There's a full juice bar too, with healthy juices and smoothies bottled on site, and you can purchase signature sauces, like almond berbere spread, to take home. 

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • West Hollywood
  • price 2 of 4

It should be said, right off the bat, that Gracias Madre is beautiful. A cross between Mexico City 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's truly fantastic. The queso fundido with warm house made cashew cheese, jalapeño, tomatoes, pico de gallo and chips is another favorite starter to share. For dessert, a more traditional option might be the flan, but the churros 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.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Little Tokyo
  • price 2 of 4

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 specific instructions for 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 dynamite roll, which we can’t get enough of, 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.

  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Chinatown

Unlike other plant-based fast food operations around town, Burgerlords makes its veggie patties in-house, which means the "beefy" patty at its Highland Park and Chinatown locations use barley, shiitake and a couple dozen other ingredients you can both recognize and pronounce. The delightfully crunchy-granola tofu nuggets, nutty tahini-based shakes and perfectly crispy fries round out a meal at our favorite vegan burger joint in Los Angeles.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Echo Park
  • price 2 of 4

Imaginative and hearty, dishes at Sage feel like they nudge vegan cuisine in a new direction. The restaurant 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: Jackfruit "crab" cakes are served with tartar sauce and lemon 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. House-made ravioli gets dressed in cashew alfredo, tacos and nachos get filled with jackfruit "carnitas" or eggplant "barbacoa," and there’s a range of totally plant-based pizza and lasagna for ultimate comfort.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • West Hollywood

This small West Hollywood wine bar transports you to Naples with a warm, romantic ambience and traditional Italian classics so good that you might not even notice the meatballs are made from mushrooms and lentils rather than pork and sprinkled with macadamia parmesan. Italian American chef and owner Tara Punzone has been vegan for more than 30 years, and many of her best recipes—like the black magic lasagna bursting with cashew ricotta, mushrooms and black truffle cream—are vegan conversions of her favorite family recipes. Wash down her made-from-scratch Neapolitan pizzas and pastas with a juicy bellini or biodynamic wines from Italy and around the world. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Lincoln Heights
  • price 1 of 4

Forget the myth that vegan means 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.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Downtown
  • price 2 of 4

The original Fountain Valley location of this vegan Vietnamese restaurant opened in 1997, making it one of the oldest all-vegan restaurants in the country. A newer, more modern Downtown location opened in 2015. Chef Ito, who has taken a life-long vow of silence, oversees menus at both locations and is quite a character. While incredibly innocent and genuine, the chef’s interaction with patrons is comical and entertaining, like you’re in on the joke. The food is unique, thoughtful and always flavorful. Sweet and spicy root veggies and tempeh served with crunchy melinjo crackers and shredded tofu, soy pork and kelp noodle bánh mì are standouts.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Reseda
  • price 1 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Downtown Historic Core
  • price 2 of 4

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 seed 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.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

Matthew Kenney’s plant-based empire is growing across L.A., but his sleek Abbot Kinney restaurant is still the flagship of his forward-looking, eco-minded concepts, which include Sestina, Double Zero, Folia, Ladurée by MK and Oleada Cocina. 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.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Beverly Grove
  • price 2 of 4

L.A.’s myriad 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, see-ew and tom yum, as well as grilled tofu 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.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Silver Lake

While the pizza at this strip mall spot is completely vegan (a boon for those who eat, or try to eat, fully plant-based), it’s also just damn good. Located in northern Silver Lake—close to Frogtown and Atwater Village—Hot Tongue offers delicious, freshly made pies both whole and by the slice. Pick from the eclectic neon pink shop’s thick Detroit-style squares, New York triangles and a gluten-free option, plus a small menu of salads and apps. All dishes are made with housemade plant-based cheese and toppings that lean more towards seasonal vegetables, rather than commercial faux-meats. Thus far, neighorhood locals and vegan Angelenos have already gravitated toward the place, and you should too—the next time you find yourself in the area.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • La Cienega
  • price 2 of 4

With locations in West Hollywood and Pasadena, Real Food Daily is a vegan’s delight, 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 pico de gallo) 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, so you can nurse that hangover with a breakfast burrito packed with scrambled tofu, hash browns, tempeh bacon and more at all hours.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Inglewood
  • price 2 of 4

As of writing, Stuff I Eat is closed for maintenance and will reopen on October 19th, 2022.

Everyone who comes into 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.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

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 Eastside Tacos (seitan topped with cashew cheese on  stone ground corn tortillas) or one of the six 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.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Studio City
  • price 2 of 4

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 baked lasagna with brown rice noodles and walnut pesto. Stick around for their popular smoothies, which range from healthy-tasting kale options to dessert-inspired pumpkin shakes, or grab a plant-based cupcake or slice of cake—good luck on leaving without one: They’re tantalizing in that deli case.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Frog Town
  • price 1 of 4

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, biscuits, 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 pop tarts, cinnamon rolls with lemon zest cream cheese frosting and more—with a full coffee program, to boot, making this a must-stop for breakfast or simply an afternoon snack.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising

      The best things in life are free.

      Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

      Loading animation
      Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

      🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

      Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!