Diner Most-Loved

The Most Popular Vegan Restaurants in LA

Looking at you, falafel and plant-based ramen.

8 min read
10/25/2022
mazal

In Los Angeles, going vegan doesn’t feel like a dietary restriction. It’s more like opening the valve on culinary creativity. You can taste it in homemade plant-based proteins spread on supple handmade corn tortillas. You can enjoy it in a bowl, wrap, or even kebab form. You can slurp it up in thoughtfully crafted ramen with a savory broth made of five — count ’em, five — types of miso. And you can order these delicious, genre-defining vegan offerings right now. 

Here are the best vegan restaurants in Los Angeles on Caviar right now, ranked in order of popularity. 


1. Cafe Gratitude

Since 2011, these breezy restaurants — with outposts in Larchmont Village, Arts District, Newport Beach, and beyond — have been preaching the gospel of raw, vegan food and good vibes. Under executive chef Seizan Dreux Ellis, the menu continues to be delicious and pleasantly affirming (see: I Am Active cucumber and dandelion juice and I Am Nourished breakfast wrap brimming with tofu scramble and mushroom carnitas).

2. Mazal

Inspired by his mom and the incredible Israeli food she cooked, owner Tal Zaiet decided to open this Lincoln Heights restaurant and inadvertently built a following for the family’s vegetable-forward dishes. The creamiest hummus, fire-roasted babaganoush, classic Israeli salad, and rice-stuffed grape leaves keep diners coming back.

mazal


3. Rabano 

If you’re craving Thai yellow curry, hefty tacos and burritos, edamame-stuffed wontons, or textural salads, you’ve come to the right place. This Hermosa Beach restaurant churns out a globe-trotting menu using locally sourced ingredients, perfect for whatever you’re in the mood for. There’s a reason why Rabano sits near the top of this list.

4. Mizlala

Chef Danny Elmaleh draws on both his restaurant experience (opening Mediterranean restaurants) and his background (growing up in Israel) for his small empire of casual Middle Eastern spots in West Adams and Sycamore. Don’t miss the falafel plate, enlivened with spicy amba sauce, and all the sides (fries with a garlicky sumac sauce, chili-and-almond-topped Brussels).

5. The Vegan Joint

This trio of casual vegan restaurants in Culver City and Downtown LA turns classic comfort food — burgers, nachos — into plant-based variations that satisfy as much as the meaty originals. The secret? Flavorful sauces, from a cilantro-y sauce on the burger to fresh salsa and guac (natch) for the nachos.

6. MVG by Oy

At this Silver Lake spot, the only thing more delightful than the food — expertly cooked fried rice, each grain slicked in a tom yum sauce; craggy soy chicken nuggets with smoky barbecue sauce; or chow mein dimpled with crisp-tender vegetables — is the cheekily written menu. “To Have to Hold” (a menu section dedicated to quesadillas, tacos, and burritos) and RIPP ‘Rest In Peace Porky’ (vegan short ribs) are just *chef’s kiss*.

7. Cena Vegan

This roving Mexican restaurant — you’ll find it at Smorgasburg every Sunday — is all about the details. The corn tortillas are made by hand and griddled until charred in all the right places. The plant-based proteins are made in-house and seasoned or simmered until tender and flavor-soaked. Try the taco trio to sample their takes on carne asada, al pastor, and carnitas.

cena


8. Real Food Daily

Founder Adaline Hobbs has been supplying Los Angeles with vegan staples for more than 25 years at this mini chain of restaurants. And it’s not stopping anytime soon. Hit up the Pasadena outpost for the cheeseburger egg rolls, the towering club sandwich anchored by tempeh bacon and breaded seitan, and the iconic carrot cake.

9. Flore Vegan Cuisine

Behold the sandwiches at this sunny Silver Lake restaurant. The Reuben is stacked with grilled tempeh and a swipe of cashew cheese, the BLTA (the “A” stands for avocado) comes with smoky tempeh bacon, and the club sandwich has extra-crisp tofu (batter, then bake, baby) and more tempeh bacon. And it’s open until 9:10 p.m. Hallelujah!

Flore


10. Chinollo

The sister restaurant to Rabano — you know, No. 3 on this list — specializes in a similarly worldwide range of cuisines and dishes: There’s the Baja Bowl with cashew-chipotle sauce and sweet corn, as well as The Green Burger, a hefty patty loaded with chickpeas, sweet potatoes, beets, and pumpkin seeds. But the draws of this Carson spot are the homemade drinks: pineapple-and-strawberry soda, shaken oolong iced tea, and cucumber lemonade, among others.

11. My Vegan

It’s not easy to veganize fish sauce–laden pad thai or shrimp-studded papaya salad, but in the last 40 years, the folks behind this beloved Thai restaurant have done just that. (It also has a location in Eagle Rock.) Relying on soy products and a slew of secret sauces, My Vegan does plant-based Thai food right.

MyVegan

12. Green Leaves Vegan

This Los Feliz restaurant doles out American brunch classics (big ol’ lentil burgers and pancakes) and Thai staples (supple spring rolls plumped with soy chicken, glass noodles, and basil). So there’s no wrong way to order here.

13. HiroNori Craft Ramen

This small army of ramen shops, slinging bowls in Long Beach, Pasadena, and beyond, is just as renowned for its porky tonkotsu as it is for its vegan ramen. The broth is built on sesame and five types of miso and layered with greens (kale, broccolini), crunchy veg (bean sprouts, corn), and a little chile oil. You’ll want to order extra noodles.

14. AFURI ramen + dumplings

Another strong contender in the vegan ramen scene: the tantanmen from this Tokyo-to-the–Arts District restaurant. The plant-based version of the spicy ramen style is nutty and savory, thanks to the hazelnut and miso broth, and topped with bok choy, shiitakes, leeks, and a miso-cashew cluster.

AFURI


15. LA Vegan

Consider this Cypress Grove spot your go-to when you’re on the edge of hangry but unsure of what you’re craving. There’s battered and fried orange soy chicken, grilled zucchini and eggplant on a fluffy bun, and salads of all stripes (tofu larb, spicy soy beef with cucumber and tomatoes). The world is your (soy-based) oyster.

16. Earle’s On Crenshaw

Brothers Cary and Duane Earle founded this celebrated hot dog stand in 1992, and it has since become serious about its vegan options. The Crenshaw restaurant serves Field Roast dogs and links, Beyond Meat burgers, and Jamaican patties brimming with softened cabbage, carrots, and hot peppers. Don’t forget a side of vegan chili cheese fries.

17. The Spot

If inclusion on this list doesn’t make you pick up your phone to immediately place an order at this cherished Hermosa Beach restaurant, then 2,700 (and counting) reviews will. One enthusiastic reviewer orders the Savory Steamers — a brown rice bowl crowned with steamed carrots, squash, and broccoli, and a drizzle of secret savory sauce — three times a week! Add the warming mushroom-walnut loaf, soy cheese–covered pasta, and a cookie for the full experience.

18. Bombay Palace

Vegan diners love this Beverly Hills restaurant for its wide array of vegan options. There’s the Chana Peshawari, chickpeas stewed with onions and tomatoes; samosa bursting with soft potatoes and peas and enveloped in a crackly pastry; slow-simmered dal; and so much more.

19. Kye’s

Founder Jeanne Cheng holds degrees in molecular biology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and spiritual psychology, and she channels those areas of expertise into the health-forward food at her Santa Monica café. Get one of the miso-charged bowls or wraps with organic tempeh or nori-wrapped rice burritos with Just Egg and avocado.

20. Kebab Daddy

The Avedis family got their start in the restaurant industry as a way to showcase the fruits of their famed butchery, but the vegan offerings at the family’s spots in Glendale, Pasadena, and beyond are legendary among Caviar diners. The thick coins of herby falafel can be strewn on a plate with rice and tahini or folded with tomatoes for a lavash wrap, while grilled vegetables (onions, peppers, eggplants) can come in a rice bowl or wrapped in warm pita.

21. Love Organic Cafe

You’ll see (and taste) a little bit of Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and China whenever you order from this West Hollywood hang. What sets it apart from other vegan spots are its vegan sushi rolls, like the popular Love On Fire (spicy tofu with seared trumpet mushrooms and sweet onions) and next-level inari filled with avocado and cucumber.

22. Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine

After earning acclaim as the chef behind Messob, an Ethiopian restaurant in Little Ethiopia, Rahel Woldmedhin decided to try a vegan take on her heritage’s cuisine, which led to this spot right next door. Go all in on the Feast: injera topped with two lentil stews, a string bean–carrot mix, cabbage, potatoes, chopped tomatoes and onions, and a zucchini stew.

Author

Caviar Staff

Caviar Staff

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