Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, dairy-free, or simply a conscious omnivore, Los Angeles is full of excellent options. Cafe Gratitude and Gracias Madre are usually the first ideas that come to mind, but this list will help diversify your meatless cravings:
Coco’s cakes are free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — but you won’t even notice it. Some of them are also vegan, and they were too good not to make it on this list. Browse through her website to choose between a Double chocolate cake with raspberries and cacao nibs, Pistachio coconut cookies, Pumpkin cake with caramel apple frosting, Sweet potato cakes… You might even finish the whole cake by yourself.
Elf Cafe is the ultimate date night go-to for both vegans and omnivores in Echo Park. On their Middle-Eastern inspired menu, you’ll find an excellent Moroccan veggie tagine, some homemade labneh with a date-olive tapenade, and a puff pastry with farmers market vegetables. Unfortunately, Elf is only open for dinner: but the owner also has Dune, which offers some excellent vegan options for a quick lunch.
Crossroads could be the perfect place to bring your carnivorous friends, because it doesn’t have the typical new age vibe most vegan places have. In a dimly-lit and elegant dining room, you’ll find collector pictures of rock stars, a full bar and excellent soundtrack. And whatever you order, don’t sleep on the oven-roasted potatoes with truffle shavings. You’ll thank us later.
On top of being the only decent place close to the Santa Monica boardwalk, Erven happens to be Jonathan Gold’s favorite vegan restaurant. And even though they started introducing some meat dishes from time to time, their vegan staples remain: chickpeas fritters with black garlic in a yuzu sauce, sauerkraut and smoked potatoes, eggplants with saffron and harissa…
Plant Food + Wine
Plant Food + Wine is best enjoyed on a quiet summer night, when you can find the best table on their patio, right under the olive trees. It is also best enjoyed with a bottle of natural wine, a couple of friends and some kelp cacio e pepe, cheese plate and chickpea curry soup. If you’re feeling like walking before dessert, head to the Van Leeuwen truck a couple of blocks down Abbott Kinney, and order their vanilla ice cream (made with coconut milk and dates), incredibly rich and guilt-free.