A Casual Ranking of 6 Popular LA Vegan Restaurants

Market Tomato Lasagna from M.A.K.E

Though I am not a vegan, I love going to vegan restaurants, which fortunately, Los Angeles has a lot of. The following six restaurants are arguably some of the most popular vegan/vegetarian ones in LA.

M.A.K.E ($$$)
What I have had: Mushroom Pate, Kimchi Dumplings, Brassicas, Market Tomato Lasagna (pictured above), Chocolate Cake, Black Sesame Cake
Thoughts: I was not a fan of the crackers that came with the mushroom pate. They reminded me of Brad’s Raw Kale Chips (the ones like crackers, not the dehydrated kale), and they were awful. The pate itself was good. I just wish I had something better to eat it with. The dumplings were really good! The brassicas will please you, if you like curry. The lasagna was really salty, which was surprising and unfortunate. The chocolate cake was very rich and not too sweet. The black sesame cake was very pleasant.
Pros: If you come when it is empty, they will give you a bunch of freebies! Or at least, that was my experience.
Cons: The food pleases your eyes, but not your taste buds.
What I want to Try Next: Nothing.

Mushroom Pate

Kimchi Dumplings

Sesame Cake and Chocolate Cake

Veggie Grill ($)
What I have had: Strawberry Lemonade, All Hail Kale Salad with Grilled Chickin’, Carrot Cake
Thoughts: The strawberry lemonade was awesome, probably not very healthy, but awesome. The fake grilled chicken made me nauseous. Partly because it was cold, and partly because it just was not very good. I do not think I am a fan of fake meats. The kale salad was delicious, but the dressing was excessive. Unfortunately, I am 99% sure the kale in the kale salad is marinated already, so there is no avoiding the excessive dressing if you choose to get this salad! The carrot cake was good, but when has dessert ever not been good? Their sandwiches are probably excellent, judging from the small bite I had of my boyfriend’s, but they fall low on the healthy spectrum.
Pros: All nutritional information available online! Free rewards program!
Cons: Imitation meat abound.
What I Want to Try Next: Baja Fiesta Salad

Sun Cafe ($$)
What I have had: Mac & Cheese, Cheesecake
Thoughts: Mac & Cheese was awesome, and so was the cheesecake!
Pros: Open very late.
Cons: Parking can be difficult. In my opinion, this place is better for small bites, rather than entrees.
What I Want to Try Next: Nachos

Native Foods ($)
What I have had: Nuevo Native Nachos, Scorpion Burger, Yo Amigo Taco Salad, Zucchini Date Cake, Double Delight Brownie
Thoughts: Nachos were amazing and extremely filling. Scorpion burger was really good. However, it was surprisingly sweet (due to the tempeh?), so if you are craving something savory, this is not the burger for you. The taco salad was good, but not very filling. The zucchini date cake was too sweet for me, but still good. I preferred the double delight brownie, which was not that sweet, and for me, that was a plus!
Pros: Free rewards program!
Cons: None.
What I Want to Try Next: Saigon Roll, Rockin’ Moroccan Bowl

Cafe Gratitude ($$)
What I have had: I Am Generous, I Am Bountiful, I Am Magical, I Am Surrendering
Thoughts: The squash blossom quesadillas (I Am Generous) were good, but nothing special. The baked pasta (I Am Bountiful) was delicious! I would order this again. The burger (I Am Magical) was good, but I forgot to heed the advice of a Yelper and order the mustard on the side. Thus, all my bites with mustard were awful. The brownie (I Am Surrendering) was great.
Pros: Great variety!
Cons: Every time I have gone, they are always out of several items on the menu, which is really inconvenient when you have your heart set on a dish before coming in.
What I want to Try Next: Kale Chips.

I Am Bountiful

Sage Vegan Bistro ($$)
What I have had: Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, Portobello Bacon Chili Cheese Burger
Thoughts: The wings were too spicy! A bunch of people love them on Yelp, but for me, they were so spicy that had I not paid $12 for them, I would have stopped after my first one. The burger was awesome. I highly recommend it!
Pros: Large, filling portions! Enough to take home leftovers.
Cons: None.
What I want to Try Next: BLTA Pizza, Pretzels, KindKreme

For me, the top two are interchangeable. It just depends on my current craving. Sage Vegan Bistro is my number one when I am craving vegan junk food, and Cafe Gratitude is my number one, otherwise. Right now, I happen to be the former, so first place goes to Sage Vegan Bistro!


2 thoughts on “A Casual Ranking of 6 Popular LA Vegan Restaurants

  1. This is not a very definitive guide, you didn’t even include Crossroads which is the best vegan restaurant in Los Angeles, possibly anywhere outside of New York, and the only high-end gourmet fine dining one. Which alone definitely warranted it’s inclusion. Also it’s not very definitive if you only sampled a small fraction of the items on the menus of only a small handful of restaurants! A definitive guide would be something that you write after a long period of experiencing almost every menu item at almost every top vegan place in LA, there are so many others you left off your list here. This is basically just your quick opinion of a small sampling of a few vegan places on LA. Not very comprehensive.

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