California has the best food in the world, hands down. The Golden State boasts cuisine that incorporates the freshest ingredients and a myriad of flavors from every culture from around the world. That’s not to mention the health-conscious options, with Southern California being a pioneer when it comes to vegan fare—proving time and again you can be meat and dairy free and still eat like a king or queen. To celebrate National Vegan Month, we’ve rounded up our “best of list”: the six greatest places to be vegan.
Where: Cleo L.A. LIVE
Why we love it: The newest of Cleo’s outposts has all the charm, popular dishes conceived of by Chef Danny Elmaleh, and concoctions created uniquely for this location.
What to try: Try dips like babaganoush, muhammara, and hummus with tahini. Shareable salads like the chopped, beet, quinoa and roasted vegetable are dairy free. Plus hearty entrees like artichoke and Nicoise olives, spicy potatoes, falafel and the Hariri soup, won’t disappoint.
Where: Cafe Gratitude
Why we love it: With beautiful light filled locations in DTLA, Venice, and Hollywood, Angelenos won’t have to drive far for fantastic food with a philosophy to match.
What to try: Every dish has an uplifting name: try the “Elated”—Mole Abuelita Enchiladas, or the “Committed”—a BBQ Portobello Panini.
Why we love it: Rarely does a restaurant embrace veganism and bacon in the same beat, but Sqirl does exactly that, meaning you can dine with your meat eating friends and everybody wins.
What to try: Where to start? The crispy rice bowl salad is a good bet, with scallion, mint, avocado, and mixed greens.
Why we love it: Always consistent, always classy, and always fresh, Katsuya takes the vegan dining experience up a notch.
What to try: Avocado rolls, crispy tofu salad, vegetable tempura, and crispy brussels sprouts, to name just a few. And of course, wash it all down deliciously with a specialty cocktail like The Dragon: Grey Goose Vodka shaken with traditional Japanese flavorings of yuzu and ginger.
Where: Crossroads Kitchen
Why we love it: Dishes here are so beautifully presented, it’s almost hard to dig in—that is until you have one bite—then there’s no turning back.
What to try: The buzzed-about Impossible Burger was introduced last month, with customers clamoring to try the vegan patty—with all the looks, texture, and taste of its beef counterpart.
Where: Doheny Room
Why we love it: If you like excellent cocktails with your vegan fare—this design-minded spot is for you.
What to try: Vegan sushi, mango and kale with spicy golden beets, sprouts, Thai basil—and whatever you do, don’t leave here without trying the “El Monte”: Bacardi Superior Rum, lime, mint, cucumber, absinthe.