Eating out as a vegan can be tough. So many restaurants just don’t get it. “Of course the omelet is vegan! Oh… eggs are a problem?”
Luckily, you’re no longer limited to picking at a skimpy salad while your lunch date chows down on a taco with the works while slurping a creamy milkshake. The number of eateries catering to vegans—whether with vegan selections or an entirely vegan menu—is steadily growing.
For restaurant investor Amit Raizada and his investment firm SBV, it’s all about fresh, high-quality eateries that offer vegan options. An avid fitness and health enthusiast himself, we spoke to Raizada about his favorite vegan-friendly options in Southern California for dining and takeout.
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Monty’s Good Burger
This burger joint offers 100% plant-based burgers made from locally sourced ingredients, including artisanal burgers to the milkshakes. Monty’s prides itself on environmental responsibility and offering its staff a living wage. Visit Monty’s in Echo Park, Koreatown, or Riverside for the legendary Impossible patty or Monty’s house-made sauces. Don’t be deterred by the long lines—they move quickly.
Jewel is a plant-based restaurant in Silver Lake with lots of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free offerings based on seasonal vegetables, sea vegetables, and fruits. Enjoy the modern, warm indoor atmosphere and the live plants on every table, or dine al fresco on a homey patio facing a quiet residential neighborhood. Get all the health benefits of progressive ingredients like activated charcoal and lacto-fermented kimchi.
Cruzer Pizza is the only 100% vegan Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. It has a casual pizza place vibe, complete with a TV playing in the background. They offer gluten-free toppings and crust, and, unlike most places in Los Angeles, parking is a breeze.
Azla is an Ethiopian vegan food stand in a food court near USC. It’s the first Ethiopian restaurant in South Los Angeles, started by a mother who began adapting traditional recipes when her children became vegetarian. Their injera, wot, and salads are made fresh daily.
Bodhi Bowl offers plant-based bowls and wraps with creative Zen names like Nirvana and Mandala, promising “enlightened eating.” The Downtown L.A. diner can create their own custom bowl and watch it be assembled. Seating is limited.