Favorite Vegan Restaurants in SoCal

If you live in southern California or have ever visited the area, then you know how easy it is to get just about any type of cuisine. Every corner of Los Angeles and Orange counties has its own specialty - from Indian food in Artesia, Thai in Hollywood, California cuisine in Venice, Ethiopian in Mid-Wilshire...you name it, we have it.

Add vegan to that list! With over 150 vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants, PETA has named Los Angeles the most vegan city in the country. Whether you are vegan due to health reasons, your passion to save animals, or your desire to live sustainably, the demand for vegan options has quickly grown in the area!

In honor of LA’s latest recognition, we asked the Pink Salt Cuisine team to share their favorite vegan restaurants and dishes in southern California. Have you been to any of our favorite restaurants?

 

Hope Bailey

1. What is your favorite vegan or vegan-friendly restaurant?

Sage Bistro

2. Where is this restaurant located?

They have locations in Culver City, South Pasadena and Echo Park.

3. What are the must-have items at Sage Bistro?

Everything is great! The tuna melt made with jackfruit is delicious and the pizzas I’ve tried are great!

4. Best time to eat there?

Happy hour! They have a lovely rosé on tap and you can’t go wrong with the buffalo cauliflower - it is so good!

5. What makes this restaurant so amazing?

I love the atmosphere and admire them for making vegan food so accessible. Plus, they have the KindKreme ice cream parlor, which is adorable.

6. When you first tried this item, describe how it made you feel.

When I first tried the tuna melt, it was satisfying, comforting and delicious!

 

Melissa Carter

1. What is your favorite vegan or vegan-friendly restaurant?

Active Culture

2. Where is this restaurant located?

San Clemente and Laguna Beach (we frequent the San Clemente location)

3. Best time to eat there?

It is perfect for lunch or dinner and even a late evening snack before they close!

4. What makes Active Culture so amazing?

I love their mission to serve the most organic and locally sourced food. Everything is made with love there, and is so yummy and good for you. They are also eco-friendly which we adore.

5. What are the must-have items at Active Culture?

I love their dairy-free yogurt! We never get to "go out" for ice cream so it is a treat. I am also in love with the Grassroots Burger with the vegan Goddess sauce instead of the falafal sauce. YUM!

6. When you first tried this item, describe how it made you feel.

I had the Grassroots burger and homemade Kombucha on my first visit. I was hooked after the first bite.

7. Share an interesting story you have about Active Culture.

It is hard for my husband and I to find a restaurant that serves healthy and dairy-free items. This is one of our favorite date night spots to go grab some fro-yo and go for a walk on the beach.

Melissa at Active Culture San Clemente

 

Joyce Malicse

1. What is your favorite vegan or vegan-friendly restaurant?

Mead’s Green Door Cafe

2. Where is this restaurant located?

Old Towne Orange

3. Best time to eat there?

I love coming here for dinner and just relaxing in the cafe. It’s so colorful and has such a welcoming vibe.

4. What makes Mead’s Green Door Cafe so amazing?

Mead’s Green Door Cafe is a vegetarian restaurant and a lot of the items on the menu can easily be veganized, so there are a ton of options for everyone. Plus, the staff is so friendly and there are fun art pieces everywhere, which just adds to the dining experience.

5. What are the must-have items at Mead’s Green Door Cafe?

My go-to is the Buffalo Cauli Kale Pizza. I don’t know what I enjoy most about it: the roasted kale or the buffalo cauliflower!

6. When you first tried this item, describe how it made you feel.

I couldn’t stop talking about it! I picked up the pizza on my way to a meeting and made everyone taste it.

7. Share an interesting story you have about Mead’s Green Door Cafe.

I love getting inspiration from random sources, and after dinner at Mead’s one evening, I looked at one of the walls that had this beautiful chalkboard art piece that read “Very little is needed to live a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” It was the perfect message to close out the night!

Chalkboard Art at Mead's Green Door Cafe

Kimberly Thompson

1. What is your favorite vegan or vegan-friendly restaurant?

Native Foods

2. Where is this restaurant located?

They have locations in Orange County, Los Angeles, as well as a few other states.

3. What are the must-have items at Native Foods?

Their menu changes frequently, but everything is delicious! The most recent item I devoured was the Bulgogi Kimchi tacos. And I always get the peanut butter parfait for dessert.

4. What makes Native Foods so amazing?

You will never be disappointed with anything you order at Native Foods.

5. Best time to eat there? Lunch/dinner, special occasion, before a concert, etc.?

This is the perfect lunch spot to catch up with friends. Always save room for dessert!

6. When you first tried this item, describe how it made you feel.

Happy! I wanted to know everything about the taco. The house made rainbow kimchi is amazing.

7. Share an interesting story you have about Native Foods.

This was the very first vegan restaurant I ever ate at. I was meeting a girlfriend and was unsure of what I was getting myself into. Little did I know that I would thoroughly enjoy my dinner, visit the spot frequently afterwards, and then go on to work for a plant-based catering company years later.