It’s only when you leave Los Angeles that you realise how easy vegans living here really have it. You’re never far from an amazing vegan restaurant, or places serving delicious vegan options. After my trip last year, I wrote about my food favourites from Southern California, check this out here. But last year was different for me as I was moving around a lot more, exploring as many beaches as I could possibly fit in. This time, LA was my last stop, ending six incredible weeks of travelling through Canada and the States. So I stayed in Venice Beach, and explored as much vegan goodness that this area has to offer. And trust me, there was a lot!
First off, I would 100% recommend Venice Beach as a place to stay while visiting LA. It’s easy to get back and forth to the city, but you’re also right in the centre of some incredible beaches. Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan and Redondo Beach are all within close reach.
Los Angeles is one of the easiest places in the world for finding vegan food, so I’ve decided to do a countdown of my top five food picks from this incredible trip (these are predominantly in the Venice area, as that’s where I spent a lot of time).
5. Veggie Grill
So in case you didn’t know, Veggie Grill is pretty much everywhere in So Cal. On my last trip, I was so surprised to see a vegan chain restaurant! I visited the Veggie Grill on North Fairfax Avenue, LA, just after I got a tattoo at LA’s only vegan tattoo studio which you can read about here. Good food, quick service and hugely convenient, I really hope Veggie Grill will expand to the rest of the world! (Check out ‘Vegan Life in Southern California – Food Favourites’ for more information on Veggie Grill).
4. M Cafe – Beverly Hills
So wandering through Beverly Hills gazing at shops I pretty much had no interest in (an abundance of leather, fur, alligator skin etc.), I was quite skeptical about finding any decent vegan food options here. But to my surprise, I was pointed in the direction of M Cafe. This is a dairy, egg, and meat-free restaurant, but it does sell fish (unfortunately). However there are plenty of vegan options, and the cookies looked amazing too! If you’re vegan and shopping in the Beverly Hills area, this is your best bet for fresh, wholesome, vegan food.
3. The Butcher’s Daughter
If you’re looking for something a little more fancy in the Venice area, The Butcher’s Daughter is definitely for you. Just a short walk from Venice, The Butcher’s Daughter is a vegetarian (but with a lot of vegan options) restaurant with style! Recently I’ve found a huge love for vegan cheesey pizza (check out my blog for Fat Gay Vegan about a new vegan pizzeria in England here), and the one I ordered here definitely hit the spot. I also love the name of this place, and the design and general feel of the whole restaurant. Thumbs up for The Butcher’s Daughter!
Now Seed could not be more different to my last restaurant! This is definitely more of a take-out, quick snack type place, and I pretty much stopped here every day whilst I was staying at Venice Beach. It goes higher up on my list because it’s 100% vegan, organic and everything I ate there was 100% delicious! Smoothies, breakfast burritos, tacos, and even vegan cookies…this place has you covered for a day exploring the local beaches. Personally I would have been lost without it!
1. Cafe Gratitude
Cafe Gratitude gets my first prize for vegan food in Southern California. Also located in Venice, the restaurant boasts 100% vegan, organic and locally sourced food. And the theme of gratitude is apparent throughout, even down to ordering from the menu, where you can say ‘I am…’ and then choose your desired feeling/food option. To be honest I’ve never been anywhere quite like it! Great atmosphere, incredible vegan food, and an all round one-of-a-kind restaurant. Even if you’re not staying in the Venice area, this restaurant is so popular there are a couple more around LA, and it’s no surprise why… Cafe Gratitude gets it spot on!
So that’s my run-down of favourite places to eat in Southern California. What’s your top So Cal spot for vegan food? 🙂