In honor of World Vegan Day, we got to thinking about some of our favorite L.A. vegan restaurants. First let me say this isn’t the basic wheat grass and celery stalks from decades ago. I’m talking about mouthwatering appetizers, savory entrées and sweet, decadent desserts all 100% vegan. If you’ve always contemplated taking the plunge, enjoy incorporating vegan meals into your weekly diet, or just want to know what all this vegan hype is about, we wanted to share L.A.’s 16 Hottest Vegan spots – friendly to those who are vegan as well as welcoming those who are open to the experience.

American

Café Gratitude

Café Gratitude “Aims to create a healthier, more vibrant world” through a plant-based menu rich in fresh foods and positive affirmations. With such names like, ‘I Am Dazzling,’ (Cesar Salad) ‘I Am Glorious,’ (Blackened Tempeh Wrap), and ‘I am Blessed,’ (Butternut Squash Pasta Bolognese), you will leave both physically and mentally satisfied. $16+; Various hours and locations

Little Pine

Little Pine has our vote for one of the top vegan restaurants in Silver Lake. Originally founded by musician/DJ Moby, Little Pine welcomes you to dine with them and enjoy their succulent menu. Highlights include: Panko Crusted Piccata, Fennel Flatbread, Apple Sandwich, Little Pine Burger and their famous Chocolate Chip Cookies & Milk. $16+; Monday – Friday, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm and Saturday – Sunday, 9:00 am – 10:00 pm; 2870 Rowena Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039; 323.741.8148

Real Food Daily

Real Food Daily is just that, quality, organic food served daily. Each location has a unique, eclectic decor that is both welcoming and inviting. Oh, and the food is delicious too. The Buffalo Tater Tots, Curry Cakes, Nachos and Penne Alfredo top my list of restaurant favorites. $16+; Various hours and locations

Sage

Sage has been a favorite of vegans and non vegans for years. The casual dining bistro serves a menu of tasty plant-based items such as: Fried Artichoke Hearts, Goatless Greek Salad, BBQ Pulled ‘Pork’ Jackfruit and their many vibrant Bowls. I’m a sucker for a good sweet treat, and the Brownie Sundae is my go-to dessert. $17+; Various hours and locations

SunCafé

From the chic outdoor patio, to the mouthwatering menu, SunCafé is my favorite vegan spot in the Valley. SunCafé serves a diverse menu of Nachos, Pizzas, hearty Salads (my favorite is the Cesar add Tempeh Bacon and Avocado) a Blueberry Cheesecake that will bring tears of joy to your eyes, freshly made Smoothies and much, much more. $19+; Monday – Thursday, 11:00 am – 8: 30 pm, Friday, 11:00 am – 9:30 pm; Saturday, 10:00 am -3:00 pm and 4 – 9:30 pm, Sunday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and 4 – 8: 30 pm; 10820 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604; 818.927.4100

Asian

Gokoku Ramen

Nothing goes better with Sweater Weather than a bowl of piping hot vegan ramen. Gokoku, the Japanese Vegetarian Vegan Ramen shop serves organic, Build-Your-Own Ramen Bowls & Vegan Plates. The Fried Spicy Crispy Tofu, Crunchy Vegan Shrimp Roll, and Mayu Garlic Jalapeno Ramen are a few of customers’ favorites. $12.99+; Monday – Sunday, 12 – 9:30 pm; 4147 Lankershim Blvd, Studio City, CA, 91602; 818.505.8113

H.O.P.E.

H.O.P.E. isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a way of life. The Thai eatery which stands for Healthy Organic Positive Eating uses only the most fresh, organic ingredients in their menu. Drawing inspiration from Thai culture, H.O.P.E. invites you to dine on their Crispy Seaweed Quinoa Rolls, Veggie Dumpling, and my personal favorite, Yellow Curry. $14+; Monday – Friday, 11:00 am – 3:15 pm and 4:30 – 9:45 pm, Saturday – Sunday, 12 – 9:45 pm; 11943 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA, 91604, 818.506.9015

Italian/Pizza

Cruzer Pizza

The first time I ate Cruzer Pizza, my taste buds were blown away by the robust flavors that were in my mouth. This Vegan Italian restaurant features a menu of Pizzas, Pastas and Sandwiches that are absolutely delicious. Make sure to try the Jamaican Pizza (sweet or spicy sauce, vegan chicken, vegan sausage, red and yellow peppers, onion, cilantro, and Daiya cheese). $16.99+; Monday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 9:30 pm; 5051 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90027

Double Zero Venice

Pizzas made in a custom built wood burning oven, Vegan Ice Cream, and organic, sustainable Wines, yes please! Double Zero Venice is the 2nd location from the mind of celebrity chef Matthew Kenney. The Mediterranean Pizza (marinara, feta, spinach, roasted red peppers, red onions, kalamata olives, and fresh oregano) is LIFE. Other favorites include the Eggplant Parmesan, Baked Meatballs and the Tiramisu. $22+; Monday – Sunday, 12 – 10:00 pm; 1700 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291; 424.280.4672

Pura Vita

Chef Tara Punzone’s Vegan Italian restaurant offers a unique dining experience. Part New York City wine bar, part Southern Italian bistro, Pura Vita is all about a clean, delicious dining experience. Two of my must-haves: Linguine Di Mare (spicy garlic, white wine sauce, king oyster mushroom scallops and toasted breadcrumbs) and the Black Magic Lasagna (cashew, ricotta, besciamella, spinach, mushroom, black truffle cream and pesto) $20+; Various hours and locations

Vegan Sunday Supper

Whether you’re a full time plant-based eater, or a part time one like me, Vegan Sunday Supper is about to change your life. L.A.’s newest plant-based delivery packaged food company is ready to deliver their vegan homestyle Italian cooking to your door. Get ready to feast on the Sunday Supper Six Layer Classic Plant-Based Sausage Lasagna, a gourmet ready-to-bake 100% Plant-Based Lasagna made with Pulled Oats. Hungry yet? $44.95; available for online delivery

Mediterranean

Crossroads

No I’m not referring to the Britney Spears movie, but the upscale, trendy Vegan Mediterranean restaurant in West Hollywood. It’s known as the, “Intersection where vegans, flexitarians, omnivores and meat eaters can cross paths to share a delicious meal and a good time.” Chef Tal Ronnen curated a menu that features delicious Calamari Fritti, Brussels Sprouts, Spicy Rigatoni Vodka (my favorite), Brownie Sundae and more! $20+; Monday – Friday, 11:00 am – 3: 00 pm, 5 – 10:00 pm and 9:30 – 11:00 pm (Bar only); Saturday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm; 8284 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046; 323.782.9245

Mexican

Chicas Tacos

Chicas Tacos, home of #ABetterTaco serves Bold yet balanced tacos rooted in Mexican tradition made fresh daily with better ingredients and wrapped in love.” EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING on the menu is outstanding. I still dream about their award winning Impossible Taco (iceberg, radish, citrus vinaigrette on crispy corn tortilla shell). Other menu items include: Burritos and Bowls, Pizzas, Street Corn, and so much more. $10+; Various hours and locations

Gracias Madre

Love Mexican Vegan food? Gracias Madre’s traditional Mexican cuisine made from plant-based, organic ingredients needs to be at the top of your list. Whether you’re looking for vegan tacos, like the Al Pastor (roasted three mushroom blend & grilled pineapple), Wet Burrito (jackfruit), sizzling Mushroom Fajitas, or refreshing Margaritas, trust me, you will not be disappointed! $17+; Various hours and locations

Desserts/Sweet Treats

Donut Friend

Donuts are no longer just for breakfast. At Donut Friend where “Donuts are Done Differently,” they encourage you to sink your teeth into their sweet treats any time of the day. Flavors vary from their Signature Compilations, to the Limited Editions and DIY Donuts. And did I mention Creamo, their vegan ice cream company that you can combine with your donut for the ultimate ice cream donut sandwich!? $4.25+; Various hours and locations

Frozen Fruit Co.

This plant based Ice Cream is made from 3 to 5 plant and fruit ingredients, and is sweetened with only natural fruit sugars. My favorite is the Strawberry Cheesecake available only on Wednesdays. This special flavor combines Lemon Creme, Vanilla and Strawberry Ice Cream to make a cheesecake that is to die for. Frozen Fruit Co. has a storefront in Santa Monica, grocery pints to go, and a food truck whose schedule I have literally stalked. $5.50+; Monday – Sunday, 1 – 10:00 pm (SM store), Refer to schedule for Food Truck hours; 729 Montana Ave., Ste 2, Santa Monica CA 90403; 424.744.8860

Misc.

Vegan Exchange

Can’t decide what vegan place to order from? We got you covered. Every Sunday North Hollywood hosts the Vegan Exchange, a weekly vegan market featuring food, apparel, cosmetics, candles, and other vegan lifestyle vendors. The Lemon Pepper Glaze Chicken Wings from Centric Eats and the Pineapple Soft Serve Ice Cream from Honey Greens Juice Bar are so good, I constantly see them in my dreams. Vendors rotate so make sure to check the schedule to see if your favorite vegan sellers will be there. Free Admission/parking, you will pay for the cost of food and goods; Sundays, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm; 5300 Bakman Ave (Between Chandler Blvd. and Weddington St.), North Hollywood, CA 91601; 562.774.3294

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