Los Angeles is no stranger to plant-based eating. PETA called it the “Most Vegan-Friendly City” in the U.S. last year. Every year the city hosts multiple veggie food fests, where culinary magicians tempt attendees with everything from meatless jerky to jackfruit tacos. But you’d still be surprised at how many vegan offerings you can find hidden in unexpected corners of the city. Let’s take a tour of L.A., where taco trucks and gastropubs serve up veg-friendly delights.
Track down these food trucks for plant-based treats on the go
Who doesn’t love a good food truck? They’re simple by design, keeping their menus straightforward and offering up their strongest recipes to keep customers coming back. And all for a great price. Most popular food trucks have calendars for easier geolocating, so pay one of these a visit some time.
1. Cena Vegan
We can’t talk about food trucks without talking about Mexican food. Cena Vegan handcrafts its own plant-based meats, tossing them in special seasonings and serving them up in mouthwatering tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more. Find them here to get your fix. Can’t make it to one of their locations? Plant-based restaurant chain Veggie Grill is currently featuring Cena’s barbacoa on their menu!
2. Mort & Betty’s
Delicious Jewish deli food, minus animal ingredients? Consider me verklempt. Mort & Betty's pop-up was founded on the idea that you shouldn’t have to give up the comfort of traditional dishes in order to live a more compassionate, healthier life. The pop-up sells unique plant-based meat alternatives, like pastrami made out of mushrooms and carrot lox. Find the next date on the Mort & Betty's website.
3. Compton Vegan
Going vegan should never mean you have to abandon comfort food. At Compton Vegan’s pop-up shop you can pile your plate full of BBQ jackfruit ribs, mac and cheese, baked beans, and cornbread. See the Upcoming Events page or place an online order (in the Los Angeles area only).
Keep your eye out for these hole-in-the-wall gems
We all have that favorite little restaurant we try to hide away from other foodies (hey, we like not having to make reservations!) Here are a couple of L.A.’s best-kept secrets, on us.
4. Monty’s Good Burger
Even vegans need “cheat” days. This classic American diner with a twist offers burgers, crispy tater tots, and indulgent vegan shakes and floats. The burgers are made with Impossible Foods patties, and many ingredients are locally sourced. Come here (there are locations in K-Town and Riverside) when healthy just won’t cut it.
5. Ramen Hood
This spot is tucked away in L.A.’s bustling Grand Central Market. Don’t walk on by — sit down and order the spicy ramen with sunflower seed broth, oyster mushrooms, and vegan eggs. Organic Authority's editor calls this “the best vegan meal in Los Angeles, hands down.” That’s high praise from our resident vegan foodie!
Try these spots that cater to omnivores but have great vegan menus, too
If we could eat at vegan-only restaurants every day, we’d be happy clams. But most of us occasionally like to break bread with the meat eaters in our lives. For those occasions, try these restaurants that have something for everyone.
6. Mohawk Bend
Mohawk Bend’s veggie options aren’t just an afterthought. Its fare leans heavily plant-based and there's a separate kitchen for vegan dishes, but several meat options assure that everyone can eat happy at this gastropub. The comprehensive menu is underpinned by fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, including wide selections of craft beers and vegan cheeses. Try the Angry Vegan Pizza (it has almond ricotta AND a vegan mozzarella) or the Big Mohawk (made with an Impossible Burger patty).
7. True Food Kitchen
Head to this chic nouveau-Californian restaurant for a seasonal menu offering bowls, salads, and gorgeous Italian-style pizzas. Its emphasis on fresh, whole ingredients means there are plenty of veggie options. The Butternut Squash Pizza, Ancient Grains Bowl, and Kale Guacamole are to die for. A great selection of cocktails and a chic interior make True Food Kitchen a good bet for your next birthday dinner. Not an L.A. resident? Don’t worry. The chain also has locations in the Bay Area and in several other states.
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