A (Vegan) Foodie Tour of Los Angeles

A step-by-step guide to where-to-eat, what-to-do, and where-to-go, for one glamorous weekend in the city of angels…


Los Angeles is the land of movie stars, endless sunshine, and juicing. For people who love to eat right, get outside, and have fun, L.A. is nothing less than a sprawling, expansive playground. As a vegan, I spent a weekend dining at the most haute plant-based restaurants and shopping at the chicest cruelty-free boutiques. Here’s what I did on my weekend getaway in the city of angels, from dusk till dawn:

Donut Friend

This vegan donut shop opens at 7AM and is a great way to start off your weekend. I recommend grabbing a small hot coffee and the Polar Berry Club donut. It has a lemon glaze, fresh berries, and freeze dried raspberries on top of a raised donut. The mint leaf was a refreshing garnish and made the presentation beautiful. You can also build your own donut with toppings and fillings. There are dozens of pre-made donuts to choose from and thousands of build-your-own combinations. With outdoor seating, this is a great wakeup call and welcome to the city.

A (Vegan) Foodie Tour of Los Angeles - vegan tour los angeles LA

The Juice

Just down the street from Donut Friend on the way to Griffith Observatory is this organic, vegan, cold-pressed juice shop. The Juice is a staple of the Highland Park neighborhood it calls home. It just would be so not-L.A. to not go in. Grab a juice to go or one of their raw snacks for nibbling. The décor is cute and bright and totally made my morning.

A (Vegan) Foodie Tour of Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory

This stunning observatory is the best spot to view the L.A. skyline and the Hollywood sign. Parking is free and available 24/7 to the public. Many people come here to hike and walk around. It’s on the side of a mountain overlooking the city. It’s best to go early in the morning because the L.A. smog settles later in the day and you won’t be able to see the skyline. This was the perfect place to snap a few photos and admire the gorgeous deco architecture of the observatory itself before it got too hot. The winding drive up to the parking lot put me in the perfect vacation mood and I rolled those windows down, sunglasses on, mood tunes set. The lawn in front of the observatory is a great place for a picnic, too, and you can bring food on premises. There are lots of people walking their dogs and enjoying the rocky, Mediterranean dessert feeling terrain. So L.A.!

A (Vegan) Foodie Tour of Los Angeles

Little Pine

Musician and animal rights activist Moby opened this super hip all-vegan 100% organic restaurant to raise money for animal rights. All proceeds go to the nonprofit Mercy for Animals, which makes indulging so very easy. We tried the lemon poppy seed pancakes and the tofu scramble. The pancakes lemon-forward flavor balanced out the rich coconut whipped cream and paired perfectly with the savory and flavorful scramble. Iced tea is a must, and you can also get kombucha by the glass in flavors like rose tea. You will totally feel like an ‘in’ member of Vegan Club after this visit. We recommend the patio for the full experience. Reserve your table a few weeks ahead of time when you book your flight so that you are sure to get a seat. There is consistently a wait.

A (Vegan) Foodie Tour of Los Angeles

After brunch, head west to Venice Beach for some sunshine and a true California experience…

Moon Juice

Venice Beach is where health-conscious yoga-loving fun-in-the-sun culture fully blooms. Park anywhere you can find a spot and walk up and down Rose for the most laid-back experience. We stayed away from the main strip along the beach and over on Rose Avenue. Hit up Moon Juice, another great vegan juice spot. Their pre-bottled juices are so pretty and come in interesting and pastel-hued flavors. Definitely worth a peek.

A (Vegan) Foodie Tour of Los Angeles

Spend the late afternoon hanging out in Venice Beach. When you start to feel peckish head here:

Café Gratitude

Across the street from Moon Juice is Café Gratitude, an all-vegan restaurant. It’s one of three locations by the same name in L.A., but this one is my favorite. It’s closed patio and all-around glass make it a bright, light haven for healthy foodies. They have a made-to-order smoothie station and an expansive bar for sipping a leisurely plant-based beverage. The shops around this location are cute and not overcrowded with tourists so you can relax, blend in, and go with the flow.

A (Vegan) Foodie Tour of Los Angeles

Vegan Scene

This vegan boutique is the only one of its kind in the world, and it’s between the beach and Café Gratitude. Off the main shopping roads, the small but packed shop is a fun place to pop in a snap a cute outfit or even just a new nail polish shade.

A (Vegan) Foodie Tour of Los Angeles

Read on for the place you absolutely must go for dinner, and more…

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Avatar of Cayla Mackey

As the CEO of Unicorn Goods, the world’s largest ethical vegan catalog, Cayla is passionate about helping people live a cruelty-free lifestyle. She is a serial social entrepreneur motivated to make the world a better place. In past lives, she launched a print magazine for Nashville’s creative class, the South’s first certified organic restaurant, and a creative coworking space.

Reader Discussion: 52 Comments

  1. Avatar of Melody Nguyen

    Melody Nguyen

    I just saw the donut. never read the article and it looks amazing. THEN I read the article and cannot believe my eyes. those are vegan donuts? wow.

  2. Avatar of Donna Duncan

    Donna Duncan

    I’m no vegan. just getting it out there. that being said, these foods are so gorgeous! that donut wow! that colorful drinks! just wooow!

  3. Avatar of Joyce Scott

    Joyce Scott

    really digging the interior of those restaurants. and they are completely vegan. I just can’t help myself and want to visit LA just to eat.

  4. Avatar of Camilla Bells

    Camilla Bells

    just here to say that the donuts are delish! tasted it when i was there for a good week. cannot believe that it is vegan.

  5. Avatar of james nash

    james nash

    I just saw the donut. never read the article and it looks amazing. THEN I read the article and cannot believe my eyes. those are vegan donuts? wow.

  6. Avatar of MICHELLE

    I just saw the donut. never read the article and it looks amazing. THEN I read the article and cannot believe my eyes. those are vegan donuts? wow.

  7. Avatar of MICHELLE

    I’m no vegan… just getting it out there. That being said, these foods are so gorgeous! That donut — WOW! And those colorful drinks! Just wooow!

  8. Avatar of bruce parker

    bruce parker

    I’m a simple man. I see donuts o comment. then I read it’s vegan! I instantly want to fly to L.A just for this. thanks for this heads-up. really appreciate this find.

  9. Avatar of Kimberly Shaw

    Kimberly Shaw

    I so love this post! I never imagine that you’ll find vegan restaurants/places in the land of big burgers!. I visit Hawaii the last time I went on a trip but I have never been to Los Angeles But this article makes me want to fly there just to taste Vegan donuts! Thank you so much for sharing your delightful Los Angeles experience!

  10. Avatar of Sarah Parker

    Sarah Parker

    I so love organic foods. Organic foods often have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants and people with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organic foods. Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. 🙂

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