Although my job was technically located in Orange County, I spent a large portion of my days off exploring Los Angeles. These are some of my favorite places to get delicious plant-based eats in LA, OC and other Southern California areas.
1. DONUT FRIEND
Kicking off this list with no other than, Donut Friend where you will you will find the most creative and delicious donuts ever. Regardless of whether you live that dairy/egg free life or not, this donut shop is for you.
2. CENA VEGAN
Where do I even start with Cena Vegan? If you are looking for delicious and authentic tacos, tostadas, nachos or burritos- I highly recommend you stop by their pop up location in Highland Park. Every Tuesday they host a Taco Tuesday and on Friday nights they are open for the Highland Park Block Party (which is like literally right next to Donut Friend). It is a dream.
Workaholic was a huge surprise for me. Smorgasburg LA is a farmer’s market/food frenzy that is held every Sunday in Downtown LA. I had specifically gone for the Cena Vegan and Donut Friend (sense a theme?) but I was totally intrigued to try something different when I walked by their tent. I am SO glad that I did! They specialize in Mandu which is a Korean dumpling. Unlike Cena Vegan and Donut Friend, they are not strictly a vegan joint so there are fillings ranging from pork to tofu to veggies.
4. THE RICANS FOOD
Another surprise was the Ricans Food which is a pop that can also be found at the Smorgasburg LA. If you are Puerto Rican like me, this relleno de papa will take you to isla de encanta. They just recently released a mofongo burger which I did not get the chance to try but it sounds am-a-a-a-zing.
5. PLANT POWER FAST FOOD
This spot is located pretty far south…in San Diego but if you are in LA it may be worth the drive to experience the best plant-based fast food I ever did see. Stacked with burgers, milkshakes and all the fast food vibes. If you ever get to go to PPFF, I highly recommend the Big Zac and the Breakfast Burrito!
6. AUNT YESE’S
A diner tucked in Huntington Beach had an entire separate menu for the veganites. The diner had everything from tacos to french toast. The meals gave me the homecooked feels and had great prices. After long nights at work, I would crave this place when I got out and their pancakes are the fluffiest I have ever had!
7. SIXTH STREET TAVERN
Another Downtown LA fave was Sixth Street Tavern- the haven for a great bar and even greater bar food. They also have a list of delicious desserts and appetizers. Grab a beer and grab a burger!
8. RAMEN HOOD
Ramen heaven…I mean Hood is located in LA’s Grand Central Market. If you are a fan of ramen then you MUST try their food! The place is super cute but the market, in general, is very busy especially on the weekends. You will have to get your bowl to go unless you can find seating at the counter that is attached to the kitchen. I would legitimately eat a bowl of this ramen standing if I had to.
9. HUG LIFE
I am not a huge fan of ice cream but Hug Life pretty much changed that for me with their Very Berry dairy-free ice cream. My favorite combo was with cookie crumbs, chocolate syrup, and a waffle bowl. My husband’s go-to was the bowl with Cookie ButterFace ice cream with cinnamon toast crunch and a coconut condensed milk. Hug Life has several locations so definitely make this a part of your trip if you are in the area!
10. CAFE GRATITUDE
The Chilaquiles paired with a latte with love spelled out in the foam from this aesthetically pleasing restaurant was everything. Every single item on the menu was an affirmation and a reminder to be present and thankful. The restaurant is a perfect place for a brunch or birthday lunch.
11. KITCHEN MOUSE LA
Another brunch or breakfast spot is here at Kitchen Mouse. The breakfast sammie is messy but I honestly wanted to lick my plate. David got the chili bowl and cornbread which gave two thumbs up!
Other places I recommend if you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking for some veg options are:
Localita & The Badasserie