L.A. Vegan Restaurants Even Carnivores Will Enjoy
Has this ever happened to you: You’re a meat-lover, but your date is a vegan, and you never been to a vegan restaurant before and have no idea where to go. Or, vice versa, you’re a vegan and you want to take your carnivore date to a restaurant they won’t hate.
Here are some great vegan restaurants that I love, even though I’m traditionally a meat-eater.
Sage Organic Vegan Bistro
The food at Sage Organic Vegan Bistro is simply awesome. Last time I went, I was super hungry and left totally satisfied. I’ve been to both their Echo Park and Culver City locations.
Their Echo Park location is less polished than their Culver City location, but it is keeping with the more hipster / grungier Echo Park / Silverlake vibe. It’s located in an old vintage shopping and athletic center building on 1700 Sunset Blvd. I’d say it’s fine for an informal date, but the ambiance is not there for a formal dinner date where you’re dressed up.
I had the Tempeh Sausage Florentine (pictured in the header) from their brunch menu. Wow, it was fantastic. So flavorful! One of my friends there had the pancakes which were topped with a sweetened granola and “butter”, which was amazing. They also have some great Mexican dishes.
The Culver City location has a completely different feel; so much so that I initially didn’t realize that it was related to the one in Echo Park. The vibe is a bit more upscale – fine for a bit more formal date.
True Food Kitchen
Located in the Santa Monica Main Place mall, True Food Kitchen does serve meat, but has many vegetarian and vegan options which are clearly marked on the menu. The seating area is airy, pleasant, and casual. Anyone into healthy eating will like this place. It’s great for a lunch date or informal dinner.
The Butcher’s Daughter
The Butcher’s Daughter on trendy Abbott-Kinney Blvd. in Venice has an amazing farmhouse ambiance. Most of the menu items are vegan and gluten-free.
They have a large selection of juices and smoothies, as well as breakfast items, salads, and pizzas.
Bulan Thai Vegetarian
I went Bulan Thai Vegetarian on Melrose with a vegetarian friend, we we were both impressed with the food. A majority of the items are vegan or have vegan options. Atmosphere was good enough for a casual dinner date.
There is also a location in Silverlake.
The Vegan Joint
The Vegan Joint was probably my first experience with a vegan restaurants. One of my vegan friends convinced a reluctant buddy and me to go there, knowing we were carnivores. We gave it a try and loved it. Their breakfast dishes are great. Their chicken is awesome as well. They also have a selection of Thai dishes which I have not tried yet, but I hear are really good.
The Culver City location is very casual with a “mom and pop” small restaurant vibe; I wouldn’t go there on an important dinner date, but it’s okay for less formal occasions.
Native Foods Café
Native Foods Cafe is located in Westwood on Galey (they had locations in Santa Monica and Culver City which closed). The atmosphere is very casual – almost fast food-like because you order at a counter, but it’s clean and pleasant, and better-than-fast-food ambiance. Not the place for a formal date by any means, but okay for a lunch or informal dinner. It’s one of my favorite go-to restaurants in Culver City, even though I’m not vegan! I usually get their popular Chicken Ranch Burger and sweet-potato fries. Mmmmm!
Real Food Daily
Real Food Daily is probably one of the more popular and famous vegan restaurants in LA. They have locations in West Hollywood on La Cienega near the Beverly Center, and Pasadena. Unfortunately, the Santa Monica location closed, but they promise it will re-open somewhere else in Santa Monica.
I usually have their vegan burger when I go there, and I’m always satisfied. They also have some great vegan desserts which you shouldn’t miss. The atmosphere there is not formal but fine for a mellow date.
More Recommended Vegan Restaurants
Okay, my friend Jessica, who is vegan, was kind enough to give me a list of her favorite vegan restaurants in the L.A. area! Here they are (in no particular order):
- Sage Organic Vegan Bistro (Echo Park) – See above.
- Donut Friend (Highland Park) – Donuts made without eggs or dairy!
- Flore Vegan (Silverlake)
- Cruzer Pizza (Silverlake) – The only 100% animal-free vegan pizzeria in Los Angeles!
- Green Leaves Vegan (Los Feliz)
- Scoops (East Hollywood) – Some say this is the best vegan ice cream in Los Angeles.
- Gracias Madre (West Hollywood) – Great vegan Mexican food.
- Café Gratitude (Los Angeles, Downtown L.A., Venice)
- Real Food Daily (Santa Monica, West Hollywood) – See above.
- Sun Cafe (Studio City) – looks charming inside!
I can’t wait to try all of these!
What are your favorite vegan restaurants? Leave a comment below! – Brian