These days, choosing the most vegan-friendly city in the world would be a struggle, as more places around the globe are expanding their vegan offering. However, given the chance, Los Angeles would be very close to the top spot on that list.
By Sascha Camilli: writer, speaker, activist, and vegan fashion expert.
Home to some of the most notorious meat-free celeb hangouts, LA is still the place that's hard to beat when it comes to vegan options. Any vegan visiting the Californian city will feel right at home in this plant-based paradise with vegan options for everything from pizza and burritos to candles and designer shoes. If anything, choice is tricky in this enormous city filled with tempting treats to try. We've chosen some of our favourite spots to keep in mind next time you book your ticket to La La Land.
Gracias Madre, West Hollywood
What do Mariah Carey, Selena Gomez, Natalie Portman and Jessica Alba have in common? They are Hollywood A-listers, sure – but they also like to grab a table at one of LA's most celeb-friendly eateries, Gracias Madre. Offering fresh-flavoured plant-based burritos, burgers and a brunch filled with vegan delicacies such as pancakes and French toast, Gracias Madre also has an extensive menu of craft cocktails – and places a lot of focus on sustainable sourcing.
Where to find it: 8905 Melrose Avenue West Hollywood, CA 90069
Veggie Grill, multiple locations
Looking for a quick, filling fix – that is still delicious? You've come to the perfect place, and boy are you going to love it. Veggie Grill, scattered across several states, is known for its sandwiches, bowls, burgers and wraps – all 100% plant-based, quick and delicious. Whether you came for nachos, a meatball sub or a huge salad, you won't be disappointed.
Where to find it: multiple locations including Hollywood, Downtown, Santa Monica and more, see website
Café Gratitude, Venice
Brought to you by the masterminds behind Gracias Madre, this vibrant plant-based café has a number of Californian locations – but its Venice spot has become a favourite hangout of countless foodie vegans. Its salads, wraps and pizzas (all carrying uplifting names like “I Am Inspired” and “I Am Enchanting”) are bursting with fresh, high-quality ingredients, and will keep you coming back for more.
Where to find it: 512 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291
Sage Plant-Based Bistro & Brewery, Echo Park
Cauliflower 'wings' and mac n' cheese, anyone? This Echo park spot is big on comfort food, and a comforting, cosy atmosphere also sets the vibe for its interiors. Jackfruit crab cakes, avocado on toast and taco salad are just a few of its star offerings. Finish your meal with a brownie sundae and realise that it's impossible to miss any pre-vegan flavours – they are all here.
Where to find it:1700 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Just What I Kneaded, Frogtown
A fully vegan bakery? Yes please! Bagels, sandwiches, cakes, pastries and more, this is the one place to visit if you love baked goods. Have a coffee and enjoy the best in egg- and butter-free baking. Bonus: lots of gluten-free options, too.
Where to find it: 2029 Blake Ave #104, Los Angeles, CA 90039
Double Zero, Venice
Pizza lovers, you can't miss out on this one. Celebrity chef Matthew Kenney specialises in gourmet plant-based cuisine, and has written 12 cookbooks. His pizza-focused offering, Double Zero, experiments with local ingredients to create a menu that any dough lover will die for. And you don't need to worry about mozzarella on the menu as everything is plant-based and animal-free.
Where to find it: 1700 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
The Butcher's Daughter, Venice
This “vegetable slaughterhouse” - as the eatery calls itself - shops, filets and carves vegetables into delicacies that will make any carnivore's mouth water. Focusing on high-quality seasonal produce, The Butcher's Daughter has been featured in Forbes, LA Weekly, Goop and more – and continues to be popular among tourists and locals. Word of warning: it's vegetarian, so there are non-vegan items on the menu, but most dishes are or can be made vegan.
Where to find it: 1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
Crossroads Kitchen, Melrose
With a refined atmosphere and an exquisite Mediterranean-inspired menu, chef Tal Ronnen wanted to create a vegan restaurant that didn't scream “vegan” and thus attracted customers who may previously never have considered plant-based dining. And he's been successful in his endeavour, as Crossroads Kitchen continues to amaze with its inventive recipes: whether it's squash blossoms stuffed with vegan ricotta or strawberry and basil tarts, this is the place where European flavours meet Californian cool.
Where to find it: 8284 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Style & Beauty
Vegan Fashion Library, Downtown
Vegan Fashion Library is the first showroom dedicated to vegan fashion, brought to you by Emmanuelle Rienda, the founder of the now-iconic Vegan Fashion Week. This elegant show space features the finest in responsible luxury, carefully curated and expertly presented. The perfect showcase for ethical designers.
Where to find it: 330 W 11th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
F.A.K.E Vegan Fashion Museum, West Hollywood
F.A.K.E (For Animal Kingdom and Environment) is a movement dedicated to responsibly made vegan fashion. In their free museum, you can book a 25-minute tour by appointment, to view some of the most interesting developments in cruelty-free material innovation. Their first exhibition is now closed, but a second one is in the works.
Where to find it: 8350 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069
Detox Market, West Hollywood
This Mecca for all things clean beauty is surely worth a visit – you can make an appointment for assistance with finding the best green, cruelty-free formula for you. Vegan beauty has a home in LA, and that home is Detox Market.
Where to find it: 8380 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Vegan Fashion Week, Downtown
A true celebration of all things vegan style, Vegan Fashion Week has been celebrated on the pages of some of the biggest fashion publications in the world – and with good reason. This ground-breaking event features shows, talks, exhibits and more, to champion a new, more conscious era of fashion.
Where to find it: California Market Center, 110 E 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90079 - usually in October
Important note: this is, of course, not ALL that vegan Los Angeles has to offer. As perhaps the one city in the world with the biggest vegan scene, there are endless possibilities and many more hotspots that could fit into one article. Even more of a reason to book a ticket!
By Sascha Camilli
Sascha Camilli is a vegan fashion writer, speaker and activist. Her book Vegan Style is out now on Murdoch Books. For more about Sascha, you can read our interview with her. You can also follow her on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Cover image by Sterling Davis, Unsplash; first photo by Veggie Grill; second photo of Sage Plant-Based Bistro by Jiroe Ris, Unsplash; third photo of Double Zero by Adrian Muellerl fourth photo courtesy of Vegan Fashion Library; fifth photo of Vegan Fashion Week by Alexx Mayes.
For more great content like this in your inbox, sign up to our newsletter, and save 10% off your next purchase, plus great savings throughout the year.