The Top 10 Vegetarian Restaurants In Los Angeles
Los Angeles has grown to be an incredibly vegetarian-friendly city—one of the best in the country, in fact—with heaps of options for those seeking a meat-free lifestyle. Whether you're after authentic Mexican or tantalizing Thai, there's a way to do it the veggie way. Here are our 10 favorite options around town.
Photo of the spread at the Tibet Nepal House by Krista Simmons/LAist
Vinh Loi Tofu
Tofu lovers, Vinh Loi Tofu is your fantasy come true. A Vietnamese vegetarian café and tofu factory, this Reseda eatery makes its own fresh tofu daily. Soymilk and creamy tofu custard are also made every day in-house. The menu offers up about 20 tofu-based dishes, along with 16 soup selections, including chef Kevin Tran's take on the classic central Vietnamese soup bun bo Hue. One must-try aside from the tofu is the curry, and spring roll lovers will delight in the menu portion dedicated to these rolled treats. The small restaurant uses 100 percent non-GMO soy beans. —Lauren Lloyd
Vinh Loi Tofu is located at 18625 Sherman Way in Reseda, (818) 996-9779
The Mediterranean-themed vegan restaurant opened in March and serves up a fine-dining yet playful experience, courtesy of Oprah's former chef Tal Ronnen. Popular plates include the Artichoke Oysters, Kale Spanakopita, Wood-Fired Meaty Lasagna and Scallopini with Marsala-Glazed Morel Mushrooms. We know: It's hard to believe such dishes could be vegan, but they are, as is the new lunchtime cheese line. The bold and inventive plates match the chandeliered, wood-floored interior, where diners can also sip imaginative, seasonal cocktails poured by Jeremy Lake, like the Shotgun Willie (Barbancourt rum, strawberry-lavender syrup, lime, roasted rosemary) and the Sophia (lime, grapefruit, kalamata syrup, mezcal, tequila, candied olive).
Crossroads is located at 8284 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, (323) 782-9245
Seasonal tamales at Gracias Madre (Photo via Facebook)
With one location already feeding San Francisco, Gracias Madre promises to serve up L.A.'s best Mexican vegan food. Executive Chef Chandra Gilbert created a flavor-rich, seasonal menu for those "sitting at the mother's table," with eats like GMO-free, organic, full-kernel heirloom corn tortillas; organic beans; farm-fresh veggies grown at the family's Vacaville Be Love Farm; butternut squash quesadillas; cashew cheese and crema; cornmeal and potato cakes with avocado; phenomenal mole sauces; roasted chipotle peppers; and of course, trio taco plates. Service can be patchy, but it's worth it for the food. The outdoor patio is one of the best in the city, too.
Gracias Madre is located at 8905 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, (323) 978-2170
Tibet Nepal House
For under $10, Pasadena's Tibet Nepal House offers Himalayan cuisine at a steal. Their all you can eat buffet features rice, vegetable pakoras, four vegetable dishes and two meat dishes, plus a salad bar, chutneys, and fantastic naan bread. Oh, and you also get chai. The food is flavorful and the service is friendly, and it's totally worth the drive to Pasadena.
Tibet Nepal House is located at 36 E Holly St, Pasadena, (626) 585-0955
Dynamite Roll, Shojin's most popular sushi roll (Photo courtesy of Shojin)
With a motto of "organic and natural," Shojin serves up its Japanese vegan and macrobiotic cuisine in both Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, giving vegans and vegetarians a delicious option for sushi far above the standard vegetable roll. The myriad of fish-less sushi rolls include ingredients like pumpkin tempura, burdock root, baked barbecue seitan and seasoned sweet enoki mushroom. There are also salads, soups, ramen noodle bowls (only at the DTLA location) and seitan-based entrees. And of course, sake. —Lauren Lloyd
Shojin is located in Downtown L.A. at 333 South Alameda Street, Suite 310, (213) 617-0305, and in Culver City at 12406 Washington Boulevard, (310) 390-0033
Happy Family Restaurant
Happy Family Restaurant is worth the trek to the SGV if you're craving some Chinese cuisine made solely for vegetarians. If you miss orange chicken, they make a similar one (what they call their "house chicken") with mushrooms instead of meat; they're crispy and slathered in delicious sauce. They also have a number of stir-fried veggie options. And if you're the type to be overwhelmed by choices, Happy Family offers an AYCE option for about $15. It's more bang for your buck and comes with rice, soup and a variety of veggie options for you to sample. —Jean Trinh
Happy Family Restaurant is located at 500 N. Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park, (626) 282-8986; and 18425 Colima Road in Rowland Heights, (626) 965-9923.
This is our go-to vegan spot in Silver Lake. The organic fare hits the spot every time, especially its sandwiches, wraps and Mexican eats. Flore's Tempeh Reuben holds its own. Breakfast is served daily until 1 p.m., and the brunch menu, offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, is just plain irresistible. The "Chicken and Waffles" plates should help you with your Roscoe's envy, and any L.A. brunch menu wouldn't be complete without a breakfast burrito. For those looking to keep it light, Flore's juice, shakes and smoothies are here for you. For those who aren't, at least one cupcake or slice of cake should be sampled each visit. —Lauren Lloyd
Flore Vegan Cuisine is located at 3818 West Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake, (323) 953-0611
The vegan, macrobiotic cuisine here is prepared with locally grown, organic produce when possible, and the cafe is dedicated to sustainable, green business practices. We've tried quite a few of Seed's plates, and our favorites are the Seed Chop-Chop salad; the Soyzzarella, Tomato and Basil Panini and the BBQ Tempeh Burger. But our all-time favorite continues to be the Tempeh Chorizo Tacos. The crunchy taco trio is stuffed full of Lechasseur's savory tempeh chorizo, and we readily admit our constant craving. Made with maple and/or brown rice sweetener, the mousses must be sampled. —Lauren Lloyd
Seed Kitchen is located at 1604 Pacific Avenue in Venice, (310) 396-1604
The reuben (Photo courtesy of Native Foods)
We're all about meals in bowls, piled high with veggies, rice and protein. Native Foods' bowls are some of the best, our favorites of which are the Soul Bowl, made with Southern fried "chicken" with hearty red beans and brown rice, steamed veggies, and kale dressed with ranch and BBQ sauce and served with homemade cornbread. (While we do love real fried chicken, their seitan and tempeh are made in-house, and make for an excellent meat free treat.) Their classic deli reuben, garden pizza, and peanut butter parfait are also up there.
Native Foods has locations in Culver City, Santa Monica, and L.A. proper, with more on the way shortly.
Sage in Echo Park follows a farm-to-table model, serving guests fresh, local, in-season produce. The brunch, lunch and dinner menus are nicely well-rounded, offering items like Spinach Avocado and Walnut Sausage Florentine, Falafel Bowl, Butternut Squash Taco and Gluten-Free Coconut Curry. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also important to note for those with sweet teeth: KindKreme is served in-house, too.
Sage Organic Vegan Bistro is located at 1700 West Sunset Blvd in Echo Park, (213) 989-1718