Saturday, July 2, 2022

10 Best Vegan Restaurants in Los Angeles


Say what you will about Los Angeles, but when it comes to vegan cuisine, the City of Angels strives to be at the forefront of innovation. Just take a look at the vegan restaurants sprouting like the proverbial mushroom in and around it, and you will agree!

There’s something for everybody, too, from casual burger stands to selling vegan burgers in the Eastside to upscale restaurants in West Hollywood. There are even plenty of ethnic cuisine-inspired vegan restaurants, too, serving Thai, Indian and Ethiopian dishes, many of which are already vegan in the first place. Such is the abundance of vegan restaurants in Los Angeles are offering delicious recipes at reasonably affordable prices that even an avowed meat-loving person will eat more plant-based meals!

Best Vegan Restaurants in Los Angeles

With that said, here are 10 of the vegan restaurants that we believe are the best in L.A.

1. Plant Food + Wine

Location: 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice

Matthew Kenney certainly hit the culinary jackpot with his Plant Food + Wine restaurant, and the packed restaurant is proof of it. With its 70 seats, it’s a communal gathering place where vegans and non-vegans alike come to enjoy the healthy, delicious and generously portioned dishes. The menu changes, too, based on the season and the availability of local ingredients, so there’s the assurance that the ingredients used are fresh, locally sourced, and sustainably cultivated; talk about attracting the eco-conscious market, too.

The food is as attractive to the eyes as it’s appetizing to the palate. We loved the nut cheese platter and the kelp noodle cacio e pepe, among others, and we suggest ordering a different dish with every visit. Yelp

2. Shojin 

Location: 12406 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles

The Japanese vegan restaurant in Little Tokyo stands out for its memorable dishes, many of which are traditional dishes with a modern twist. Keep in mind, too, that while the organic menu is decidedly vegan, the dishes aren’t intended as soy meat substitutes – otherwise, Shonji will just be another so-so vegan restaurant in town.

We have to say that the food is among the best vegan dishes we have had in this part of the world! Of course, there are standouts, and we recommend the tempura zucchini blossoms with pumpkin, tomato, and apricot stuffing; the spicy baked “scallop” roll with mushroom and onions as a topping; the baked California roll with its torched enoki mushroom; and the crab handroll, a winner with its creamy avocado and sweet, crunchy innards. Plus, the beautiful food presentation makes us want to dive right in. Yelp

3. Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen

Location: 12900 Victory Blvd, North Hollywood

Krimsey, the single-named owner of his eponymous restaurant, is a former petroleum engineer who creates surprising vegan dishes from gumbo, jambalaya, and hushpuppies to etoufee.  Many of the meatless dishes here are so flavorful that we forget we’re craving for meat in the first place – Louisiana cornbread, dill potato salad, spinach salad, rainbow salad, and corn and onion hushpuppies are on top of our list. Krimsey uses plenty of spices and cooks the vegetables to just the right degree, so there’s a certain spicy crunchiness to them.   

Oh, the smoky okra and gumbo is a must-order because of its sumptuous balance of flavors – okra works well with black-eyed peas, bell peppers, celery, and kidney beans served on top of white rice with dried scallions as garnish. You can order veggie meat if you want, but the veggie dishes are already filling and flavorful on their own. Yelp

4. Hinterhof Vegan German Kitchen and Beer Garden

Location: 4939 York Blvd, Los Angeles

Matthias Brandt, the owner of Hinterhof, offers a wide range of traditional German dishes like soft pretzels, schnitzel and potato pancakes as well as beers. Hinterhof, after all, is a German-style beer spot, so the full-on German menu isn’t surprising.

The flavorful and filling German salads pair well with the meatless sausages and pretzels. Yes, there’s such a thing as meatless sausages that combine meaty textures and guilt-free indulgence. Come here for dinner, but starting in February, the restaurant’s open for breakfast, lunch and brunch, too, so you have more opportunities to enjoy vegan dishes and craft beer in a relaxed setting. Yelp

5. The Vegan Joint (West LA)

Location: 10438 National Blvd #4664, Los Angeles

In terms of age, The Vegan Joint is among Los Angeles’ oldest vegan restaurants, although we have to say that it isn’t that old. First opened in 2006, its menu changes as the day progresses, so it’s best to plan when you’re coming in if you’re craving for a dish or two. During breakfast hours, the breakfast burritos rule the menu, and we have to say that these burritos provide fuel for body and soul.

Once the breakfast mania passes, the restaurant offers Thai-inspired dishes with the likes of spicy mint noodles, pad sees ew, and spicy pineapple curry as the featured dishes. But if you’re looking for variety, The Vegan Joint also serves tofu scramble pancakes (pancakes with faux cheese, tofu scramble, and soy bacon bits); chicken pancakes (pancakes with crispy soy chicken); and tropical pancakes (pancakes topped with blueberries and bananas). Go for the hash brown plates, omelets with your choice of toppings, curries, soups, rice dishes, dinner plates, and faux chicken nachos, followed by dessert-like raw cheesecakes, cupcakes, and cookies.

6. Crossroads Kitchen

Location: 8284 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles

Chef Tal Ronnen offers vegan dishes that feel and look like meals unto themselves, not just as optional sides for a meat-centric meal. The menu at Crossroads Kitchen consists of vegan salads, soups, and cold small plates, which are just as filling and flavorful as their meat counterparts.

The allure of spiced chickpeas served with oven-dried tomatoes, of artichoke and farro salad, served with kalamata olives and arugula, and of spicy delicate squash with black garlic, cipollini onions and quince caramel sauce are just so strong! You can pair these dishes with the Ronnen’s signature vegan carbonara. Yelp

7. Honeybee Burger

Location: 1820 N Vermont Ave., Los Angeles

If you’re looking for American vegan dishes, then the Honeybee Burger is the place to be! Here, you will find a wide range of completely meat-free burgers as well as tater tots and sweet potato fries –because burgers and fries are the best combos, ever. There are also several flavors of soft serve and shakes for dessert, thus, completing the American fast-food vegan meal.

The burgers have patties made by Beyond Meat and Impossible, two of the foremost producers of vegan meat substitutes in the United States; customers can choose between these two patties, too. Go for the grilled cheese sandwiches, too, because the cheese is ooey-gooey and the bread is crunchy, a play in contrasts. Yelp

8. Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen

Location: 4114 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles

As its name implies, Bulan Thai offers traditional Thai dishes – not Americanized, fortunately – so it’s a great place for people who want a change of cuisine. The veggie meats look and feel like meat instead of the sad substitutes seen in inferior vegan places while the curry flavors are to-die-for; many of the dishes can also be served with eggs if you aren’t 100% vegan.

The menu is quite impressive for its breadth, too. The choices include mock duck curry, seaweed rolls, and chili tamarind. There’s even a coconut ice cream for dessert! Yelp

9. Ramen Hood

Location: 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles

Ilan Hall, the Top Chef S2 winner, makes the best ramen in the hood! Yes, his Ramen Hood is a large ramen stand in the bustling Grand Central Market, but it’s nearly always packed with diners happily slurping away at their ramen. Yes, the ramen is completely-free, and it’s served with vegan egg, not to mention that the ramen can be served hot or cold, depending on customer preference.

We love the cloudy milk color of the meat-free ramen broth, a heavenly concoction enhanced by the addition of green onions, bean sprouts, and chashu. We’re told that the broth itself is made from meaty mushrooms and sunflower seeds, resulting in a mild flavor with toasted nut undertones.

The side dishes are just as delicious with choices like fried broccoli served with malt vinegar sauce and soy; fried tofu with a generous topping of red al pastor sauce; and pickled veggies. Yelp

10. Plant Power Fast Food

Location: 5095 Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach

As soon as you enter Plant Power Fast Food, you will be impressed by its large circular dining room, dark beams and floor-to-ceiling windows that belie its “fast-food” connotations. Yes, the restaurant has a fast-food concept but you have to wait a little longer because most of the dishes have to be made from scratch. But there are also pre-packaged salads if you want something to munch on while waiting for your order.

The menu has an upscale American cuisine feel to it with sandwiches, burgers, and “chicken wings, tenders, and nuggets” as well as fries, raw tacos, muffins, and burritos. We recommend the Big Zak, a large burger with two meat-free patties, fake American cheese, and Zac sauce topped with lettuce, onions, and pickles. Yelp

Vegan shouldn’t just be a buzzword! There are numerous health benefits of going vegan, but this isn’t the place to talk about them. Just enjoy vegan food at these places.

Also, check out these 19 Ways Eat Healthy Without Spending a Fortune

John Diep
John Diep
Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect:


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