The Best Vegan Spots For Fast Casual Dining
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.
Tocaya is relatively new on the dining scene. Founded in 2016 with an investment by SBV, Tocaya is committed to locally-sourced, natural ingredients in a bright and exciting environment. Their versatile menu includes options for omnivores and vegans alike. Get your Mexican fix at any of ten So-Cal locations, including Venice, La Jolla, San Diego, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Playa Vista, Century City, El Segundo, and Westwood. Don’t miss their Taco Tuesday specials!
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.
France Café, LLC
The French owner of this La Crescenta café crafts his artisan bread and pastries with love, and customers appreciate his personal touch. This clean, cozy café offers generous portions at a reasonable price. The menu’s vegan options include soups, salad, and an impressive vegan chili.
Un Solo Sol
Un Solo Sol, a cozy and colorful Latin American and international restaurant, is a super convenient option, located across from the Mariachi Plaza metro station. Most of their healthy, flavorful, and filling dishes can be made vegetarian or vegan.
Sage Plant-Based Bistro
Sage was founded by Mollie Engelhart, a vegan farm girl from upstate New York, to provide sustainable and flavorful foods. Their diverse menu varies based on season, as Sage partners with local organic farmers who deliver fresh produce daily. They also grow their own produce on their farm, Sow a Heart. Sage has locations in Echo Park, Culver City, and Old Town Pasadena.
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.