I recently spent some time down in Los Angeles sunning, celebrity spotting and ‘pigging’ out on everything VEGAN! I knew before I went that there was going to be a lot of options. I did some research on happycow.com & yelp.com and got some great tips from some of our twitter followers, but man oh man was I blown away! Not only are there tons of %100 vegan restaurants (mexican/thai/ethiopian/westcoast/soulfood/diner etc.) , there are veggie restaurants with vegan options, as well as a vegan options available on otherwise carnivorous menus. I dragged my LA pals around to as many as I could get to, and also returned to many a few times over because they were so yum.
Here are some of my favourites:
My first stop when I landed was Swinger’s Diner with Sage, where we met Fletcher for a late night snack. I was unfortunately stuffed from munching before and during the flight (travelling makes me hungry), so I just ordered the Hardcore soy shake w/ peanut butter while drooling over Fletcher’s Tofu Chilaquiles. I vowed to return at a later date to give them a try myself, which I did and they were awesome! Other items that were tried: The Vegan Cobb and the Veggie Burger, both delicious.
Swinger’s is a super cool diner with no frills service, lots of booths and a juke box housing sweet tunes. I may be biased as I have a penchant for diners and sitting in booths. Love booths.
No Pics, just memories…
Ann Gentry, founder of Real Food Daily, is a genius! She has two locations in Los Angeles plus a bakery attached to the Santa Monica location. Ray-ray, Sage and I stopped by the one in West Hollywood for an all-vegan lunch after hiking the Runyun and doing outdoor yoga (such an LA morning). We all ordered the monthly feature, Mexico City tacos, and started with Nori Maki. Ray thought the maki tasted like cardboard, and Sage wasn’t impressed either. I liked it, but it maybe could have used a bit more zing. The tacos however were divine!
A few days later, Sage and I picked up some food to-go. I ordered the TV Dinner, super yum with veggies, loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy. The peanut butter cookies were so delicious and buttery. Also, the double chocolate cupcakes left me speechless!
Real Food Daily has a really fresh feel to it. They make espresso, and switch up the menu with daily/weekly/monthly features. I picked up a copy of Ann’s cookbook and can’t wait to share!
I knew about A Taste of Life beforehand from reading Quarry Girl’s review of their Breakfast Biscuit available at the Hollywood Farmer’s market on Sundays from 8am-1pm. Jay, Chad and I hit the road bright and early from Laguna Beach to make sure we didn’t miss out (thanks guys . Jay and I each scarfed one back. Unfortunately Chad’s tofu allergy prevented him from having a bite. They were tasty when sprinkled with creole spice mix!
We strolled the market and it made me wish I could bring fruits and veggies across the border. Then I remembered that it’s Vancouver Farmer’s Market time. See you there!
Located in Silverlake/Los Feliz, Flore Vegan is a delightful vegan deli/cafe with funny hipster waiters. Chad I went there after snoozing in his car one morning in the hills (long story), and I immediately fell in love. We started with a Grapefruit and Kale Tonic which I made again this morning and highly recommend. Then chad had the Tabouli Wrap and I had a Veggie Quesadilla with cashew cheese and tempeh bacon.
It’s cute and tiny with a few tables on the sidewalk, prime real estate for star-gazing and hipster grazing. They also have a deli case with salads and braised tofu to-go.
Just down the street is Intelligentsia which arguably serves the best coffee south of Seattle. No vegan pastries though so fill your belly at Flore first!