LAGuide

The Best Vegan Restaurants In LA

Great LA spots for vegan diners and carnivores alike.
Justine's Wine Bar vegan chicken sandwich

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Anyone who thinks cutting out meat and dairy from your life means saying goodbye to variety hasn't eaten much vegan food in LA (or is living in the year 2008). The restaurants on this guide range from fully vegan restaurants to places that simply excel in putting plants onto plates. Rather than asking, “Is this place good for a vegan/vegetarian restaurant?” We judged these spots in the same way we do all the places we eat—by asking “Does the food taste good?” And that means there’s something great for everyone.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Vegan

Frogtown

$$$$Perfect For:Drinking Good WineSmall PlatesWalk-Ins
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The fun, campy decor, and interesting wine list are reasons we like hanging out at Justine’s, but the great vegan, Italian-leaning menu is why you should spend a full night here. This Frogtown wine bar does delicious plant-based spins on red sauce classics, like a basil-heavy Sunday lasagna, a spaghetti with juicy vegan meatballs, and oyster mushroom “calamari” that’s better than most restaurant squid in town. The owner also runs Just What I Kneaded (a vegan bakery we love), so leave room for whatever dessert is in rotation.

Even though Ethiopian cuisine is generally vegan-friendly, Rahel on Fairfax is the only all-vegan restaurant in Little Ethiopia. This longtime neighborhood staple (with a well-deserved cult following) specializes in dishes like tender mushroom tibs and meat-free dulet. Expect a menu of vegetable and legume-focused dishes like shiro wot that’s been dusted with the perfect amount of sweet paprika and spicy cayenne. Stop by for a casual weeknight meal and order the feast for two, which includes 10 slow-cooked stews on a massive platter, plus injera and crispy sambussa.

This vegan Italian restaurant on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood has tremendous pastas like shiitake bacon-filled carbonara, and a “Black Magic Lasagna” made with cashew ricotta, bechamel sauce, spinach, mushroom, pesto, and black truffle cream (it ties the dish together without overpowering the rest of the flavors). Beyond the food, Pura Vita works for a casual night out with excellent people-watching and potentially too much wine.

photo credit: Liz Ward

$$$$Perfect For:Vegans

Extra Market fits in nicely with the rest of the hypebeast-centric places on Fairfax. In addition to selling skateboards, merch, and sneakers, this plant-based cafe makes delicious food that isn't even remotely healthy. You come here for chili cheese fries, cheesesteaks, chicken nuggets, and hefty double Impossible cheeseburgers that rival the best vegan burgers in town. Make it a priority the next time you’re walking around Fairfax looking for a quick vegan meal that costs around $10.

Take your friends to this fancy vegan restaurant on the Marina Del Rey boardwalk even if they eat meat. They’ll be happy just to hang out on a waterfront patio with enough glitz and glamor to pass for the West Coast version of the Versace mansion, and eat vegan sushi, pastas, and bar snacks that closely replicate their meat and fish counterparts. We especially love the miso-glazed eggplant nigiri, which tastes better than a lot of the sushi we’ve had in LA. If you’re looking for a restaurant to bring that vegan DJ you met on Hinge, book your table on a “Maki Monday” or “Pour Decision Wednesday,” when you can make the most of Planta’s specials like unlimited maki rolls and half-priced bottles of wine.

Bulan is a Thai restaurant that we find ourselves recommending over and over again to anyone looking for vegan and vegetarian food in Silver Lake. Walk into their tiny dining room across from Erewhon and you’ll be instantly greeted by the smell of bubbling curry. Their massive menu includes pad thai, satay, and tom yum soup, all made with soy-based chicken, beef, or duck. The crispy, deep-fried orange chicken tastes tangy and sweet, and the duck curry is a whirlwind of red bell pepper, red chile, and lemongrass.

photo credit: Doomie's Home Cookin'

$$$$Perfect For:Late Night EatsVegans

Doomie’s Home Cookin’ offers the kind of vegan comfort food you need after a night of questionable decisions in Hollywood. Their extensive menu functions like a masterclass in plant-based junk food, from plates of flaky fried chicken with a side of mac and cheese to crunchy shrimp po’boys. If you’re over imitation meat, order the animal fries or some jalapeño bites with a strawberry horchata milkshake on the side. Doomie’s is open 24 hours on weekends, has a huge lot full of free parking, and even serves breakfast dishes like pancakes and waffles starting at 5am on Saturday and Sunday. If you like vegan shrimp tacos, check out Doomie's younger sibling Doomie’s NextMex located in the same Hollywood strip mall.

Hidden in that two-story strip mall on the corner of Westwood and Olympic that hasn’t changed its decor since 1987, Hijo De Su Madre is a casual, counter-service vegan Mexican spot with creative flair. They’ve got a bahn mi-style taco with seared tofu, a bratwurst taco inspired by LA street dogs, and a deep-fried avocado taco called the “Phat Ass.” The best things here come from Yucantan-inspired side of the menu, including a fantastic spicy-sour jackfruit cochinita pibil topped with black bean and corn salsa. Our only issue is that the plant-based meats here are so juicy, the soft corn tortillas end up  clinging to life by the time you finish. Still, we’d send anyone here for a satisfying and affordable lunch in West LA—vegan or otherwise.

For those who eat fish, vegan sushi might sound as exciting as cheeseless Cheetos. But at Shojin—a vegan Japanese restaurant with locations in DTLA and Culver City— the veggie-only menu works, mostly because they don’t try to trick you into thinking your vegan baked scallop roll is actually a scallop. We like to order multiple rounds of mushroom and tofu-centric rolls, all of which remind us that great vegan food doesn't require fried fake meats.

This BYOB counter-service spot in Santa Monica fills a massive Westside hole in LA’s Ethiopian restaurant scene. They’ve got a bunch of incredible plant-based Ethiopian dishes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In addition to tofu tibs and creamy shiro full of tender garbanzo beans, Berbere serves Ethiopian twists on tacos, sliders, and breakfast burritos that’ll make you want to show up about as often as a mama bird returns to its baby’s nest.

Maciel's makes the best vegan sandwich in Highland Park, and possibly all of LA. Here they blend Mexican ingredients with the kinds of cold-cut classics you'd expect from an old-school deli. And they make all of their own plant-based meats in-house, including bacon, pastrami, chorizo, and chicharrones. Their chorizo breakfast sandwich on a fluffy brioche bun is only available until noon, but you can order filling options like a juicy Mexican BBQ short rib or loaded Italian with meatless salami and chopped pepperoncini all day. Keep this spot in mind if ever want to bring a vegan charcuterie platter to a party, too—they sell a bunch of plant-based meats and dairy-free cheeses by the pound from their deli case.

photo credit: Augusto Piccio

$$$$Perfect For:Vegans

We can’t think of a better option for a vegan date night than Olivia. This Koreatown spot has leather banquettes, bistro tables, and a menu of shareable dishes that are a bit more upscale and inventive than your average plant-based cafe. We especially love their crunchy fried green olives, served on a bed of creamy ricotta made from macadamia nuts and drizzled in honey. The rest of the menu is full of solid options like a Neapolitan-style pizza topped with sunflower seed mozzarella and a plant-based crispy chicken plate.

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Ever since Margo’s on Montana Ave. in Santa Monica pivoted from an all-day American restaurant to a counter-service vegan spot, the vegan pasta scene has never been the same. Their menu covers everything from salads and sandwiches to vegan cocktails, and we typically opt for their dairy-free cacio e pepe. If the weather's nice, grab a seat on the string-lit sidewalk patio out front with a date or friend who will appreciate the comfort of al dente noodles.

With its pink neon signage and long menu of plant-based pies, this Silver Lake spot feels like a new-age nod to the classic pizza parlor. They serve both Neapolitan and Detroit-style pies, but we prefer the latter. The dough is nice and springy, slightly sour, and very thick with just enough browning along the edges. Their counter-service dining room is a great place to catch up with friends over garlic knots and chomp on a pan-baked masterpiece covered in garlic, red sauce, a pesto drizzle, and almond ricotta cheese. While the vegan options are robust here, be aware they also serve non-vegan pizzas as well.

BeeWali’s Vegan AF started as a pop-up before opening up a brick-and-mortar spot in Eagle Rock where you’ll find curry fries, kabob plates served over basmati rice, and tikka masala with a side of paratha bread. As you can probably tell from the name, all of the food is vegan. But you might not know that the space in Eagle Rock looks a lot like a classic diner, with globe lights, big red leather booths, and a long L-shaped bar lined with swivel stools. It's usually packed around dinnertime.

While you probably won't bite into a Monty’s Good Burger and think you're eating meat, there’s a good chance you will have a newfound appreciation for Impossible patties. This small diner in Koreatown (they’ve also got locations in Culver City, West Hollywood, Echo Park, and Riverside) has a short menu with a single or double burger, fries, tots, milkshakes, and a kale salad (we’d advise you skip the latter). The vegan patties are griddled, the cashew cheese could almost pass for the real thing, and the non-dairy milkshakes are simply fantastic, which makes Monty’s a solid choice, whether you’re vegan or not.

​​Inglewood isn’t necessarily the best neighborhood to eat in if you’re a vegan, but luckily, Stuff I Eat is picking up a lot of the slack. This all-vegan restaurant in the heart of Market St. is one of the most popular places in the neighborhood, with lunchtime crowds to prove it. The menu leans mostly Tex-Mex, with everything from breakfast burritos to an enchilada pie. Our favorite dish is the soul food platter, complete with yams, mac ‘n cheese, kale greens, black-eyed peas, cornbread, and BBQ tofu. Also, if they have spicy chili on the specials board, get it.

After years of running a plant-based catering company, the owners of Baba’s Vegan Cafe opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Historic Crenshaw District. It’s now a vegan powerhouse for the neighborhood—a place to eat BBQ tofu, lentil fritters, potato chowder, and chocolate cake slathered in cashew frosting. The specialty here is the vegan veggie patties—a Jamaican-style dish sold by the dozen and stuffed with fillings like curry potato, cabbage, sweet yam, savory hibiscus, and more.

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