It might be a big, smoggy, sprawling metropolis of a city, but Los Angeles is one of the easiest places in the world to eat clean. Vegan, vegetarian, raw, gluten free, non-dairy, organic - from fast food to fine dining - LA has that covered. While most cafes have options (would you like soy, rice, almond, coconut, oat or hemp milk in that coffee?) here's a list of places that cater specifically to those of the plant-based persuasion.
Hollywood is crawling with power-vegans and one of the most famous, Ellen DeGeneres, cites Crossroads as her favourite restaurant (chef Tal Ronnen catered her wedding). Crossroads is at the fine dining end of the spectrum, serving up Mediterranean meals, tapas and cocktails in elegant surrounds. And if you're really feeling fancy, they have two private dining rooms as well.
Address: 8284 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Already a hit in New York, By Chloe headed west earlier this year, partnering with specialty supermarket chain Whole Foods (another must for conscious eaters) to open a fast-casual dine-in experience within their first 365 by Whole Foods Market in SilverLake. Signature menu items include By Chloe's Guac Burger, Quinoa Taco Salad, Mac n Cheese and Air-Baked Fries.
Address: 2520 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Another one of the latest additions to the myriad of meat-free establishments is Moby's Little Pine. Musician Moby, a vegan himself for almost thirty years, opened the restaurant in the hipster enclave of Silverlake last November, offering an organic Mediterranean and California inspired menu. “I don’t eat non-organic and non-vegan food at home, so I don’t know why I’d serve anything other than organic and vegan food in my restaurant,” he says.
Address: 2870 Rowena Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039, United States
Serving seasonal, organic and local fare Sage Vegan Bistro has three locations across Los Angeles. Laying claim to being the first vegan beer garden is their biggest location, in Culver City, which has 24 beers on tap and full bar with cocktails made from fresh squeezed and cold pressed juices, teas and nut milks. The original Sage is in Echo Park and the newest, with an abbreviated menu, is in Pasadena. What they all have is at least a dozen flavours of raw, organic, vegan KindKreme ice-cream on the menu so you can finish off your guilt-free meal with a delicious dessert.
Address: 4130 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City; 1700 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles; and 319 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena
Plenty of raw and gluten-free options are among the organic vegan options offered at Flore, which features a deli counter and sit down indoor/outdoor service in Silverlake. Bowls, burgers, pizza, taco and burritos plus salads and sandwiches are all on the menu, plus they do brunch on the weekends.
Address: 3818 W. Sunset Blvd. Silverlake, CA 90026
Describing themselves as “veggie positive” chain store Veggie Grill serves up plant-based classic American comfort food in the form of soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches and desserts. Their tofu and tempeh is made from organic, non-GMO soybeans and fermented rice culture, which are naturally gluten-friendly, as are the grains they use, such as millet, buckwheat, organic quinoa and brown rice. With almost twenty stores spread across LA, you don't have to go too far to find one either.
While travelling, if you need to stock up on specialty groceries (vegan, gluten free, low glycemic and diabetic safe foods) or need some fresh organic fruit and veg, then Organix can help you out. They also have a deli on site, so if you need to grab a vegan dish to go – like burgers, sandwiches, burritos or tacos – they are all made to order. While not a restaurant, they do have some limited seating there if you want to eat in.
Address: 1731 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90041
The diversity of LA is such that vegans don't need to miss out on international cuisine, either. Offering organic Japanese vegan and macrobiotic dining is Shojin, with restaurants in both Culver City and on the 3rd floor of Little Tokyo Shopping Center in downtown Los Angeles. They offer plenty of gluten, soy, onion and garlic free options as well as not using any artificial additives or ingredients.
Address: 12406 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90066 and 333 S. Alameda St. Suite 310 Los Angeles, CA 90013
With plenty of raw options on the menu, Studio City's Sun Cafe can make most items gluten-free as well. Putting a healthy spin on rustic world cuisine, they use organic and GMO-free ingredients. With a multi-level patio you can settle in for a session, as they also have a wide range of organic wines, craft beers and three taps of Kambucha. And if you want to learn more about making your own raw vegan food, they also offer classes.
Address: 10820 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604, United States
Real Food Daily
A stayer, real Food Daily has been serving organic, plant-based cuisine for more than two decades now. The menu is balanced according to Eastern health philosophies and heart-healthy Western nutrition recommendations and has been so popular, there's now three locations in West Hollywood, Pasadena and LAX.
Address: 414 N. La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood CA 90048 and 899 E. Del Mar Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106