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8 Vegan Restaurants Foodies in Los Angeles Love

Whether you’re a resident Angelino or just popping in for a visit, there’s practically no better city for incredible vegan dining than Los Angeles. From the heart of Venice Beach to East LA, plant-based menus, are popping up everywhere and showing no signs of slowing (woo hoo!). From fast food joints to a variety of cuisines, such as delicious Ethiopian, Japanese, and Cuban options, Los Angeles pretty much has it all.

So whether you’re craving some comforting soul food or a creative take on the traditionally meat-laden Cuban classic, ropa vieja, here is our list of the top vegan restaurants in Los Angeles, in no particular order:

Crossroads

West Hollywood

 

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Crossroads has made countless “Top Vegan Restaurant” lists across the nation for years, and with good reason. This high-end vegan staple is known to satisfy all palates, herbivores and omnivores alike. Owner and chef to the stars, Tal Ronnen, has revamped the meatless meal into an art form, with innovative flavors and combinations that are sure to make your mouth water. In fact, he is so creative that most patrons don’t even make the connection that the menu is entirely plant-based. Reasonably priced and served in an intimate, upscale setting that draws everyone from LA’s most fashionable and youthful to the older, business-clad crowds on the regular.

From the hearts of palm “crab cakes” and artichoke heart “oysters,” to the more substantial Funghi Misti pizza and spaghetti carbonara, which comes with a bursting tomato “egg yolk,” Crossroads truly honed the plant-based Mediterranean fare.

Equelecuá Cuban Cafe

Inglewood

 

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Did you think you’d never be able to enjoy a Cuban sandwich being vegan? Think again! Equelecuá Cuban Cafe proudly boasts itself as only all vegan Cuban restaurant in the world. If that’s not enough to entice you, picture this: arroz con pollo (“chicken” and rice), ropa vieja (shredded “beef”), alitas (“wings” made from soy), and tostones galore— all vegan.

Head chef Julito Ortega and owner Caro Lafaurie and truly brought a highly desired, plant-based slice of Cuba to Inglewood.

Real Food Daily

Pasadena, West Hollywood, LAX

 

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Real Food Daily has been a favorite plant-based option for Los Angeles residents since 1993, and unlike many LA favorites hot spots, it didn’t win everybody over with its hip decor. RFD’s mission to serve a “quality, authentic, creative, and nutritionally balanced menu” is what’s kept people lining up for over a decade. Here, customers dine on full plates of whole grains, legumes, and vegetables paired with their signature house-made sauces, and the menu spans an international gamut.

From Mexican (tacos filled with braised jackfruit, roasted tomato salsa, pickled purple cabbage, pico de gallo, and jicama slaw), to Italian (lasagna made from a creamy cashew “ricotta” with spinach and mushrooms), and even Japanese (ramen made from a spicy sesame miso broth and sriracha grilled tofu). It’s also a favorite spot for brunch, so you can nurse your hangover with their hearty breakfast pizza (topped with tater tots, tempeh bacon, fresh cashew mozzarella, ranchero sauce, and a tofu scramble) or gratify your post-hike hunger with their famed avocado toast (grilled 7 grain bread topped with pepitas, almond feta, and sriracha).

Gracias Madre

West Hollywood

 

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With a mission to “both offer organic Mexican food to the communities we serve as well as honor the mothers who work tirelessly in the kitchens of Mexico and often live without their husbands and children while they work side by side with us in California,” it’s hard not to be inspired by Gracias Madre. From the second you walk in the door you’ll be astounded by their stunning decor, adorned with festive tiles and pillows from the floor all the way up to their gorgeous high ceilings. In fact, Gracias Madre is just that stunning that we’d recommend you go there during the day for the first time to really soak up the beauty of the space.

Carnivores will most definitely forget how much they love carne asada when they try Executive Chef Chandra Gilbert’s fare. From the barbecue jackfruit carnitas tacos to the squash tamales and even their young coconut ceviche, you can’t go wrong. The best part is that each dish tastes better than it looks.

Lastly, you can’t mention Gracias Madre without talking about their libations menu. Their cocktails are epic, and the ingredients are just as unique as their names. The “It’s Because I Carrot, Suzanne” (carrot, coconut, ancho chile, maple syrup, lemon, and tequila reposado) is an unexpected delight if you’re willing to be adventurous, but you definitely can’t go wrong with their house margaritas. If you’re not in the mood for alcohol, however, we suggest going with their creamy horchata or one of their house-made sodas to quench your thirst.

Shojin

DTLA, Culver City

 

 

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Did someone say vegan sushi? That’s right— This eccentric Japanese favorite focuses on the vegan macrobiotic diet and will have even the biggest sushi buffs on the planet questioning their palates, as everything on this bill of fare is divine. Shojin uses tofu and tempeh as the base of their sushi. It’s also quite comforting to see “no chemical preservatives, no artificial color and no chemical seasonings,” promised boldly on the menu.

Their Dynamite roll (a spicy tofu and avocado roll topped with vegan mayo and a spicy beet sauce) is easily the most popular item on the menu, but you’ll definitely want to test out the rest of the carte. Their appetizers are the quiet star of this establishment, so be sure to explore and enjoy.

Flore

Silver Lake

 

 

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After your first bite at Flore, you’ll see why Zagat called it “a vegan lover’s dream,” as they have perfected their menu of healthy vegan comfort foods. Famed musician Moby has publicly raved about their burrito and even admits to coming here weekly because he just can’t get enough! Their menu offers healthy versions of all your favorite comfort foods, from mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy to the classic Seitan pastrami on rye. Flore also makes incredible use of the ever-popular Korean kimchi. Try their kimchi quesadilla with cashew cheese or maybe their kim-possible burger! And while it might be hard, try to save room for some of their delicious pastry desserts.

A final note: as spectacular as the food is, the people watching is just as fun, so we recommend you sit outside on their outdoor patio.

Araya’s Place

Beverly Grove

 

 

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Though LA is flooded with a number of vegan Thai restaurants, none hail in comparison to Araya’s Place. Tucked away, almost hidden, in a tiny Beverly Grove strip mall, this joint is a must for all Thai food lovers. Even diners who think they prefer their curry with meat will be left dreaming about their avocado curry for weeks. While everything on their menu is impressive, people tend to come back for the pot stickers, the drunken mushroom noodles, and that green avocado curry we mentioned. Remember just how spicy Thai food can be, and be very specific with the level of heat you’d like in your dishes to ensure a tear-free meal.

Plant Food + Wine

Venice

 

 

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If you’re looking for fine vegan dining (and we mean very fine) and one of the best patios on the West Side, head on over to Matthew Kenney’s sleek and delicious Plant Food + Wine. This Venice hot spot serves fare that looks almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. Kenney’s locally sourced menu offers incredible vegan takes on the classics— Kelp noodle cacio e pepe, spicy udon, kimchi dumplings, and golden beet crude are some items diners can currently expect to see. We say currently, as the menu is ever-rotating. And of course, every dish is best paired with their organic and biodynamic wine list.

 

And there you have it– 8 vegan restaurants Los Angelinos, herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores alike, absolutely adore. Do you have any LA-based vegan restaurants you think should be on this list? Or maybe you’d like to check out another city…let us know, and bon appetit!

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