The 7 Best Vegan Brunches In L.A.
The term "vegan" was coined in 1944 by a British woodworker named Donald Watson for his new magazine on the subject, but Los Angeles' history with the dietary lifestyle stretches back decades earlier. In 1917, a full quarter century before Watson's term was born, Vera Richter opened the Raw Food Dining Room at 640 S. Olive Street in downtown, which may very well be the world's first vegan restaurant. A few years later, in 1921, Paul C. Bragg (yes, that Bragg) opened the first health food store in the United States a few blocks away on 7th Street near Figueroa. And in 1973, during the height of hippie culture and the Topanga Canyon scene, Follow Your Heart Market & Cafe opened in Canoga Park. The restaurant invented vegenaise two years later, and just like that, the global natural foods industry was born. All of this is to say that Angelenos are no strangers to veganism. In today's Los Angeles, veganism is a widely celebrated dietary choice, and vegan options are found everywhere (even at the Cheesecake Factory).
Here, we've combined vegan dining with another L.A. specialty: brunch. Check out this list of our favorite vegan brunch spots.
(Photo by BeBe J. via Yelp)
There may be no better way to spend a warm, clear-skied Sunday morning than ordering a plate of vegan breakfast tacos and a hot cup of Stumptown coffee (and sitting al fresco to watch the mix of people walk by) at this Highland Park favorite. Kitchen Mouse originally opened as a catering operation a few years back, but opened its cafe in 2014. The cafe serves up vegan and vegetarian options every day for breakfast and lunch, including items for the kiddies like mac 'n (non)cheese or grilled cheese.
Kitchen Mouse is at 5904 N Figueroa St, Highland Park, (323) 259-9555.
(Photo by Mohawk Bend/Facebook)
Mohawk Bend is quickly becoming the place to go for Eastsider vegans and non-vegans alike, but the lines start early for weekend brunch. Vegan French toast and vegan tofu scrambles are on the menu at this movie-theater-turned-vegan-hotspot. So wear your Silver Lake best, and don't forget about the full bar.
Mohawk Bend is at 2141 W Sunset Blvd, Echo Park, (213) 483-2337.
(Photo via Crossroads Kitchen/Facebook)
Crossroads has become something of a mainstay in the city's vegan community. Celebs and out-of-towners alike mingle in this elegantly appointed dining room that was opened by chef Tal Ronnen in 2013. The weekend brunch here is its own treat. Jonesing for a vegan bagel and lox? Try Crossroads' perennially popular Jann's Bagel: an everything bagel topped with almond cream cheese and smoked heirloom carrot lox. And for all those vegans who feel left out when friends hit up Roscoe's, be sure to try the fried "chicken" and waffles.
Crossroads Kitchen is at 8284 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, (323) 782-9245.
(Photo via Gracias Madre/Facebook)
The team behind Cafe Gratitude opened up Gracias Madre along an uber-hip stretch of Melrose in 2014 and hasn't looked back since. While Gracias Madre (and Cafe Gratitude) is a Bay Area transplant, the brand's Hacienda-chic decor and Mexican food specialties are right at home in image- and health-conscious Los Angeles. Brunch specialties include enchiladas with a black molé sauce, and flautas de camote—sweet potato taquitos with cashew nacho cheese. And for a more unique experience, there is a prix fixe brunch tasting menu that includes amuse bouche, appetizers, an entree, and dessert. To boot, Gracias Madre has been experimenting with CBD—or cannabidiol—an oil extract from the cannabis plant. Cheers to that.
Gracias Madre is located at 8905 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, (323) 978-2170.
Erven. (Photo by Jane L./Yelp)
Few restaurants have been able to break out of the vegan restaurant stigma as successfully as Erven has. Nick Erven's ode to the vegetable was lauded by many as one of 2016's best new restaurants. As for brunch, the self-professed "coincidentally vegan" establishment approaches "day" food much more casually than others on this list. The marketplace menu serves up marinated chickpeas, quinoa tabbouleh, and cucumber tossed with sesame, tofu, and a chili-ginger vinaigrette. Sandwich offerings include a gussied up PB&J, and the pastry counter slings a killer mole-spiced cinnamon roll.
Erven is at 514 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, (310) 260-2255.
PYT. (Photo via Bulletproof L./Yelp)
On the other side of town from Erven, PYT is a similar ode to the vegetable. Every weekend, Angelenos gather at this downtown dining destination to brunch with the best of them. That persimmon with red crisp grapes and watercress sounds like heaven, doesn't it? Or how about the Japanese sweet potato with Fuji apple and beet molasses? Order up an orange and yuzu mimosa, let the hip-hop from the speakers fill your ears, and feel like one of L.A.'s pretty young things.
PYT is at 400 S Main St, downtown Los Angeles, (213) 687-7015.
Sage (Photo via Laine C./Yelp)
Sage may very well be L.A.'s best all-around restaurant for vegans, vegetarians, and the health-conscious alike. And with three locations (one in Culver City, one in Pasadena, and one in Echo Park), hopping over for brunch is pretty easy where ever you are. If it's hot food from the griddle you want, Sage has you covered. Chia french toast and banana chocolate chip pancakes are recommended. The all-American vegan will satisfy your faux-egg craving, if that's what you're hankering for. And the menu offers several Mexican-style breakfast options as well. Don't forget to grab some KindKreme ice cream on your way out.
Check the Sage site for locations.